The Aerio SX hatchback has been discontinued for 2007 and has been replaced by the SX4; only the Aerio sedan remains. Also, cruise control is now standard in all Aerios, and an automatic transmission now comes standard in the Premium model.
The Aerio was first introduced to the American public in 2002, and remains one of the few small cars available with all-wheel drive (AWD). Even so, the Aerio never really achieved mainstream sales success. A 2005 revamp, which improved the quality of the SX4's interior materials and replaced its peculiar digital dashboard with more conventional analog gauges, failed to turn things around. As a result, the Aerio will be discontinued after the 2007 model year. The Aerio SX hatchback has already been replaced by the new SX4, and the Aerio sedan will also be phased out when the Suzuki SX4 sedan arrives.
Despite its oddities, the Aerio is a likeable package with a big 2.3-liter, 155-hp 4-cylinder engine and choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The AWD system delivers power to the front wheels by default, automatically transferring up to 50 percent of the engine's power output to the rear wheels if the front wheels lose traction. The Base model gets a 5-speed manual transmission as standard equipment; a 4-speed automatic is optional on the Base and standard on the Aerio Premium.
Standard equipment on the Aerio includes: power windows, locks, and mirrors; a CD/MP3 player; cruise control; front-seat-mounted side air bags; anti-lock brakes; and, unusual for a car this inexpensive, automatic climate control. The Aerio Premium adds a 6-disc CD changer, a subwoofer, alloy wheels, and the aforementioned automatic transmission. An iPod interface, which displays song and playlist information on the Aerio's stereo, is available as a dealer-installed option. Warranty coverage-3 years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 7 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain-is fully transferable should the first owner sell the car.
The Suzuki Aerio competes in the Compact Basic segment, which consists of eight models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and low maintenance costs, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Yaris (70,308 units sold), Chevrolet Aveo (58,244), and Hyundai Accent (34,735). The Suzuki Aerio sold 8,499 units in 2006, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Basic segment include the Scion xA, Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Suzuki Reno.
|Base (M5)||5 speed manual||$14,299||155-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||25/31|
|Premium (A4)||4 speed automatic||$16,199||155-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||25/31|