A dismal side-impact score and a lack of standard safety features places the 2008 Suzuki Forenza relatively low for those who value occupant protection or the latest accident-avoidance aids. You might even have a hard time getting ABS.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Suzuki Forenza four of five stars in front-impact protection, side-impact protection, and rollover ratings. However, the government agency does note that "during the side impact test, the head of the left rear passenger dummy struck the C-pillar, causing a high head acceleration," which corresponds to “a higher likelihood of serious head trauma." The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which conducts more rigorous tests, awards the 2008 Suzuki Forenza its second-highest rating of "acceptable" in frontal offset tests, but a disappointing "poor" rating in side-impact tests and rear crash protection tests.
The Forenza lacks some safety features considered necessary in any car of any class. Cars.com reports that "seat-mounted side-impact airbags were installed in all [Suzuki Forenza] models for 2005," while "a tire pressure monitoring system and warning light were added as standard equipment" for the 2007 Suzuki Forenza. According to Edmunds, "The Suzuki Forenza offers standard front side-impact airbags and the stopping power of four-wheel disc brakes." However, they add that at Suzuki, 2008 Forenzas only have anti-lock brakes available; they’re “optional with Convenience Package-equipped Forenzas."
Visibility is a concern at ConsumerGuide, where "some testers say the rear headrests interfere with the over-the-shoulder view."
Curtain airbags and stability control are not available on the Forenza.