2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

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Suzuki Grand Vitara model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Extensive standard features list
  • lengthy powertrain warranty
  • large cargo capacity.
  • Pokey acceleration
  • lack of interior storage compartments
  • right-hinged rear cargo door makes street-side loading a hassle
  • limited long-distance comfort.

Though it's outclassed in many areas, the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara still represents a potentially worthwhile alternative to other compact SUVs, especially if you're on a tight budget.

Vehicle overview

In every crowd, there are always a few individuals who stand out while the rest tend to blend into the background. Unfortunately for Suzuki, the 2011 Grand Vitara is one of the latter. That's not to say that there's anything dramatically wrong with this compact SUV. It's just that the Grand Vitara tends to be overshadowed by its more high-profile competitors and doesn't offer enough compelling reasons for us to recommend it.

On the upside, the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes with a long list of standard features that you'd normally expect to pay extra for, such as automatic climate control and a navigation system. An attractive price, a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and an available four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case -- a rarity in this segment -- are other notable pluses.

Other than these distinctions, however, the Grand Vitara is simply outclassed by compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. For not that much more money, the Equinox offers a more practical interior and an available V6 engine, while the CR-V delivers a higher level of refinement.

There are also other top small crossovers to consider, such as the 2011 Kia Sportage, 2011 Subaru Forester and 2011 Toyota RAV4. Realistically, all of the above will likely provide a more satisfying ownership experience. But for buyers who are focused on value or looking for a compact crossover SUV with a higher level of four-wheel-drive capability, this Suzuki is worth a look.

2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara models

The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact crossover SUV that is offered in three trim levels: base, Premium and Limited. Standard features for the base model include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, automatic climate control, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, an integrated Garmin navigation system and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The midrange Premium trim level includes all of the base model's features and adds a four-speed automatic transmission, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors (4WD models only), cruise control and an upgraded navigation system with real-time traffic, a Google search function, 3D maps and speed limit info for major roads. Optional on four-wheel-drive models are 16-inch alloy wheels.

Pop for the Limited model and you'll also get 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a sunroof, roof rack side rails, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, heated front seats, fake wood trim and a seven-speaker premium audio system. Bluetooth is optional on all but the base models.

2011 Highlights

The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara's standard navigation system gets a number of new features, including a Google search function, 3D maps and speed limit info for major roads. Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility is also now available as an option on the Premium trim level. The V6 engine has been dropped.

Performance & mpg

Now that the V6 engine has been dropped, all 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara models are powered by a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on base models, while all other versions get a four-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the lineup, but Premium models can also be had with a four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case. Limited models are offered with a four-mode 4WD system (4H, 4H Lock, 4L Lock and N) that allows the Grand Vitara to be flat-towed behind an RV without adding miles to the odometer.

In Edmunds performance testing, a rear-drive Grand Vitara required 10.2 seconds to reach 60 mph, a slow time for this segment. Fuel economy estimates for the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara are average, with automatic 2WD models getting 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined and 4WD models earning 19/23/20.


The 2011 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 Edmunds brake testing, the Grand Vitara needed only 110 feet to stop from 60 mph -- extraordinary performance for this type of vehicle.

The Grand Vitara has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) saw it earning 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.


While the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara makes a decent runabout for commuting and daily errands, a somewhat unrefined ride quality and firm seats make longer trips more unpleasant. The cabin is relatively quiet except at highway speeds, where road noise becomes an issue. The four-cylinder engine only adds to the din as it noisily struggles to move the Grand Vitara with anything resembling gusto. Handling doesn't feel nearly as stable as the compact crossovers from Honda and Toyota, and the overall ride quality isn't as carlike.


Like the rest of the vehicle, the Grand Vitara's five-passenger interior is attractive yet somewhat uninspiring. Gauges and controls are well-placed and easy to read, with the exception of the removable navigation system, which requires a bit of a reach.

Though there's a decent amount of room to stretch out here, the Limited model's leather upholstery is actually not as comfortable as the cloth covering on the seats of the base and Premium versions. One other notable shortcoming here is the lack of storage for small items like cell phones and MP3 players. Schlepping larger items shouldn't present any problems, however, thanks to a cargo hold with 69 cubic feet of space with the 60/40-split rear seats folded down. That said, the rear door, which is hinged on the passenger side, does complicate curbside loading and unloading.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

3.88 out of 5 stars
Better at some things than other
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
We bought a lightly used 2011 GV Limited with 5700 miles on the odo. After two months of owning it and another 1500 miles on the odometer we've discovered what we like and what we don't. First off, we love the looks. We love that it is NOT just another RAV4, CRV, or Forester that everyone else around here owns. Seats are comfortable, stereo is good, standard GPS is a nice touch. The ride is a bit rough but manageable. Rear seat is more cramped and the cargo space is lacking compared to our Forester. Gas mileage SUCKS!! It was a compromise taking the hit on mpg's compared to the Subaru we traded in, but we are not even getting the listed mpg. Mixed city/hwy of 16-17. Good car for the $$.
4.5 out of 5 stars
2010 Base Model Grand Vitara
4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
After 3 mo. & 2,700 mi., there's nothing to change my impression that this is a quality vehicle. It drives well, fairly quiet/comfortable, & getting 26.5mpg. The manual is easy to shift. Plenty of room & the side opening rear door is no problem. Too bad the nearest dealership is over 40 miles but no problems at all. Bought as used leftover from former Suzuki dealer with under 100 mi. on odometer. They lost books & nav but it was a steal. I don't miss the options I don't have.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Great look,great value!
Premium 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
If you want a vehicle thats value-priced,good to look at,and fun to drive,I highly reccomend the 2011 grand vitara.Ive owned mine for 2 weeks and I love it!


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Used 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

The Used 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is offered in the following submodels: Grand Vitara SUV. Available styles include Premium 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A), Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A), Premium 4dr SUV 4WD w/Alloys (2.4L 4cyl 4A), 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M), Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Suzuki Grand Vitara models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 166 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2011 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 2011 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 2011 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) 2011 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 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Can't find a used 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitaras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Grand Vitara for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,443.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $16,941.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Grand Vitara for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,548.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 3 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $17,129.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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