The 2000 Suzuki Vitara classifies as a compact SUV that sells as a four-door hardtop or two-door soft-cover convertible. The Vitara shares many of its design elements with the Chevrolet Tracker, which comes from the same assembly plant.
Best known for its rugged off-road capabilities, the four-passenger sport utility vehicle comes with truck underpinnings and optional four-wheel drive, but unlike many of its more modern rivals, the Vitara lacks smoothness and sophistication. For those who desire an open-top SUV but can’t afford a Jeep Wrangler, the Vitara might look appealing. Otherwise, buyers would prefer one of the many other choices in the compact SUV segment.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Vitara JS, Suzuki Vitara JLS, Suzuki Vitara JX, Suzuki Vitara JLX
Two-door versions of the 2000 Suzuki Vitara now come with standard air-conditioning, while four-door Vitaras offer a luggage cover. Three new exterior paint colors join the lineup. For the first time, 4WD versions contain a decal located on the rear-quarter window. A V-6-powered version of the Vitara, the 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara, makes its debut this year.
The 2000 Suzuki Vitara and its sibling, the Chevrolet Tracker, come in two body styles: a four-door hardtop and a two-door convertible. The convertible comes with an outside-mounted spare tire and a canvas soft-top that can be rolled back or removed completely. Both models feature Suzuki’s signature toy-like shape, small tires, and a short hood.
Each of the Vitara’s four trims comes in both body styles. Standard exterior features on the base-level JS include 15-inch steel wheels, a body-colored grille, a curbside-opening rear cargo door, and intermittent windshield wipers. The JX adds the line’s larger engine, 16-inch steel wheels, a roof rack (on hardtop versions), a rear window wiper, and a rear window defroster. Upgrading to the JLS gets you power accessories, while the JLX adds a keyless entry system.
Four-door Vitara models measure 163.3 inches in length and 68 inches in height. Soft-top versions stretch 152 inches in length and stand 65.7 inches tall. Six exterior colors include cat’s-eye blue metallic, cypress green metallic, mercury silver metallic, toreador red metallic, polar white, and satin black.
The 2000 Vitara comes with a spare but comfortable interior capable of seating four people. Standard interior features on the JS include cloth upholstery, bucket front seats, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, and an audio system with a cassette player. The JX gains a center console. Upgrading to the JLS adds air-conditioning, power windows, and power locks. The top-level JXS also comes with cruise control.
Taller passengers may find the Vitara’s rear seat to be a tight fit. In both body styles of the 2000 Suzuki Vitara, front occupants receive 40.9 inches of headroom, 41.1 inches of legroom, and 50.6 inches of hip room, while rear passengers get 39.5 inches of headroom, 35.9 inches of legroom, and 46.8 inches of hip room. Narrow rear doors make it difficult for adults to enter and exit the back seat. At 9.9 cubic feet with all seats in place, the Vitara’s cargo capacity remains rather limited.
Performance & Handling
The 2000 Suzuki Vitara offers two engines. Base JS comes equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 97 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque, while all other models contain a two-liter four-cylinder that generates 127 hp and 134 lb-ft of torque. Both engines match with a five-speed manual transmission, though a four-speed automatic gearbox remains available. Neither powertrain provides very quick acceleration. On the bright side, both engines stay relatively quiet.
All Vitaras offer a truck-based four-wheel-drive system boasting a high and low range. An independent front suspension and a five-link coil-spring rear suspension improve smoothness and stability in off-road conditions. However, the Vitara still seems noticeably bouncy, particularly on the pavement. With its small size, the SUV maneuvers easily on narrow roads. It experience body roll in hard turns, but steering and handling prove relatively solid.
Standard safety features on the 2000 Suzuki Vitara include driver and passenger front airbags and daytime running lights. The Vitara lacks several common safety amenities, including anti-lock brakes, side airbags, traction control, stability control, and child safety locks. Crash test data remains unavailable for the 2000 Suzuki Vitara.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Vitara JS: 22/26 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JS 4WD: 22/25 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JX 2WD and 4WD: 20/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JLS 2WD and 4WD: 20/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Vitara JXS 2WD and 4WD: 20/22 mpg city/highway
- Nifty convertible option
- Truck-based frame
- Cheaper than other compact SUVs
You Won't Like
- Minimal cargo space
- Limited power
Versatile, but can’t keep up with the competition.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Wrangler
- Chevrolet Tracker
- Kia Sportage
- Honda CR-V