Deciding to buy Vitara Mk1 or Mk2 - differences?

Anything to do with the Vitara Series
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Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:48 pm


I am a new writer here, but I have been a long time reader. Seeing a lot of quality talk/writing being done here, I believe that someone can help me with my evaluation.

I currently drive Suzuki Jimny and I am very happy with it. It is my main and only car - I use it for commuting, long distance driving, various off road trips, etc.
However, now I need a larger vehicle, and a five door Vitara would be just perfect.

As I would definitely prefer a proper off-roader with solid rear axle, body on frame and reduction gearing, I originally intended to search for a good condition Vitara Mk2 ("Grand Vitara") (1998-2005). That it the last such Vitara.

However, I recently bumped onto two very well preserved Vitara Mk1 cars, one made in 2003 and another made in 2004!
I thought that Vitara Mk1 was discontinued in 1998.

So, now I have a decision to make - to go for 1st gen or 2nd gen Vitara.

What would be some important differences between these two generations? Of course, Vitara 2 has more modern and aesthetically pleasing interior, and maybe better safety features. But I am asking about build quality (chassis, bodywork, transmission, suspension), endurance, on road manners, off road capability, and so on.
Also, are there any significant structural and functional differences? Both cars appear to have very similar design (drivetrain, suspension, 4wd system).

I am looking forward to some information and tips!
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