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April 14, 2004
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American Suzuki Extends Its Competitive Edge With New York Auto Show Launch of Forenza Wagon

Automaker Capitalizes on Popularity of Forenza Sedan to Target Recreation-Minded Wagon Buyers Who Want It All - and More

Photo: Suzuki

NEW YORK - Capitalizing on the success of the fast-selling Suzuki Forenza premium compact sedan launched last year, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) unveils the new Suzuki Forenza Wagon at the 2004 New York International Auto Show.

An extension of the Forenza sedan, the all-new premium compact Forenza Wagon combines European styling, impressive standard features and class-leading passenger space with the functional advantages of a wagon -- all at a price less than the competition.

 

The fourth of nine new models added to the Suzuki lineup as part of the automaker's plan to triple its U.S. sales to 200,000 vehicles by 2007, the Forenza Wagon targets active buyers who want it all -- and more -- out of their vehicle and their lives.

Suzuki's foray into the wagon category targets a new breed of wagon lovers -- specifically, those buyers wanting to combine the drivability and enviable features of the world's best-selling sedans with five-door functionality, cargo capacity and affordability. The Forenza Wagon, designed by the Italian design firm Pininfarina, will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2004 as a 2005 model with an MSRP ranging between $13,000 to $16,000 -- making it the premium compact wagon value leader.

Thanks to its unique attribute blend and MSRP, the Forenza Wagon will offer a distinct value advantage over competitors like the Ford Focus Wagon, Subaru Impreza Wagon, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback and VW Jetta Wagon.

A comparison with the competition reveals the 2005 Forenza Wagon is longer and wider than the 2004 Focus Wagon. It is one of the few models among its 2004 competitors to offer an eight-speaker audio system with steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, four-wheel disc brakes, passenger-side weight-sensing advanced airbags, side airbags for both driver and passenger-side, speed-sensitive power steering and heated power mirrors as standard features, and a sunroof (up-level models only). It also offers the best cargo capacity (with rear seats folded down), rear legroom and front and rear shoulder room in the premium compact wagon category.

Exterior Design

Beyond its class-leading value, it is the Forenza Wagon's European-designed exterior that is expected to attract the most attention from active wagon shoppers.

Pininfarina's design for the Forenza Wagon calls for expressive styling lines extending from the Euro-styled dual cylindrical halogen headlights to the base of the windshield, gliding along the muscular hood to the spacious five-passenger compartment. The Forenza Wagon, dominated by an eight-window greenhouse, has a uniquely free-flowing silhouette providing maximum driver and passenger visibility. The gracefully curved roofline provides a continuous aerodynamic silhouette, while the doors are protected by color-keyed side molding and door handles that give the Forenza Wagon a rich and refined look.

The aerodynamic style lines continue from the base of the rear window to the corners of the clear, high-tech taillights, also oversized to create a polished look with an artistic flair. From there, the eye glides over a class-leading cargo area that allows owners to transport all the requirements of their active lifestyles -- from rollerblades, bikes and backpacks to the treasures found at antique stores and flea markets and the basics purchased from the grocery store and warehouse store.

The Forenza Wagon sports standard 15-inch wheels and tires, and is available with a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, aluminum alloy wheels and front fog lamps.

Interior Features

Beyond the Forenza Wagon's graceful sheet metal is an impressively sized and appointed interior that betters the 2004 models of the competition in a number of important passenger space categories, including cargo capacity. Much like the Forenza sedan, the Forenza Wagon differentiates itself from the competition with a contemporary, feature-laden interior based on a horizontal theme commonly found in luxury sedans. Striking metallic silver accents highlight the doors, instrument panel, center console and dash for a thoroughly polished look and feel.

Entering the Forenza Wagon, the driver is immediately drawn to the elegantly designed dashboard with instrument clusters rimmed with metallic silver accents and backlit with a jade-green glow. Meanwhile, the deluxe cloth seating surfaces envelope occupants in plush comfort.

For customized positioning, the driver's seat can be adjusted using the dual-height and lumbar support adjustments along with the steering wheel tilt to fit individual selections; CDs and cassettes, sunglasses, beverages and other valuables conveniently stashed in the abundant storage spaces; and the automatic air conditioning or heating set at a comfortable temperature.

Power, Handling and Ride Quality

The Forenza Wagon comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, in-line four-cylinder engine producing 126 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 131 pounds-feet of torque at a low 4,000 rpm. This engine is available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Riding smoothly on front MacPherson Struts and a rear dual-link suspension, the Forenza Wagon absorbs road irregularities and ensures optimal passenger comfort. With sedan drivability, the Forenza Wagon handles fluidly with speed-sensitive power steering, which self-adjusts the power steering assist according to the car's speed.

Suzuki Safety

Selling vehicles that protect passengers is a high priority for American Suzuki -- as evidenced by numerous safety features and a growing list of industry accolades. Paramount among the Forenza Wagon's standard safety amenities is four-wheel disc brakes -- a feature typically found only on more expensive models or as costly options. Enhancing safety is the optional anti-lock braking system (ABS) featuring a Bosch four-sensor, four-channel system with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) that offers increased control by automatically distributing braking force according to the braking load on each of the four wheels. The ABS system is further enhanced by the Forenza Wagon's traction control system (TCS) that senses wheel slippage and provides better acceleration on slippery surfaces.

The Forenza Wagon secures all passengers with height-adjustable, three-point seatbelts. The passengers are further protected by standard passenger-side advanced weight-sensing front airbags, and side airbags for driver and front passenger. Keeping the family in mind, the Forenza Wagon utilizes the LATCH child seat system and an illuminated trunk emergency release lever.

(Apr 8, 2004)


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