Suzuki Santana Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1987 Suzuki Santana SJ410 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance92000 miles
Previous carCitroen AX

Summary:

My dream jeep, I don't mind going slow because it's a poser car with the roof off!!!

Faults:

New battery needed.

New alternator needed.

Much fiddling done by my father to sort the 'little problems' it came with.

General Comments:

It's such a fun car!

I recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind going a bit slower than everyone else, but enjoys the thrills of off road driving.

Can't really hear the radio when you go fast, but that doesn't bother me as I'm the only one in my group with a cool convertible.

The model I have has got both hard and soft tops, which I recommend, as having a soft top in winter would get very cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2001

1989 Suzuki Santana 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance1000 miles
Previous carSeat Ibiza

Summary:

A rusty, overpriced dog of a car

Faults:

Didn't start properly. Had to be warmed up for ages.

Dodgy brakes.

General Comments:

This car is VERY slow and noisy, a top speed of 65mph with no stereo is no use for motorway driving.

I hated the 'quirky' handling, I.e. take any corner over walking speed and topple.

No rear seats = miles of friendless boredom.

Rust was incredible, the whole body was ridden with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th June, 2001

1990 Suzuki Santana SJ410 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired53000 miles
Most recent distance53500 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Polo

Summary:

Fantastic fun!!!

Faults:

Bought the Jeep from a dealer - had a week when the head gasket blew. Took it back - head gasket repaired, also had a new thermostat and top hose. Mechanic dropped a fuel pump - so had a new one of those too!!!

Fingers crossed now!

General Comments:

It's a terrific vehicle!!! If you want something that's fast, quiet and comfortable, then this one's not for you! However, if you want something to have some fun in - then this IS the one! It's eye-catching and surprisingly roomy inside. I manage to squash two children and a week's shopping in!!!

It is, however, extremely heavy to drive - and a wimp like me struggles on tight parking etc... and fear that I'm going to end up with muscles like pop-eye.

...but... I wouldn't swap it!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2001

29th Jun 2001, 03:06

You write "It is, however, extremely heavy to drive".

That I do not understand - My SJ410 is quite easy to handle, almost like there was power steering in it. Maybe your tyre pressure is way too low?

1989 Suzuki Santana SJ410 Q 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired56000 miles
Most recent distance59000 miles
Previous carSAAB 900 Turbo

Summary:

A cheap, fun car for all year use

Faults:

Petrol gauge registered half full and I ran out of fuel... Nothing a piece of sticky tape didn't rectify...

General Comments:

This vehicle, although slow compared to other cars I have had, has been the most fun to drive. In 4 wheel drive it excels above all the other more expensive 4x4's.

You have to get used to the narrow track otherwise all is fine. Use ear muffs for long motorway hauls!!!

It is a car that brings the kid out in you!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2000

1986 Suzuki Santana SJ 410 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired59000 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles
Previous carYamaha DT 50

Summary:

Fantastic when it snowed...

Faults:

New battery.

New rear tyres (from lifting inside tyre off the road in hard cornering!!)

Snapped exhaust.

Blown heater matrix.

General Comments:

Great fun when young and reckless.

Avoid high speed cornering, ride quality abysmal!

High speeds cause temporary deafness.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th September, 2000

1987 Suzuki Santana 410 Soft Top 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.3 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles
Previous carFord Sierra

Summary:

I'm sure my words will haunt you if you do, but... DON'T buy one

Faults:

I have had 3 different engines in it and 20 different combinations of their parts.

I got well past the stage of affording garage bills. This car forced me into becoming an accomplished mechanic against my will.

The 4x4 transmission got replaced as well.

General Comments:

DO NOT BUY A 410 OF THIS AGE !!

No....to be safe, don't buy an old style SJ of any age.

Although it took a whole year to get used to driving it, it was a fun car to drive.

The SJ410 was a childhood dream. I finally owned it, but wished my Dad had still been around to tell me how stupid I would be if I took the plunge. It's a false economy. It cost me a fotune. Oh. DONT go on long journeys - use a pushbike, the ride is more refined.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st July, 2000

14th Sep 2001, 05:44

Don't you think your review is a bit harsh? I agree the Suzuki is awful on motorways compared to any other car, but then again it isn't a car, it's an off road jeep. Get it down some green lanes and once you've driven it through brooks, fens and mud slides, and towed Landrovers out of sticky situations, then your love for this wonderful vehicle will grow. If you can do the repairs yourself it should be fun, cheap and educational. Take care, and try not to roll it...

9th Dec 2001, 04:53

I agree with this guy's point. My old SJ was a terrible car but a fantastic off roader.

5th Feb 2002, 23:11

I once drove through water upto the window height, bloody scary, but fun. It was just a matter of keeping the plough going. I agree they are bad on motorways, but fun off the road.

1986 Suzuki Santana Q (soft top) SJ410 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired170000 miles
Most recent distance183000 miles
Previous carSuzuki SJ410 hard top

Summary:

A fantastic, very reliable and fun car to drive. Nothing beats it on manouverability!

Faults:

In the year I've used the car, every day, nothing has gone wrong with it. The engine will have to be reconditioned in a couple of months time as it's burning oil almost as much as it uses fuel!

General Comments:

The SJ has proven remarkably reliable, it's not the most comfortable on-road vehicle but can't be beaten off-road. It's mpg is high thirties, early forties if kept below 50mph.

The soft top fits like a second skin. However, being a Santana she was built in Spain rather than Japan, as with the normal SJ's, subsequently the metal is thin and liable to rust if not watched closely!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2000

26th Jul 2005, 08:10

Were would you get a reconditioned engine or even piston rings and gaskets etc to do it yourself.

Average review marks: 5.3 / 10, based on 10 reviews