The Grand Vitara is cheaper than many rivals, looks the part and possesses genuine off-road ability. All versions steer and handle well, and the cabin is solid and spacious
The ride is too firm and there's too much engine noise. The petrol engines are weak, the gearshift is heavy and the Grand Vitara is comparatively expensive to run
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
A 1.6-litre engine powers the cheapest versions, giving adequate performance and economy, however the 2.0-litre does a better job. The 2.5 V6 gives smooth power through a standard automatic gearbox, while one better is the seven-seater XL with a 2.7 V6, 170bhp and 170lb ft of pulling muscle.
Ride & Handling
The Grand Vitara is highly capable <\n>off-road thanks to four-wheel drive and a low-ratio transfer ’box, which allow it to cross very tough terrain. Back on the road it’s best around town, soaking up most bumps without a problem, though five-door models are smoother than three-doors and soft-tops. There’s some lean in corners, but it’s not alarming.
The 1.6 and 2.0 petrol engines become noisy above 50mph or when pushed. The 2.0 turbodiesel is just noisy all the time and needs revving to keep pace with motorway traffic. The smooth and hushed 2.5 V6 is best. All cars have a notchy five-speed ’box except the 2.5 V6, which has a four-speed auto.