1998 Suzuki Sidekick Review

Used Sidekick for sale
List Price Estimate:$793 - $1,684
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Suzuki Sidekick model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Cute, cuddly, and surprisingly capable mini-ute is great for around-town cruising or a jaunt to the lake.
  • Underpowered engines make the Sidekick breathe hard when climbing hills.

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 Chevrolet Tracker is basically identical, and the Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester are new competitors. Toyota introduced the RAV4 to do battle with the Sidekick, and Honda brought their CR-V over from Japan to do the same. 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 is a four-wheel drive mountain goat. Convertible and four-door Hardtop models are available. Or you can opt for the Sport model, which is offered only with the four-door body style in JX, JS 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 and a shiny grille set the Sport model even further apart from garden-variety Sidekicks.

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.

Frankly, we think that the plain-Jane base Sidekick is the best-looking vehicle. The 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.

1998 Highlights

A couple of new colors debut.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Suzuki Sidekick.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.13 out of 5 stars
Fun little SUV
JX 4dr SUV 4WD
I originally bought my Sidekick to save some gas... But I have been driving it so much that I have not saved a dime yet.....! It is a fun, little nimble beast. It has a choppy ride on the road but, the 1.6 is peppy with the 5spd. Not a lot of critter comforts but the utility side is amazing. I fish a lot and the 4x4 , good ground clearance and it's small size allow me and my little boat to go places no one else can go. Stay away from the interstate with this guy, it's like riding a motorcycle out there. A great little car, manly enough to be seen in and is well made and tough... No repairs yet but I don't think it will be a problem thus far..... Don't be scared of the sidekick!
4.75 out of 5 stars
I Love My Suzuki
Anne M,03/28/2007
Sport JLX 4dr SUV 4WD
I can't tell you how happy I've been with my Sidekick. It has 98,000 miles on it and still starts right up! My car performance has always exceeded my highest expectations. I feel secure knowing that I have AWD whenever the need arises. This feature has pulled me out of my driveway even after the plow trucks have blocked the end of the driveway with massive piles of snow. Now that my daughter has her license, she has taken over driving the car. I know the Suzuki will give her many more years of excellent performance.
4 out of 5 stars
Reliable but costly to repair
JX 4dr SUV 4WD
I bought my Suzuki when it was 2 years old and it had just under 25000 miles on it. I now have 120,000 miles on it after about 6 1/2 years of driving. I have had few problems with it. This vehicle is very bad for rust and doesn't hold up well in places where salt is used on roads in the winter!!! They have NO resale value and Dealer parts are ridiculously expensive! You think that you are driving a Rolls when you buy parts. I am not kidding!!! They need to stop being so outrageously greedy when selling replacement parts. I went to the dealer once for a repair and told them I would never come back. I didn't. I shopped for after market parts where ever I could find them.
4.25 out of 5 stars
Barry Alderman,05/18/2004
Sport JLX 4dr SUV 4WD


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

More about the 1998 Suzuki Sidekick

Used 1998 Suzuki Sidekick Overview

The Used 1998 Suzuki Sidekick is offered in the following submodels: Sidekick SUV. Available styles include Sport JX SE 4dr SUV 4WD, Sport JS 4dr SUV, JX SE 2dr SUV 4WD, JX FLT 4dr SUV 4WD, JX 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top, Sport JX 4dr SUV 4WD, Sport JLX 4dr SUV 4WD, JS 4dr SUV, JX 4dr SUV 4WD, and JS 2dr SUV w/Soft Top. Pre-owned Suzuki Sidekick models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine or a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 120 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Suzuki Sidekick comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 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 1998 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) 1998 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Suzuki Sidekick.

Can't find a used 1998 Suzuki Sidekicks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Sidekick for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,699.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,693.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Sidekick for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $15,307.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,159.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 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.

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Check out Suzuki Sidekick lease specials