People always say that good things come in small packages. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Suzuki is a pretty small package. Could that, and its price mean it’s pretty good?
There’s a funny bit in The Simpsons where Milhouse’s dad is getting fired from his job at the cracker plant following his breakup with Mrs. Van Houten. His boss lays it out for him by saying “Kirk, crackers are a family food, happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, we don’t know. Frankly, we don’t want to know.”
A similar aversion faced last Friday’s salvage title 2012 Acura ZDX. A few of you were not even aware of the model’s very existence. With that tainted title and overall ungainly looks, even fewer of you wanted to get to know that particular ZDX at all. The result was an overwhelming 88 percent Crack Pipe loss at the car’s $15,999 asking.
Think for a minute of all the dead car brands that you still see out on the road. Now consider those that you don’t. On an average day you’re likely to catch sight of an Olds, a Mercury or a Pontiac. You’re far less so seeing a Daihatsu (Gesundheit), Peugeot, or even AMC save for a Jeep.
Suzuki falls in sort of a nether world between those extremes. The company’s cars seem to be disappearing from commonplace appearances at a rapid rate, but their trucks—led by the resurgent Samurai—still seem to show up with reasonable regularity, at least out here on the West Coast.
That’s just where you’ll find today’s Suzuki wagon, although unlike the Samurai or the precedent Sidekick, this 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a bit more unexpected.
That’s okay since the truck itself is pretty interesting. The bodywork is not all that interesting, lacking the crisp styling of its predecessors and with chunky lower cladding that looks a bit horsey on the short (97.6-inch) wheelbase.
Get past that however, and you’ll find that this is one amazingly clean example. The Catseye Blue Metallic paint looks to be in excellent condition and pairs nicely with the silver factory alloys beneath. The headlamps do show a slight miasma, which is unfortunate.
The North American market Grand Vitara was built in the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario however the car’s Japanese roots show in the rear door which opens to the right. That’s great if you curb on the left-hand side like they do in Japan, but here in North America that’s a bit of a pain in the ass.
All the other doors open as you would expect and present an interior that appears to be in almost as-new condition. Yes the styling and color choice in here is about as exciting as Cheez-Whiz on soda crackers, but it’s all seemingly serviceable.
There’s also a bit of fun in here, manifested by a five-speed stick. That’s a pretty rare selection on the Grand Vitara and pairs with a diminutive 2.5-litre DOHC V6.
The H25A engine was co-developed with Mazda and Toyota. It’s an all-alloy mill and features direct injection which was pretty unique in this class back in the day. In this guise it was factory rated for 160 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Power here is set to the rear wheels only, giving up some of its inclement weather capabilities, but saving considerable weight should that not be needed.
The seller says that the truck comes loaded with your basic niceties—things like cruise, power windows and locks, and A/C. He also lists the mileage as “209” which we can assume means 209,000. If that’s the case then this Vitara has held up amazingly well for the distance it’s travelled. The title is clear and the sellers closes by noting that it “runs and drives great.”
We’ll close by wondering if all that could be worth the truck’s $1,950 asking?
Now, I don’t think there’s going to be much debate over whether any seemingly clean car or truck that’s running under its own power could be worth so modest a price.
The question is, should someone buy this Grand Vitara for that amount, considering this is a dead model from a brand that failed here in the States. What do you think, would you roll the dice on this Grand Vitara for that $1,950 asking? Or, is even that amount too much to bear?
H/T to EdHelmsBakery for the hookup!
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