What's the used Suzuki Liana hatchback like?
Some small cars are so refined and comfortable they can convince you that you're driving a much bigger car. Alas, the Suzuki Liana is not one of them - every bump in road is sent into the cabin. However, to be fair, the Liana doesn't handle too badly and it corners tidily without massive amounts of body roll.
There's not too much wind or road noise, but the 1.6-litre petrol engine is far from hushed. It needs to be revved hard to get the best from it, and that just means it gets noisy and harsh.
Things aren't too bad behind the wheel, thanks to a reasonable dashboard, and there's plenty of room both front and rear. The split-folding seat is easy to use, but a high boot floor and the intruding suspension turrets reduce carrying capacity.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Suzuki Liana hatchback?
Despite the firm ride and the choice of only one engine, Suzuki Liana owners seem to take every available opportunity to express their satisfaction with their purchase, as its high showing in What Car's JD Power Satisfaction Survey shows.
The only major fault that seems to have emerged with any frequency is the suspension. If you are buying a high-mileage car from a private buyer without any warranty, it could prove useful to take along an expert who can check the supsension.
There's a fair chance that most Lianas will have been well looked after in their early years, but demand the usual test drive before purchasing.
Look out for slack-feeling or noisy gearchanges and any evidence of clutch slip. Check all the electrics are in good working order, including the central locking and the air-conditioning.
What are the most common problems with a used Suzuki Liana hatchback?
Is a used Suzuki Liana hatchback reliable?
What used Suzuki Liana hatchback will I get for my budget?
How much does it cost to run a Suzuki Liana hatchback?
The Liana needs fettling every 6000 miles and that makes it considerably more expensive to service over three years than a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra.
Dealers are in much shorter supply, too, but the good news is that their hourly rates tend to be a lot cheaper than those of most rivals. Warranty Direct shows that the average repair cost will be lower on the Suzuki than almost any rival, too.
Most small family cars offer a frugal diesel engine, but the Liana only comes with petrol. Still, the 105bhp unit seems to offer reasonable economy, with official figures of 32.1mpg in town and an overall combined figure of 40.9mpg.
However, in our experience such figures will be hard to match, especially on the motorway, where the engine needs to be worked hard. Around 35mpg is a more realistic everyday fuel figure. Opting for the four-speed automatic gearbox will reduce economy further, but insurance on either model is a reasonable group 7.
Which used Suzuki Liana hatchback should I buy?
When buying second-hand, it really is a case of reversing the advice we gave when buying this car new. When new, it wasn't worth paying the extra £1000 asking price for the GLX over the GL. However, now that someone else has taken the hit on depreciation - and, believe us, they will have - you may as well go for the better equipped GLX.
Early GL models left the factory with electric windows, electric mirrors, twin airbags and radio cassette players, but were fitted with CD players after the interior was revised in April 2004. GLX trim adds alloy wheels, air-con, a rear centre-three point belt and, more importantly, side airbags. A four-door saloon was introduced in 2002, but we recommend this more practical five-door hatchback.
There's only one engine, a 105bhp 1.6-litre and it's best with the five-speed manual as opposed to the four-speed auto.