I have had the 1.6 soft top with an auto box for over 3 years now and have always found it to be very reliable with just an odd blip with the engine management system light coming on and the drivers door window slipping in it's runners. The 1.6 engine coupled with the auto box does make it very slow to pull away and the fuel economy is not great but, get a sunny day in the countryside and the roof down and it's just wonderful. It's also quite practical as a working car and I rarely have the rear seats up using it more as a small van; I have even been known to have the rear roof section down and use it as a pick-up truck for shifting larger items. Because of the soft top I've been prepared to put up with the lack of power and economy and it's a real shame that a similar body type is not available on the new model.
We have owned the XL-7 from new ,its 2 years old now and not a single problem with it so far , there is 36,000 klms on the clock . we absolutely love the car ,very reliable and smooth to drive . We have 4 kids so the 7 seater was the way to go with ample room for all and some luggage , although the rear seats are suitable for children only as the leg room is not the best- im not faulting the car at all on this aspect - small price to pay when you look at the overall vehicle.The second row of seats are fully adjustable so even the taller adult can sit comfortably.
The 2Lt diesel engine is very economical and nippy enough once the turbo kicks in . It can however be a little frightening when pulling out of a T junction as there is a slight delay in the power going to the wheels (turbo lag) - ( slow to take off from stand still )But it just means you change your driving style to suite the car ie get the revs up before you release the clutch and away you go -problem solved . I dont know if this happens on the auto version . The Susuki dealer is fantastic and very helpful, we had a minor problem with the stero, and this was 12 month after we bought the car ( still under warranty) . 1 of the buttons had a habit of sticking so while passing the dealer one day i popped in to mention it , hoping he would sort it on the next service - but he changed the unit there and then ..... fantastic !!.
I just bought a second-hand, fairly new Vitara 2.5V6 (lucky guy I am) and am more then pleased with the quality of this fine car.
The V6 is as smooth as a Singer (sewing machine) and it is really fun to drive this car. I do look forward to the new Vitara, but will wait a more powerful engine thea the 2.0l since I am already addicted to this mean, but smooth V6-machine.
Grown from a Swift to a Baleno to a Grand Vitara I do not regret being a Suzuki-fan, this in history for the reliability, but now with this Grand Vitara also for the groove and the looks.
I have owned the Gran Vitara from new. In three and a half years, it had not had one single problem. It has clocked up 40,000 trouble-free miles and, for the money, it has a reasonable turn of speed.
Although the engine is a tad noisy, the versatility and economy more than make up for that.
It has travelled all over Europe and I have decided to keep it until it expires of natural causes, which hopefully is a while away, and buy a second car with a bit more comfort and speed. All in all a very good buy.
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