2008 Suzuki Reno Review

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Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
September 5, 2008

The 2008 Suzuki Reno still looks good against rivals, has a roomy interior, and offers a lot of features for the money, but its aged design counts against it in nearly all other areas.

The experienced automotive advisors at TheCarConnection.com have assembled this comprehensive review of the 2008 Suzuki Reno, based on some of the best review sources on the Web. TheCarConnection.com's editors also added their own insights to make the review especially useful.

The Reno is a small, inexpensive hatchback model built by GM Daewoo in South Korea. The 2008 Suzuki Reno is basically a carryover with only minor changes.

The Reno's shape was originally styled by the design house Pininfarina, and it still stands as nicely proportioned next to its peers. The interior follows a clean, simple design, but it uses a hodgepodge of unmatched surfaces and hard plastics. Seating is roomy and comfortable in the 2008 Suzuki Reno, though. In front, the seats are among the better ones in this especially low-priced car class, and in back, legroom is just adequate for average adults.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the 2008 Suzuki Reno produces 127 horsepower and comes with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, but with either transmission, it's merely adequate and noisy under moderate or hard acceleration. And whichever way, fuel economy is embarrassingly poor for a relatively light, 2,700-pound small car, at 19 mpg city with the automatic.

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The 2008 Suzuki Reno rides on MacPherson struts up front and a dual-link suspension in the rear, with variable-assist power steering and four-wheel disc brakes. Those goods usually deliver solid handling, but the tuning is such that the Reno has a firm, pitchy ride combined with heavy, unremarkable handling.

Features are a strong point; the 2008 Suzuki Reno is a very good value, at least in terms of features for the money. Air conditioning; a CD stereo; and power locks, windows, and heated mirrors are standard on the base Reno. Changes for 2008 are limited to new chrome door handles, as well as standard fog lamps and steering wheel audio controls on the Convenience package. Bluetooth is a new option.

The 2008 Suzuki Reno received straight four-star ratings in the federal government's crash tests for frontal and side impact, but the more demanding tests conducted by the insurance-affiliated IIHS found the Reno simply "acceptable" in frontal impact and "poor" in rear impact protection. The Forenza sedan, which has a similar structure, came up "poor" in side impact as well. Front and front-side airbags are standard across the line. Neither anti-lock brakes nor stability control are offered on the Reno.

The warranty remains a major selling point for the 2008 Suzuki Reno. Suzuki offers one of the best from any manufacturer, with fully transferable coverage up to seven years or 100,000 miles.

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