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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 cargo area. 

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 choose. 


Base Pricing 21,599 22,699


  2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara
XSport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 5A)
2006 Kia Sorento
LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
2006 Chevrolet Equinox
LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)
2006 Jeep Liberty
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 4A)
2006 Mitsubishi Outlander
SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
MSRP $22,499 $24,395 $23,900 $26,190 $23,399
Invoice $21,599 $23,080 $22,275 $24,433 $22,059
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Drivetrain 7 yr. / 100000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi.
Roadside 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 7 yr. / 100000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V6 V6 V6 inline 4
Base Engine Displacement 2.7 liters 3.5 liters 3.4 liters 3.7 liters 2.4 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
12 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
12 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
Horsepower 185 hp @ 6000 rpm 192 hp @ 5500 rpm 185 hp @ 5200 rpm 210 hp @ 5200 rpm 160 hp @ 5750 rpm
Torque 184 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 217 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm 210 ft-lbs. @ 3800 rpm 235 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 162 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
Driven Wheels four wheel drive four wheel drive all wheel drive four wheel drive all wheel drive
4WD Type part time part time   part time  
Limited Slip Differential - Rear   Standard      
Locking Differential - Center   Standard   Optional  
Independent Suspension four-wheel front four-wheel front four-wheel
Tires P225/70R16
all season
all season
all season
all season
all season
Wheels alloy
16 x 7.0 in.
16 x 7.0 in.
16 x 6.5 in.
17 x 7.5 in.
17 x 6.5 in.
Sunroof     power glass - Optional power glass - Optional  
Rear Door Type side-hinged liftgate liftgate side-hinged liftgate
Driver Seat Power Adjustable     6 - Optional 6  
Rear Seat Type 40-60 split bench 40-60 split bench 40-60 split bench split-bench 40-60 split bench
Air Filtration interior air filtration     Being Researched  
Traction Control Standard     Standard  
Stability Control Standard     Standard  
Navigation System       DVD navigation system - Optional  
Max. Cargo Capacity 69 cu. ft. 66 cu. ft. 69 cu. ft. 69 cu. ft. 60 cu. ft.
Max. Payload Capacity Being Researched 1299 lbs. 1157 lbs. 1150 lbs. 882 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 3000 lbs. 3500 lbs. 3500 lbs. 5000 lbs. 1500 lbs.
City 19 mpg. 15 mpg. 19 mpg. 17 mpg. 21 mpg.
Highway 23 mpg. 20 mpg. 25 mpg. 22 mpg. 26 mpg.
Exterior Grand Vitara Sorento Equinox Liberty Outlander
Length 176 in. 179.8 in. 188.8 in. 174.7 in. 179 in.
Width 71.3 in. 73.3 in. 71.4 in. 71.8 in. 70.1 in.
Height 66.7 in. 71.3 in. 69.3 in. 71.8 in. 66.3 in.
Weight 3682 lbs. 4387 lbs. 3776 lbs. 4033 lbs. 3549 lbs.
Wheel Base 103.9 in. 106.7 in. 112.5 in. 104.2 in. 103.3 in.
Ground Clearance 7.9 in. 8.2 in. 8 in. 9.4 in. 8.3 in.
Front Headroom 40 in. 39.7 in. 40.9 in. 40.7 in. 38.9 in.
Rear Headroom 38.2 in. 39.5 in. 40.1 in. 42.2 in. 38.2 in.
Front Shoulder Room 56.3 in. 58.9 in. 55.7 in. 56.5 in. 56.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.9 in. 58.4 in. 55.9 in. 56.5 in. 54.4 in.
Front Hip Room 55.5 in. 55.3 in. 51.1 in. 57 in. 51.5 in.
Rear Hip Room 44 in. 58 in. 51.3 in. 47.4 in. 51.8 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 42.6 in. 41.2 in. 40.8 in. 42.3 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.2 in. 36.1 in. 40.2 in. 37.2 in. 35.5 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 24.4 cu.ft. 31.4 cu.ft. 35.2 cu.ft. 31 cu.ft. 24.4 cu.ft.


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