1989 Suzuki Samurai JX 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A great fun, honest little 4 x4


Steering is a little vague, despite readjustment there is a lot of play in the wheel.

When driving in rain, water leaks out of the dash into the car. During one cyclonic stormy drive down from Northland, the foot wells entirely filled with water and we had to bale out at a tearoom. This is all part of the character of the car though...

General Comments:

I have never enjoyed a car as much as this one. It doesn't look like every other car on the road (even if some people call it a post box on wheels) and it drives really well off it.

So far, it has been ultra-reliable, starting first time every time. Maintenance has been affordable and services are cheap, as it is a very basic engine.

It is great for little New Zealand roads, but not so happy on a fast motorway, going up an incline, as it will tend to slow to around 80kph. On the flat, I can cruise it at 110, no problem. Can be hairy in high winds and corners have to be taken carefully, due to its boxy shape and narrow wheel base.

The driving position is comfortable, but the leaf spring suspension makes for a bumpy ride. It's a laugh.

Mine is called Sid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2004

1989 Suzuki Samurai Hardtop 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Basic, Boxy and a lot of fun


Carburettor worn out. Unfortunately, the unnecessarily complex design of this carb meant that repair or replacement was not cost-effective.

Corrosion to body, especially around arches under spats.

It disappeared overnight! Spontaneous Vehicle Combustion perhaps? Or just plain old thieving toe-rags?

General Comments:

Great fun! If you want to play. Let's get one thing straight, this is not a road-going posers 4x4. This is a scaled-down version of the real thing. If you want 4x4 style with car comforts, look elsewhere.

Comfort is what one would expect from a leaf-sprung off-roader. Bouncy, noisy and basic. On-road handling is OK, but don't expect anything more than OK.

The chassis is well-built and solid, and short wheelbase coupled with decent ground clearance and low overhang gives it decent off-road capabilities.

Trim level is spartan, to say the least. Noise levels are deafening. Also it's boxy shape means crosswinds on a motorway are to be given respect.

A good little town-runner however, even if it will never be taken off-road. And useful load-space with rear seats removed. Limited load space however with back seats in place.

Just watch the carburettor. They really are an expensive item to repair/replace.

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

Review Date: 21st September, 2003

1989 Suzuki Samurai LX 1.5 from North America


Since being a 4x4, hubs remaining stuck in free or lock position, due to moisture, which should not happen.

General Comments:

I have to say I am very pleased with this type of vehicle. It is a very impressive 4x4 vehicle. For travel purposes this vehicle should be rated on the good list, for it is cheap on gas, and a very comfortable ride, allowing you to go anywhere.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 1998