1997 Suzuki Sidekick JLX Sport from North America
Once fully restored, a most remarkable vehicle indeed!
Bought this car sight-unseen from a dealer in AZ, fully expecting it would need virtually everything.
In my experience, most owners keep these charming vehicles until so many items need replacing that they trade in for something else, or they are wrecked off-roading and/or by a 'totaling' accident.
This one needed approximately $6,000 to bring it 100% like new.
- Brake master cylinder.
- Windshield wipers.
- Transfer case shifter repair.
- Radiator cap.
- Battery hold down hardware.
- Fan clutch replaced.
- Water pump replaced.
- Thermostat replaced.
- Drum brake reline.
- Fuel filter replaced.
- All hoses, fan, water pump replaced.
- Power door lock left repair.
- Replace missing rear tail light.
- Battery hold down hardware replaced.
- Replace blower motor.
- Fuel filter replacement.
- Clean fuel injectors.
- Replace front struts.
- Front brake pads, replaced.
- Replaced front brake calipers and hoses.
- Replaced master cylinder, brakes.
- Replaced valve cover and oil pan gaskets.
- Replaced fluids, gaskets and seals all over.
- Clean engine.
- Wash, wax, detail.
- New tires all around.
- Etc etc...
By now you are no doubt asking why in tarnation did I support all this???
Well, this is my third Suzuki SUV. I'm in love with them. Would save them all if I could afford it, but alas... no.
My first was a 1988.5 Suzuki Samurai JX, on which I had a total frame-off restoration done; total cost = $25,000, which included a new body, custom paint, new transmission and engine, etc. A real beauty when done.
The 2nd was a 1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX... needed new engine and new transmission, plus various bits and bobs for mechanicals... A truly delightful driver when done.
However, I then purchased a 1994 Mercedes Benz E320 Cabriolet -- thought it would be my daily driver forever. Soon discovered it is not the car to drive in rain, snow, sleet and hail... or for that matter, than in other than perfect conditions. She has become my first Garage Queen.
Thus, needed another good 4x4 to cope with a steep driveway in foul weather.
Not being a fan of new cars, and/or too much electrical complication, I sought out yet again another old world Suzuki 4x4. VERY HARD to find... especially since it was already 2015. So many have been tarted up or beaten to death.
Finally located a decent 1997 Suzuki Sidekick JLX Sport in Arizona. Had it shipped here. My mechanic has restored it to top condition, and there have been no further problems. Engine and transmission are both strong, the interior and exterior arrived in immaculate condition, and I expect all to be quite well for as long as I need her.
Rock on, Suzuki SUVs!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd May, 2016