1989 Suzuki Sidekick Reviews

1989 Suzuki Sidekick JLX 1.3L from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.3L Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance360000 miles

Summary:

Died at 360,000 miles!

Faults:

Threw a piston through the block at 360,000 miles!

General Comments:

I love this car so much.

The only time it got stuck is when I forgot to put it in 4x4, and took it into 4 ft of mud.

The MPG isn't bad for a 4x4; I averaged 24MPG.

The seats are not good for long trips, but are fine for 40 to 50 mile trips.

The suspension is decent for being 20 years old.

It did throw a rod at 360000 miles. I love this car so much I ordered a new engine for a 1996, and put it in my 1989. It went from 90 hp to 120hp. Now I love it even more, and would recommend a Sidekick to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2011

1989 Suzuki Sidekick from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired340000 kilometres
Most recent distance385000 kilometres
Previous carDodge Campervan

Summary:

Most reliable 4x4 ever made

Faults:

Power brakes freeze up when it's cold, but still work.

General Comments:

I cannot believe how reliable and inexpensive this vehicle is. I have poured the kilometers into this little engine and it doesn't quit. My friends laugh at how little gas it uses, and it will literally go anywhere when you put it in 4WD.

The soft top is nice during the summer, but winters are rough if you're cruising at 120km bare chested on the highway.

Seats are uncomfortable on long journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2009

1989 Suzuki Sidekick JX 1.6 from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired64000 miles
Most recent distance85000 miles
Previous carford ranger

Summary:

A sherman tank disguised as a SUV!!!

Faults:

Needed valve seals.

General Comments:

RAN AWESOME!! It had sat in storage for over 10 years and I got it after it had sat that long. It smoked just a little and quit smoking about 8 seconds after you let it run. I was too lazy to get it fixed. Did good on gas and the 4X4 feature was great. Had to lube the manual switch on the wheels, took a whole hour to do. The convertable top was easy to put on and off, about 3 minutes flat. Mine was a 5 speed, base model. easy shifting, I actually felt invincible off road. Blazers, F-150's getting stuck in mud, water etc. My little sidekick would go right by them. Had an ice storm here in Ohio the winter of 04 just before Christmas. Neighbor's Jeep 4X4 couldn't get out of his driveway and a tree had fallen on my Suzuki from the ice, brushed her off, started her up locked in the 4X4 and away I went. My entire family called me some as far away as 40 miles needing to go to the store or whatever, I was busy that day in my Suzuki. Wish I had never gotten rid of her. I would buy another one in a minute.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2007

23rd May 2010, 21:49

I agree completely. I had one 10 years ago when I was in high school. As a teenager I tried VERY hard to kill mine. Never succeeded. My parents took over the car after I joined the navy and still drive it around in Colorado winters. I tried to get it back from them and they told me no way, but I'm now looking for another one.

6th Jan 2011, 00:49

My favorite vehicle. I bought it in 2001 for $800 like an experiment to see what it feels like, and 10 years later I am still enjoying it.

Mine is the basic basic model, nothing power, no A/C. Great gas mileage. Absolutely reliable. The best thing is that if you break the timing belt, the car just stops. Replace the belt, 45 minutes and you are on the road again.

I was thinking about selling it, but after I buy another, just better looking.

1989 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired87000 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles

Summary:

Very nice vehicle even with some problems

Faults:

When I bought this car the previous owner ran it out on oil. Now the engine clatters and knocks very badly.

After sitting for years without use, the front hubs froze in the unlock position. I took them apart myself and greased them. No problems since.

The cable that goes between the vent selector and the blower box for the heater was bent. I straightened it and have had to problems since.

General Comments:

First, I love this little thing. I paid $200 for it and it was worth it even with the bad motor.

I'm just driving it off road (until I fix the motor) and have never gotten stuck yet.

The engine moves this car pretty good, but revs high at road speeds with the five speed manual transmission.

The interior is comfortable for a no frills vehicle. All controls are visible and easy to reach.

The drive train is tight. No fluids leak or burn off.

Exterior rust is hardly visible, but the floor is rusted through in some spots and allows mud and water to enter the cabin.

Overall, I'm satisfied with this vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2004

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 8 reviews