I have a 1999 automatic version of the 2.5 V6 Grand Vitara.
Usually an "auto" version means sluggish & "slow off the mark". Not so with this model, it's 12 sec's to 60 hides how quick this 4X4 launches itself from a standing start. True it isn't quick for a 2.5 V6 car, but for a 4X4 jeep, it is very nippy, you dont want to drive too fast on the continent though, as I suspect it's 112 MPH top speed would feel very unsafe.
It has loads of torque, so when the auto gearbox selects the wrong gear, it still picks up speed quickly enough to deal with most situations. If you own a caravan, this car will be brilliant hauling it around the country.
Ride & comfort is quite good, does roll a bit in corners, but has despicable grip in the wet (may be my rear tyres), but take note.
"off road" capabilities, only ever had it in a few undemanding fields, where I must admit, a normal saloon car would find the going very difficult if not impossible, has loads of gearing & drive options to help keep you going. Have used it during a really bad snow fall & it absolutely surpassed every expectation.
Biggest drawback is fuel consupmtion, averaging 19 MPG despite driving very gently to see if I could nudge it into the low 20's.
Very reliable car, never a hiccup, and not a single bit of rust despite being 8 yrears old & 60,000 miles (low mileage ??)
Verdict,.. very capable "value for money" 4X4, comfortable & reliable & surprisingly good in some areas.
I only purchased this car in January 2007, being part-exchanged in November. Unfortunately, although I liked the look of this vehicle because of the soft-top roof and sporty looks, it drinks petrol - it's currently doing between 20-25 miles to the gallon.
I am putting over £40 a week in this to cover 200-ish miles. The boot space is non-existent, which results in many people folding down the rear seats. Inside it's OK - a bit plastic but not too bad. It has lots of cup-holders for some reason.
This car is sluggish and only picks up at around 4000 revs. The tyres are around £100 each.
4x4 mode is OK, but it is not a typical 4x4, it's a cheap version. It will not tow anything heavy such as a horsebox, as it does not have the power.
I will certainly not be getting another one - it handles poorly, does not corner and does not have ABS as standard.
I bought my 7 seat XL-7 at 9 months old and up to 8 weeks ago have been very pleased with it. It has coped with 2 adults, 4 children and a golden retriever,towed a 22foot caravan quite happily and is more than adequate off road! Unfortunately it IS currently off the road in the Suzuki dealers ,where it has been for the last 7 weeks - the engine has been cutting out intermitantly and then turning over but refusing to start with the problem getting increasingly worse- both the garage AND Suzuki technical appear to be at a total loss. Perhaps these cars only have a 4 year life- buyer beware.
we have had the chance to drive one of these and fell in love so started looking for one we found a vitara jxl1.6 16 valve for a bargin price, this has hooked us on these 4x4s do not under estimate this little 4x4 wow it is very capable of off road work (this car is 15 years old ) and going strong 15,000 miles and just had to change gear box fuel we get 35 mpg and if u want speedy get away bye a sports car big ps how much fun can you have in a Suziki 4x4
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