I bought the Vitara because of the 4 wheel drive system, I need that low range. Included, is a comfortable ride, good handling, and enough cargo space for my son and I to go camping with all our gear (and drag along my boat or put the canoe on top). Reliability has been top notch and I take it places where people say "how did you get that up here". It is underpowered and consequently fuel mileage is so-so, I can't wait to get my hands on an 09 2.4L 4 cylinder - more power, more room, and better mileage (I hope).Had one since 1990 - probably always will.
low range 4wd. comfortable seats and a decent ride. excellent handling.
I believe they followed my suggestions for improvments nearly to the letter i.e. bring back the 4 cyl and bump it up to 2.4L. More cargo space and more ground clearance (didn't get the clearance).
Have owned this car since 2003 and love it. We bought two to replace an Avalanche since we both needed cars in the snowy Appalachians, and mine got to be the 4WD! (Grown son is still driving #2.) I have driven the heck out of this thing for 111,000 miles, and the only thing repaired has been a brake switch (wouldn't allow me to take it out of Park.) That was a mystery at about 60,000 miles. Gas mileage is mid 20's, it has the perfect amount of cargo space for my small family, and the vehicle size is perfect for heavy traffic and parking garages here in Hawaii (yes, we shipped it from the East Coast; couldn't bear to part with it!) I wish these were still available. I'm hoping for 100,000!
Vehicle size, cargo area, gas mileage
Wish the back seat was bigger, cruise control jerks the car hard with hills
My Suzuki Vitara has been wonderful. It handles easily, is truly economical to drive, and doesn't embarrass the kids. Too bad Suzuki discontinued the model, or I'd be trading it in for a newer one. It also has a pretty decent sound system in it, which I found to be a plus as soon as I started taking longer road trips. It even has nice safety features.
The small size makes it easy to park, gives it nice fuel economy, and great maneuverability in traffic. The power switch on the transmission helps negotiate the winding hilly roads in our area. It has great cargo space.
It needs a bit more legroom in the back seat - now that my kids are in their teens, it is becoming a real problem. Floor mats would have been nice, as well as roof racks to go on the provided rails. Also, the door handles seem to be a little cheaply made. I've replaced mine once already and need to again.
I bought my Vitara after a couple of
bad winters here, was set on a 4WD, but
had a very limited budget, this was the
only SUV i could find in my price range
that i liked, with a dealer willing to
work with me. I can now go where I want
when I want no matter the weather. It
is alot of fun to drive in the snow. I
know when it is time for another
vehicle I will buy another one if I can.
4WD, compact style, folding rear seats
that lay flat for more cargo room
2003 Suzuki Vitara Rwd 2dr Soft Top SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This is my mid-life fun car - although
I'm a good 20 years past midlife (61). Great for
toodling around town, to the beach and
commuting. Seems like the gas mileage
should be a little better, but I get 26 on the
road and 24 around town. Had no use for the
tiny back seat so i took it out - now I have a
Love the size and maneuverability. It's a ball to
drive. Was very surprised at how comfortable
it is on long trips.