The Suzuki Liana was introduced in 2001 by the Japanese automaker as a successor to the Baleno. An acronym for ‘Life In A New Age’, the Liana marked a new entry into the compact passenger vehicle segment for Suzuki. During its time in production (2001 through 2008), the Liana was offered in a range of body configurations and trims, including a hatchback and a popular sedan. A solidly performing car, the Liana found success, posting high sales throughout its production run. The Liana continues to be popular on the used car market today. A great value when it first came on the new car market, the Liana was significantly lower priced than many of its competitors. Over the years, it has retained its affordability, and many inexpensive pre-owned Lianas in good condition can be found today.
With notable kit that comes as standard and impressive safety features, the Liana makes a perfect car for families. The five-door hatchback features especially roomy interiors, while the sedan version has a large boot. A high roof on both models allows for significant headroom for both front and rear passengers. In addition, an upright seating position allows for a great view from the driver’s seat. For being a compact vehicle, the Liana’s interior design is well-laid out to give passengers plenty of room.
The Liana went through some fairly significant changes over the years of its production. Original Lianas featured digital instrumentation, a striking new feature at the time that took the car world by surprise. However, this unique digital aspect appeared outdated after a few years, and it was replaced by more updated conventional analogue instrumentation in later models.
All Lianas feature a McPherson strut suspension with optional all-wheel drive. The ride on the Liana is well-balanced, with great handling and suspension, as well as a nice grip-the-road feeling. Power steering gives a bit of a light touch to the steering wheel, but doesn’t detract from the overall driving experience. A smooth, comfortable ride defines the Liana, and overall the car performs better on the road than many of its compact competitors.
While the original engines were seriously lacking in power, a major refresh in the year 2005 gave the Liana more to work with under the bonnet. However, the spacious interior and comfortable ride combined with the affordable price tag make all vehicles in the Liana range good options for used car buyers.
Before undergoing a serious facelift in 2005, the first generation Lianas were offered with a 1.6-litre in-line V4 engine with just 76kW of power at 5500rpm and an output of 144Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Later Suzuki Lianas provided a stronger output with a 1.8-litre V4 that gave 92kW and 170Nm of torque at 5500rpm and 4200rpm respectively. A 5-speed manual transmission came standard on the Liana with 4-speed automatic transmission as an option. The Suzuki Liana hatch was phased out of the Suzuki line-up in 2007, while the sedan remained in production up until 2008.
Even the most basic Liana came equipped with generous kit to rival any of its competitors. Standard features fitted to all Lianas included power steering, electric mirrors, remote central locking, power windows, dual front SRS airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, air con, and an AM/FM stereo with a single-CD player.
In addition, the Liana featured several impressive safety innovations, such as an all-new body shell with front and rear crumple zones and side impact beams on all doors. The addition of Anti-Lock Brakes as a standard feature came in 2006. A major exterior and interior styling refresh on the Liana came in 2005, so models made after that date will look and feel significantly different from those made before it.
The compact passenger vehicle market has always been a crowded one, and the Suzuki Liana faced some stiff competition during its production. Examples include the Ford Fiesta XR4 and the Holden XC Barina. Around the same time as the production of the Liana, the Fiesta featured a 2.0-litre Duratec engine with an output of 110kW. The Barina featured either a 1.4-litre V4 engine with an output of 66kW of power and 110Nm of torque or a 1.8-litre V4 with an output of 90kW of power and 160Nm of torque. The Suzuki Liana sold well against competitors throughout its run.