On reliability - just went over 250,000 miles on my '91, have owned it for 5 years, most reliable & cheap to run vehicle I ever owned. This thing is like the energizer bunny. Japanese engineering at it's best, no matter what the name tag says. Will be buying a second one soon, pre-99 model.
Toyota is 10X what Suzuki is... "Oh at least is has a full frame!" Hey guess what guys, My uni-body Jeep has twice the off road capability a tracker has... I know, my buddies wife has one and when his lifted bronco is getting work he brings the tracker. Guess what pulls him out when he is stuck? A uni bodied Jeep. I'll take a Toyota 4Runner or Rav4 any day of the week... As far as Honda... Well Toyota has been building 4WD's since the 60's... Honda? Nope, they don't know what they are doing...
No, your Jeep and Toyota are not as capable off road. Sure mods can make a big difference, but the short stout wheel base, and yes a true 'truck' frame and an actual locking 4x4 is what sets it apart from the CRV/Rav4 type, and makes it so perfect for true off road trips.
Sure you are not likely to pull some one else out, but you won't get stuck or hung up either. Go look at the rock climber and off road enthusiast mags. Lots of them there, albeit with modded engines, from the old Samurai to the Tracker/Vitara, even though they are not as 'cool' as a Jeep, but it does not break down as much, is cheaper to fix when it does, and can still be an economical commuter car.
It is a unique niche vehicle, but not for everybody. And it is made down the road from me, Chevy and Suzuki at the same plant, as it has been since 88.
Suzuki is just as high on the reliability list as Toyota and Honda. They are just cheaper cars, and there are no real sport or luxury models, thus cheap.
Unless you have owned them all: Jeep (5, in my case), a Toyota 4runner, fullsize Chev 4x4, a Chevy Tracker etc and more it is hard to know the difference based on outward appearances. I have owned them all, and the one that does EVERYTHING well, although the master of none, is the Chevy Tracker, in all of its incarnations. Mine (an 02, but had a 94 that was still going strong till it was rear ended and totaled at 420,000 miles) has 352,000 on the original drive train and body. No problems. Perfect.
First, there are no Honda or Toyota versions of the Chevy Tracker - The Chevy Tracker and the Suzuki Vitara are the same vehicle, made in the same plant, and are exactly the same except for the name!
Just had the 10 year, 150,000Km service done on mine this morning - just figured this morning that it has cost me about a dollar a day since we got it 10 years ago for maintenance, repairs and tires, battery, etc. It still has the original exhaust and rear brakes - amazing little SUV that I plan on keeping another 5 to 10 years. 4 cylinder, 4X4 with auto and A/C. Grant it is now a second vehicle, but it's used a lot in the snowy winter (have 4 snow tires on it).
Really? I have a 2002 Tracker (in 2013) with 200 thousand Kms on it, and it's still going strong. Only body rust is on the gas flap, and mechanically, the only thing wrong at this point is that my ball joints (still original) are ungreasable. Those may have to be changed within a year. (Bit of a silly design. Each side is about 2 hours labour, since it's a part of the control arm). Engine, transmission, electricals, and even the A/C is still going strong.
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