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.
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)
Lots of pick-up tons of fun to drive only real complaint is crammed back seat and trunk space. There is plenty of trunk space but only if you put the back seats down. Also the chrome hub caps that they used to come with should be put back on I had go to an after market dealer to get them. Also living in Florida the windows are just too clear and the air conditioner cannot keep up with the heat that comes in through the standard windows so window tinting is a must down here. Other than that a great car for the price there is no better made SUV on the market. To get something better you have to be willing to spend more money.
I guess Suzuki is the "poor man's Toyota". The cheapest of all the Japanese SUVs, but for much less money - is worth it. Very customer-friendly transferrable warranty, and good customer service. Not quite a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or Mazda, but I predict Suzuki will catch up to the other Japanese automakers soon.
I've had my Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited since 2/2002, and it has been a wonderful vehicle to own. I've had just one recall on it, and I was notified of it promptly. My only regrets were not having side-curtain airbags and a GPS system. The airbag situation seems to have been rectified in the 2006 model.