FEBRUARY 10, 1997
The 1997 Suzuki X-90, unique and fun to drive.
Photo courtesy of Suzuki.
Only one other time in my life do I remember driving down the road and noticing a lot of heads turning to look at the car I was driving, and that was in 1959 when I took my mother's pink Buick convertible for a spin on Rainier Avenue in Seattle.
Recently test driving the 1997 Suzuki X-10 brought back that memory and established a new one. Tooling through the community in the X-10 not only turned heads but mystified the onlookers who asked, "What is it?"
What it is, is a great little car that makes you smile from either feeling foolish or just having fun from being behind the wheel.
A two-seater, the X-10 has a 86.6-inch wheelbase and is only 66.7 inches wide. It feels a little top-heavy with the high ground clearance and high driving position, but with the 195/65R15 tires, the X-10 drives easily and corners well. The bulging fenders, rear spoiler, and rounded edges soften the sporty look.
Available in either the two-wheel or four-wheel drive configuration, the four-wheel drive is definitely more fun. I found that out after taking an engineer for TRF's 44-acre Woodinville project for a drive on the property before the ground was completely levelled. After failing to negotiate a large mound of earth, we found it wasn't hard to get unstuck using the four-wheel drive.
Both models come with an electronically fuel-injected 1.6-liter, four-cyclinder engine with 16 values, producing 95hp at 5,600rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000rpm. The five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a four-speed automatic with overdrive is available.
The T-Top design allows you to enjoy the open air (and be more visible for those gawking to see what you look like). Of course, the Lava Red color also helps. The roof stores easily in a pouch.
You climb into bucket seats. The floors are carpeted and visibility is good. The safety features include driver and passenger side air bags, side impact beams, and daytime running lights. A vehicle security system has remote control.
"Suzuki has a commitment to the U.S. market as reflected in personality-driven vehicles," the company states. I wonder who Suzuki designers are thinking of?
It is definitely a fun experience to drive the X-90. Go to a dealer and test drive one.
1997 Suzuki X-90