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Currently thinking of purchasing a Vitara. Torn between a '97 2.0TD with 220000km and a '98 V6 with 158000km. In terms of running costs I'm guessing the diesel would be better but what other things should I be looking at? Used to own a 85 sj and loved it. Thought I'd give the Vitara a go. Thanks for any help.
 

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Drive them both as a first step - I'm sure you've noted that the diesel has significantly less power than the V6 - you'll probably find it has a significant impact on acceleration and overtaking at highway speeds. On the other hand, the diesel will give you better fuel economy and probably be better off road.

Try to hear the V6 start from cold, it's not unusual for the timing chains to be noisy at start up, and if they are, it's not a good sign.
 

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... In terms of running costs I'm guessing the diesel would be better but what other things should I be looking at? ...
That would depend on where you are. Here, in the great north-wet US, the extra cost of diesel almost wipes out any savings you'd get from the increased mileage. Plus it is harder to find fuel. (But that is getting better.) But as you are talking about '97 and '98 Vitara's, I'll assume not the U.S. or the North American markets. How close are the prices of the different fuels where you will be buying it?

"2.0TD 87hp vs 2.0 V6 138hp" Note that it is TORQUE that moves the rig, and diesels are known for higher torque at lower (more usable) RPM's. --- but your options have a large HP difference. --- What do you plan on doing with it? Get around as economically as possible (why pick a Vitiara?) or zip around in a nice little rig?

Another thought: Something I like about diesel is that there are more alternative fuels that work with them and could be useful in a post apocalyptic world. ;)
 
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Thanks for the replies. I live 200 miles north of the Arctic circle in Norway, so need a reliable and cheapish 4x4 for the lovely 8 month winters! Every 2 months I have to drive a round trip of around 400 miles that includes some pretty dodgy roads and some mountain roads too. Most of the rest of my driving is on normal roads. I've been looking at a Mitsubishi Pajero as well but I just seem to prefer the Suzuki. I'm not particularly well minded mechanically, (can do the basics) and was just seeing if anyone had any ideas about what problems I might be facing, depending on which Vitara I go for. Thanks again for your help.
 

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First - comparing the Vitara and the Pajero - the Vitaras are part time 4WD which should not be used on a dry surface, the Pajero most likely has SuperSelect 4WD which allows the use of 4H under any conditions - 4HLc & 4LLc are the equivalent of the Suzuki 4H & 4L respectively.

The Pajero, if it's full sized, is a fair bit larger than the Vitaras & Grand Vitaras, and you might want to check the rear suspension - many of them are independent rear, which makes for a very comfortable ride, but can be problematic off road.

Second - based on your location and climate - I have no personal experience with this but I understand that diesel fuel can "gel" or thicken with cold - you might want to ask someone local about that.
 

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check around the turbo and intake for signs of oily residue usually easier to see around junctions where rubber holds 2 parts together if any is found be prepared to replace a turbo as it is usually (not always but usually) the cause.
 

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I can give a comparison of my 1.6TD and 1.6 gas 16 valve

Both are 1994 4 door models.

The turbodiesel is a 1.6vw engine. 4.30 gears to drop the rpms and 29" tires.

The 16v is stock.

The turbodiesel gets consistent 43-45mpg IMP and the 16v 28-30mpg IMP. The TD is slightly faster on flat ground. On any sort of hill the TD really shines even with the 4.30 gears.

The TD has plenty of highway passing power although top speed limited to rpm. Can go past 140km/h but rpm is screaming. Good to cruise at 100-110km/h although noisy.

The only advantage I see with the gas engine is the low noise and better cold starts. Depends on parts availability in your area too. My diesel runs on 1 wire, no electronics.
 
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