Full 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review
What's New for 2007
The Suzuki Grand Vitara was fully redesigned last year. For 2007, it remains unchanged other than the addition of a trip computer and a tire-pressure monitor.
When Suzuki redesigned its Grand Vitara compact SUV last year, it was clearly paying attention to what most buyers wanted: a smooth, controlled ride and sufficient interior space without the fuel penalty and parking challenges of a full-size sport-utility. As a result, the 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara offers features, styling and build quality similar to the leading compact SUVs, and lends further value with a competitive price and lengthy seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Despite a low base price under $20,000, the 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara offers a lot of desirable standard features: V6 power, stability control, antilock brakes, heated outside mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted audio/cruise controls and remote keyless entry. Uplevel XSport and Luxury models also feature the SmartPass keyless engine start system and other luxury touches. Despite adding several thousand dollars to the cost, we think an optioned-up or top-of-the-line Suzuki Grand Vitara still offers an attractive value when compared with other competitors -- fully loaded or not.
The interior of the reworked Grand Vitara sport-utility is outfitted and executed like no other Suzuki before, incorporating stylish, flowing dash textures and gauges housed in an attractive clustered array trimmed in simulated aluminum like the center stack. The seats are comfortable for long drives, and we actually prefer the comfy cloth fabric to the available soft leather.
The new 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara represents a quantum leap forward compared with the previous truck-based version. Overall, it's a well-equipped compact SUV that's high on value, and it should appeal to shoppers interested in a smaller SUV that can handle the occasional off-road excursion. Its only major drawback is its engine. Despite being a V6, it's rather noisy during acceleration and is noticeably underpowered when compared to the spirited V6 in one of this segment's top vehicles, the Toyota RAV4.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is a five-passenger compact SUV offered in three trim levels: base, XSport and Luxury. Base models come well-equipped with an extensive list of features like automatic climate control, cruise control, remote keyless entry, fully power accessories and an MP3/CD stereo with steering-wheel controls. To this, the XSport adds alloy wheels, a six-disc CD changer, privacy glass, a roof rack and the SmartPass keyless start system that enables you to enter the Grand Vitara and get underway without ever handling a key. The fully loaded flagship Luxury model follows suit with premium features like 17-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, leather seating with heated front seats and wood grain trim.
Powertrains and Performance
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is powered by a 2.7-liter V6 delivering 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base trim level only. A five-speed automatic is optional and standard on the Grand Vitara XSport and Luxury.
For each trim, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive are offered. The latter has low-range capability and a neutral setting that allows flat-towing behind other vehicles without odometer mileage accumulation, which should please those with RVs. Fuel economy estimates are a little below average for this class of vehicle. Expect a 0-60-mph time of about 9.4 seconds. And while not anyone's top choice for towing duty, the Grand Vitara will play along to a point by hauling up to 3,000 pounds.
Standard safety features on the 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara are extensive and advanced for a low-cost compact vehicle, providing confidence-inspiring protection through electronic stability control, antilock disc brakes, full-length side-curtain airbags and front seat side-impact airbags. A tire-pressure monitor is a new addition this year as well. In NHTSA crash tests, Suzuki's SUV earned four stars (out of a possible top score of five) for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Side-impact tests resulted in a perfect five-star rating.
Interior Design and Special Features
Since its redesign, we think the Grand Vitara's interior is one of the best executed we've seen in any Suzuki -- and competes rather well with the compact SUV class leaders. The dash incorporates soft textures and flowing lines, with gauges housed in a multilayered cluster with simulated aluminum trim. Interior storage compartments are lacking, however. With the rear seats up, luggage capacity is less than what's available from other small SUVs, but folding the rear seat down opens up a more competitive 69 cubic feet of cargo room.
The 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara rides on a frame-reinforced unibody platform. This, along with rear-wheel drive and the optional 4WD with low-range gearing gives the Vitara respectable off-road prowess when tackling rutted trails and steep dirt roads. It's also smoother and more carlike in its handling when compared to other full-frame, truck-based SUVs. In road tests our editors report that the cabin remains generally quiet at highway speeds. The V6, however, gets noisy during hard acceleration and provides only mediocre power.