Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4 Owner reviews

No longer on sale

16v SE 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

I've owned my Grand Vitara for 2 months now, and in that time it's proven itself to be a superb little 4x4 both on and off-road. The car drives surprisingly well given the traditional 4x4 design underneath: the steering is light and responsive, the firm suspension gives good control when cornering, the seats are supportive (though a tad firm) and cabin noise is reasonable. The post-facelift interior is both stylish and robustly built, with no squeaks or rattles and plenty room for the driver and passengers (though rear legroom is a little tight). Despite the compliant on-road handling, the Grand Vitara is also brilliant off-road; there's decent ground clearance, a ladder-frame chassis and a low-range gearbox. We have taken it off-roading several times now and it's never once come close to getting stuck, even when climbing and descending a 45-degree incline. Sadly, there are a couple of downsides. For one, while the suspension gives good body control while cornering, it also results in a bouncy ride, even on smooth road surfaces. It never becomes intolerable, but it does start to grate on long journeys. Fuel consumption is also rather poor at about 30mpg in everyday driving and boot space is tight with all seats in place. Reliability-wise, the car has suffered from minor niggles (heat shield rattling, loose cladding etc.) as a result of sitting in a yard for several years (cat C vehicle), but has otherwise proven to be totally reliable.

Callum McColgan, October 24th 2014

VVT SZ5 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG27 mpg

An honest 4X4 that does like to drink petrol but buying it knowing this makes ownership far easier. Fairly well specc'd in SZ5 trim. It does need a more modern ICE unit (2013 models have this). It rides well enough and being quite compact makes it easy to judge when parking. It could do with a sixth gear to help mpg and motorway driving. Road and engine noise are acceptable for its class. Buy one second hand and it becomes very good value for money.

Paul Hamilton, Lanarkshire, May 16th 2013

DDiS SZ4 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

Follow up report. Now with 95600miles on my 1.9ddis october 2007 57 plate. What can i say it just gets better. Nearly 100,000 miles and not missed a beat. toal reliability. Does as it says on the tin. Far better than oposition - LR, Honda, Toyotai, izuzu kia, hyundai, wouldn't even consider vauxhall or vw not in same class. THis beast beats them all. Fuel consumption is 38 even as though it is pushed hard all the time. Still as tight as new.

cliff jeffrey, March 18th 2012

16v X-EC 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG22 mpg

Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4 2.0 16v X-EC 5dr auto S PACK I like its looks and exclusivity but the petrol bill is a downer. Only been able to average 24.2 at best and that's by not exceeding 60mph on the motorway city running is worse. It is a proper midi offroader; unlike those swollen hatchbacks parading as 4x4s. Summery 1. Good load size 2. Rugged 3. Exclusive 4. Non pretenious 5. Reliable but not cheap to fuel and auto box not as refined as would like, probably an extra gear to reduce revs would help with frugality or one of those double clutch doohickeys.

michael mbah, essex, November 28th 2011

VVT + 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have now owned this vehicle for just over three years. In all that time nothing has ever gone wrong. I have to admit that the Suzuki has had a hard life as well. The 1.6 3 door is under-powered. This has now been answered with the new 2.4 3-door. But why, Suzuki don’t you fit a decent Diesel engine? Not one made by a French manufacture? It’s under-powered and read the reviews on What car. It’s the engine that causes all the problems. Of course in America they offer the Suzuki with a 3.2ltr V6 Petrol. Not in Blightly. Suzuki if you wish to move your game forward then move up markets well as catering for the masses. So as I say reliability has not been a problem. The worst thing is the rattles in the cabin. I see other reviews also say about this. Would I buy another? Yes possible. It’s under-rated and good looking. Its full time 4x4 mode is so much better than the system that many manufactures offer, i.e., 2 wheel drive until wheels slip then engage rear wheels. Try it in snow or mud and see. Yes it’s a bit harsh compared to a Freelander2, but it’s a lot. It has good handling. Fuel is about 28-30mpg.

danny nolan, January 22nd 2009

VVT + 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG33 mpg

My overall rating for this car is based largely on value for money. I haved owned my car from new for two years and am very happy with just about every aspect of it. Mine has the S Pack fitted and looks like it cost a lot more than I paid for it! That, to me, is the sign of a well designed car. The interior is also very classy looking and simply and logically laid out with big buttons and chunky controls. The seats are very comfortable and the front, side and curtain airbags are a great feature. The car feels very solid and stable on the road and corners very flat with virtually no body roll for a suv. The gearshift can sometimes be a bit "sticky", but generally is okay. The engine performance is adequate. If you want a "boy racer" machine then don't bother buying a GV! Average mpg in my car is 33mpg. With motorway driving this drops to 30mpg. The brakes are strong and the car always feels stable and controlled. With this car you are basically getting a well equipped, stylish, comfortable, 4x4 with adequate performance that is great value for money. Don't compare it to cars like the Rav 4; the Suzuki is at least 5 grand cheaper and looks at least as good! I would definitely buy another one and have my eye on the 2.4 3door for the future. It should improve on what I believe to be the only average aspect of a very good car.

gary woodgate, north yorkshire, November 20th 2008

TD 107 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

My parents car. Father very happy, mother wanted a Nissan! Turbo blew at 40,000 miles - 6 months out of warranty. Β£250 contribution from Suzuki for a Β£1,700 bill. Other bills fairly high... Lack of aircon most noticable. Really just four wheels and a roof! With a roof box if go anywhere... Car never been worked although good off road and I find fairly light on it. Can move when needs to. Very capable tow-er.

Charles Hopper, October 15th 2008

VVT 3dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

HAD MY 05 SUZUKI FOR ONE YEAR. KNEW THE MINUTE I TEST DROVE IT THAT IT WAS THE WAY TO GO AFTER DRIVING NISSAN MICRA FROM NEW. FROM A FEMALE POINT OF VIEW FELT MUCH MORE SECURE AND ABLE TO SEE TRAFFIC BEING HIGHER UP. GREAT TO PULL OFF ON ANY SURFACE AND INCLINE WITH NO WHEEL SPIN. HAVE FOUND EXCELLENT INSURANCE FROM SHEILAS WHEELS WHICH HAS MADE IT VERY AFFORDABLE AND TO BE HONEST I DONT MIND PAYING THE EXTRA TAX AND PETROL FOR THE PLEASURE OF ENJOYING DRIVING. THE ONLY NEGATIVE POINTS I HAVE FOUND ARE THAT THE SEAT BELTS ARE SHORTER THAN AVERAGE, SO STRUGGLE FOR BIG PEOPLE, AND THE GEARS TOOK A BIT OF GETTING USED TO BEING QUITE STIFF AND TOUGH ALTHOUGH CAR ONLY HAD 7000 MILES WHEN NEW TO ME. IT'S IN THE GARAGE JUST NOW BEING REPAIRED AFTER A HIT AND RUN AGAINST ME AND I HAVE A FORD FIESTA AND IT FEELS VERY STRANGE BEING BACK DOWN THERE AND REMINDS ME OF THE VIBRATIONS YOU FEEL WHEN YOU ARE CLOSER TO THE ROAD, ALSO REINFORCED MY BELIEF THAT I HAVE THE RIGHT CAR FOR ME NOW. IT HANDLES BEAUTIFULLY AND PREDICTABLY.

ISABELL LACKENBY, WARWICKSHIRE, August 28th 2008

VVT + 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Bought car (preregistered in dec 07) feb 08 with 35 miles on clock, from local BCC garage. Paid Β£9800, so where do you get a new 4x4 with long warranty for less than 10k? Has no problem towing our caravan, except on inclines, but is great short/long distance, with reasonable average town 28 mpg, and easy higher access slide in/out with wide doors. Great space with r/seats folded up. A luxurious head turner at a bargain basement price, that we luv to bits!

martin mount, lancashire, July 16th 2008

TD XL-7 7 Seater 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

Owned since new, overall excellent, one small rear door lock electrical problem fixed under warranty, not a drag racer but great torque when fully laden and/or towing, very relaxed high speed motorway cruising,36-38 mpg plus 7 seats and x country ability when needed. A great all round package.

Ian Alex, Hants, July 5th 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

hello from new zealand. I have a 1.9 ddis Vitara with the renault F9Q engine and have just had a very scary experience. be careful! the GV suddenly started to accelerate on its own occapanied by a loud knocking in the engine and lots of blue smoke. had to stall it to stop it exploding. the fault lies in the renault EGR and turbo system which end up sending crankcase oil into the engine as fuel. this happened at 85,000km. Note if you see a yellow light come on in the dash get it fixed quick, and it is not the glow plugs as the dealer will think it is. Unfourtunately a good value car let down by the french engine.

john brock, June 11th 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have just test driven the 1.9 ddis. The engine is coarse and at speed the interior is not that good - the vibration that comes through the pedal and floor is really bad. It drove me up the wall. The rear cup holders are on the floor - not a clever idea as they will soon break. The centre glove boxlid look like its on cheap hinges. I did like one thing: as a whole, it looks good. Would I buy one? No. Suzuki, I hope you are reading all these comments and dump that engine. I have owned two Grand Vitaras for the past 8 years.

selwyn miles, carmarthenshire, March 30th 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned the car now for two years, it's had two recalls for the turbo, but the bigest problem i am having at the moment is from a cold start the engine temp gauge flicks up and down and the aircon fan in the car speeds up then slows down Sandicliffe have had the car in three times but not fixed the problem, i wondered if any other reader s have had this problem. it will not put me off buying another one the car is ok. IT'S THE FRENCH BIT UNDER THE BONNET THATS AT FAULT.

Gary Norton, Nottinghamshire, February 22nd 2008

16v 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my second 1.6 GV soft top from new, 04 Reg, 66,000 miles. Before that, I had an 02 from new, 30,000 miles and traded it in for new one when I heard they were stopping production. I can't understand the stupid people who make bad comments on things they could have seen, or asked about before buying. Like the boot size, the interior (just look!)or lack of ABS or being able to tow a horsebox. My cars have been fun to drive and own, never let me down, will go round corners fine for a 4x4, nippy mid-range revs and very capable off road unless it's very rocky or deep ruts. And average 34 mpg. Also, mine has done 66,000 miles with still original tyres, brakes and exhaust. I have owned 2 and love them so much that I'm looking for a low mileage 54 or 04 to change rather than buy anything else new.

Frank Ince, February 21st 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We have owned a 5DR diesel for almost a year now with no problems at all! We have had the car properly off road numerous times and coped admirably. It certainly preformed much better than our last jeep (a previous generation Rav 4) and so far much more reliable! The trade off to the splendid off road ability is the dissapointing MPG (around 33MPG) and the unbelievable noise from the engine when pulling away! It really is very loud indeed! However, surprisingly, its noisy right the way up to about 75mph but after this speed it quietens down considerably. A good all round car!

Stuart Allister, February 17th 2008

16v 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We bought one of these in 2007 brand new. We have just taken it back to the dealer we brought it from 11 months later because the running costs are horrendous, returning only 21mpg. We lost just over Β£6000. We found the gearchange crude and a real chore. You get used to the stiff ride after a while. On a brighter note though this is the first car we never had a warrenty complaint on and there is no dening its a great to look at. If you are a low mileage poser with money to burn its great. We test drove a Hyundai i30 and realised what we were missing in terms of driveability and now have one of those on order.

Matthew Hunt, Kent, February 17th 2008

XL-7 V6 7 Seater 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned two XL7s, both autos. They're very nice to drive, have plenty of power and are useful off-road. The seven seats are all useable, although the car I found was a little narrow, with three adults struggling in the second row. The only downside is the fact that the 2.7 V6 auto drinks petrol like an Aston Martin!

Paul Holmes, Neath Port Talbot, February 4th 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We bought a 1.9 diesel in September 2006 to cope with an increasing family. The car is lovely to drive, is practical, and coped fantastically with two adults, three children and tons of luggage driving through France last summer. However I am sad to say we will be selling ours (once it is back from the garage again!)as soon as possible due to appaling reliability! On top of this, the servicing is very pricey and at every 9000 miles, it mounts up. The car has been into Suzuki three times for the same major fault (diesel injection blows) and several times for other recalls. Suzuki refuses to replace the part but keep refitting it so it blows again! I honestly cannot remember how many times we have had to call out Suzuki assistance - not what you want or expect from a new car. However, perhaps it's what one should expect when paying such a low price for a 4x4?

Becka Chiverton, Hampshire, February 4th 2008

DDiS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We purchased a Grand Vitara 1.9 DDiS 5 dr in September 2006, the two main problems with the car are 1) First and second gears are very stiff even after 10k miles. 2) Diesel Particulate Filter light is a major nuisance, garage recommends 47 mph for 20 minutes to unclog filter to turn light of or a further red light comes on and reduces engine power and can only be fixed by taking car to garage immediately. The light is coming on about every 200 mile as most of our driving is urban. After numerous visits to the motorway to turn light of at 47 mph for 20 minutes which is a waste of diesel and my time, it takes me 20 mins to get to motorway and then another 20 mins back = 1 Hour just to get rid of light, this is ridiculous and have spoken to Suzuki rep on numerous occasions but there is nothing they can do as this is how the car is built. It is a Renault engine and they are having exactly the same problems and I believe other car manufacturers using DPF are experiencing the same problems, so much so that places like Jersey have stopped selling cars like these because of this problem. What I now do is when the engine is warm and the light has come on I go to the local layby and sit in the car with my foot on the accelerator at 2200 revs and the light will go out after 10 minutes as long as the engine was hot to start with, this saves my time, diesel and wear and tear on tyres.

maurice priest, West Midlands, January 29th 2008

VVT + 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought the vvt+ from our local dealer where my son had excellent service on his Jimny and I have found the same satisfactory service on my VVT+. It has 15000 on the clock and returns 30 M.P.G with no trouble. I find the finish and quality very good and allough I have wired up knee caps access in and out for the driver is excellent,though the back seat access is awkward . The clutch very light and smooth,though I would have liked reach as well as rake on the steering as I am not a tall person.The steering is sharp with little body roll on corners but you do notice the potholes on our badly kept up country roads.You do have a feeling of confidence with the stability around country lanes especially in the poor weather. I have a problem with the reverse sensors which seem to be set off by the spare wheel cover.Has anyone else suffered from this? Value for money this is an excellent choice especially if you purchase one a year old as I did, after all who wants the first years depreciation on any vehicle.

BRIAN PICKETT, Wilts., January 25th 2008

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