How reliable is Suzuki? An honest assessment of the brand

How reliable are the Japanese brand? We investigate...

Japanese car manufacturers are well known for their build quality and excellent reliability.

In 2014, Suzuki was thought to be the ninth biggest automaker by production worldwide. They have 35 main production facilities in 23 countries, and are tenth in the world’s automobile sales.

But, how reliable are Suzuki’s? Are they as dependable as their Japanese counterparts?

In this article, we look at how reliable Suzuki’s are, and compare them to their competitors.

How reliable are Suzuki’s?

As we said, Japanese car manufacturers are renowned for their reliability and Suzuki are no different.

The Telegraph put Suzuki 2nd in their reliability table, coming in behind only Skoda. Suzuki had just 79 problems per 100 vehicles, well below the industry average.

Suzuki Vitara blue front off road on a dirt track

Suzuki also came second in the WhatCar reliability survey behind Honda. This survey was done with WarrantyDirect and analysed 50,000 WarrantyDirect policies on three to eight year old vehicles.

ReliabilityIndex have also placed Suzuki high up on the list for reliability. Suzuki came in third behind Daihatsu and Honda who came first and second respectively. Suzuki scored a reliability index of just 50, which is well above the industry average of 118.

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Individual models also do very well. WarrantyDirect named the Suzuki Jimny and the Suzuki Vitara as the second and third most reliable SUVs.

How reliable is the Suzuki Jimny?

As we mentioned above, the Jimny, along with Vitara, has been named one of the most reliable SUVs on the market today. This is backed up by ReliabilityIndex, who give the Jimny a reliability score of 34, which is very impressive and puts it as one of the best reliability scores in the industry.

Is the Suzuki Swift reliable?

The Suzuki Swift also does well according to ReliabilityIndex. They have a rating of good and a reliability index of 71. Many owners have given the Suzuki Swift full marks on AutoExpress for their dependability as well, so the Swift is a good option if you are looking for a city car that won’t let you down. 

If we also look at what other owners have to say about Suzuki’s dependability as a whole, then the feedback is also very positive. On AutoExpress, Suzuki receive an average of 4/5 for reliability.

Overall, it appears that Suzuki are a great option if you want a manufacturer you can count on. 

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Why are Suzuki reliable?

Why are Suzuki so reliable?

One of the reasons Suzuki may be so reliable is down to their technology, or lack of it.

You will tend to find that the more premium branded cars are let down when it comes to reliability. And many put this down to the fact that they have heaps of new technology that can quite often go wrong. This modern technology, such as the addition of Infotainment systems and self-drive technology, can be hard to repair and expensive to replace. This can seriously bring down their reliability ratings.

However, Suzuki make affordable, well built cars that don’t necessarily come with such advanced technology. This isn’t a bad thing, it makes the overall cost considerably less than some premium brands, and it also means they are less prone to breaking down.

Also, because Suzuki offer affordable cars, the parts are likely to be more easily sourced and less expensive to repair, keeping repair costs low should something go wrong.

Essentially, Suzuki cars could be so reliable because they have a much more no-frills approach to their cars. Their parts may also be more affordable and easy to source which also increases the reliability rating. This is by no means a bad thing as Suzuki are a brand that make affordable, well built cars that get you where you want to be. And it only makes sense that these cars are just as reliable as they are affordable.

Common Suzuki Problems

When you are looking at getting a new car, whether it’s brand new or second hand, then you should know about some of the problems you may encounter further down the line. Some of the common problems owners have had with Suzuki’s include;

  • Low beam head light-bulb burns out prematurely
    • This has been reported a few times, and seems to be an issue with Suzuki models
  • Check engine light due to poor fuel quality
    • Some Suzuki models are sensitive to a poor quality of fuel and this means the check engine light can switch on
  • Failed timing chain tensioner
    • This can cause rattling from the bonnet. You can get this replaced, but it can be costly.

How reliable are consumer reports?

The reason we use consumer reports and surveys is because they are accurate when it comes to looking at a cars longevity.

They gather their data from self-reports from owners who report on any problems they may have had with their models. This information is then used to determine dependability.

Other sources such as WarrantyDirect are also accurate. WarrantyDirect provide tens of thousands of extended warranties to drivers of all makes and models. When a customer makes a claim, they can then record it. Over a period of time they build up a database of what has gone wrong on what car, at how many miles etc. It can then be put into a table to determine which cars are the most reliable and which aren’t.

While using consumer reports is a good way of determining longevity, they are not without fault. You cannot necessarily determine the dependability of a new car. It simply hasn’t been on the road long enough. This can often be resolved by using predicted dependability which draws on the make and models reliability in the past to come to a conclusion.

Suzuki vs. Honda vs. Kia; Which is more reliable?

Now, how do Suzuki compare with their rivals, Honda and Kia.

If you’re considering just one of the three cars then you’re in luck because all three of these brands are known for their longevity.

The Telegraph placed Kia third behind Suzuki with 80 problems per 100 vehicles. Interestingly, Honda was much lower at 15th with 117 problems per 100 vehicles. This is odd for Honda, but is still a good ranking.

Red Toyota CR-V 2015 on the road

On ReliabilityIndex, Honda come second with a reliability index of 42 which was just one place higher than Suzuki. Kia didn’t do as well in this table, coming in 21st with a reliability index of 112. This is still above average but it isn’t as low as Suzuki or Honda.

However, it’s not all bad for Kia as in 2016, Kia were ranked the number 1 brand for reliability by J.D Power. They were also placed 6th out of 10 by CNN for reliability.

It appears that each brand has been commended for their reliability at some point in recent years. So if you are deciding between the three and it comes down to dependability, then all three of them are solid options.

What are the most reliable Suzuki cars?

Some of the most dependable Suzuki models are;

 

These all score highly on ReliabilityIndex and have also been commended elsewhere for their reliability.

What are the most unreliable Suzuki cars?

However, the Suzuki cars that have ranked slightly lower include;

  • Suzuki Baleno

 

This car isn’t unreliable, it should be noted. It has just been simply ranked lower by various outlets and is probably more reliable than many models out there. However, when you have a brand as dependable as Suzuki, your least reliable car is still going to be pretty reliable.

In conclusion, Suzuki are a really reliable car brand. This has been backed up by various outlets including WarrantyDirect, ReliabilityIndex and further consumer feedback. The Jimny and Vitara have been ranked some of the best SUVs for reliability. If you are trying to decide between Kia, Suzuki and Honda then any of these three brands will do you well when it comes to reliability That said, it appears that Suzuki have been more consistent in their reliability, placing highly in a variety of outlets where Kia or Honda have fallen. Ultimately, it depends what you want in a car, but if you want reliability then a Suzuki isn’t a bad shout.

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Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

20 Comments

  • Theo| 6th November 2019 at 5:28 pm Reply

    Suzuki Alto 2010 owner here. I have 160000 km on the clock. I had to change the wheel bearings (this is a common problem for both suzuki alto and nissan pixo sister car) other than that still going strong. Purchased it for 8200 euro in Cyprus, very reliable, econominal car. I have to get something bigger but i do not want to let it go, such a lovely little machine.

    • Rachel Richardson| 7th November 2019 at 4:54 pm Reply

      Hi Theo,
      Thank you for commenting on the reliability of your Suzuki. It sounds as though you have had many good miles out of it so far. We are sure that our readers will find your experience interesting.

  • Jar| 26th July 2019 at 7:20 pm Reply

    2015 Suzuki swift after 2 years corrosion all over
    under rubber door seal, electrical plastic connector prematurely breaks. Front suspension poorly made. Expect to replace earlier than expected. Insane poor unreliable car

    • Rachel Richardson| 1st August 2019 at 9:26 am Reply

      Hi Jar,

      Many thanks for your comment. We would recommend you have a look at some owner forums to discover if this is a common issue with the model you have purchased. I am sure that our readers will find your experience helpful when they come to purchase or lease their new vehicles.

  • mario| 6th July 2019 at 1:30 am Reply

    I have owned a Suzuki sx4 2013 AWD. Enjoyed my car very much. Very reliable I put on it 100,000 KM. Going to change it for a Grand Vitara need a stronger 4×4. Love the brand, nice reliable not very expensive cars. Suzuki keep up the good work.

    • coolguy| 11th September 2019 at 8:42 am Reply

      i have a 2006 grand vitara which myfather used before me. 200,000km and still going fast and strong.
      Had to replace a wheel bearing last year but no problems beside that.

      • Rachel Richardson| 11th September 2019 at 4:15 pm Reply

        Hi,

        Thank you for sharing your experience of the Grand Vitara. It appears that you have had a very good length of time to get to know the vehicle and enjoy driving it. I am sure that our readers will find this information helpful if they are looking at purchasing or leasing a Suzuki.

    • Rachel Richardson| 8th July 2019 at 8:55 am Reply

      Hi Mario,
      Thank you for your comment. Suzuki are doing very well at the moment, and their Jimny is proving very popular.

  • Stamatis Lampros| 20th May 2019 at 1:53 pm Reply

    I had to trade in my suzuki swift because the power steering disengaged twice and to repair it would have cost $4000 (the price of a new steering column ) but that wouldn’t have fixed it because the component is part of the column.
    So l bought a new hybrid Toyota Corolla.

    • Rachel Richardson| 20th May 2019 at 3:16 pm Reply

      Hi Stamatis,
      I am sorry that you experienced this issue with your Suzuki. I hope that you are enjoying driving your new Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

  • Terry| 30th April 2019 at 7:53 am Reply

    Hi,have had a Suzuki swift sr2 since 2008 have done160,000 km’s,not one problem in all that time not even brake pads or muffler problem,best car ever.

    • Rachel Richardson| 30th April 2019 at 8:28 am Reply

      Thank you Terry,
      It’s always wonderful to hear from someone who has had a good experience with a vehicle.

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