The Grand Vitara is one of the few true small SUV’s still available. It attempts to drive on that fine edge of off road ability and on road comfort. The older model did this on a body on frame chassis that was more truck like in construction. The new model is a unibody as in a car, but including a ladder frame and full 4 wheel drive. These features can make it a good selection for both daily driving around town or the occasion departure from the road. The Grand Vitara is available in both rear and all wheel drive. Multi range 4 wheel drive is also available. Seating is adequate for 5 people and a nice list of standard features is included.
Power for the Grand Vitara comes from a choice of engines. A base engine is available with 166 HP 2.4 liter four cylinder which can be mated to a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic transmission. The upgrade engine is a 3.2 liter V-6 providing 230 HP and routing its power through a 5 speed automatic transmission.
Bodystyles: 4-door SUV
Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.2L V-6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: Base RWD, Premium RWD, XSport RWD, Limited V6 RWD, Premium Special Edition 4WD, Premium 4WD, XSport V6 4WD, Limited 4WD, Limited V6 4WD
The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara was refreshed in 2009 with a minor cosmetic revamp and new engines, along with standard Garmin navigation. The Luxury trim is now renamed Limited for 2010.
After an all-new exterior for 2006, four years on, the Grand Vitara is again showing its age, appearing much like a first-generation Saturn VUE. The body is chunky and plain, though it could be argued that Suzuki went with function over form for its versatile small SUV.
There’s nothing special in the Grand Vitara’s cabin. Limited models feature single-stage heated leather seats and additional navigation features. Plastic abounds, though interior space is good and the seats are comfortable. Controls and instrumentation are clear and legible.
On the highway and around town the Grand Vitara isn’t as comfortable to drive as most car-based crossovers, and the base four-cylinder engine is barely up to the task, especially when combined to the old-world four-speed automatic. Opt for the six-cylinder and the Grand Vitara starts to come alive, at the expense of slightly worse fuel economy. Still, if true four-wheel drive ability is needed in a compact package, the Grand Vitara’s off-road capability is better than average for its class.
Driver and front passenger front, side, and side-curtain airbags are standard across the Grand Vitara lineup, as are both traction and stability control programs.
Base RWD: 19 mpg city/ 26 mpg highway
Premium RWD, XSport RWD, Limited RWD: 19 mpg city/ 25 mpg highway
Limited V6 RWD, XSport V6 RWD, Limited V6 RWD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway
Premium Special Edition 4WD, Premium 4WD, Limited 4WD: 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway
- Decent fuel economy in rear-drive trim
- Capable off-roader with four-wheel drive
- Value-packed, amenity rich
- Dated styling
- Lackluster interior
- Anemic four-speed, four-cylinder combo
- Less comfortable ride than most crossovers
Needs a full revamp, stat!
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