1999 Suzuki Vitara

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1999 Suzuki Vitara Review

1999’s new kid in town.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1999 Suzuki Vitara is a marked improvement over the old Suzuki Sidekick. It showcases a bold style with a firm chassis and superior suspension workings. The Vitara comes in a two-door soft-top convertible and a four-door sport-utility vehicle. Suzuki loaded the Vitrara with plenty of standard features and luxury options.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible, SUV
Engines: 1.6-liter I-4, 2.0-liter I-4, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX, Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX+, Suzuki Grand Vitara JS, Suzuki Grand Vitara JS+, Vitara JX, Vitara JX+

What's New

The 1999 Suzuki Vitara is a fresh model, replacing the Suzuki Sidekick.

Exterior

The Vitara is available as a two-door convertible or a four-door sport-utility vehicle (SUV). The Vitara line has independent strut front suspension with a five link coil spring rear suspension. The exterior is comprised of sheet metal, resulting in an attractive, refined, and polished look. The vehicle is often described as cute, sporty, and fun.

Interior

Unfortunately, the Suzuki Vitara’s interior isn’t quite as attractive or comfortable as the inside of competing vehicles, such as the CR-V, RAV4, Forester, and Sportage. There is a sense of cheapness with the Vitara’s velour seats. Depending on trim, the Vitara can seat anywhere from four to five occupants. However, passenger room is minimal, specifically when it comes to legroom in the backseat. The rear seat headrests can also restrict vision from the driver’s seat. The interior plastics tend to scratch relatively easy. Despite those issues, the Vitara cabin has a sporty steering wheel that extends from the instrument panel. Vehicle entry and exit is commendably easy and hassle free.

Performance & Handling

The Vitara has a standard 1.6-liter, 16-valve engine that delivers 97-hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. There is also the option of a two-liter engine that picks the horsepower up to 127 with the torque max peaking at 134. The larger engine is standard with the four-door Vitara models. This engine uses Direct Drive Valve train (DDV) to increase throttle reaction, while minimizing fuel consumption. A V-6 engine is also available. That particular engine may be too powerful for the Vitara, as it feels weighty and off kilter, making the steering feel hesitant. Those who love the Vitara praise the feeling that it doesn't feel as if they are driving an SUV. It is comfortable, just like driving a bigger car. The ride is smooth. The engine is quiet and accelerates effortlessly. The suspension and steering are crisp.

Safety

The 1999 Suzuki Vitara has no NHTSA crash test data available. The IIHS classified the Vitara as ?acceptable? during its testing. Standard safety features include driver and passenger front airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX four-wheel drive: 19/21 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX+ four-wheel drive: 19/21 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Grand Vitara JS two-wheel drive: 19/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Grand Vitara JS+ two-wheel drive: 19/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JS 1.6 two-door two-wheel drive: 25/28 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JS 2.0 two-door two-wheel drive: 22/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JS four-door two-wheel drive: 22/25 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JS+ four-door two-wheel drive: 22/25 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JX 1.6 two-door four-wheel drive: 25/27 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JX 2.0 two-door four-wheel drive: 22/24 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JX four-door four-wheel drive: 22/25 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JX+ four-door four-wheel drive: 22/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Nice looking exterior
  • Swing out rear door and easy loading cargo floor
  • More power than Kia or Toyota
  • Good for city and off road driving
  • Agile and responsive

You Won't Like

  • Interior
  • Legroom in backseat
  • Only JS+ and JLX+ models come standard with anti-lock braking system
  • Feels heavy to some

Sum Up

1999’s new kid in town.

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