On of my neighbors seems to rather like Aerios. And what’s not to like, if you like tall, narrow roomy boxes on little wheels? Right up my alley; or down the street, actually. I could see myself in one of these, for an around-town scooter. They must be pretty brisk too, given the 155hp 2.3 L engine that powered US versions starting in 2004. Hmm; so why didn’t these catch on more?
Is it because of its little wheels, at a a time when everyone was sporting ever-larger dubs? It does make the Aerio look a bit top-heavy. But then cars like the Fit and gen1 xB weren’t much different in that regard.
In other markets, the sedan version, called Liana, was a classic low-end economy car, with smaller engines (1.5 and 1.8L) and modest trim. The Liana achieved some fame as Top Gear’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segments. It served for three years and covered over 1600 laps, proof enough of its toughness.
What exactly was the Aerio? A mini-CUV? It was available with AWD. A roomy economy car? A tall-boy wagon? The Aerio did seem to have a bit of a perpetual identity crisis. But its owners tend to be the kind of folks who saw it as something just right for them. There just weren’t quite enough of them.
If these were like most Suzukis, they were pretty well screwed together. It’s a bit ironic that Suzuki failed in the US, because it’s pretty hard to think of one that wasn’t a pretty decent car, at the minimum. There’s still some ancient Chevy Sprints from the ’80s running around here, as well as plenty of Metros. Never mind all the little 4×4 mini-Jeeps, that have now become essentially irreplaceable. A lost market segment. And a lost brand, in the US.
I miss Suzuki already.