Used 2002 Suzuki Vitara

2002 Suzuki Vitara
List price range

Pros

  • Available two-door soft-top body style, truck-based body-on-frame design.

Cons

  • Meager cargo space, cramped rear seats, lacks refinement.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

One of the fastest-growing vehicle segments is the small SUV. Suzuki's Vitara is definitely small, but there's no reason that it should be contributing to mini-ute sales growth charts unless somebody out there really wants a convertible SUV and can't afford a Jeep Wrangler.

vehicle overview

Now in its fourth year of production, the Vitara finds itself up against more competition than ever in the form of the redesigned Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, not to mention the Jeep Wrangler and Isuzu Rodeo Sport. As the mini-ute category heats up, the older Suzuki is beginning to show its age when compared to the young blood in the category.

Unlike many of today's unibody mini-SUVs built on car platforms, the Vitara boasts full body-on-frame construction. Only by careful tuning of the suspension and steering has Suzuki been able to mask the old-tech underpinnings, resulting in decent ride and handling.

The Vitara comes in two variations: a two-door soft top and a four-door model and both can be ordered in either JLS (two-wheel drive) or JLX trim (four-wheel drive). Four-wheel-drive models benefit from a low-range transfer case for extreme off-road conditions.

Last year, power came in the form of either a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but this year the larger engine is now standard. It generates 127 hp and 134 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a standard five-speed transmission or optional four-speed automatic. It's also rather fuel efficient; rear-wheel-drive JLS two-door Vitaras with the manual transmission return an EPA MPG rating of 23/26 city/highway, while automatic versions and four-door models deliver 22/25 mpg.

The two-door Vitara allows you to fold back the durable canvas top for a sunroof effect or completely remove the cover for convertible-like exposure. For some, this feature is a major selling point, while others might bemoan the two-door for its scant 12.1 cubic feet of storage space. Stowing the rear seat provides a nearly flat load floor, but maximum cargo space (50.2 cubic feet) still trails primary competitors'.

The styling of the Vitara is clean, with smooth curves and rounded features. The front end features large multi-reflector headlights and a restyled monotone grille. Standard equipment on all Vitaras is extensive. It includes niceties such as an AM/FM stereo with CD; cruise control; power windows, door locks and mirrors; air conditioning; and remote keyless entry. Aluminum alloy wheels are offered as an option.

Although the Vitara does possess durable truck-like underpinnings, anyone looking to do some serious off-roading would be better served with a Jeep Wrangler. In all other aspects, the Vitara falls well short of its more modern, more powerful competitors.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Suzuki Vitara.

3 to 5 days for parts
suzuki gone wild, 2/27/2009
hi there, i been driving my Vitara for 7 years now the truck just hit 200k miles and its starting to see some oil leaks on the engine and lets get to my point .... everytime something brakes i have to find a suzuki dealer for parts and it takes 3-5 days to get parts.1st thing to go was the alt and i had to get one at a autozone 3 hours away and needed it. was on a sunday and i needed to get to work on monday.road trip.the rear passanger side alxe bearings went out...the alxe almost come out!!!! the brakes failed..if you want a car that takes 3- 5 days to fix buy one
Go Hamsters!
samarui hamster, 5/28/2002
This little guy has lots of gumption and will turn on a dime and give you nine cents worth of change. It comes pretty well equipped for the price and goes anywhere.
Great value
joenalley72, 7/12/2002
This vehicle has alot of get up ang go for a 4 cyclinder. The ride is really good to. For the money i think i made the right choice. The 4 wheel drive will be nice in the winter.
SUV wannabe, well worth the title
Jonny Matrix, 10/8/2002
I was very skeptical about this vehicle at first. I am a frequent traveller, and being in the military, it's understandable that a vehicle with storage capacity's needed. Having had an Isuzu Rodeo with a 4 cyl engine, I experienced that the vehicle was too heavy for its engine. I also needed something with a decent fuel economy. Having have had a brand new Vitara for about a month now, and putting on 2800 miles, it's proven to me more than worthy. It is definitely one good way to start in an SUV, and I should have done so sooner.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
127 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
127 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
127 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 23 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
Gas
127 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Suzuki Vitara features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2002 Suzuki Vitara
Used 2002 Suzuki Vitara Overview

The Used 2002 Suzuki Vitara is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), JLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), JLX 4WD 2dr Soft Top SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), JLS 2WD 2dr Soft Top SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), JLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), JLX 4WD 2dr Soft Top SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and JLS 2WD 2dr Soft Top SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M).

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