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2008 Suzuki Reno Overview

A name can carry a lot of weight, conjuring up a whole host of associated images. Case in point: the 2008 Suzuki Reno. Just as the city of Reno is the poor man's Las Vegas, so is the Suzuki Reno the poor man's Mazda3 or Toyota Matrix. As Suzuki's least expensive car, this compact hatch represents great value for budget-conscious first-time buyers, but critics and owners seem to agree that its interior space and long list of standard features don't offset its sluggish performance and cheap materials. For 2008, the front-wheel-drive hatch receives two new options - Bluetooth and wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls. Otherwise, the Reno remains unchanged, perhaps in preparation for its imminent demise.

The 2008 Reno comes in Base and Convenience trims, each powered by a 127-hp, 2.0-liter inline four that gets 131 ft-lbs of torque and 20/28 mpg. A 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual are the available transmissions. It shares its chassis and powertrain with the Forenza, but adds a more stylish profile to appeal to younger buyers looking for a deal. Base trims are well equipped with full power features, a CD player with MP3 input jack, heated mirrors, and a roof rack. The Convenience adds the wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, leather trim, and remote entry. Dual front-side airbags are standard, along with 4-wheel disc brakes, but ABS brakes are offered only as an option. The Reno receives an acceptable rating from the IIHS and four stars from the NHTSA in crash tests.

The hatch seats four in two rows arranged stadium-style. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats expand the small 8.8-cubic-foot cargo area to 45 cubic feet. A cargo cover is standard. Other expected yet nice conveniences include four cupholders, two front power outlets, and under-seat storage compartments. Comfortable leg- and headroom, good storage capability, and Suzuki's 7-year/100,000-mile warranty are the 2008 Reno's biggest selling points. But the drawbacks, such as a noisy engine, rough ride, poor engine power, and less than impressive fuel economy, carry more weight.

Updated by Anonymous

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