2004 SUZUKI VERONA REVIEW & MSRP – TheBigLot.com

22 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2004 SUZUKI VERONA REVIEW & MSRP – TheBigLot.com

Suzuki Verona

sedan comes from Korea with styling from Italy

Bob Plunkett

Date Posted: 5/10/2005

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Verona, the Italian city of love where Romeo and Juliet once cavorted, lends its name to a sedan with curvy lines that marks a new flagship in the fleet for Suzuki of Japan.

Verona the car, conformed as a four-door notchback sedan in front-wheel-drive (FWD) format for the mid-size segment, supports a spacious five-seat passenger compartment loaded with features of convenience and luxury.

As the standard powertrain it stocks a six-pack engine developed with assistance from Porsche of Germany.

It also carries a four-speed automatic transaxle and capable mechanical components that pitch it as both a sturdy highway traveler and comfortable city cruiser.

And the bodywork, with a canted windshield and convoluted sheetmetal surfaces worked into an artful montage of slinky shadows and streaked highlights, reflects sensuous Italian elegance from styling worked out by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign studios in Turin.

Verona’s international pedigree — the Japanese automaker working with Italian stylists and the powertrain of German design — also extends to South Korea where the vehicle is produced by GM-Daewoo Automotive and Technology Company (GM-DAT), a Korean manufacturing group forged from key sections of the Daewoo company that General Motors acquired following Daewoo’s demise.

General Motors also owns part of Suzuki and the two companies share in joint ventures.

Despite these international ties and the impressive list of components and suppliers, Verona comes to the North American market with price points that dip to the bottom of the class among four-door mid-size imports.

Suzuki sets the MSRP for a base Verona S edition at only $16,499. Tack on the inescapable freight fee of $500 and the figure bumps to $16,999 as Verona’s lowest mark.

The Verona LX lists for $17,799, yet the top model Verona EX, swaddled in leather, caps at $19,499. With delivery fee added, even the EX tallies to a buck below the barrier of $20,000.

Then Suzuki supports Verona with its new Open Road Promise warranty.

The program extends well beyond protection for other vehicles. Verona’s powertrain is insured for seven years or 100,000 miles and the warranty is transferable to succeeding owners and free of deductible limits for covered items. Also included is a three-year roadside assistance program and a courtesy car provided during any extended warranty repairs.

Verona marks the first in a line of seven new vehicles coming to Suzuki as the automaker embarks on a five-year mission to triple sales in the American market.

Once regarded as the builder of itsy-bitsy economy cars fitted with tepid powerplants, Suzuki in recent years has focused on a trio of sport-utility wagons plus a subcompact called Aerio in conventional sedan and unconventional four-door hatchback format.

But with the arrival of Verona, Suzuki shows it can compete in the mid-size sedan segment with a proficient vehicle that begs the shopper’s question: Why pay more?

Our time in the driver’s seat of a Verona EX, running over twisty back roads as well as congested California freeway woven through the rolling hills of San Diego County, demonstrates that this is a car of reasonable power with competent road manners and comfortable accommodations.

It looks downright glamorous.

Sleek external styling in the manner of premium European touring sedans features exaggerated corner headlamp clusters up front and a sculptured hood with defined shoulders and arched flares around the wheelwells.

There’s a bow in the roofline culminating in a graceful shape for the back pillar that tapers into a brief rear deck and the blunt tail.

Chrome appears sparingly, wrapping the modest grille in front or as a streak capping molding on side doors.

Bumpers and fascia front and rear reflect the color of the body and blend subtly into the overall package.

For an engine, Suzuki sought an unusual choice.

Typical for this class and price range would be a four-cylinder plant rigged with on-board balances to temper the turbulent operation.

But for Verona Suzuki used a six-cylinder engine of modest size with an in-line arrangement for fluid-smooth running.

The all-aluminum plant, with twin cams on top and a displacement of 2.5 liters, mounts transversely in the engine compartment and sends all power to the front wheels.

It spins out 155 hp at 5800 rpm with 177 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. That power rating compares roughly to the output for many four-cylinder engines, although you end up with the smooth and quiet manners of a straight-six, plus reasonable fuel economy figures — up to 28 mpg at highway speed.

The engine links to an electronic four-speed automatic transaxle that comes with a step-gate shift lever. It’s adaptive because the computer-based control unit can learn the way one person likes to drive, then modify shift patterns to maximize performance.

Platform for Verona is stiff with reinforcements of high-strength steel.

Suspension is conventional — MacPherson struts support the front end with an independent multi-link arrangement in back — but the brakes for all trims put a disc at every wheel. They’re ventilated in front and solid at the rear.

The entry-level Verona S lists additional safety gear as optional like an anti-lock brake system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), although these devices are standard on Verona LX or EX and the EX also offers a traction control system (TCS).

Cabin arrangement nets twin bucket seats in front of a bench for three.

Personal space in each seat is good and there’s a lot of gear included in the entry edition — even an impressive display of electro-luminescent gauges in the instrument panel.

Standard equipment includes front foglamps and heated power mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry system and cruise control, plus in-dash CD and cassette decks with six speakers. Options extend to an automatic climate system, leather seat upholstery, power tilt-and-slide sunroof, eight-way power controls for the driver’s bucket and 16-inch alloy wheels.

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