CC Capsule: 2002-2006 Suzuki Aerio – Adios Aerios

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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?

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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.

Suzuki Liana tg

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.

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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.

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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.

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I miss Suzuki already.