1997 Suzuki Sidekick

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Review

One smart, frisky, small SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick is a mini sport utility vehicle (SUV) that falls neatly between a truck and a car. This unique vehicle was the first in its niche, though competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sportage have since rushed in and taken over. But the Sidekick still has plenty to offer in terms of convenience and performance, and the convertible model continues to make this small SUV family particularly appealing. With the convertible and the traditional hardtop body styles and three trim levels offered in either the regular or Sport series, there are plenty of options and features to go around with this trendy little SUV.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, three-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Sidekick JS w/Soft Top, Suzuki Sidekick JS, Suzuki Sidekick JX w/ Soft Top, Suzuki Sidekick JX, Suzuki Sidekick Sport JS, Suzuki Sidekick Sport JX, Suzuki Sidekick Sport JLX

What's New

The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport JS 2WD model makes its debut. It holds a DOHC engine rated at 120 horsepower at 6500 rpm.

Exterior

The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick is offered as a two-door convertible or a four-door hardtop. While the monochromatic appearance of the base model is more appealing than the Sport’s two-tone paint job, the Sport is only available with the four-door body and provides an upgrade to 16-inch wheels and a chrome-ringed grille.

Interior

The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick comes with limited standard interior equipment. Even basic features like air-conditioning require an upgrade to the Sport model. Cruise control is only available on the JLX Sport. Also exclusive to the Sport are power windows and locks, a split-fold rear seat, 100-watt Alpine stereo system, overhead map lights, and cloth door trim.

Performance & Handling

The basic 1997 Suzuki Sidekick houses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, while the Sport provides a modest boost to a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Both engines are spirited, if not particularly powerful. The Sport’s wider track does provide more stability and responsiveness. Considering its size, the Sidekick is quite capable overall.

Safety

The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick comes with optional four-wheel anti-lock brakes on the base model and standard on the Sport. Standard safety equipment includes driver and front passenger airbags, child safety locks, and power door locks. A security alarm system is offered on the Sport.

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki Sidekick JS w/Soft Top: 21/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick JS: 21/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick JX w/ Soft Top: 21/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick JX: 21/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick Sport JS: 19/23 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick Sport JX: 19/23 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Sidekick Sport JLX: 19/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Cute design
  • Surprisingly capable for its size

You Won't Like

  • Underpowered engines

Sum Up

One smart, frisky, small SUV.

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