Is It Still Smart to Buy a Used Suzuki?

Yes, because the inexpensive Japanese vehicles are dependable

Suzuki
A 2008 Suzuki SX4 could be a good purchase for a used car. Suzuki

In 2012, American Suzuki Motor Corporation — more commonly known as Suzuki — pulled the plug on selling new cars in the United States. But, you can still find plenty of used Suzukis for purchase in the U.S., and there are circumstances where it makes sense to buy one. 

You Can Still Get Service and Parts

The key before buying any used car — including Suzukis — is whether you can get them serviced and find parts.

Like all cars, Suzukis will break down at times, or they'll simply need parts replaced. The good news is that mechanics can certainly do basic work on Suzukis (as they can for most cars), and you'll be able to find parts, says Doug DeMuro writing on AutoTrader. When Suzuki pulled out of the U.S. market, it released a statement confirming that it would continue to make parts for "a reasonable period of time beyond the warranty period," DeMuro adds.

As of fall 2017, Suzuki seems to be sticking by its promise. Suzuki's website offers information on parts, warranty service, manuals, and tools. The site even offers a link to Suzuki dealers, which service and sell the used vehicles. Simply click the link, which will take you to a page where you can enter your ZIP code. After you do, you'll see a list of the nearest Suzuki dealers, their phone numbers, addresses, websites, and even a convenient map showing where they're located.

A Brief Suzuki Primer

When it was selling new cars in the U.S., Suzuki offered a number of models, such as the SX4, then the lowest-priced all-wheel drive in the United States, as well as the Kizashi, a sporty midsize sedan, the Gran Vitara, a crossover utility vehicle, and the Suzuki Equator, a pickup truck.

Auto journalists raved about Suzukis back when you could buy them new in this country; indeed, "US News" placed the 2013 Suzuki SX4 at No. 35 on its list of the nation's best cars

But, the cars just didn't sell well. Likely because consumers prefer sedans to hatchbacks, notes Edmunds.com. But, Suzuki only offered the SX4 as a Hatchback in 2008, its first-year of production. Suzuki built great cars but simply seemed to misjudge the preferences of the American car-buying public, especially compared to Honda and Toyota.

But that doesn't mean Suzukis are bad cars: Indeed, they're quite good. Edmunds notes, for example, that consumers give the 2008 Suzuki SX4 4.4 out of five stars. Additionally, used Suzukis are relatively inexpensive: As of fall 2017, you could pick one up for between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the model and condition. Considering that the average price of a used car was approaching $19,000 as of 2016, according to "Money" magazine, the price of a used Suzuki seems like an absolute bargain.

Considerations

So, considering the reality of the market, does it make sense to buy a used Suzuki? If you are good about doing preventive maintenance, then it does makes sense. But, there are some things to consider: Though Suzuki's website does offer a convenient tool for finding the closest Suzuki dealer and service center, if you don't live near one, that's of little help.

Your local mechanic may not have the tools necessary to work on used Suzukis, especially for more-involved repairs.

Still, If you need good, reliable, four-wheel drive transportation, and you're diligent about preventive maintenance, buying a used Suzuki can be a good bet. But, have your local mechanic do a thorough inspection before you buy. Even if he doesn't have all of the necessary tools and parts, he can still tell you if the car is a good deal — and in good shape.

You may have to drive a bit to get your used Suzuki serviced (other than for simple oil and air filter changes), but you could wind up with a very dependable vehicle for $10,000 less than what you would pay for a comparable used car.