2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Suzuki Grand Vitara Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 166 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara

  • Though it's outclassed in many areas, the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara still represents a potentially worthwhile alternative to other compact SUVs, especially if you're on a tight budget.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Extensive standard features list; lengthy powertrain warranty; large cargo capacity.

  • Cons

    Pokey acceleration; lack of interior storage compartments; right-hinged rear cargo door makes street-side loading a hassle; limited long-distance comfort.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara's standard navigation system gets a number of new features, including a Google search function, 3D maps and speed limit info for major roads. Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility is also now available as an option on the Premium trim level. The V6 engine has been dropped.

Full 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara's standard navigation system gets a number of new features, including a Google search function, 3D maps and speed limit info for major roads. Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility is also now available as an option on the Premium trim level. The V6 engine has been dropped.


In every crowd, there are always a few individuals who stand out while the rest tend to blend into the background. Unfortunately for Suzuki, the 2011 Grand Vitara is one of the latter. That's not to say that there's anything dramatically wrong with this compact SUV. It's just that the Grand Vitara tends to be overshadowed by its more high-profile competitors and doesn't offer enough compelling reasons for us to recommend it.

On the upside, the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes with a long list of standard features that you'd normally expect to pay extra for, such as automatic climate control and a navigation system. An attractive price, a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and an available four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case -- a rarity in this segment -- are other notable pluses.

Other than these distinctions, however, the Grand Vitara is simply outclassed by compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. For not that much more money, the Equinox offers a more practical interior and an available V6 engine, while the CR-V delivers a higher level of refinement.

There are also other top small crossovers to consider, such as the 2011 Kia Sportage, 2011 Subaru Forester and 2011 Toyota RAV4. Realistically, all of the above will likely provide a more satisfying ownership experience. But for buyers who are focused on value or looking for a compact crossover SUV with a higher level of four-wheel-drive capability, this Suzuki is worth a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact crossover SUV that is offered in three trim levels: base, Premium and Limited. Standard features for the base model include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, automatic climate control, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, an integrated Garmin navigation system and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The midrange Premium trim level includes all of the base model's features and adds a four-speed automatic transmission, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors (4WD models only), cruise control and an upgraded navigation system with real-time traffic, a Google search function, 3D maps and speed limit info for major roads. Optional on four-wheel-drive models are 16-inch alloy wheels.

Pop for the Limited model and you'll also get 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a sunroof, roof rack side rails, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, heated front seats, fake wood trim and a seven-speaker premium audio system. Bluetooth is optional on all but the base models.

Powertrains and Performance

Now that the V6 engine has been dropped, all 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara models are powered by a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on base models, while all other versions get a four-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the lineup, but Premium models can also be had with a four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case. Limited models are offered with a four-mode 4WD system (4H, 4H Lock, 4L Lock and N) that allows the Grand Vitara to be flat-towed behind an RV without adding miles to the odometer.

In Edmunds performance testing, a rear-drive Grand Vitara required 10.2 seconds to reach 60 mph, a slow time for this segment. Fuel economy estimates for the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara are average, with automatic 2WD models getting 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined and 4WD models earning 19/23/20.


The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara's standard safety features include stability control, traction control, antilock disc brakes, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat side-impact airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Grand Vitara needed only 110 feet to stop from 60 mph -- extraordinary performance for this type of vehicle.

The Grand Vitara has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) saw it earning four stars (out of five) in frontal-impact protection for both driver and passenger. Side-impact tests resulted in a perfect five-star rating for both front and rear occupants. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Grand Vitara its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset test and the second-highest rating of "Acceptable" in the side test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like the rest of the vehicle, the Grand Vitara's five-passenger interior is attractive yet somewhat uninspiring. Gauges and controls are well-placed and easy to read, with the exception of the removable navigation system, which requires a bit of a reach.

Though there's a decent amount of room to stretch out here, the Limited model's leather upholstery is actually not as comfortable as the cloth covering on the seats of the base and Premium versions. One other notable shortcoming here is the lack of storage for small items like cell phones and MP3 players. Schlepping larger items shouldn't present any problems, however, thanks to a cargo hold with 69 cubic feet of space with the 60/40-split rear seats folded down. That said, the rear door, which is hinged on the passenger side, does complicate curbside loading and unloading.

Driving Impressions

While the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara makes a decent runabout for commuting and daily errands, a somewhat unrefined ride quality and firm seats make longer trips more unpleasant. The cabin is relatively quiet except at highway speeds, where road noise becomes an issue. The four-cylinder engine only adds to the din as it noisily struggles to move the Grand Vitara with anything resembling gusto. Handling doesn't feel nearly as stable as the compact crossovers from Honda and Toyota, and the overall ride quality isn't as carlike.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Better at some things than

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We bought a lightly used 2011 GV Limited with 5700 miles on the odo. After two months of owning it and another 1500 miles on the odometer we've discovered what we like and what we don't. First off, we love the looks. We love that it is NOT just another RAV4, CRV, or Forester that everyone else around here owns. Seats are comfortable, stereo is good, standard GPS is a nice touch. The ride is a bit rough but manageable. Rear seat is more cramped and the cargo space is lacking compared to our Forester. Gas mileage SUCKS!! It was a compromise taking the hit on mpg's compared to the Subaru we traded in, but we are not even getting the listed mpg. Mixed city/hwy of 16-17. Good car for the $$.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

2010 base model grand vitara

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

After 3 mo. & 2,700 mi., there's nothing to change my impression that this is a quality vehicle. It drives well, fairly quiet/comfortable, & getting 26.5mpg. The manual is easy to shift. Plenty of room & the side opening rear door is no problem. Too bad the nearest dealership is over 40 miles but no problems at all. Bought as used leftover from former Suzuki dealer with under 100 mi. on odometer. They lost books & nav but it was a steal. I don't miss the options I don't have.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great look,great value!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Premium 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

If you want a vehicle thats value-priced,good to look at,and fun to drive,I highly reccomend the 2011 grand vitara.Ive owned mine for 2 weeks and I love it!

Talk About The 2011 Grand Vitara

2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Discussions See all Started By

2007-'11 Suzuki SX4 and 2006-'11 Suzuki Grand Vitara Recalled Suzuki Motor of America is recalling 193,936 2207-'11 Suzuki SX4 and 2006-'11 Suzuki Grand Vitara vehicles because the front airbag may de...

I have a 2011 Grand Vitara works very well except the rear tires only last 18,000km before they have to be replaced This excessive wear as explained by Suzuki was rough roads and potholes throwing ou...

show the difference I traded in my awesome 2006 Grand Vitara AWD for the larger 2007 XL7, after I was experiencing problems with the XL7 the dealer and I had long discussion, it seems they believe th...

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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