Suzukis Econobox: the Reno

By: Mike Bartley

In the auto industry, Suzuki is known for producing economy cars. While the company is known for that reputation, the new Suzuki Reno proves that Suzuki can also come up with an economy car, but at the same time, it can have what it takes to take on the big names in the auto industry. The Suzuki Reno is being sold in various auto markets around the world in various names. The Reno is also called the Daewoo Lacetti, Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Nubira, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet SRV, Holden Viva, and the Suzuki Forenza.

Dubbed as an econobox, the Reno has strong potential to become popular among American car buyers since the price of gasoline has already forced many to abandon their light trucks in favor of smaller and fuel efficient cars. The Reno though is not only cheap but it is also fun to drive and its fuel efficiency is respectable.

Under the hood of the Reno is a 2.0-liter double overhead camshaft inline four cylinder engine. The amount of power produced by the said internal combustion engine is enough to power the 2,739-pound Reno. The four-cylinder gasoline engine can be mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The combination of these powertrain components gives the Reno the capability to run with more expensive cars on highways.

The Japanese car manufacturer designed the transmission with well-spaced gear ratios. This design maximizes the power and torque output of the engine. The gear shift knob is also easy to use thus giving the Reno additional selling points.

With its relatively small internal combustion engine, the Reno can cover 20 miles on a gallon of fuel. That figure is remarkable and the Reno perfectly fits the demand of car buyers looking for inexpensive cars with good fuel efficiency.

The Reno's selling point does not only involve its low price and respectable fuel efficiency. Its handling is also good or its class. It may not have the same responsiveness as luxury cars but its handling can be compared to more expensively priced cars. The Reno's suspension and steering systems complement each other to enable the Reno to navigate tight turns without rolling over.

Inside the car, styling is not radical but offers practicality. The seats are comfortable although it does not offer any side support. The suspension setting of the Reno makes the ride in the car comfortable. Its features include power windows, power mirrors and door locks. Audio entertainment is provided by a standard CD/AM/FM/MP3 audio system with eight speakers. An auxiliary input for audio devices is provided.

On the outside, the Reno is conservatively styled. While it may not stand out in a parking lot, it has a charm of its own. The small grille design accented by the Suzuki badge gives character to the nose of the Reno. Below the grille is a wide air intake opening. The headlight configuration may not be an attention grabber but it serves its purpose. Its hood hints that the car sports a relatively small engine. The car's exterior can be complemented by using car accessories such as mud flaps.

With its conservative styling, relatively lower price and respectable fuel efficiency, the Reno may be on its way to creating a buyer base of its own. For Suzuki, their quest for success in the United States auto market may be sparked by the Reno.

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