2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

Used Grand Vitara for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,148 - $2,323
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Suzuki Grand Vitara model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Standard V6, distinctive looks, low-range transfer case on 4x4 models.
  • Harsh suspension, unimpressive brakes, cramped rear seats, lack of cargo space.

An aging mini SUV increasingly outdistanced by the competition.

Vehicle overview

With a title that sounds more like a sprawling Spanish estate than a mini-SUV, the Grand Vitara is Suzuki's well-equipped entrant into the rapidly growing mini-ute segment. Based on the four-door Vitara, the Grand Vitara is aimed at customers looking for a mini-SUV that includes all the amenities usually reserved for sport-utes in the more expensive midsize class. An extensive list of standard features comes with every Grand Vitara, the only options consisting of a four-speed automatic transmission, antilock brakes, alloy wheels and four-wheel drive.

For 2002, there are three different trim levels: JLS, JLX and top-of-the-line Limited. The JLS (two-wheel drive) and JLX (four-wheel drive) come with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control, remote keyless entry, micron air filtration, a CD-equipped audio system and comfy front bucket seats. In previous years, Suzuki offered JLS+ and JLX+ versions. These have been discontinued, and their respective options such as ABS and alloy wheels are now stand-alone options. The Grand Vitara Limited builds upon this impressive list of features with a standard four-speed automatic, leather seating, ABS, a cassette player, deep-tinted glass and a monochrome paint scheme.

All Grand Vitaras come with a V6 engine rated at 165 horsepower (10 more than last year) and 162 pound-feet of torque. Although this may have been a class-leading engine a few years ago, the mini-ute segment has spawned gutsy new entries such as the Jeep Liberty and Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute twins. These new competitors make the Grand Vitara's powerplant merely average. The Suzuki's suspension is a MacPherson strut design up front and a five-link coil-spring design in back that delivers a controlled ride off-road, but we consider it a little harsh on the highway.

Grand Vitara does offer a low-range transfer case and stout body-on-frame construction for traction and durability, but without a strong source of motivation, it's hard to consider the Grand Vitara a formidable off-road machine. Add that to its lack of rear seat room and minute amount of cargo space and you begin to see why the Grand Vitara pales in comparison to its more modern colleagues. Of course, most mini-ute buyers aren't looking for a Baja racer or wannabe Suburban anyway, leaving the Grand Vitara, with its extensive standard feature list and competitive price, a relevant competitor even amongst more worthwhile competition.

2002 Highlights

For 2002, the Grand Vitara's model matrix has been simplified. The JLS (rear-wheel drive) and JLX (four-wheel drive) share most equipment, and the Limited Edition is available with either drive system. Hoping to better match the competition, Suzuki upped the V6's power for 2002, improving acceleration and throttle response. In terms of equipment, all Vitaras get the LATCH child seat system, 4WD vehicles now have heated side mirrors and optional heated seats, and the Limited Edition trim gains a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Wrapping things up, Suzuki is now offering 24-hour emergency roadside assistance and towing for the duration of the vehicle's warranty to increase customer satisfaction.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

3.88 out of 5 stars
Fun car to drive for light offroading!
JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I've had this car for 3 years and so far it's been very reliable. The only problem I've had is brakes that shimmy. This car is a bit bumpy but the stiff suspension helps out when offroading.(needs more clearance though) My biggest complaint is the cheap plastic side panels. I've made several repairs on them already and the Nevada sun is causing the paint to peel. If your thinking of buying one go for it as long as you don't mind the side panels falling off ocasionally.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Best Small SUV for the Money
Jeff Mertz,09/13/2002
JLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I'd buy another one in a heart beat. I get 24mpg city and 28mpg highway
4.88 out of 5 stars
Great SUV, great looks , good power!
JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I've owned this SUV for a month now and I absolutely love it. I like the way it looks and how people stare at it when im driving by! i owned a 4 cylinder car before, but when I drove the Grand Vitara What a difference! I look forward to driving it everyday. i do highway 5 days a week and it has nice passing power.I would recomend it to everybody.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Good All Around Truck
Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 4A)
The Grand Vitara is absolutely fantastic. It's a fun vehicle with a real thirst for those everyday jobs too. It is almost the best vehicle that I have ever owned (the best was an Audi TT roadster). Buy one and bag yourself loads of fun and practical driving, too. It uses a lot of fuel though... :0)


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

The Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara is offered in the following submodels: Grand Vitara SUV. Available styles include JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 4A), Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 4A), JLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 4A), JLX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 5M), Limited 2WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 4A), and JLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.5L 6cyl 5M). Pre-owned Suzuki Grand Vitara models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 165 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 7 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitaras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Can't find a used 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitaras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Grand Vitara for sale - 7 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $18,821.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,542.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Grand Vitara for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,567.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,013.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials
Check out Suzuki Grand Vitara lease specials