Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick

1996 Suzuki Sidekick
List price range
1996 Suzuki Sidekick

Pros - Not Available

Cons - Not Available

Suzuki Sidekick years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Even folks who find it easy to fault small sport-utes run the risk of falling for a Sidekick--especially the convertible model. Neither a true truck nor a car, this mini SUV has created a niche that other manufacturers are rushing to capitalize on. The Geo Tracker that's sold by Chevrolet dealers is basically identical, and the Kia Sportage is a new competitor. Soon, Toyota will have its own tiny sports-utility vehicle for sale. Suzuki aims the Sidekick squarely at teens and 20-somethings, but older adventurers are likely to find it irresistible, too.

The Sidekick is available in two body styles and two series totaling three trim levels. Basic Sidekicks come with a frisky 16-valve, 95-horsepower engine in JS or JX trim. The JS is a two-wheel drive runabout; the JX a four-wheel drive mountain goat. Convertible and four-door Hardtop models are available. New for 1996 is a Sport model, which is offered only with the four-door body style in JX and JLX trim.. Hallmarks of the Sport include a larger, more powerful twin-cam engine good for 120 horsepower, and a track that has been increased by two inches for increased stability and response. Sixteen-inch tires and wheels, a shiny grille, and a two-tone paint scheme set the Sport model even further apart from garden-variety Sidekicks.

All Sidekick models get a revised instrument panel that contains dual airbags and dual cupholders. Daytime running lights also debut in 1996. Four-wheel antilock brakes are optional on Sidekick; standard on Sidekick Sport. Exclusive to the Sport is a 100-watt Alpine stereo system, cruise control (on the JLX only), security alarm system, power windows and locks, split-fold rear seat, remote fuel door release, cloth door trim, power remote mirrors, rear window wiper/washer and overhead map lights. The Sport also gets unique paint colors from which to select.

Basic Sidekicks get a new grille and bumpers, new exterior colors, and new seat fabrics. Frankly, the base Sidekick is the better looking vehicle. The Sport's two-tone paint and chrome-ringed grille make the Sidekick look like a little freckle-faced kid wearing an Armani suit. The monochromatic look of the base model, combined with the Sport's engine and track width, would be a hot setup -- too bad Suzuki doesn't see it that way.

The manual gearbox on the base Sidekick we drove shifted easily, helped by good clutch action. Optional automatic transmissions have a normal and power mode. Though fairly quiet ordinarily, hard-throttle start-ups produced some engine roar. Steering is a lot lighter than expected. Highly stable on the highway, the Sidekick slips easily in and out of traffic and into off-road or rural situations. Despite a short wheelbase, there's no sensation of danger. Gas mileage is good, too.

Not everyone will feel comfortable in the driver's seat, which lacks thigh support, but gauges are large and clear. Visibility in the convertible is superior to the front and side, but the rear view is obstructed by the spare tire and center high-mounted stop lamp. The soft-top's back seat is small and hard--more like a platform. Storage space is scant, beyond a sizable glovebox

Snappy performance and a friendly personality make the open-top Sidekick a joy to drive, while more conservative shoppers might feel more comfortable with a four-door. Either way, the Sidekick is lots of fun so long as interior space for passengers and cargo is not a big priority.

1996 Highlights

Lots of changes to this mini SUV: the 16-valve, 95-horsepower engine is available across the board (except in the Sport), and dual airbags are housed in a revised instrument panel. New fabrics, colors and styling revisions update the Sidekick. All new for 1996 is a Sport variant, equipped with lots of exclusive standard equipment, a 120-horsepower twin-cam motor, a wider track, two-tone paint and a chrome grille.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Suzuki Sidekick.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Sidekick Sport
Jasen44,04/05/2004
Its a great vehicle and very reliable. Only problem was 2 wheel bearings at 70,000, when I bought it. The ride is pretty good, but some road noise. Amazing gas milage-24-26 in 4x4. 25-27 in 2 wheel drive!! The sport edition comes with a 1.8L 4 cylinder. That to is somewhat underpowered.
This car wouldn't die
Gentle Ben,10/21/2009
I loved this car. I had the full SUV, hardtop, 4dr version. Out of date looking even in 96. Sadly I did not take very good care of this vehicle but the car hung very tough with the neglect. In the 8 years I owned it I had to replace a battery and adjust the clutch linkage and weld a broken clutch pedal. That's it. ... Good MPG (27 hwy or city), extremely reliable, utilitarian, tough to the bone, fun. But boxy, square edges and narrow frame made it a whipsaw on the highway. Also sheet metal is paper thin and seemingly weak structure may not make this a family type / safe vehicle. Very spartan inside and an odd-looking vehicle outside. But... my favorite car ever.
Best fit my needs.
hj,12/26/2009
I wanted a vehicle that was 4wd, got reasonable fuel ecomomy, could tow behind motor home, ample power, reliable, hunt in, drive across the USA w/o being beat to death, had plenty of headroom. This fit the bill. I have replaced the clutch, front wheel bearings, fan cooling clutch, reworked brakes, and replaced ignition coils. At 144000 mi. and 12 yrs. going strong!
I love my Suzuki
Chef,03/12/2003
I bought this vehicle used with about 30,000 miles and I love it The only items that have really given me trouble was a tie rod end and 1 hub and that was at 100,000 miles other then that I have done nothing except a tune up and brakes on this vehicle.
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
95 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
120 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
21 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
95 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
21 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
95 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 Suzuki Sidekick
Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick Overview

The Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick is offered in the following submodels: Sidekick SUV. Available styles include JS 2dr SUV w/Soft Top, Sport JLX 4dr SUV 4WD, JS 4dr SUV, JX 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top, Sport JX 4dr SUV 4WD, and JX 4dr SUV 4WD.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Suzuki Sidekicks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Suzuki Sidekick for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Suzuki Sidekick.

Can't find a used 1996 Suzuki Sidekicks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Sidekick for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $22,483.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,220.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Sidekick for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,012.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 1 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $18,753.

Compare prices on the Used Suzuki Sidekick for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Suzuki Sidekick?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials
Check out Suzuki Sidekick lease specials