Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara has amazing off-road capabilities. In a time when many SUVs seem to have lost their roots, this one can drive across all terrains.

More on the Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara Origins

While most people think of the American or the European carmakers when considering automotive history, it is important to not forget the contributions made by the Asian manufacturers. Like many of their Western counterparts, many of the Asian carmakers had their beginnings in different industries. For example, Suzuki started out as a heavy industrial company dedicated to creating spinning looms for other industrial companies. In 1952, Suzuki branched out to make high-quality motorcycles perfectly adapted to life in the crowded Japanese cities. These motorbikes were also well priced for the average Japanese worker and quickly became popular.

It didn’t take long for the Suzuki motorcycles to catch on in the local markets. The designers at Suzuki began to experiment with making precision motorcycles. Those bikes proved to be incredibly functional and won many of the industry’s races and engineering awards. Naturally, the company began producing cars and other vehicles.

Suzuki name became famous for efficient and reliable vehicles of all types. While motorcycles continue to be a focus of the Japanese company, it also continues to offer fine automotive selections as well, along with the other three famous Japanese automotive manufacturers: Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. The Vitara remains a popular choice from the Suzuki lineup.

About the Suzuki Vitara

In the late 1990s, many automakers looked into offering their clients a new option in SUVs. It was time to offer a SUV in a smaller design, better suited for those with outdoor lifestyles and people who simply want an alternative to the minivan. For this need, Suzuki offers the Vitara. It replaces the Sidekick. While other manufacturers created this class of vehicle based on car mechanics and frames, Suzuki chose to stick to its traditions and design the Vitara with truck-like features.

During the course of the Vitara’s lifetime, Suzuki offered some pretty exciting trim levels and body styles to keep interest in the line. These SUVs come in two- or four-door options. The company also offers a convertible body style choice that appeals to the younger, child-free person, or as a second car option.

Suzuki Vitara Features

The Suzuki Vitara debuted in 2004. It shows very few changes from the previous year’s model. The company offers the 2004 model in the four-door body style only. Other changes include a redesigned, soft spare tire cover and new exterior color choices. The bumpers and mud guards are painted charcoal gray for this model year.

Under the hood, the Vitara houses a 2.5-liter V-6 engine capable of 165 hp. It pairs with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. Any Suzuki Vitara comes with a shift on the fly four-wheel drive option. Some industry experts suggest that the engine for this model may be a bit on the sluggish side.

Inside the cabin, the Vitara lacks space for its class. The rear seat is especially cramped. The SUV does not feature power locks and doors or air-conditioning. For consumers who don’t need a lot of space or many special features, the Suzuki Vitara provides a decent choice. Those looking for more performance and comfort often turned to other vehicles.

Suzuki Vitara Evolution

The Suzuki Vitara saw production from 1999 to 2004. This midsize SUV struggled among its competitors for its entire production history. While well-made and similar to a truck in design, the Vitara suffers from a host of problems. Until the 2004 model year, many industry leaders felt the common 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine lacked proper acceleration and speed. Most experts recommend only buying these models used if the vehicle has at least the 2.0-liter version or the V-6 found in the last model year. The other options simply don’t offer enough horsepower.

Over the five years the Vitara saw production it received many changes in terms of trim levels and body styles. For a few years, Suzuki made a softtop convertible version of the Vitara. This style aims to appeal to the young professionals who spend their free time outdoors hiking, camping, and so forth. The convertible version uses a two-door body design. The four-door body styles have hard tops and don’t offer any more interior or exterior space than the two-door design. For the most part, auto experts suggest different SUV choices for people looking for a used car.

Select a Suzuki Vitara Year

2004 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2004 Suzuki Vitara is a four-door, mid-class compact SUV available in only one model.

2003 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara is a small SUV that is being squeezed out of its market share.

2002 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2002 Suzuki Vitara is the smaller sibling to the Grand Vitara.

2001 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2000 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2000 Suzuki Vitara classifies as a compact SUV that sells as a four-door hardtop or two-door soft-cover convertible.

1999 Suzuki Vitara

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1999 Suzuki Vitara is a marked improvement over the old Suzuki Sidekick.