The Suzuki X-90 (SUV Cabrio in Japan) was a small SUV sold from 1996 through 1998. It was related to the Suzuki Sidekick, but had extremely rounded styling, two doors, seating for two and T-section removable roof. It replaced the Samurai for the United States.
The X-90 was available with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive and used a 1.6 L I4 16-valve engine which produced 95 hp (71 kW). The transmission choices were 5-speed manual or automatic. Air conditioning was available, as was a dealer installed 6 disk CD changer. It had dual air bags and anti-lock brakes. The suspension used MacPherson struts and coil springs in front and coil springs with wishbone and trailing links in the rear.
The X-90 trunk space is limited, as the full-sized spare wheel lives in there; although there is a remarkable amount of space behind the two seats which can be used for luggage.
The X-90 was initially a concept car and received wide praise from the public. However, the production vehicle sold poorly, and is considered a flop. Just 7,205 X-90s were imported into the US in total. More than half were sold in 1996, with sales dropping to 2,087 the next year and just 477 in 1998. During 1996, 484 vehicles were imported into Australia. By mid 1997 retail pricing had been dropped by 25% but sales were very poor. No further imports occurred and the last of the vehicles sold in 1999.
Initially sales of the X-90 in the UK were good, until TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson called it "the worst car ever." According to Clarkson, the design was unimaginative, it had too much body roll, the targa top was "useless", and the vehicle was unattractive. This negative press effectively killed sales in the UK.
The car did find a unique niche when the manufacturers of Red Bull energy drink converted a number of the vehicles into rolling advertisements, complete with giant cans of the beverage mounted on the back of the car.
- Davis, Tony (2005). Extra Lemon!. Bantam. pp. 86–88. ISBN 1-86325-550-8.
Suzuki road vehicle timeline, United States market, 1985–present
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