1996 Suzuki Sidekick JX 1.6 liter from North America


A tough as nails, severely reliable, and highly capable SUV


The only thing that went wrong with this truck was when the rear engine seal went out. That however was my own fault. I was off-roading with a friend who had a heavily modified 4x4, and we got to a point where going down a ravine my transmission caught onto a rock and it got jerked. It wasn't serious. The seal only dripped little drops of oil; however, I had to replace it.

General Comments:

As of 2003, my Sidekick is a serious go getter. She keeps up with most of the "import cars". The Suzuki Sidekick was my dream vehicle. If I died right now, I can honestly say that I had my dream vehicle.

With little modifications, this truck can really move and perform.

I especially like the feel you get in the cabin. It feels like a sports car.

This is a great vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th March, 2003

1996 Suzuki Sidekick GLX 1.6 gasoline from Bermuda


Suzuki has built a winner


In six years I have had only two problems.

The radio died in year two. This was replaced by the dealer without a fuss.

The passenger window switch failed after four years and was replaced at minimal cost.

General Comments:

I am very happy with this vehicle.

The ride and handling are quite good.

The high profile design inspires confidence.

Wider tires make a big difference.

The interior is attractive and comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2003

1996 Suzuki Sidekick JX Convertible 1.6 Liter from North America


Perfect choice for the high school student


My thermostat burned out at about 85,000 miles.

Other than that it has been normal wear and tear.

General Comments:

This vehicle was a gift from my parents when I turned 16. It has lasted very well through the last seven years. It has seen me graduate high school and it probably will see me graduate college.

This car handles very well, and it does still have some pep under the hood.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th November, 2002

1996 Suzuki Sidekick JLX Sport 1.8L from North America


Best bang for the buck


- Truck has a little problem starting on very cold days.

- Idler pulley bearing let go at 160 000 km, not a big deal just the parts are way over priced around $200.

- Front brakes seem to have to be changed way too often.

General Comments:

For a vehicle that has 290 000km and counting, it has been an excellent vehicle, especially for the money.

I would highly recommend this vehicle!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th September, 2002

1996 Suzuki Sidekick JLX 1.8L from North America


A troubled SUV


I've had several difficulties with my Suzuki. I believe the fault mainly lies in Carmax, though.

I've had the O2 sensor replaced several times (all under Carmax's warranty) at the insistence of the service light.

At about 68k miles, I had some very annoying wiring difficulties that caused my windows to get stuck. They would get stuck in a position and not move and then for some reason they would move again, only to get stuck again. Carmax successfully repaired this issue by replacing the wiring in all of the doors.

Then, the major problems happened. I had the strangest issue that I couldn’t find anyone that would understand it. Carmax said the clutch was going bad (the clutch happened to not be covered by my warranty), but I disagreed. After the engine was hot from driving on the freeway for a few hours, the car would die as soon as I hit the clutch (to exit the freeway). I finally figured out that this only happened when my air conditioner (AC) was on. If I turned the AC off while changing gears, it wouldn’t die.

At the same time I started noticing that the engine was using up too much oil. Carmax decided to replace the transmission with a similar year and miles, and it seemed to be fine… for awhile. Carmax apparently didn’t do a good job putting the transmission back and I was actually destroying other parts of the engine as I drove it. I took it to another repair shop and they found quite a lot wrong with what Carmax did. The warranty company agreed that it was a bad job and we paid the difference for a new transmission to be put in it. This repair shop did a much better job, but I didn’t find out until a few months ago that my 4x4 doesn’t work anymore. (What a pain to find that out while stuck in the middle of a huge mud puddle!)

General Comments:

Besides all of those mechanical issues, I've been disappointed in the comfort areas of my Suzuki. I really hate going on long trips in it because the engine is so loud (especially for the power that I get from it.. my mom says it sounds like a lawnmower) and the speakers are so pathetic (I installed larger speakers in the back, but the tiny front speakers are still there).

I do, however, really like the large windows and the way that I sit above the road.

Steering is excellent: it's great being able to pull into an angled parking spot from the wrong way!

The vehicle has proven itself to be very versatile for moving things and for the occasional afternoon nap in the back seat. I've moved around a lot at college and it's been a great moving companion, even though I refer to it as my Rubbermaid truck.

One word about reselling: this car depreciates very quickly. That's one reason why I still have it... I can't get much for it anymore.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd July, 2002

31st Jan 2003, 07:26

I totally agree. I just unloaded my JLX, and it was the best decision I have made for some time now. The car is noisy, uncomfortable, and forget about taking the car on long trips. At 50K, had the clutch replaced, the O2 sensor kept breaking. Finally, the power windows are weak, and the driver side window control was flaky, sometimes it worked and other times it didn't.

1996 Suzuki Sidekick JX 1.6 16v from North America


We liked it so well that we bought another just like it


Check engine light came on at about 70000 miles. A tune up fixed it.

Catalytic converter failed (clogged) at 94,000 miles. Replaced it, muffler (which was cracked) and tailpipe.

Front driver's window pulls out of track if not used carefully.

General Comments:

This has been a great little sports utility vehicle. Good in snow, with fair economy.

Handling is a little precarious as it is sort of "top heavy". This is not a sports car but a very practical and versatile auto. We have moved and hauled all kinds of things.

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

Review Date: 15th December, 2001