I had a 1999 Grand Vitara for 3 years and NEVER had a lick of trouble with it (except for the typical air conditioner problem). I then bought a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo LS, which I hated. I had lots of problems with it. I regretted getting rid of my little Suzuki, so I decided on another Grand Vitara. The level of refinement from 1999 to 2004 is amazing, and I'm happy to be back in a vehicle I have a lot of confidence in. I read what owners say about this truck, I know my experiences with the vehicle, then I read the "experts" tests. Well, the "experts" are nuts IMO. They are worried about defrost button illumination, minor engine noise, etc. You think that this truck gets poor gas mileage? Drive a V6 Rodeo around for awhile.
I purchased my 2004 Grand Vitara LX in Feb 09 and is the first actual 4 wheel drive I've ever owned. I have driven over 15,000 since Feb 09 with absolutely no problems. Car was in excellent condition and I was the 2nd owner and received the remainder of the 7 yr/100K warranty. Vehicle performs excellent here in the winter (U.P.of Michigan) and wouldn't trade it for the world. (Gotta put in a plug for Northway Auto in Rhinelander, WI. Great no-pressure sales and very honest. Had my vehicle in top condition at purchase; even replaced radio with brand new one, replaced all brakes and discs and serpentine belt and produced all docs of proof. Will definitely buy there again and will recommend.
We owned this little car for a year and a half. I took our 2WD through fields, used it to haul hundreds of pounds of landscaping material. Pulled a trailer with it off a tow loop, no trailer hitch. Through all this abuse this car always started up, ran straight, and pushed through everything. Its a tough little truck, tho underpowered for highway speeds. It has strength, but you'll be downshifting up hills and its not too soft about it. 2 weeks ago my wife swerved to miss a raccoon, flew off the road, flipped and rolled 6 times. The air bag deployed and this little car landed upright, my wife is alive along with two dogs. We just bought a new Suzuki to replace this one. Great Car!
Unfortunately, Edmunds missed the boat
on their review of this vehicle, a
common occurrence among their
reviewers. They consistently are
abnormal compared with more admirable
magazines. Anyone who drives the
redesigned for 2003 hence 2004 Suzuki’s
would realize the major leap in every
aspect that Suzuki has made. Edmunds’
reviews always leave a lot to be
desired when it comes to vehicle
reviews, they almost seem as if a
reviewer has been paid off to endorse a
certain vehicle over others. When
is comes to researching vehicles,
there are superior choices to consider.
After owning a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick, I
was very pleased with the quality and
capabilities of the Suzuki SUVs. My
Sidekick, which I refuse to sell now
serves as my daily driver and offroad
trail vehicle (extensively modified).
The Grand Vitara took the sidekick
platform and made an already great
vehicle that much greater. A more
plush ride, major interior
improvements and amenities, as well as
a highly upgraded engine all make the
Grand Vitara awesome.
There are a plethora of other Mini
SUVs out there. What you won't find
on about 80% of the others is a true
4x4 (not AWD), a low range transfer
case, and a body of frame. If your
travel offroad, get the Grand Vitara.