Junkyard Find: 2004 Suzuki Aerio

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Not many cars appear and disappear while leaving as little trace as did the Suzuki Aerio, which was sold in the United States for the 2002-2007 model years. Normally, I ignore such new cars when I’m wandering around the wrecking yards of Denver, but I’ll break out the camera when I find something of historical significance— for example, an example of the final year of the GM J-body’s 24-year run— or when I see a car that doesn’t seem to exist on the street any more. This Aerio is such a car.

The car used for the first seven years of Top Gear UK’s “Star In a Reasonably Priced Car” series was a 2002 Suzuki Aerio (called the Liana, which was supposedly an acronym for “Life In A New Age,” in Europe). This is the only Aerio most of us have ever seen.

American car shoppers ran out of reasons to buy Suzuki cars, though Chinese buyers can still get a new Liana.

Will anyone pull any pieces off this car before it gets eaten by The Crusher? Probably not.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Racin_G73 Racin_G73 on Apr 23, 2013

    You know, I actually wanted to buy one of these back around 2003. But the purchase price plus not-so-good fuel economy was such that I never even took it for a test drive. The same thing happened in 2007 when I ended up buying a Scion xB. The Aerio was dead by then, but the fuel mileage on the rest of the Suzuki line-up was so terrible that it wasn't worth the cost of entry.

  • Stereorobb Stereorobb on Sep 19, 2013

    Man these sure didn't last very long did they?! I remember seeing the kinda cool commercials for these when they came out. Then I saw one in the wild and thought how ugly and terrible they looked. Almost born hoopties, my neighbor had a yellow one and it was already falling apart at a year old. Heh. These will be totally forgotten in a few years.

  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.