Geo Tracker Origins
The Geo Tracker was introduced in 1988 and went into production in 1989. The car was developed by CAMI Automotive, also known as Canadian Automotive Manufacturing Inc.; an independent incorporated joint venture between Suzuki and General Motors of Canada. The manufacturer meant for the car to be built in the Ingersoll plant alongside the domestic-built Suzuki Sidekick. However, delays in the factory’s production resulted in the 1989 and 1990 model Geo Trackers being imported from Japan to the U.S. By 1990, the Ingersoll factory began producing the SUV and continued making all subsequent models of the Geo Tracker until production ended in 2004.About the Geo Tracker
The Geo Tracker offered an inexpensive alternative to costly SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler. It was sold under the Chevrolet name for most of the 1990s, which is why many also knew it as the Chevrolet Tracker. The car had a unique identity, and it lived on as the Suzuki Vitara and, in the U.S. as the Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Despite subjection to a fair share of criticism, the Geo Tracker was known for being a particularly rugged, yet light, SUV. The Geo Tracker came equipped with a sturdy four-wheel-drive system coupled with a conventional light-truck transmission and engine, with the front suspension being extremely sturdy. Its strong, light-truck components gave the Geo Tracker a truck-like ride and remarkable durability.Geo Tracker Features
The 2004 Geo Tracker was part of the second generation, and it came as a convertible as well as a hardtop. A 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine delivered 80 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque to power the car. This offered inadequate performance, to say the least, especially for an offroad vehicle. However, the five-speed manual transmission system made fuel economy noteworthy. The manufacturer also offered a three-speed automatic transmission as an option. The vehicle could easily switch from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive thanks to a well-placed two-speed transfer case mounted on the floor.
Despite its rugged looks, the Geo Tracker was quite comfortable on the inside. The interior included comfortable bucket seats in the front and a basic instrument panel on the front console. The sound system in the 2004 Geo Tracker met average expectations. While the vehicle seems good enough off the road, it delivered a substandard performance on it. The engine was hardly powerful enough to push the car forward on the highway. The tall stance placed the center of gravity quite high in the Geo Tracker, which made the car more susceptible to rolls when turning. Driving this vehicle on smooth roads nerve-wracked drivers. The engine also made a lot of noise, turning it into quite a nuisance on the road. Another disappointing aspect of the 2004 Geo Tracker was its use of a rather delicate rack and pinion steering system that damaged easily and costs a lot to repair.Geo Tracker Evolution
The Geo Tracker debuted in 1989, powered by a 1.6-liter SOHC four-cylinder engine, courtesy of Suzuki. The engine delivered 80 hp, and the vehicle offers three trim levels: the LSi hardtop, the base two-door hardtop, and the convertible. The LSi Geo Tracker provided the luxury version of the vehicle, with a built-in air-conditioner, intermittent wipers, chrome-rally wheels, a spare tire cover, a rear window wiper, and a three-speed automatic suspension. Other features in the LSi Geo Tracker included tinted glass, rear bucket seats, and red/black colored front and rear seats. These inclusions became available in the convertible models of the Geo Tracker in 1990.
Regardless of the trim level, the first generation Geo Tracker offered four-wheel-drive. However, a two-wheel drive convertible version was launched in 1992. The Geo Tracker lineup remained unchanged for three more years until 1995, when the two-door hardtop model ended production, and a new four-door hardtop wagon was introduced. The Suzuki G16B, 1.6-liter engine, powered this four-door Geo Tracker with a maximum power of 96 hp. The production of the Geo Tracker continued until 1998, when the vehicle became a part of Chevrolet and the second generation began.
The second generation Geo Tracker was rebadged and introduced as the Suzuki Grand Vitara. The car sells under different names in different countries, but the Geo Tracker series officially came to an end in the U.S. and Canada in 2004. Surprisingly, the rebadged second generation Tracker under the Chevrolet brand failed to create an impression since its inception in 1998. By the time the production life of the vehicle ended, the Geo Tracker had outsold the Chevrolet Tracker three to one.