Japanese Soft-Roader Weekend Edition: Suzuki X-90

The previous cars posted in the Weekend Edition series have been wagons or hatchbacks, with the bodyshell a multi-purpose one despite the oftentimes jolly plastic dress-up or choice of colour. The Suzuki X-90 is something else, a small two-door SUV with a saloon-like trunk and a T-top. It’s definitely weird, despite being based on Vitara / Geo Tracker mechanicals.

Just how ’90s is this press shot? Despite there being no snow in sight, the X-90 has skis on its roof rack.
The sole engine choice was the usual 1.6-litre 16-valve engine with a little less than 100hp. The X-90 only survived for a couple model years, from 1995 to 1997, making it relatively rare. They might have found the most success shilling for Red Bull with a giant can strapped to the back.
The interior was regular ’90s Suzuki fare, with seat graphics the only bright spot. But that’s how they all were back in the day. A splash of colour on the vents would have tied it to the decade even more.
Look at the seat bolsters!
As a happy ending of sorts, the X-90 seems to have finally found some snow.

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29 responses to “Japanese Soft-Roader Weekend Edition: Suzuki X-90”

  1. Chad Geidel Avatar
    Chad Geidel

    “…Despite there being no snow in sight, the X-90 has skis on its roof rack.”
    A minor nit for sure, but that hill in the background is covered with “artificial snow” (like this product http://www.snowflex.com/) so people could be skiing/snowboarding on it.

    1. julkinen Avatar

      Ah, good call. I thought it was where beige carpeting is grown.

    2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      Regardless of what that artificial snow surface is made of, I have a hard time believing it’s nicer to slide on than real snow. Seems like your best case scenario is severe rug burns.
      [Fix your link to snowflex – there’s an extra “)” at the end]

  2. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    ‘Autocar’ magazine, the world’s oldest, and UK’s best, car magazine summed up these horrible vehicles in their end-of-year collection of ‘ten best’ lists in the year these things were released.
    They put it in it’s own category, ‘The Suzuki X90 Category’ like this….
    Suzuki X90 class top ten
    1st place—————–
    2nd place—————-
    3rd place—————-
    4th place—————-
    5th place—————-
    6th place—————-
    7th place—————-
    8th place—————-
    9th place—————-
    10th place————–
    11th place— Suzuki X90
    Undeterred, a few years later BMW added some doors to the concept of a useless ‘style-driven’, useless, sporty-ish vehicle for people with no taste and ‘assertive personalities’ and priced it high enough to make it appear ‘aspirational’ to those people, and met with some success with the X6.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      I can forgive 90s Suzuki on this one, because they offered the UK/Irish market the Cappucino at the same time, more than atoning for their sins.

  3. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    These are ridiculous little things, but after having seen a few made into proper offroaders, I kind of want one.

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.
      1. Guest Avatar

        No, it needs more “XO SKELETAN”!



        (If you want to read the comments, hit the “refresh”, and then the “stop refresh” button. On Google Chrome at least, this should make the old comments visible.)

        1. Vairship Avatar

          On Firefox unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to work. But maybe it offers the Hooni-powers-that-be a way to retrieve the glorious past?

          1. Guest Avatar

            That would be awesome, but it probably requires labour, labour that would take away from awesome new content.

          2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            What version of FF are you using? Works the same as Chrome, for me (FF 45.0.2, Win10).

          3. Vairship Avatar

            Huh, I’m using the same setup. Maybe it’s because I’m using Private Browsing?

          4. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            Beats me. You’ve got a very short window in which to hit the stop/reload button before they disappear.
            I’d try scrolling down to where the comments would be, hit reload and keep your trigger finger at the ready to hit stop as soon as anything appears in the comment field. For me, they first appear in a much smaller font than normally displays once a page is fully loaded.

          5. Vairship Avatar

            Huh. When I hit reload, the screen goes blank. Then the article itself reappears with the “Disqus is working” symbol. Then finally Disqus shows that there are zero comments. There doesn’t seem to be a time when it shows the old pre-Disqus comments.

          6. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            Could come down to plugins or other tweaks either of us are using, maybe even the hardware in question, but this isn’t the forum for that.

        2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
          dead_elvis, inc.

          It’s a decent trick, but it only reveals the old comments to the extent of the first displayed maximum (the amount shown before you’d need to hit “load more comments”).

          1. Guest Avatar

            Yes, unfortunately you are right.

            Still better than nothing though, ain’t it?

  4. Tanshanomi Avatar

    I came very close to buying an X-90 when they were new. Like, sitting in one in the showroom talking about options close.
    I probably should be somewhat ashamed to admit that, but I’m really, truly not.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      It’s ok to confess here, sister, but don’t let the word spread out into the intern..never mind.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        I decided to buy a used ’94 Escort LX wagon instead. THAT I’m ashamed of.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar
      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        In the case of the Kizashi, some. In the case of the X-90, I think I just liked it because it was so weird.

  5. stigshift Avatar

    There is no reason for these to have existed. They are utterly pointless. I will, therefore, one day own one…

  6. tonyola Avatar

    Here are the X-90’s biggest fans.

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      Is that the time-out corner?

  7. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    You know what, the X-90 was almost brilliant.
    Forget about Suzuki cars for a minute and think about Suzuki bikes. Think of the DL650 and DL1000, bikes which might not be the most exciting on the planet but which you know you could saddle up and cross continents, even if the roads get a little rough.
    Now think of that in car form. If the X-90 was a little less toy like, with a little more engine, a ritzier interior containing elements of actual design thought, throw some more determined marketing at it and the two-seat sport-crossover could have become a thing.
    It didn’t.

  8. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    I almost didn’t recognize it, without the optional cargo pod.
    In its defense, it was a way for some young folks to abandon their last shreds of self respect and get to drive a new car for a while, for free.

  9. Batshitbox Avatar

    My pal and I saw one of these brand new back in the day (in San Francisco, a-la the lede image.) We asked the driver all about it. When he told us how much he paid for it did we laugh out loud! It was, like, $30,000; Mercedes Benz money in 1996. “By mid-1997 retail pricing had dropped by 25%” (-wikipedia)

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