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We purchased a 1997 Justy in 2007 for the 4x4 capability, living in the welsh valleys where winters can be harsh. The vehicle was advertised as having "slight tappet rattle" but this turned out to be little end failure- a major engine fault, and one which I have seen on numerous other Justys of this age so beware, it is obviously a manufacturing defect. Once the engine was replaced with a low mileage suzuki swift unit, the car has proved to be completely reliable in constant everyday useage for the last 5 years, requiring only the normal wear and tear items as it get older. (tyres, exhaust, radiator) It's a small light car but performance was never anything special, until I tried a set of Bosch super-4 spark plugs. These have absolutely transformed the vehicle into a pretty nippy car with far superior hill climbing abilities. It returns a consistant 40 mpg, and has proved to be quite staggeringly capable in snow- nothing gets in its way! It is quite well equipped, with power steering, standard immobiliser, central locking, remote boot release,electric mirrors and cup holders. The body has held up very well with no signs of rusting. Criticisms? Its not as good on fuel as you might expect for such a small engine, the fuel tank is annoyingly small as is the boot space (out of necessity due to the rear differential) and some jobs on the engine can be tricky due to lack of space- (I.e, a clutch change involves removing the complete engine and gearbox). Exhausts are expensive, although the car looks the same as the swift the exhaust is a different part completely. The ride can be a little choppy and although it does roll when cornering, the AWD system means it will never let go.
I have noticed that even though these cars are now getting old, they hold their value very well, particularly in the winter months-as a light duty 4x4 they really are that good.
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