2000 Suzuki Vitara

Summary:

Loved it and found it fairly reliable!

Faults:

U-joints replaced just after I bought it used in 2011.

Muffler repairs done mid 2012.

All brake lines were just replaced in July 2013.

Thermostat replaced and A/C recharged in July 2013.

Now the head gasket needs to be repaired, and the muffler needs to be replaced, it's not worth fixing any more.

The body is in overall good shape. Small rust spots are starting over the rear wheels. Rocker panels are rusty.

General Comments:

I have the 2 door convertible style.

Loved this car! Very fun to drive. Didn't do any off roading. We get tons of snow (several feet at a time) where I live and it never got stuck; the 4x4 worked great and was very reliable.

Doesn't like to pick up a lot of speed to merge onto a highway. The power switch helped, but it still lagged a bit. It never liked to go over 110km/h; got a little shaky after that.

I think overall this car has held up pretty good.

It is definitely worth it to have power windows and locks on this vehicle. A hard top and remote starter in winter was a must.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2013

2000 Suzuki Vitara 2 dr Soft top 4x4 2.0

Summary:

Fun if you do trails and NO highway driving

Faults:

Timing chain rattle, replaced for big $$$$.

Rear main seal blew @ 94,000 ($$$$).

EATS up tires.

V-belt (broke despite no being that old).

Brakes (worn out parts).

Rear drive shaft u-joint wore out way too fast.

Leaked wildly.

Would pop out of 4WD from time to time (synthetic gear oil seemed to fix that).

Vibrated terribly @ 60mph+.

General Comments:

Where to begin. We really wanted to love this 4x4, but man it's got some serious gremlins lurking inside.

When we got it used, we were sooo excited, and it lasted about 1 month until the issues starting to arise.

Rear main seal went out in one big pop, and oil poured out like water from a faucet. We had to add a quart of oil every 50 miles to get it home on our way back from our road trip to the mountains.

Shortly thereafter, it developed a SERIOUS death wobble that no one (6 shops/dealerships) could figure out, including myself and I'm a seasoned shade tree mechanic. Once that happened its days were numbered. Timing chain was replaced before that, and that costs big bucks.

Oh and it loves to eat tires. They wear evenly, but waaaay too fast. Brakes pulsed due to "warped" rotors, that would "re-warp" after a short time of being repaired. When we sold it the T-case was developing gear chatter, thank heavens it gone!

It's great on trails and dirt roads, but OEM clearance is awful. We had to put a lift and larger tires on it to use tame forest roads.

Engine always feels overworked, and it's extremely noisy at idle. I really tried to like it, but the highway driving was never solid feeling, and after the death wobble developed it was a no go situation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th March, 2009

22nd Sep 2009, 21:58

Interesting comments. I have a 2000 2dr soft top with the 2.0 liter engine. Same problems...

- Dropped 450 on new rotors and calipers and a flush job, and brakes still pulsate. even after testing on dial indicator.

- At 101k, oil is leaking profusely from somewhere between the lower engine and flywheel. I had noticed an oil drop a day earlier on the O2 sensor just north of the catalytic, and thought it was when I was checking the oil earlier... two days later a gusher of a oil all over that area. Probably the main rear seal...

- Tranny has a sticking solenoid between 2nd and 3rd. Revs high into the 4ks before dropping into the next gear.

- Incessant rattling from catalytic and muffler mounts.

- Bought used 5 years ago with 53k and lasted me to 101k before I stopped using it as my daily driver (because of rear main seal). So perhaps it is sort of reliable considering I did nothing but change oil and brake pads all these years?