Only produced for 2 measly model years, the Suzuki Verona was an oddity of sorts. Born of the aftermath of the bankruptcy of Daewood going under because of over $10 billion dollars in debt, it was born of GM forming a new company over the remains called GMDAT (GM Daewoo Auto & Technology). It was supposed to be a successor to the Daewoo Leganza, itself a forgettable non starter in the midsize segment.
Internally named V200, it was sized to compete in the midsize segment. It had a wheelbase longer than a Mazda 6, and was as tall as a Honda Accord, riding on a wheelbase with more interior room as well. The exterior designed was penned by Italdesign, and was honestly handsome for the time.
Many automotive publications at the time also praised the fit and quality finish of the interior, citing its panel gaps and look of quality.
The engine was even more odd, but in a good way, especially looking back at it now with the return of straight 6 engines. Surprisingly co developed with Porsche, the Verona was powered by a 2.5 I6. Sounds good right? Until you look closely at the specs. It only put out 155 horses and 177 lb/ft of torque through a soul sucking 4 speed auto. While it sounded sorta good under hard acceleration, its performance was back of the pack to any of its competitors. It needed nearly 11 seconds to reach 60.
Where it shined though was its Hyundai like value with its equipment offering. With a price starting at about $17 grand at the time, and fully loaded models topping just under $20k, it came standard with features competitors either didn’t offer or required options or packages to add like leather, heated seats, a sunroof etc. In typical GM fashion through the car was sold under different name plates around the world. Here in the US we got the Verona; Korea it was known as the Daewoo Magnus; Western Europe got the Daewood Evanda; Eastern Europe got it as the Chevy Evanda due to Daewoo not being a thing there; It was the Chevy Epica in South America, the Middle East, Canada (where weirdly it replaced the Oldsmobile Alero due to Olds getting the axe) and China. It also got a decent powertrain warranty of 7 years/ 100,000 miles.
Sadly though it was killed off in just 2 years like I mentioned due to slow sales. Its last full year on the market, ‘05, it sold 8,411 which is bad enough, but gets worse when you find out that was down nearly 35% from ‘04. It just couldn’t keep up with competitors, who by this time were getting better and faster. The Altima got Nissan’s 3.5 270 horse V6 around this time. Long term reliability doesn’t seem to be too good from what I saw as well. So if you can find one, good for you? The Verona really is forgettable.