1998 Suzuki Vitara Reviews

1998 Suzuki Vitara LX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired46000 miles
Most recent distance58000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

If thinking of buying a Small SUV deffinately consider a Vitara

Faults:

1) Hand-brake Cables at 54,000

2) New Exhaust System at 52,000

3) Radiater leak at 56,000.

2) Nct/Mot Failure Nov 2006 due to:

Battery Mounting

Worn Clutch/Brake Pedal Rubbers

Anti Roll Bar Buses and Links Worn

Condition of Rear Brake Hoses.

General Comments:

Suzuki Vitara Ax 98- 1.6 Injection (hardtop)

Fitted with:

Chrome Rear wheel Cover

Front Chrome A-Bar and Chrome Spot-lights.

Chrome Side steps.

"Big" Alloy Wheels.

Slightly Tinted Windows.

(All fitted by previous UK owner)

Imported to Ireland from England by myself during the summer of 2006. I am the third owner.

(I bought the car of eBay, believe it or not).

I have always wanted a 4x4, and the vitara was my first. I love this car. Best way to describe it is "Fun and Practical".

Handling is very different from a car and takes a while to get used to. Tends to slip a bit in the wet, but I have always blamed the alloy wheels for this. Have yet to get a chance to try it out in snow.

Have never since I got it used it in 4x4 modes. Never had a need to, as car will go anywhere as it is.

Interior is very simple with no Electric Window or other Gadgets. I like this about it as there is less that can go wrong. Nothing is more annoying than an electric window that won’t go up or down when you want it to.

With the aftermarket parts, it all always gets a second look. No mater what it is parked beside? In Dublin is a slightly unusual car, beside all the Big SUV.

I do a lot of miles every week and the Vitara has no bother at all with anything. Is excellent on bumpy back roads and is able to hold its own on the motorways. Will Cruise at 120 with no bother at all.

Fuel Consumption is good. My average would be 240 to 250 miles from a Full Tank, costing around forty Euros. It really does depend on how you drive it.

I would definitely buy another Vitara.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2007

1998 Suzuki Vitara JLX SPORT 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Brilliant little 4x4. Buy one

Faults:

Front end smash (this is because the brakes are really crap in the rain).

Fan Belt went squeaky at 71,000 miles.

Passenger side window came loose at 75,000 miles.

The knobs for the heater and fan speed have fallen off many times.

The plastic around the inner door lock (the thing that pops up) has gone missing.

General Comments:

I am really shocked at the amount of people who say the Suzuki Vitara has an uncomfortable and an unsettled ride.

This is far from the truth. We have had our suzi for about three years now.

We find the car a very comfortable 4x4.

Brilliant for snow too.

Fuel Consumption is brilliant.

My advice, BUY ONE.

This is a lovely 4x4 although it's a bit small.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2005

6th Mar 2005, 11:22

The more Suzuki fans, the better. Suzuki really makes great cars. And the Vitara really is a great little SUV. I had the Vitara's twin for several years, a 99 Chevy Tracker. Great, great little truck, I especially loved having a convertible with four wheel drive! It got great gas mileage, too! I recently totaled a 97 Tracker, and I was able to climb out the window. I think it did a good job in the crash, the dual airbags both deployed. I broke my neck from the whiplash, but I was not paralyzed. I'm getting another Suzuki 4x4 very soon!

1998 Suzuki Vitara JX 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired27000 miles
Most recent distance30000 miles
Previous carFord Ka

Summary:

Small 4x4, rough ride and 70's build quality

Faults:

First sunny day and I wound down the window, only to feel the mechanism grating and grinding in my hand as it fell apart inside the door, I understand that this is a common fault.

Replacement manual winding mechanism costs in excess of £80.00, I refused to pay this for A cog and two pieces of wire!. I have wedged the window closed with a piece of wood inside the door.

Engine misfires when cold and sounds like a diesel when warm (I contacted three Suzuki main agents, consulted two different workshop manuals in search of the correct valve gap settings, not one of the points of reference including the main agents were the same!...very disturbing)

Crunches into second gear especially when cold, clutch very heavy, but lightens up as the journey gets underway.

Quite a bit of rust under the vehicle and appearing in various nooks and crannies, very 70's Fiat! Almost every nut and bolt on the car is rusted tight, mechanics must hate them.

Exhaust system is very rusty already, bearing in mind that car is only 3 years and 30000 miles old.

General Comments:

A smart looking and very compact vehicle, affording excellent interior space and great visibility. An ideal town car which can be maneuvered and parked very easily.

Very hard and unsupportive seats do nothing to help the spine jarring ride of this short wheelbase vehicle, however the hard suspension makes the vehicle very nimble and it handles surprisingly well, With more thought put into the seat design this car could be transformed into a much, much better vehicle.

Fuel consumption averages 33 miles per gallon, oil consumption is negligible.

At 30000 miles all four tyres need replacing, the wheels are going rusty, as is the spare wheel holder.

Why do the Japanese still put the indicators on the right hand side?

This is infuriating and can be hazardous.

I don't think this car was built to last.

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

Review Date: 16th April, 2002

10th May 2002, 15:29

Quite surprised at your comments. Your car being a year younger than mine and only a QUARTER of the mileage of mine.

Mine is an all-electric JLX SE Long Wheelbase model. Still on original clutch (read that again)! and original exhaust (honestly). The major UK offroad website called Difflock.com states: "Suzuki Vitaras have no known faults". I have found the underbody protection quite exceptional to other SUVs, the 16v engine amazingly flexible, and the mud, snow and ice performance very adequate indeed.

5th Nov 2003, 10:12

You asked the question "Why do the Japanese still put the indicators on the right hand side?".

As you quote a price in pounds (£) I assume you drive your car in the UK and have a right hand drive (RHD) vehicle.

The reason the indicators are on the right is because this is the side that make most sense for RHD cars, the Japanese drive RHD cars. Similarly German manufactures put them on the left for LHD cars as it suits their native market. Given that indicators need to be used fairly often during normal driving, it makes more sense to place them on the opposite side of the steering wheel to the gear lever. In this setup, the common operation of using your indicators can be carried out by your right hand, leaving your left hand to operate the gears with less frequent activities such as switching on/off lights or wipers.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews