The XL7 is a perfectly adequate crossover in the same way an Equator is a perfectly adequate truck. The XL7 isn’t a very luxurious vehicle, but it does everything most families will need and the price can be quite reasonable.
The XL7 is basically a reskinned Chevrolet Equinox, similar to the Equator which is a reskinned Nissan Frontier. And that means a lot of the important parts on the crossover are quite decent. The engine is strong enough, though the transmission is very slow to downshift. There is a basic radio/CD player that’s easy to use and most of the other switchgear is straight from General Motors. As a package, it isn’t anything stellar, but it’s perfectly acceptable for those who just need to commute and haul a family around.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor
I only put about 8 miles on the XL-7 it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated given its Chevy Equinox origins. The Equinox isn’t one of GM’s newer, more impressive offerings. I was surprised to see a redline marking on the tach past 7000 RPM though I didn’t get a chance to run the engine up that high. The ride and handling during slow, city driving was fine and only disappointment that stood out was a slow shifting automatic transmission. As Phil stated above, it’s interesting that two of Suzuki’s “truck” offerings are based on products built by two different companies, GM and Nissan. Overall, the XL-7 isn’t class leading by any means but its a pleasant enough vehicle for those looking for basic transportation and 3-row seating.
Marc Noordeloos, Road Test Editor
I see trouble in River City for this decent, nicely trimmed vehicle with the pleasant V-6 engine. The price is reasonable, but the fuel economy is not. The market stinks. And it’s a reskinned Equinox. Good luck.
Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief
I think the XL7’s biggest problem is that it – like pretty much all Suzukis – is practically invisible in the marketplace. As others have said, it’s a perfectly decent SUV. There’s nothing about it, however, that makes it stand out from the crowd. It does have seven-passenger seating (unlike its Equinox Sibling), a fairly smooth-running DOHC V-6, and a six-speed automatic transmission, along with available four-wheel drive. At a price that starts at under $30,000, it’s actually not a bad value for the money. Just don’t expect a high resale value, because, unlike cars from other Japanese makers like Toyota and Honda, it will likely never be in great demand in the used-car market.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2009 Suzuki XL-7 AWD
Base Price (with destination): $28,900 (est)
Price as tested: $28,900 (est)
Fuel Economy: 15 / 22 / 18 (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 3.6-liter V6
HP: 252 HP @ 6,400RPM
Torque: 243 lb.-ft @ 2300 RPM
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic with manumatic control
Weight: 4,030 lbs.