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Unlikely Unicorn: 2001 Suzuki Esteem GL Wagon

Some brands of cars somehow enter the market in the shadows, like dealerships intentionally hide some models behind a fence or something, and sell them at dusk. When that unseen car goes out of production and years later are spotted on the road at a light and you ask yourself “when did they make that”? That is the best way to describe the 2001 Suzuki Esteem Station wagon. This car doesn’t appear often anywhere as some models cannot be unseen and for Suzuki to make the Esteem sedan, the wagon seems to be a unicorn of the brand’s history in the states. This basically ready to drive Suzuki wagon is currently offered for sale here on craigslist in Darien, IL for $1,300.

The Suzuki Esteem is a rare sight of itself let alone seeing a station wagon version of it. Figure the production numbers were quite low for these and only made for a few years… this example is very high mileage, just below 200,000 but with plenty of new parts makes for a low-risk investment.

The interior is very basic and common for a 2000’s Japanese car. A lot of tan cloth and driving school style steering wheel and shifter. An interesting pattern to the material and how clean the seats and carpet is very impressive and a big plus.

The Suzuki Esteem wagon is a very essential looking car for a first-time buyer, the budget conscious young family of an enthusiast of rare Japanese cars. Whatever the case may be, the brand with a logo similar to the design all kids draw on their notebooks in school, this might be the wagon for you.


  1. Coventrycat

    Nobody remembers seeing them because they were dull cars then, age and low numbers hasn’t changed that.

    Like 5
  2. 8banger Dave Member

    As a shop owner and lead wrench, we maintain that they should have left it at just motorcycles.

    Like 4
  3. grant

    This car can be seen here on craigslist… which is where it belongs. Not here.

    Like 3
  4. XMA0891

    Had a five-speed ‘02 Esteem wagon I bought used with just 26k on the clock. I managed to wring another 156k out of it before I had to have it hauled away. Parts and people willing to work on it did become increasingly difficult to find during my ownership, but my one loyal mechanic uttered your exact phrase every time he finished a repair!

    Like 1
  5. Wolfgang Gullich

    Too bad it’s not a stick, as that version of the Esteem is reasonably quick. Also had pretty snappy handling for what they were.

    Don’t insult a car unless you have actually experienced one.

    Like 11
  6. Howard A Member

    While this is head and shoulders above that little box with a 3 cylinder, I just have to chuckle at the name. What, driving this car will make you feel better about yourself? In the background, is a XL7, and my nephew had great luck with it. When I look at these interiors, they all are gray, and all look the same, generic as heck. Looks like a nice car,,,when new, however, I still say parts could be a nightmare.

    Like 1
  7. Bodyman 68

    A barn find means its in a barn and its not newer then 90 ,this is and will always be junk !

    Like 2
    • Leo

      I am very sorry to say that this is not a barn find, this is a daily driver!!. It’s so sad that most of the people who are amateur car buffs just dont know what a barn find is & that this web site doesn’t weed out these types of cars & that people are just abusing this site to sell anything but a true barn find!!!!!!!!

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Leo and Bodyman, so much has been said about the name “Barn Finds”, I’m sick of explaining it, and I’m sure Jesse and Josh are sick of it, as well. I think it would be easier just to change the name of the site. You’re putting too much emphasis on the word “Barn”. Let’s talk about the cool cars that are featured here!!!

        Like 3
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Everyone seems to have their own cut off dates for what qualifies as a barn find. Btw, this wasn’t a paid feature. John just thought it was interesting. We are always trying to improve the selection and will keep at it.

      Like 2
  8. John

    Why is this stuff making its way onto Barnfinds? Last week it was a 2005 Buick Park Avenue. Really? No other interesting cars in this country for sale? Maybe should start a separate web site: Dull Late Model Cars

    Like 0
  9. Puhnto

    While these little cars aren’t particularly awe inspiring, they can be quite reliable. My son bought a well-used sedan version of this car, with a manual transmission and no power or remote anything. I went out to Utah and he and I drove back to New England over a three week period where we wandered all over visiting this and that, and it never missed a beat! Always ran well. The a/c never failed us. It kept going even when we forgot to check the oil! He then drove it around Boston for several more years until he married a girl who couldn’t drive a stick.

    Like 2

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