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Suzuki Escudo (1988–2013)

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Suzuki Escudo/Suzuki Vitara/Suzuki Sidekick/Chevrolet Tracker/Asüna Sunrunner/Pontiac Sunrunner/Santana 300/Santana 350/Chevrolet Vitara. 1988–2013 (prod. n/a). 3- and 5-door SUV, 3-door convertible SUV. F/R, F/A, 1590 cm³ petrol, 1905, 1998 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC), 1995 cm³ (I4 DOHC), 1998, 2493 cm³ (V6 DOHC). A softer-looking off-roader, arguably kicking off the modern small SUV craze, which the Toyota RAV4 (XA10G) and Honda CR-V (RD1) followed. On a light truck chassis, so fairly rugged, but won over urban buyers because of its looks. Handled more like a small truck, but adequately so, with ponderous steering and high centre of gravity. Bore a number of names in North America: Suzuki Sidekick, Chevrolet Tracker, Geo Tracker, Asüna Sunrunner and Pontiac Sunrunner. Japanese-built models usually exported as Suzuki Vitara. Five-door from 1990, originally Escudo Nomad. Mid-term changes in 1994, when Mazda diesel (1998 cm³) added, and Mazda received its badge-engineered version, the Proceed Levante. V6 added 1996, when Nomad name disappeared. Replaced in Japan in 1997, and Canadian production to 1998, but continued in many other markets. Spanish production at Santana originally under Suzuki Vitara name, but changed to Santana 300 (three-door) and 350 (five-door) after a facelift in 2005; these were built till 2011, when Santana was placed in liquidation. Built in much the same form as the 1988 model as Chevrolet Vitara into the 2010s, and still in production in 2013, offered in Ecuador and Colombia. Spun off the odd Suzuki X-90 SUV.

Manufacturing locations: Hamamatsu, Japan; Kosai, Japan; Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada; Ecuador; Linares, Jaén, Spain; Argentina

Marque: Suzuki | Model: Suzuki Escudo | Successor: Suzuki Escudo (1997–2015)

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