1999 Suzuki Vitara Review

Pros & Cons

  • More powerful than the Kia or Toyota.
  • It doesn't come standard with ABS.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$935 - $1,978

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Watching the mini SUV class become increasingly crowded with entries from Toyota (RAV4), Honda (CR-V) and Kia (Sportage), Suzuki decided it was time to stir things up with a completely new mini-ute to replace the aging Sidekick.

The all-new Vitara enters this arena with bold styling, a rigid chassis and advanced suspension components. Available as either a two-door convertible or a four-door model, this new Suzuki boasts a long list of standard features plus several luxury options.

The two-door, soft-top Vitara comes standard with a 1.6-liter, 16-valve engine that makes 97 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. An optional all-aluminum, 2.0-liter engine can be ordered which bumps horsepower to 127 and maximum torque to 134. The four-door Vitara comes standard with the larger engine, which uses a Direct Drive Valvetrain (DDV) for increased throttle response and lower fuel consumption.

Both the convertible and four-door models can be ordered in two- or four-wheel drive. An independent MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link coil spring rear suspension is used throughout the Vitara line and all models come with a five-speed manual transmission, an Alpine AM/FM/cassette sound system, dual airbags, and daytime running lights. Options include air conditioning, alloy wheels, power windows, and a four-speed automatic. Surprisingly, ABS is also an option even though it's standard on both the RAV4 and CR-V.

With it's creative look, powerful engine, and roomy interior, the Vitara offers a competition package that may take a bite out of RAV4 and CR-V sales.

1999 Highlights

The Vitara is an all-new model that replaces the Sidekick as Suzuki's entry into the mini-SUV class.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1999 Suzuki Vitara.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love it!
JX 2.0 2dr SUV 4WD
I bought this car used with 82,000 on it. So far I've had it a week, and am in love with it. I haven't tried to take the top off yet, looks a little complicated, but only time will tell. I like how it handles and the fuel efficiency. I was suprised at how roomy this little car is. My biggest friend fits (6'5") and people have more room in the back than in a jeep, not to mention it handles better. I'm very happy with my purchse and would recomend this mini suv to anyone. I have a samurai and really had fun with it...but needed something that could go freeway speeds. It's a little mountain goat in 4wd!
Still love my Vitara
JX 4dr SUV 4WD
I wanted a Honda or Nissan, but the extra $2k or more for those or for the Grand Vitara were budget busters for me. I love the purple color I got (electric cat's eye blue) and the cute and fun look; I don't drive a lot (just to work; I'm efficient and green) but I got this for off-road and it is excellent for that. I've not been off-road as much as I wanted, but that's my personal life, not the car. I think this is an excellent value, and should be considered.
A Bad One
Buyers Remorse,05/06/2002
JX 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top
I owned this vehicle for 19 months. I was at the service department 6 times during this short time period. The first time for an electrical problem that wouldn't allow the vehicle to shift out of park. This went in "3" times before they got it right. (I demanded they contact the Suzuki Tech Rep). Then it went in for a front axle shaft, then it went in for an engine seal. It's been in for defective windshield wiper switch, engine tapping of which the dealership said to change the oil and wait for two changes with anything but a "Fram" oil filter. Then they were going to try adjusting the valves ON MY DOLLAR!!!! When I made the complaint during the warranty period.
Why the bad Rap?
JX 2.0 2dr SUV 4WD
I can't believe all the negative reviews! I've had mine 3 years and other than the occasional maintance and odd adjustments I've really enjoyed driving this little beauty! Same problem with the locked Park they did a recall. I also had a problem with the convertable roof but with any convertable you can expect problems. I think overall the reliabiliy of the vehicle comes down to with a reliable dealership, quality of the vehicle and how well someone looks after their vehicle. You really have to think about what you are buying and why. If its a fun convertible that is great on gas - this is the vehicle for you!!


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 1999 Suzuki Vitara

Used 1999 Suzuki Vitara Overview

The Used 1999 Suzuki Vitara is offered in the following submodels: Vitara SUV. Available styles include JS 4dr SUV, JX 2.0 2dr SUV 4WD, JS 2.0 2dr SUV, JX 4dr SUV 4WD, JX 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top, and JS 2dr SUV w/Soft Top. Pre-owned Suzuki Vitara models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 127 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1999 Suzuki Vitara comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Suzuki Vitara?

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 1999 Suzuki Vitaras 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) 1999 Suzuki Vitara 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 1999 Suzuki Vitara.

Can't find a used 1999 Suzuki Vitaras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Vitara for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $7,867.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $16,516.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Vitara for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,514.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $23,678.

Should I lease or buy a 1999 Suzuki Vitara?

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 Vitara lease specials