1993 Suzuki Vitara JLX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland
Does exactly what it says on the tin!
Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with this car since I have owned it, considering the fact that I take it off road every weekend.
First of all I would like to dispel some nasty comments which have been made about this vehicle as of late.
For those of you who believe that the vehicle is not capable off road, This car is probably one of the best 4x4 vehicles on the road. Having pushed the car to its limits, it is a match even for Land Rover drivers (of which I am a veteran).
The low ratio gear box is very powerful considering the weight of the vehicle, although you have to make it sing a little since maximum torque is produced at 3,000rpm.
On road the vehicle is quite comfortable if a little noisy, Although in mine normal conversations can be had even at 60mph.
The interior is incredibly hard wearing so even after high mileages it should still be in good condition.
One thing to watch however is that the short wheel base coupled with rear wheel drive, makes this car liable to swap ends very quickly (Do not accelerate going around a bend if the road is wet!)
Since the chassis and lower body panels are galvanised, corrosion should not be a problem as with the Santana models.
Fuel consumption is voracious, this car will probably only get you 200 miles on a full tank (42 liters). But if you want economy, buy a compact car, not a Vitara!
As regards performance, 0-60 times are not impressive (12-16 seconds), however for a Jeep this is more than adequate.
All in all, a great little Jeep for its price range, just remember what you are buying. Yes it's thirsty, yes it's small, yes there are better 4x4 vehicles out there, but none as good looking, as reliable, as hard wearing, and as utterly dependable as a Vitara.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th September, 2001
12th Mar 2004, 14:31
Good review, couldn't agree more. Spraying the door interiors with soundproofer/waxoyl helps the noise considerably, as does soundproofer mat in the roof liner if you can be bothered to strip it out. LWB's seem a fair bit more stable to me. In 4WD they're rock solid on 80/20 road tyres.
7th Mar 2005, 15:00
They are great vehicles indeed! I had one that consistently got above 24 mpg, though. Occasionally as much as 29 mpg! You probably have the 6 cylinder, though I'm guessing. The 4 cylinder, when coupled with a manual transmission is able to produce adequate power to move the vehicle through any normal situations. You won't win any drag races with it, but who cares? And I'm sure that the worst mileage you'll get is still better than a Jeep can do, mileage speaking.