1994 Suzuki Sidekick Reviews

1994 Suzuki Sidekick JLX 4 Door 1.6L from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.6L Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired166000 kilometres
Previous carChevrolet Van

Summary:

Great for city use

Faults:

Nothing yet.

General Comments:

I have always wanted to get one of these and so far I have no regrets. This is not a speed machine (you will not win any stop light drag races) and it does ride a bit rough. None of these things are a surprise to me as this vehicle has a small engine with an auto transmission, a short wheel base, narrow track and is a 4x4. It is fun to drive and I was fortunate to find one that has been extremely well cared for and has all options (all of which still work perfectly). I am wondering if I can tow this vehicle behind a motor-home with all four wheels on the ground? I have asked around and am getting conflicting responses. My concern is that this vehicle has an auto transmission. It is my understanding that you have to use a dolly or trailer when towing vehicles with auto trans. I am wondering if you put the transfer case in neutral why you couldn't tow the vehicle without a dolly or trailer. Any info would be appreciated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2007

22nd Jun 2007, 17:43

A simple Google search for "towing sidekick" will yield the reason why.

1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired188000 miles
Most recent distance188953 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Reliable, work car

Faults:

Idling at 1500 rpm.

General Comments:

Car is comfortable, gets descent gas mileage, but idling way to high.

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

Review Date: 2nd June, 2004

1994 Suzuki Sidekick JLX 1.6L from North America

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6L Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired12000 kilometres
Most recent distance136000 kilometres

Summary:

Super-reliable runabout

Faults:

A faulty wheel speed sensor caused the parking brake indicator light to come on (indicating a fault in the ABS system) at about 90,000 km. One dealer told me it was the ABS module, a CDN$700 fix. Ouch. I decided I could live with the indicator light. When I replaced the timing belt at 100k, a different dealer diagnosed the problem correctly and fixed it for $250.

The sheet metal shroud that protects the exhaust muffler is loose and it rattles a bit at low rpm.

The cruise control "set coast" button doesn't always work.

The shocks and struts need to be replaced, but that is to be expected at this age.

General Comments:

This car is bullet-proof reliable. Aside from replacing the wheel speed sensor I've never had to do anything more than routine maintenance on the car. The other complaints are too minor to bother with.

My biggest complaint is that the car is very low on power and can barely get out of its own way on a hill. I've taken it on long highway trips, and it can manage, but on single-lane roads you will get stuck behind motor homes because you won't be able to pass them until you get a dedicated passing lane. (I have the automatic transmission; I'm told the five-speed is a little more responsive.)

It is, however, a terrific city and commuter vehicle. It is comfortable for four people, and its small size makes it very easy to park in small spaces. Fuel mileage is good, though not great.

The short wheelbase makes for a bouncy ride, but you get used to it. If you have a chronic bad back, then you may find it a little aggravating.

On the whole, this has been a great vehicle, and has served my wife and I well for 8 years. We plan keep this car until the wheels fall off. I would not be surprised to see 300,000km on this car without major problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2003

5th Aug 2005, 13:04

I agree completely. I've had my 95 Sidekick for 5 years, and aside from a little tweak here and there, it's been a great car. I have the 5-speed and the pickup is OK. Right now I'm sitting at 83,000 miles, and I'm planning on having the timing belt replaced in the near future. With any luck, my 10 year old son will inherit the car when he turns 16 and gets his license... that's if I decide to give it up!

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 6 reviews