2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara XSport 4WD
The Good :)
Compact yet strong exterior looks. Automatic climate control and versatile
interior. Good firm handling. Quiet V6. Keyless startup.
The Bad :(
Light weight doors should feel better. Some hard panels on doors. Cargo
area padding cheap. Small width for a tipsy feeling when fast.
The small SUV market is full of many
choices and recently due to high gas prices, the small SUV has become a
smart choice for many. Buying a efficient small SUV is usually a give and
take, however Suzuki has brought a stylish and feature filled vehicle to the
market with the all new Grand Vitara.
Where else for $22,700 can you have a small
SUV with a V6 engine, (much quieter than a four cylinder engine), full time
four wheel drive, how about electronic stability control, rear side curtain
airbags, and keyless start? That is what makes the Grand Vitara unique and
a smart buy.
Suzuki has done a great job of
revamping the exterior. The Grand Vitara looks bold and fresh with clean
flowing lines. The front hood and lamps remind us of a Range Rover. Built
in fog lamps in a large molded bumper give the Suzuki Grand Vitara powerful
looks. In bright red, the Grand Vitara looks both fun and different. Large
tires make you want to go off road anytime. The rear door also has a large
opening width for easy entry. A nicely styled rear end with exterior
mounted wheel with painted cover reminds us of the old Trooper. However, it
was a bit inconvenient to have a sideways opening rear door rather than an
upward opening door, especially when you are in a tight parking space. We
liked the door pulls, of better than standard quality and roof rails in
black for a sporty look. Overall nothing on the outside looks cheap, this
does look like a mini Range Rover.
Interior styling is done nicely with a good
flow to the dashboard for an overall spacious feeling. Seats are in fabric
on our model with a checkered inner portion. We would prefer the leather
seats, found in the next model up. Hard plastic parts are there, such as on
the door panels and in the cup holder area between the front seats, however
they all do not feel as cheap as we have seen with some cars from the US.
Rear seats are comfortable and roomy for a small SUV. They recline back in
stages for more comfort. They can also be flipped and folded for a large
An automatic climate control
system in our model was standard with a micron air filtration system, as
well as outside temperature and fuel consumption indicators. A stereo
system with 6 disc in dash CD player and XM satellite radio as well as
steering wheel mounted controls is featured. We did miss the leather
wrapped steering wheel, something we think Suzuki should add in all models
of the Grand Vitara. The instrument cluster is simple, adequate, and glows
nicely during the night. We liked the keyless start feature which allows
you to keep a key fob in your pocket or purse and unlock the carís doors and
start the vehicle without taking it out. The key fob is rather large
however and should be made smaller.
The standard 2.7-liter, six cylinder,
24-valve DOHC engine in the Grand Vitara delivers 185 horsepower and 184
lb.-ft. of torque. This engine gives the Grand Vitara an improved tow
rating of 3,000 pounds. We found the engine to be quiet and smooth even
with these low horsepower ratings.
All Grand Vitara models feature a new
lightweight, yet rigid unibody construction enhanced with a built-in ladder
frame to offer the best of both worlds. A four wheel independent suspension
offers a good stable ride with a new multi link setup in the rear. Body
sway and lean is quite low. Road feel on bumpy roads is also good. Due to
the small width of the Suzuki Grand Vitara you do not feel very comfortable
taking fast curves.
The full time four wheel drive system is
always engaged giving you secure stability at all times. A switch allows
you to engage the center differential lock for off road driving. A low mode
is also available by way of a switch for more power and traction in slow
conditions. Good ground clearance at 7.9 inches and tires pushed to the
outer edges of the vehicle give you the ability to go most anywhere.
Every Grand Vitara model is fitted with an
anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD)
and ESP. The ESP uses a variety of electronic sensors to measure speed,
steering wheel angle and yaw.
The Grand Vitara also features six airbags
as standard equipment, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact
airbags supplemental restraint system (SRS), advanced dual-stage front
airbag SRS, advanced weight-sensing front passenger airbag SRS and front and
rear side-curtain airbags.
America's #1 warranty,
Suzuki's industry-leading, 100,000 mile seven year zero-deductible
powertrain limited warranty is another great reason to buy the Grand Vitara.
100% of all parts come from Japan and the final assembly point is Iwata,
Japan. Our test car's sticker price was $22,699 and there are no options as
that is built into the model you choose. Even destination was included in
the $22,699 MSRP. A courtesy vehicle is given when warranty repair is done
and roadside assistance is available during the warranty period.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is one
of the best buys in the compact SUV market. Exterior looks are bold and
sharp with a rugged feeling as well as a high end fit and finish. The
interior is spacious and nicely equipped with many features you need in
daily driving. We liked the overall package offered in the Suzuki making
you wonder why others pay double or triple for a SUV that offers a little
more luxury. If you want a capable SUV, then Suzuki is the brand to