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The only way this piece of crap is worth $500 is if there’s a $300 hooker sitting in it.
Jimmy to Cal and Lars.[src]

The 1998 Suzuki Esteem is Jimmy's car in Better Call Saul.

The car is rather in poor condition, both aesthetically and mechanically. While the rest of the car is yellow, the right rear door has been replaced by a red one, likely indicating it has been in a collision.

History[]

Background[]

At some point, when Jimmy arrived at Albuquerque, he bought the Esteem to use as his primary transport. The year of purchase is unknown, however it is definitely between 1998-2002. At some point, the Esteem's right back door was replaced with a red door of the same kind, presumably due to damages to the original door.

Better Call Saul[]

Season 1[]

While Jimmy drives from Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, Cal and Lars Lindholm run their usual broken leg scam on his car and smashes the windshield. Jimmy, who is a former scam artist himself, berates them for their choice of victim. To emphasize how poor he is, he describes his car as to only be worth $500 if a $300 hooker was sitting in it. Jimmy then asks for them to pay him for the broken windscreen, after which the twins flee. ("Uno")

Season 2[]

During a conversation with Kim Wexler about his willingness to work with Davis & Main, Jimmy is excited about not having a bi-color car. ("Bali Ha'i") and replaces it with a 2004 Mercedes-Benz C 240. ("Cobbler",  "Inflatable")

When he eventually gets fired from Davis & Main, Jimmy is forced to give back the Mercedes and retrieves his bi-color wreck, which no one seems to have wanted to buy. ("Inflatable")

Season 4[]

After another round of community service, Jimmy races to meet Joey Dixon's crew, only for the Suzuki to not start. Jimmy and the crew are forced to take a bus to their next job. ("Expenses") The car breaks down on Jimmy yet again after a meeting at HHM, which is the final straw for Jimmy after a series of unfortunate events that cause him to have a meltdown. ("Winner")

Season 5[]

Esteem after

The Esteem is destroyed by Jimmy and Mike.

When sent to collect Lalo's bail money, Jimmy assures Kim that he will be safe as ”no one has ever kept more than $50 in an Esteem”. However, Saul is ambushed by a gang after collecting the seven million dollars from the Cousins. Jimmy is rescued by Mike, but the car takes at least two shots to the engine and one to the passenger side door, much to Jimmy's dismay. As Mike's truck was destroyed by the gunfight, the two are forced to use Jimmy's car, but it breaks down partway back to civilization. Mike discovers that "the alternator is shot. Literally" and the car is thus useless. Jimmy removes his license plate and Mike takes the gas cap on which he'd placed one of Gus's tracking devices. Jimmy then reluctantly helps Mike push the car off a cliff before they begin trekking through the desert as one man escaped. After seeing Tiburón doing a grid search for them, Mike states that he must've found the wrecked car. ("Bagman")

As Lalo prepares to be picked up by the Cousins, he has Nacho Varga turn back to look for Jimmy's car, which Jimmy claimed broke down. Lalo finds the wrecked car with the bullet hole in the passenger door and as a result, orders Nacho to take him back to Albuquerque. ("Bad Choice Road")

Season 6[]

The wrecked car briefly appears in a flashback to Jimmy's desert odyssey with Mike. ("Saul Gone")

Trivia[]

  • As confirmed by Peter Gould on Twitter,[1] hotter colors are associated with crime in Better Call Saul, more particularly the red color. The unorthodox painting work of the car could suggest Jimmy's inner turmoil, the note of red brought by the door symbolizing his sometimes unscrupulous methods and his attraction to crime.
  • A closeup of the abandoned Esteem wreck is featured in the teaser clip for "Saul Gone", but notably appears in a more advanced state of decay in the desert than depicted in its latest chronological appearance in "Bad Choice Road". The car is seen with a rusted body, the red door torn and stripped, some letters on the "Esteem" model badge gone, and the rear bumper missing; it is also lying on its side instead of its initial upside-down position. This version of the Esteem does not appear in "Saul Gone".

External links[]

Notes[]

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