2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review
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- Capable all-around performance, extensive standard features list, lengthy powertrain warranty, large cargo capacity, excellent brake performance.
- Lack of interior storage compartments, right-hinged rear cargo door makes street-side loading a hassle, noisy engine, limited long-distance comfort.
For 2010, the Suzuki Grand Vitara receives only minor changes to its feature content, most notably a standard removable navigation system. The Premium Special Edition debuts as a new midrange trim level, navigation is now standard across all trim levels, Bluetooth is available on all but the base model and an auxiliary audio jack is now standard on the XSport and higher trims.
Though it's outclassed in many areas, the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara still represents an interesting alternative to other compact SUVs, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$176/mo for Grand Vitara Base
Grand Vitara Base
Avg. Compact SUV
The compact crossover SUV market is a crowded field. For smaller automakers, it's easy for their offerings to get lost in the morass of choices, especially when the segment's front-runners seem so firmly entrenched. The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara has some potential to squeeze its way into the limelight, but its limited dealer network and relative obscurity seem to be keeping it off center stage.
And that's really too bad, since the Grand Vitara represents a rather good value. It's priced about a couple thousand dollars below comparably equipped Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s, yet you also get a long list of standard features and a long 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Suzuki is also unusual in that it's available with dual-range four-wheel drive for a bit of added off-road capability.
After a midcycle refresh last year, the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara remains mostly unchanged. To Suzuki's credit, the 2010 revisions remedy some of the Grand Vitara's shortcomings we pointed out in a recent test-drive. Navigation is now standard for all models, while Bluetooth and an auxiliary audio jack are available on most trim levels. These items were either previously unavailable or were dealer-installed options.
But there are still some flaws that keep the Grand Vitara upstaged by the stalwart Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. For the added coin, the CR-V delivers a more comfortable cabin and refinement, while the RAV4 packs more engine punch and offers a third-row seat. Other favorites of ours include the Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester. As such, the Grand Vitara ends up being a mid-pack player in this segment. But if value is important, this Suzuki could be worth a look.
Performance & mpg
Two engine choices are available for the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara. The 2.4-liter inline-4 produces 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque and can be paired with either a five-speed manual transmission (on Base) or a four-speed automatic (standard on all other four-cylinder models). A more substantial 3.2-liter V6 that makes 230 hp and 213 lb-ft of torque is available only on XSport and Limited models, and come standard with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all trims except for the Base can be optioned with four-wheel drive. The Premium trim's optional 4WD is a single-mode system (as is the Premium Special Edition), while all XSport and Limited trims get four-mode 4WD (4H, 4H Lock, 4L Lock and N). The four-mode system's neutral (N) setting allows the Grand Vitara to be flat-towed behind a recreational vehicle without mileage accumulation. XSport and Limited 4WD V6 models also come with hill descent control.
A recent test of a four-cylinder, rear-drive Grand Vitara revealed fairly leisurely acceleration numbers. This particular Suzuki required 10.2 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop -- slightly slower than an AWD Honda CR-V. Fuel economy estimates for the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara are average for the segment. A rear-wheel-drive four-cylinder model with the automatic gets 19/25/21 mpg while the V6 gets 18/24/20 with RWD and 17/23/19 with 4WD.
The 2010 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 government crash tests, Suzuki's SUV earned 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. In Edmunds brake testing, the Grand Vitara had a very short 60-0-mph stopping distance of 110 feet.
Around town, the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a decent choice for shuttling kids and tackling the daily commute. On longer trips, though, a lack of ride refinement and firmer seats get tiresome after a few hours. Wind noise is well-quieted, though road noise is noticeable at highway speeds. The four-cylinder engine grows a bit too loud at full throttle and lacks the refinement found in other SUVs; the V6 and its five-speed automatic will likely be worth the extra cost for many people.
Given the Grand Vitara's ability to pull double duty as a city commuter yet navigate off-road terrain as a compact SUV, there are some concessions to be made. Road-holding grip is noticeably low, requiring gentle inputs when cornering at the limit. The alternatives from Honda and Toyota feel noticeably more stable and carlike in comparison.
Though it won't win any awards for design, the five-passenger Grand Vitara has a nice-looking interior, with flowing lines and gauges set in simulated aluminum trim. The lighted red displays on the center stack are well-placed and easy to read, but they lack the kind of visual panache found in other SUVs. The standard Garmin navigation is a welcome addition this year, and its removable design should make it appealing for adventure seekers. It is, however, more difficult to operate (and reach) than conventional built-in systems.
The sleek and attractive cabin is roomy for a compact SUV, but the Grand Vitara is lacking in interior storage compartments. So while passengers will be relatively comfy, they won't have many places to stash their belongings. Also, the Limited's leather upholstery looks good, but it isn't as comfortable as the cloth seats found in the Base and XSport models. A highly competitive 69 cubic feet of total cargo space is available with the 60/40-split rear seats folded down. One drawback to the cargo bay is the rear door, which is hinged on the passenger side, complicating curbside loading and unloading (in North America, anyway).
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara models
The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact crossover SUV that is offered in four trim levels related to drivetrain. The four-cylinder models are offered in Base, Premium, XSport and Limited. V6-equipped trims come only in XSport and Limited. Standard features for the base models include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker stereo with a single-CD/MP3 player. New for 2010, all Grand Vitara models receive a removable Garmin navigation unit mounted atop the dash.
The Premium trim includes all of the base features and adds privacy glass, a hard-shelled spare wheel cover and a cargo cover. Premium 4WD models also get heated sideview mirrors. A new Premium Special Edition trim level joins the lineup this year and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, expanded navigation services (real-time traffic, movie times, low price fuel finder and weather), a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The XSport trim adds a sunroof, roof rails and foglamps, keyless ignition/entry and a leather steering wheel, but deletes the hard spare wheel cover.
Those who spring for the fully loaded Limited model will get 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, silver and wood print interior trim and additional speakers for the audio system. The corresponding trim levels on V6-powered models are almost identical to their four-cylinder counterparts, but the V6 XSport comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Limited has standard 18-inch wheels.
Options include a rear back-up camera with rearview mirror display and Bluetooth (on all trims except the base models). In addition, the XSport models can be fitted with an Appearance package, which adds a side step and textured fender flares.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Solid choice for low price
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara XSport 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
This car is beyond our expectations. It handles light and easy, great mileage (27 MPG w/ 5,000 miles to date), solid build. Love the GPS with bluetooth. We also find the unlocking feature without the key very convenient. Our Honda CR-V was a big disappointment compared to this car.
4 out of 5 stars
59000 mi in 2022
A. Miller, 03/26/2018
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
(Too many updates so this may not read smoothly.) Bought new for $15k in 2011 (last one on the lot) so it was a steal. The former Suzuki dealership lost the GPS and owners manual but I use my iphone for GPS and Googled the manual. Almost 8 years of ownership and it just turned 56,000 miles with no problems. I live in the Phoenix, Arizona, area where it’s fairly flat and 25 MPG is … normal. Being the base model, it has a 5 speed manual and rearwheel drive and that does the job. I never towed anything and it doesn’t have roof rails so I don’t know how it would be for hauling. The front seats are not very comfortable after an hour of sitting although I did add sheepskin seat covers. Three sets of tires so far — the original Yokohama’s wore out quickly, then the Hankooks, and now the Goodyears are getting old and need replacing. NO problems until the headlight relays; it’s reliable and never let me down. Still looks good. Paint hasn’t oxidized (always garaged). I use synthetic oil and drive about 10,000 between changes. The side-opening rear gate is perfect for me. Good cargo room. Road and tire noise isn’t too bad. Our other car is a Cadillac CT6 AWD so I’m familiar with comfort and quiet. It’s a good car; probably not much resale value anymore but it just keeps running. I also got a 2021 Buick Enclave Avenue but kept the Suzuki. Annual tags and insurance are cheaper the older it gets so for a few hundred dollars a year I’ll keep it. No problems. Fourth battery in 12 years. I’ll keep it for now. My base model Grand Vitara isn’t fancy. The base model only comes in black. It’s a 5-speed manual without cruise control. I’ve had it for over 12 years and put 60,000 miles on it and it’s my local run-around vehicle. It was marked down from an overpriced $23k sticker to $15k as it was the last Suzuki on the dealer’s lot. Some things were missing, like the standard nav and the owner’s manual but the markdown made up for it. Until 2022 I never had anything not work but then hi & lo beam headlight relays crapped out. (This isn’t a complaint against the Grand Vitara but I can’t believe how much the auto parts stores charge for a simple relay ($35-45/ea) so I found them on Amazon for less than $20 for 2). The seats are not comfortable for long drives so I added sheepskin covers with extra padding. It helps some for comfort and my seat fabric still looks like new underneath. I read every review on the Grand Vitara before purchasing and then the main complaint seemed to be about the left-side opening hatch. It might have been designed for Japan but I like it. Gas mileage is about 20-25mpg — it’s not geared for high speed or economy. It has a timing chain instead of a belt. The spare tire is hung on the hatch and I have a bike carrier that straps on to that. It has 4-wheel disc brakes — not all that common in 2010 it seems. I don’t have a tow hitch or roof rack. It’s a convenient size for 1 or 2, + 2 more if necessary. It doesn’t have any of the now-standard Nannies other than single climate control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control.
5 out of 5 stars
A Spectacular Build Quality and Comfort
john bertini, 07/12/2010
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
Purchased the v6 2wd version limited all loaded except the 4wd, i must say it is a great build!, quiet and smooth ride on the highway, in town around 21 mpg highway about 26, the transmission is smooth shifting at any pedal response! loaded with features the price for this vehicle far surpasses the others in the SUV market bar far! Keep up the good quality build Suzuki it will catch on!. …
2.88 out of 5 stars
we got a lemon
2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Bought truck in April 2009. LOVING the truck until the cold weather hit and we started turning on the heat. Late November motor started overheating. They replaced the thermostat. Early December motor overheating again, and no heat in the vehicle. They replaced the thermostat again, but it was still overheating. They opened up the motor and the head was cracked! They've had our vehicle … since Dec 14th, waiting for parts from Japan. Asside from the mechanical/electrical problems, my biggest complaint is about their customer service. They've never once contacted us to give us an update. It's always us calling them. We usually get voice-mai
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara, so we've included reviews for other years of the Grand Vitara since its last redesign.
2010 Grand Vitara Highlights
|Combined MPG||22 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$176/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalAcceptable
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestAcceptable
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintMarginal