1987 Suzuki Samurai Reviews - Page 5 of 6

1987 Suzuki Samurai JA 1.3 Liter from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.3 Liter Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired3 miles
Most recent distance31000 miles
Previous carToyota Tacoma

Summary:

One of the cheapest and most fun drivers you'll ever own

Faults:

With only 31OOO original miles on it, virtually nothing has gone wrong with this vehicle. Necessary replacements have been only the fan belt and a burned out tail light. I have also purchased a new top for it. After nearly 16 years of sitting in the drivers seat, it's ready for a seat cover at the least, or replacement if I want to spend the extra bucks.

General Comments:

I am one happy owner. One of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I would instantly trade it in on a new one if Suzuki ever sold Samurais in the US again. Barring that, I plan on owning my '87 until it seriously breaks. This little 4X4 really shines offroad, where its light weight and small size enable it to go where others can't. Excellent in the snow with good traction tires on. Lack of horsepower is its main flaw. Great for running around in town or offroad trails, but most definitely not a highway cruiser. Doesn't exactly ride like a Cadillac either. However, aftermarket performance parts for engine and suspension are readily available. The Samurai can be built up into a killer little 4X4. On a summer day with the top off, my Suzi still puts a smile on my face after all these years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2003

1987 Suzuki Samurai JX 1.6L 8 valves from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6L 8 valves Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Probably the most affordable and tough 4x4 available

Faults:

The steering knuckle seals wear out fast letting water, mud and other elements get inside the knuckle damaging bearings due to lack of lubrication.

General Comments:

Simple and easy to work in.

Replacement parts can be found at a low price, if ever needed.

Broad line of nice aftermarket accesories available for off roading.

Very reliable.

Extremely capable off-road.

Tractor like ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd December, 2002

1987 Suzuki Samurai 1.3 gas from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.3 gas Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 miles
Most recent distance118000 miles

Summary:

An unstoppable ATV

Faults:

I blew 5 fuses for the coil.

The back left blinker does not work.

General Comments:

This car was seriously under powered.

However it could climb like a mountain goat.

It was also tough as nails and held up when we jumped it.

It was a great hunting car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2002

1987 Suzuki Samurai LX 1.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired165000 miles
Most recent distance197000 miles
Previous carMazda MX5

Summary:

Number 1 at what it does

Faults:

Stock carburetion and smog system caused drivability problems. Solved by switching over to older Toyota carburetor.

General Comments:

It is outstanding off road in the northeast woods.

Fine in small town traffic, but not made for the rush hour traffic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2002

1987 Suzuki Samurai JX 1.3L 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.3L 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired186000 miles
Most recent distance194000 miles
Previous carToyota Tacoma

Summary:

I don't understand this whole Jeep deal

Faults:

The brake system is leaking. I have to refill the resevoir about once every 15 days.

General Comments:

The engine was rebuilt by the previous owner. It's no great powerhouse, but the modifications he made (Isky cam, header, Weber carburetor) and my own (MSD ignition and coil, new low-restriction exhaust, K&N snorkel intake) have made it plenty powerful for only 80 cubic inches. I will eventually replace this one with a 1.6L Sidekick engine with similar mods.

I have a Spring-Over-Axle lift (4") with stock springs and cheap shocks. This works, but new springs/shocks/shackles are on the way soon. I want to replace the 31" BFG mud tires with 33" when I do this.

I have rebuilt the axles with lower gears already, and a locker is waiting for the right weekend to find it's way into the rear axle. When I get the 33" tires, the gearing will be lowered again via a transfer case rebuild.

This is a stripped vehicle (by me) with little creature comforts except a cheap sound system ($200 CD/Radio/4 speakers) and seats transplanted from a Toyota Celica. The interior is bare floor with roll-on bed liner and a diamond plate toolbox where the rear seat was. It has a cool military aura going on.

This is probably the most capable 4x4 I have ever seen. I've never been stuck or stranded and my friends with Jeeps, Blazers and Toyotas just watch me go places they wouldn't dare try. It's an ATV with seating for two and a roof (on rainy or cold days only).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2002

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 20 reviews