1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara Reliability

Is a 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara a reliable vehicle?


You sure are stingy with words.
Would you care to share some details as to why you want to know? That would go a long way to getting some useful answers to your question.
I am quite sure the vast majority of the people on this board are not mindreaders.

The vehicle in ? is 11 years old. If maintained over that period it likely will be fine. However after 8yrs/150k IMHO you are more likely to have major($$$) maintenance & repairs.

I am looking at a used vehicle and it has 56K miles on it. I was seeking input from owners and past owners on its reliability. I have already looked at Consumer Report. Thanks for getting back to me

Consumer Reports rating are about as good as any. This vehicle was not a big seller in the US, but very popular overseas. A Danish engineer in my building in Asia had one and it performed very well.

You need to look at repair costs as well; a reliable Mercedes costs more to operate than an average Vitara. Suzuki is an economy car manufacturer, first and foremost, so they can’t put exhorbitant prices on their vehicles and parts.

However, with anything that age, the maintenance records are the most important. You need to know its past and have a qualified mechanic inspect it to see what shape it’s in. Be prepared to walk away if you are not completely sure that this car was well cared for!

An 11 year old vehicle with only 56k miles on the odometer has been driven an average of only ~5,100 miles per year, and that is potentially problematic.

If that 5,100 miles was essentially local driving, and if the owner only changed the oil once per year, the engine is likely filled with sludge at this point. All too many people seem to maintain their car on the basis of odometer mileage, rather than elapsed time–thus leading to inadequate maintenance of their low-mileage vehicle. As the best possible example of this, if this engine uses a timing belt, and if it still has the original timing belt, it is at least 4 years past due for changing and is a potential time bomb waiting to explode in the wallet of the next owner.

The type of driving to which this vehicle has likely been subjected would fall into the category of Severe Service. If you have access to all of its maintenance records, and can verify that it was maintained in strict accordance with Suzuki’s Severe Service Maintenance Schedule (NOT the normal maintenance schedule!) then you might want to consider purchase. Otherwise, walk away. The Owner’s Manual should contain the information regarding how to maintain a vehicle that was subjected to severe service.

Caveat Emptor!