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PERFORMANCE | 5 out of 10
slightly quicker, thanks to its 2.0-liter engine
Cars and Driver
adequate acceleration, but passing power is lacking
sufficient muscle to keep pace with normal traffic
Kelley Blue Book
mediocre performance with so-so fuel efficiency
Auto experts at TheCarConnection.com find the 2008 Suzuki Reno lacking in performance.
Cars.com reports that the Suzuki Reno "2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 127 horsepower and 127 pounds-feet of torque." According to ConsumerGuide, this Suzuki 2008 engine provides "adequate acceleration, but passing power is lacking." Kelley Blue Book contends that it has "sufficient muscle to keep pace with normal traffic but does limit responsiveness with respect to aggressive passing maneuvers." According to Edmunds, however, when "paired with the standard five-speed manual transmission, it performs decently."
In addition to the manual, a "four speed automatic can be installed," according to Cars.com. Edmunds reports that the Suzuki 2008 "four-speed automatic shifts smoothly, but its lackluster response dulls performance"; however, "equipped with the manual gearbox, the [Suzuki] Reno has little difficulty merging or keeping up in traffic." Edmunds adds "when equipped with the automatic transmission, Suzuki's least-expensive car suffers the double humility of mediocre performance along with so-so fuel efficiency."
Cars.com confirms this: The Suzuki Reno is "not outstanding for small, 4-cylinder cars," although the "manual-transmission Reno Convenience averaged 23.4 mpg during its 10,094-mile extended-use test." According to Edmunds, "Reno posts mileage numbers that are among the lowest of cars in its price range...Manual Renos rate 20 mpg city and 28 highway, while the automatic rates 19/28, respectively."
Handling is atypically soft for an economy car, thanks to what Car and Driver considers "huge suspension travel, and a 'pillowy ride.'" ConsumerGuide adds that the 2008 Suzuki Reno has "quick, responsive steering, but there's noticeable body lean even at modest cornering speeds." Cars.com reports that "Reno zips around corners with zest...ride is surprisingly pleasant even on lumpy city streets." However, "brakes have a spongy feel, and the gearshift is a bit rubbery." Edmunds points out that "compared with other budget-priced hatchbacks, the 2008 Suzuki Reno also comes up lacking in ride quality, as its soft suspension allows too much movement over bumps and ruts."
The 2008 Suzuki Reno has subpar performance even when compared to the most basic econoboxes.