Read our brief review of the Suzuki Samurai below.  Content adapted from images used here are not owned by – all rights reserved by respective owners.

Suzuki Samurai: A Classic & Collectible 4×4 Off Road Machine

1986 SamuraiThe Suzuki Samurai is one of the most iconic and notorious yet sought after 4wheelers on the used market. Even though a controversial lawsuit in 1988 firmly implanted the Suzuki Samurai as a high rollover risk in the minds of Americans; the 4×4 community has been utilizing this extremely nimble vehicle for hardcore off-road for over 20 years.

As decent condition old-school Samurais become harder to find, the market price continues to rise.  Use our classifieds section to the right (bottom for mobile) to see current Suzuki Samurais for sale across the United States, Mexico and Canada.


Suzuki Samurai Key Features

1994 SamuraiThe Samurai came with various small engines including the popular 1.3 liter, 63 hp, 4cylinger engine. Engine swaps however are common among all model years.

The second generation Samurais (1981-1998) are the most popular and feature a softer on road suspension that many enthusiasts modify with lift kits and other upgrades, parts and accessories.

The original Samurai was available with softop and hardtop options.  Many off-roaders however choose to add a roll cage and go convertible open top style.  Be sure to check out the Samurai Photo Gallery below for photos of heavily modified 4×4 Suzuki Samurais both on and off road.


Samurai History, Legacy & 4×4 Off Road Utilization

Suzuki has a 4×4 history dating back to 1968 when they purchased Japanese automaker Hope Motor Company which already had fifteen smaller off road vehicles on the market. Prior to the Samurai, Suzuki introduced the LJ10. In 1981 this was followed up with SJ30 Jimny 550 and then SJ40 Jimny 1000 the following year. The SJ40 featured a larger 1 liter engine and came as a half door convertible, long-wheelbase pickup truck and two-door hardtop.

The actual Samurai was introduced in 1984 with the SJ413 that featured a larger 1.3 Liter 4-Cylinder Engine, a 5 speed manual transmission along with power brakes.

1981 SamuraiStarting in the mid-80s and continuing to today, the Suzuki Samurai is very popular in the hardcore 4WD off-road community.

This is largely due to the combination of a very light and compact body combined with real 4×4 components including a transfer case and the ability to swap for aftermarket accessories.

The Samurai’s light curb weight makes it less prone to sinking in mud and sand. Also the simplicity of design makes it a great beginner 4×4 vehicle.

Anything else to add? Let us know in the comments below…


  1. I had a 1993 Samaria hat Indearly loved. Everyone said it was was dangerous, but driven properly, it is quite safe. I had enough leg room in it, and I am 6’ 6””, 235. I traded it because my then wife could not drive a manual trans, and did not want to learn. Her car was a VW Jetta, but when it needed service, I had to take her to work, get her at end of shift, and get car serviced during the day. I drool every time I see one in decent condition. I want another one!!

  2. Te samurai was not dangerous. The roller over thing has been proven to be a scam by consumer reports, it’s why to this day I refuse to read anything from them. They literally couldn’t get the samurai to tip over so they changed the standard course and drove it at high speed to generate one picture of it up on two wheels. My guess is someone at chrysler(jeep) paid someone to produce the result as the samurai was cutting into wrangler sales. It was a disgusting scandal and Suzuki never recovered in North America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.