Needs to have the exhaust system replaced.
First problem, part of the exhaust pipe broke off from it's hanger. There was actually a hole, from being rusted out. Most likely due to how little it was driven and the area it was from. I got it welded back on for $20, so far still holding up.
Week before last, the catalyic converter plugged up causing the manifold to crack. I had the same thing happen to my previous 1995 Suzuki Sidekick I owned at 50,000 miles. Except then, it only blew a gasket and not cracked the manifold.
Back to this one, I lost the tailpipe just after the muffler, and in that general area under the truck there is lots of rusting of the exhaust pipe. When I get the manifold fixed, I'm just going to replace the whole exhaust piping and muffler.
I was quoted just over $300 for labor, fixed manifold, catalyic converter, and muffler.
It also seems that it getting harder to shift the gears, esp hard to put it back into first gear after coming to a stop. My other Sidekick needed a new clutch at about 50,000 miles, transmission went out at 72,000. I had to let it go since I didn't have the $$$ to fix it at the time.
The only other problem I have is that the engine tends to die unless you keep the gas pedal pressed. It only does it every so often, my other one did that also. I had took the previous one to the dealer under warranty and they said they could not figure out the problem. After I recover from the exhaust ordeal, I will do a full tune up, new plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, O-2 sensor, PCV valve and probably the fuel filter. Hopefully that should help it run good for a long time.
When I bought this one, the electric door locks didn't work. I'll get around to fixing them sooner or later.
I love the Sidekick... even thought I had the transmission failure in the other one, I wouldn't have gotten rid of it if I had the $$$ to fix it.
When I bought the first one, I had almost given up on them because the first few models I had driven were the 4 Door JX models. They rode terrible. I didn't realize it at the time that there was a difference, but I happend to test drive a JLX model and I fell in love.
The JLX's are great, they drive really well, fun to take off road and get dirty, and a lot of fun to drive in general. You will have to fight the wind, but just keep your wits about you and don't have any knee jerk reactions and you should be just fine. I even take freeway on/off ramps that caution "25 MPH" at 45 to 50 MPH with no sign of tipping. No it isn't a sports car, but it can be quite zippy with some driver confidence.
As always could use more power, but with the new exhaust system, I expect some performance gains.
One last thing, I've twice had the top of the line models, the JLX's, but neither have came with air conditioning. Go figure.
I recommend getting one, be prepared for a few minor quirks, but over all a great vehicle :D.