What major changes did Suzuki make to the Samurai during the time it was sold in America?
Suzuki followed Volkswagen’s philosophy with the Beetle in their decision to design the Samurai to be a good, simple vehicle which they would refine – not change – over the course of its lifetime. Many refinements were made over the years, but comparing a 95 to an 86 shows how little was really changed. 1986: First year offered in the U.S: metal side- and rear-view mirrors, round dashboard vents, small plastic shifter knobs, 0.795 5th-gear ratio, 4-pin front differential, carbureted 1324-cc 64-hp engine, triangle-spoke wheels. 1987: Larger, plastic side- and rear-view mirrors, longer passenger-side front seat tracks, larger, more reclined rear seat. 1988: “Strange” year for Samurais, as they progessively implemented changes to 88.5 model year, so not all have every 88.5 changes. 1988.5: Redesigned dashboard with square vents, new leaf springs with teflon pads and softer ride, thicker anti-sway bar, 0.864 5th-gear ratio, big rubber shifter knobs, slight change to the grille, bigger radi