Before I bought it, I had the dealer fix a few things on it for me -
The Dome light
The rear door (stuck, just needed lube)
The hazard light switch (blown fuse)
The V-belt (replaced - it was squeaky)
That was all that went wrong that I knew of.
I had prior experience with a tracker. It was my favorite car I ever had. Later I bought an 02 Stratus, and got bored with it quickly (it was also giving me trouble), so I traded in the Stratus for a 97 Geo Tracker 4x4 soft top.
I only had it for 300 miles. I never had to fill the gas tank, either. It was uncomfortable, but tolerable. Loud, but not deafening. Zippy, more than capable of keeping up in traffic (it was a stick, the autos are painfully slow). It could handle expressway speeds, but took a bit to get up there. It had NO passing power in 5th gear, and just enough to pass in 4th. It shifted easily enough, and the gears worked well. The clutch and gas were very responsive, but the brake required a normal amount of pressure though.
If you aren't stupid with it, it won't tip on you, and if you are still worried about tipping, get wheel spacers. I was going to.
One thing, though. If you ever want to get one, replace the manual hubs with auto locking hubs. I had manual locking hubs, and that is why I no longer have the car.
I was driving in Michigan, on a decent road, so it was in 2 wheel drive. I came upon an icy road, but didn't have time to stop and get out and lock the hubs for 4x4. I should've made time! I hit a spot of ice and went flying off the road at about 40 mph. I nailed a tree. This is the main reason I'm writing the review, is that I was very impressed with how well it took the crash. the front end was destroyed, the airbags deployed (I'm sure they saved my life). But the cabin was in perfect shape, didn't crumple a bit beyond the firewall. I scratched up my left hand and broke my neck. But I'm still alive, and able to walk and all that. I just have to wear a neck brace for a while.
I'd tested the 4 wheel drive before, and the Tracker does excellent in 4x4. I know I would still be driving it today had I been in 4x4 on that road. Oh, well. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. This being my second tracker, I can say I would get one again. But it's pretty much a Suzuki. I want something a little smaller, quieter, and more comfy for my next car, so I'm getting a Suzuki X-90. I think I will probably only buy Suzuki's for a while, as they are so reliable! But I would definitely recommend a Tracker to anyone who wants the 4x4 of a Jeep, the mileage of a metro, the fun of an ATV, with the price tag of a toy.
Another thing, though... I would strongly adivse you avoid ever getting a 2WD Tracker. There is just no point to it, and they are very unsafe in bad weather in 2WD. I have every bit of faith in them in 4X4 in any weather, though.