Since 1988, an off-road vehicle called Suzuki Escudo has been under production (in north America known as the Sidekick, Western Europe, Philippines, Ecuador, Bolivia as Vitara and Eastern Europe, United Kingdom, Australia and South Asia as Grand Vitara. CAMI was made as a joined venture by the General Motors and Suzuki known as the North American version. It was leaded by Samurai and SJ413, also to make a sale in North America, it was made to move ahead of Samurai. Suzuki Grand Escudo is known to be the bigger version and in other markets known as the Grand Vitara XL-7.
Sidekick was sold in United States as the Geo Tracker (after 1998 as Chevrolet Tracker) and in Canada as the Chevrolet Tracker, GMC Tracker, Pontiac Sunrunner and Sunrunner. In Spain, it was sold as the Santana 300 and 350 and as Mazda badge in Japanese local market. Escudo’s first generation was sold as the Geo Tracker in Mexico in 1994-95 and the soft part being made from Canada. It was rebadged as Chevrolet Tracker in the year 1998-99 and the 4 doors, Soft Top, AUTOMATIC AND MANUAL, 2WD, 4WD being made in Canada. In 2000-04, its second generation was sold in Mexico and the L4 AND V6, 2wd, 4wd, 4 Doors, AUTOMATIC and MANUAL and the Soft Top being made in Canada. On the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Tracker in North America, Suzuki Grand Vitara was imported from Argentina by Brazil and GM Mexico rebadged in Mexico as Chevrolet Tracker with just the 2wd and Automatic, but with options of 2wd and 4wd in Brazil, and Suzuki Grand Vitara in South American countries rebadged as Chevrolet Vitara (1st Generation) and GM Ecuador producing Chevrolet Grand Vitara whereas in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia it is known as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, and Suzuki Nomade in Chile.
Till 2008, the standard gasoline engine was updated to J20A for the 5 door (4 cyl. 2.0L 140 PS); with an optional Suzuki H engine H27A (V6 2.7L 185 PS) in model being higher specified. Before 2001, Mazda’s type RF engine were fitted with Turbo diesel models and 1.9 L 4 cylinder turbo diesel featuring 129 PS (95 kW), manufactured by Renault) were fitted in the latter ones. Before 2008, M16A (4 cyl. 1.6L 106 PS (78 kW) was the only engine that fitted the 3 door model.
Suzuki Grand Vitara was given a little modification in the year 2008, with new two engines. 122 kW (166 PS; 164 hp) of power is being produced by the 2.4L in-line four and torque of 225 N·m (166 lb·ft) is being offered. Only V6 is offered in the flagship model of prestige that produces power of around 165 kW (224 PS; 221 hp) and torque of 284 N·m (209 lb·ft). By adding the VVT to the engines even the fuel economy has been improved and the turbo diesel of 1.9L has also improved its economy by getting little mechanic work likewise. All the models have been made safer by adding the traction control standard and air-bags as such and even the drive system of four mode four wheel is available on them all, featuring a central lockable differential along with the low ratio gears.