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.
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 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 Out of date looking even in 96.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.
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.
I bought this relatively high mileage (over 100k in 2000) sidekick for use at my second home in the NC mountains. None of my other vehicles have four wheel drive, so I needed a cheap and reliable vehicle to drive in the winter. This thing is anemic in normal driving, but for its low price and winter-driving ability, it can't be beat.