1988 Suzuki Samurai Reviews - Page 4 of 5

1988 Suzuki Samurai JL from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1995
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles

Summary:

Great truck, great bargain

Faults:

Transmission went bad at around 98000.

General Comments:

This was a very reliable vehicle.

Great in sand. It's so light that you don't get bogged down.

Not so great in rain, I had problems with hydroplaning (but I was probably driving too fast).

Not very comfortable for longer trips. I had a soft top and they are VERY loud (it drowns out the stereo). The ride is also quite bumpy.

Wonderfully fun auto, I hope to buy another someday.

This was my first vehicle, and I wish I still had it! I just couldn't afford to have it fixed (transmission went bad at 98000) and had to buy a new car.

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

Review Date: 20th January, 2003

1988 Suzuki Samurai 1.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired32000 miles
Most recent distance392000 miles
Previous carSuzuki Samurai

Summary:

The best off-road truck ever built

Faults:

The retaining plate on the transfer case. So she didn't have 4low.

The seats went just last year.

Carburated engine was no good for really steep hill climbing.

The seats weren't much for a long trip.

General Comments:

I loved that little truck. I off-roaded every day and she went everywhere the big boys did.

I added a 4" lift and ran 32's. For the first 2 years, other than the lift and tires, I ran bone stock. Mud, rocks, sand, she took it all. Later I added a new carb, headers, lockers, gears, deep reduction gear box and a roll cage plus a winch.

I have driven from Spokane Washington to Norfolk Virginia and back. Never a break down. I used it to pull several full size trucks out of ditches and have even used it to herd cattle. It even got me a few dates. Women thought it was cute.

I just traded it for a 95 model with EFI.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2001

1988 Suzuki Samurai 1.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired103000 miles
Most recent distance107000 miles
Previous carJeep Cherokee

Summary:

No power, no weight, and awesome traction make a great combination!

Faults:

The usual transfer case shifter "sheet" or bushing has gone bad (real easy and cheap to replace). I've replaced the front knuckle joint rubber seals, the wheel bearings on the drivers side, and some other misc. nothing special things (lights, stupid factory accessories...)

General Comments:

This is a very cool truck (no it is not a car!). I've added the Spring Over Axle lift modification {about 4 inches or so over stock), custom shock mounts in the back, some amazing Super Swamper TSL **SX** tires {they are 29x10.5 bias ply), I've applied Dupi color truck bed liner in the interior, and added a Cal-mini (R) header. Soon to come is a Lock-rite locker in the rear differential to add more traction in slippery situations.

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

Review Date: 13th August, 2001

14th Aug 2001, 12:54

Whoops, same person here... I had forgotten to mention, Florida USA. I am very happy with my little Suzuki!

29th Sep 2002, 17:32

Does anyone out there know where I can get replacement rear seat belts for a 1988 Suzuki Samurai? I have the bottom part where the belt locks into, but am missing the lap belts.. I assume there are no shoulder harnesses in the back seat, just lap.

28th May 2003, 13:07

Can anyone tell me where I can find a replacement top for a 1988 Suzuki Samurai? I'm looking for either hard or soft.

11th Mar 2005, 14:51

I'm looking for a Suzuki Samurai and I live in Florida. I was wondering if anyone knows someone selling one or were I could get one in Florida.

Thank you, TJ.

20th May 2008, 15:44

I've got a Samurai too, and I love the truck bed liner I put in it. About once a year I'll pull the seats out and give it a good wash. It is a must if you use your Samurai for playing in the mud.

1988 Suzuki Samurai Base 1.3L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3L Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carNissan Pathfinder

Summary:

My best friend

Faults:

Nothing yet.

General Comments:

I bought this vehicle just to have in the winter because I was driving two MR2's as my dailys. I ended up driving the Samurai more often than the Toyota MR2's! It's more fun to drive than anything I've ever driven, Jeeps included.

I rebuilt the engine, not cause it needed it, at 104,000 miles to see if I could get more power. It has 6" of lift, 32's and a GRSI case now with a 1.3L pumping out about 110hp! It screams down the highway and is AWESOME off-road!

In all honesty, I will never sell it, unless you really make me an offer, and I plan to keep this truck forever! Only cost me $366 to rebuild! Try that on ANY other vehicle!

RELIABLE sums this vehicle up in one word!

On another note, I drove the MR2's VERY fast, one had a twin turbo modification that pushed 360hp. The Samurai was driven just as fast around corners, if I could get it up there, and never rolled! What drunk ass is rolling these little machines??? Someone needs a swift kick in the pants!

Dear Suzuki, BRING THESE BACK TO THE STATES!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2001

12th May 2002, 03:01

It's incredible.

So you got 110 HP with your Samurai, but I didn't really understand how? Could you be more explicit please?

Thanks a lot.

25th May 2002, 19:01

I am considering the purchase of a 1988 Suzuki Samurai with 186,500 miles on it. Generally I would not think too highly of purchasing a vehicle with this amount of miles on it. I would love to know how you were able to rebuild the engine and get that much of an improvement. I just don't want to buy anything that won't get out of its way. Please email me at automan363@villagepop.com

Thanks-

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 16 reviews