2006 Suzuki Verona – Test drive and new car review – 2006 Suzuki Verona

20 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2006 Suzuki Verona – Test drive and new car review – 2006 Suzuki Verona

Verona, Just East of Passaic

Verona, Italy is a magical place. Verona, New Jersey — not so magical. No offense. The 2006 Suzuki Verona is more New Jersey than Italy.

At a base price of $18,299 (same as tested) with a 3 year/50,000 mile basic warranty and a 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, the 2006 Suzuki Verona wants to compete in the same class as Camry and Accord. Built in South Korea and sold elsewhere in the world as the Daewoo Magnus, the Verona had better have a rabbit up its sleeve. 20 mpg city/27 highway.

First Glance: Bland and generic

The name isn’t the only thing that’s Italian about the Verona. Italdesign in Turin drew up the exterior, which isn’t half-bad, if overly familiar. The whole rear of the car is reminiscent of the previous-generation Camry. from the squared-off trunk lid to the big triangular tail lights.

The lines of the rest of the car are generic and Camry-like as well, with the exception of the hood, which features two creased channels that create a wedge-shaped ridge along the center line — a little like the Hyundai Sonata. a fellow Korean vehicle. The doors are protected against parking lot dings by an ugly body-color strip lined with shiny plastic chrome. The 15#148; steel wheels look small in the wheel wells, and the aluminized covers don’t help much.

Fit and finish are fine, that’s all — just fine. The paint looks thin, lacking the luster that you find on better paint jobs. My test car wore a coat of Titanium Silver, a dull metallic color without any sparkle or shine.

Bleh. It reflected the car’s personality: Unexceptional in every respect, like a cheap knockoff of the real thing. Nobody’s ever going to stop you and say Nice car!#148; when you’re driving a Verona.

Continued below.

In the Driver’s Seat: New car already showing signs of wear

Dated dashboard shows Verona’s old Daewoo Leganza roots

Photo #169; Jason Fogelson

If the exterior of the Verona is unexceptional, the interior of positively awful. I have to start with the horrible fuzzy grey cloth seats, which About Cars guide Aaron Gold aptly described as mouse fur.#148; Not only are the seats ugly, they also generated a static charge each and every time I got out of the car. I got a big shock when I went to close the door — it became aversion therapy.

I was so afraid of getting shocked that I didn’t even want to drive the Verona.

The mouse fur also covers the driver and passenger door armrests. Though my test car had less than 5,000 miles on the odometer, the fur on the driver’s door armrest was already showing signs of wearing through. Ugly and fragile, a bad combination.

Dash materials are cheap and unfriendly to the touch. My personal bugaboo, plastic wood, is a prominent feature, and doesn’t look like any wood found in nature. At least the gauges are clear and well placed.

Audio controls on the steering wheel give access to Power,#148; Mode#148; and Seek,#148; but not volume or mute. The steering wheel adjusts for tilt but doesn’t telescope.

On the Road: Six cylinders that can’t do the work of four

My my expectations suitably lowered, I headed for the highway. Under the hood, Suzuki has crammed a 2.5 liter inline 6 cylinder engine that’s rated at 155 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Most of the Verona’s competitors use either 4 cylinder engines with variable valve timing that match the Suzuki’s output with less displacement and greater efficiency, or V6s with significantly more power.

The Verona’s engine, which is designed by Suzuki, not Daewoo, is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that is the very model of clunkiness. It thunks from gear to gear, especially when cold. To add to the misery, you have to press down on the gear selector to go from drive to reverse or park, a totally unnecessary so-called safety feature that just complicates operation.

The Verona’s steering feel is vague — it feels like you are generally pointing the car down the road rather than steering it. This car doesn’t handle so much as it floats. I can only compare the Verona with my girlfriend’s venerable 1991 Infiniti G20 with 130,000 miles on the odometer.

The G20 feels tighter, turns better, accelerates harder and has better road feel than the brand new Verona. That’s less praise for the G20 than it is damning the Verona.

Journey’s End: Buy something else

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