Most, if not all of these, were results of the owner that owned it before me and Jerry-rigged things to not break until a few months after I bought it.
- Rear axle-side shock mounts broke (result of the previous owner "fabbing" his own that were inferior even to the stock mounts).
- Coolant temp. sensor replaced.
- (Driver's side all) ball joint, control arm, spindle, wheel, etc. needed repair/replacement after the front of my vehicle decided to get intimate with a guard rail at 55mph.
- Fuel mileage suffers for no apparent reason, even with major emissions components all recently replaced.
- Front passenger brake assembly needed to be replaced, as the brake cylinder had seized. (I'm pretty sure this is also the fault of the previous owner -- I think he or she only replaced one brake pad the last time they were replaced.)
- Not terribly comfortable to drive, especially on long trips, but I knew that going into the deal.
- Gas tank is very small in comparison to vehicles of the same class (Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, etc)
All that said, the previous owner used to use this vehicle for off-road wheeling mainly (mudding, hunting, etc).
I bought the car about 2 years ago, and it's served me really well so. It's the 2-dr Hardtop 16V 4x4 MPFI (mutil-port fuel injection) with the 5.12 gears. If you don't know what all that means, then do some more research. I recommend the forum at Zuwharrie.com. I currently am running 31x10.5x15 tires with a *slight* suspension lift. By this I mean the car had spring spacers in the front and rear prior to my purchase.
I plan to turn this into a budget-build trail rig, something that is perfectly attainable with some mechanical know-how and common sense. I plan to turbo the engine (something that can be done for under $500), replace the axles with 70-series Land Cruiser axles for a solid axle swap, and build a Kicker 3 transfer case for maximum low-range wheeling. Everything I've said can be done for under $3000 with some ingenuity and haggling.
The car has a tight turning radius, even with 31-inch meats on it. I have grown to enjoy the "uncomfortable" ride quality. Speaking of this, the ride quality can be improved by purchasing softer shocks, such as those produced by Old Man Emu. Contradictory to what a lot of reviews say, the vehicle is very stable, even at higher speeds. The body roll is approximately what is to be expected in a short-wheelbase SUV. I personally have yet to feel like the vehicle is on its outer threshold of stability, and I drive my Tracker HARD.
Basically what I'm saying is that for anyone who wants a fun, essentially economical SUV, the Tracker (identical to Suzuki Sidekick of the same specs) is a fantastic choice. Take into account that it's relatively simple and budget-conscious to modify it to off-road purposes, and you've got a phenomenal vehicle. I bought mine for $1700 USD, and overall, I haven't put that much into it.