July 21, 2024
Industry News

Hidden Treasure: 1999 Suzuki Vitara JX 4WD four-door in the Junkyard

In the late 1990s, Toyota and Honda found success in the American market with the RAV4 and CR-V compact crossovers. However, Suzuki, with its outdated Escudo/Vitara design, needed a change. This led to the second-generation Vitara making its debut in the US in 1999. Here’s a look at a first-year example found in a Colorado junkyard.

The first Suzuki car model sold in the US was the Cultus, marketed by GM as the Chevrolet Sprint in 1985. The Suzuki Jimny, known as the Samurai, followed in the next year. More Suzuki models made their way to the US in the 1990s.

As part of the GM Empire, Suzuki products in the US became more Daewoo-influenced in the 2000s. However, genuine Suzukis were available until the bankruptcy of American Suzuki Motors in 2013. Suzuki still offers motorcycles and ATVs for sale today.

The Vitara was sold in the US until 2003, while the more powerful Grand Vitara continued until 2013. This particular Vitara is a top-trim-level JX+ with four-wheel drive, priced at $17,999 in 1999.

The 1999 Vitara came with a 2.0-liter engine producing 127 horsepower and 134 pound-feet of torque. Unlike its competitors, the Vitara had a truck-style frame and true four-wheel-drive system.

While not necessarily a collectible, this Vitara is an interesting piece of Suzuki’s automotive history.


Are Suzuki vehicles still available in the US?

While American Suzuki Motors ceased operations in 2013, Suzuki still sells motorcycles and ATVs in the US market.


The 1999 Suzuki Vitara represents a significant chapter in Suzuki’s presence in the American automotive market. Despite its eventual exit from the US passenger vehicle segment, Suzuki’s legacy lives on through its motorcycles and ATVs.

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