2nd Feb 2013, 06:58
I can relate to your review because I had a 87 Samurai JX for years, and loved it so much that it led me to buy a 95 Sidekick JLX. I drove the 95 for 100K trouble free miles (except for the plug wire recall that I ignored and later broke down for). I really appreciated the engineering design of these utility vehicles. They are well laid out and very easy to maintain.
The Samurai was a little one dimensional, in that it was an outstanding off-roader, but not so good on the highways.
The Sidekick was much more civilized. I loved the performance and economy from the 16 valve 1.6 litre.
9th May 2013, 18:33
Absolutely agree, the Samurai wasn't great on the freeways at all, though it would tick along the best it could. Once up and running, it could go forever, though it was just a tad slow to reach running speed.
The Sidekick JX is an altogether different beast in the sense of being quick and willing to go; hits passing gear swiftly, also. Steps out as needed, and I don't have to be concerned it won't keep pace.
Doing the restoration has been marvelously successful, and the Sidekick JX is now a joy to own and drive, and I adore the manual levels and controls for heating and A/C etc.
It had an after market door locking system that I had removed fully, as I don't care for any more electrics than absolutely required; i.e. fuel injection is OK.
After reading endless reviews about the newer vehicles with so many computerized systems, which seem to be forever in the shop, I am most appreciative of this well built, though basic, 4WD SUV that goes everywhere with minimal expense...!
Thanks for your comments!
25th Jun 2015, 02:20
I bought a 95 Sidekick JX in 1996. I still have it today in 2015. I used to get 35 MPG on highway. Lately after 108K miles I am getting about 25 MPG, but have had to do very little maintenance besides air filter, oil changes, PCV valve, distributor rotor and cap, plus regular radiator fluid changes with distilled H2O. I used synthetic oil and change every 5K miles and I don't burn any oil. The valve and oil pan gaskets leak a little.
It starts very quickly -- so fast, in fact, that I am startled at times. I have noted a hum in or about the front end. Also that the timing cover has separated slightly at the top about 3/16". The headlights are full of condensation droplets. It cuts down upon night visibility a bit -- and I understand that it is due to a split between the lens assembly.
It shifts rough in second gear ATM. Aamco told me that it would fail soon, but that was several years ago. You have to be careful in highway crosswinds and mountainous curves. It it my surefooted mule -- not my skittish racehorse. I love my Sidekick. Interior still looks good and the seats have held-up well. Steering is still solid.