2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 Road Test

15 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 Road Test

2001 Suzuki XL7 SUV

Good Good Value, Good Isn’t It Grand?

Published: – by Neil Dunlop,

Years ago, during my year in high school, I my first vehicle: a 1982 Suzuki Samurai 4X4. I that little car, it was a piece of garbage. My friends it the Weep, because it wasn’t a Jeep, and the repair bills me cry.

Fortunately, Suzuki has improved its automotive offerings. we spent a week with a Suzuki Grand Vitara , and when it rained it didn’t through the dash and soak our So it wasn’t necessary to carry a box of fuses to fix the electrical system, kept shorting out. Nor did we our friends to push us down a to get it started.

Also, we no longer to steal the cushions from chaise lounge in order to the seat halfway comfortable.

No, is an entirely new generation of Suzuki. in 2001, the XL-7 is the largest vehicle ever produced by the Japanese manufacturer. Based on the Vitara, which debuted in the XL-7 is 19.1 inches overall and has a 12.6-inch longer for a total length of 183.7

The extra length allows to offer the XL-7 with a split folding seat, is more functional than you guess. In addition, the extra also makes the cabin commodious for passengers in the front and row seats. And the longer wheelbase to 110.2 inches from the Vitara’s 97.6 inches) for a smoother ride over spots in the road because pitching is better absorbed.

the extra length does for the XL-7’s interior materials. The is dominated by cheap-looking, hard #151; all colored an industrial to match the carpet, headliner and The cheapness is emphasized by the gray sun visors, which are rimmed by of ragged plastic that left by the heat press made them.

Also, for a oriented toward families, the is rather stingy with space. There is no center and the door bins are too narrow for more than a map or two. So, our test vehicle was equipped an in-dash CD player, there was to stow our music.

Surprisingly for a SUV, the XL-7’s front and seats are broad, well-bolstered and A long highway journey did not the stiff back and numb we expected. And off-road, the seats us snuggly enough to stop us being thrown around uneven terrain.

We were impressed with the performance off-road. When the got tough, we used the floor-mounted case lever, switching two-wheel drive to 4WD high In 4WD, the XL-7 traversed the and ridges of the rugged road and through the loose gravel sturdy confidence.

When the got really gnarly, we stopped and it into low range, which is a feature for a small SUV (for the Toyota RAV4, Honda and Ford Escape use permanent drive with no low-range In 4WD low the XL-7 felt like a tank. It crawled over and arrested its descent nicely on eliminating the need for excessive

The Suzuki proved itself on terrain where minivans and would definitely be lost and small SUVs would

Off-road willingness aside, like to see an even stiffer structure for the XL-7. Instead of a and reassuring clunk when a door, the XL-7 delivers of a tinny clank. Although claims it beefed up the body for safety, durability and noise the XL-7 still seems

And on the rutted off-road track we the cabin and underpinnings emitted rattles.

Off-road rattling was by the XL-7’s taut suspension. with independent MacPherson with coil springs and a bar in front and a rigid rear suspended by a five-link setup in the the XL-7 provides surprisingly handling on road. In fact, is excellent.

The XL-7 actually better than the 2001 BMW Wagon during our instrumented and handling tests #151; no feat, as BMWs are renowned for superior suspensions. Off-road, the suspension results in a rough This is especially noticeable on surfaces where the XL-7 every rattle straight to kidneys, despite the comfy

All XL-7s get a 2.7-liter double-overhead-cam V6 engine that generates 170 at 5,500 rpm and 178 foot-pounds of torque at rpm. With a 3,748-pound weight (average for a small the engine was quite spirited, enthusiastic acceleration in the city and on the Our test vehicle was a four-wheel-drive with a five-speed manual The manual … allowed us to maximum performance from the V6.

In our instrumented testing, the XL-7 the 0-to-60 mph dash in just 9.3 which is fairly quick for an SUV in category.

The XL-7 won’t you at the pump, either. Suzuki EPA fuel mileage of 17 miles per in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. With its fuel tank, the XL-7 travel 338 miles on road before it needs refilling.

The XL-7 also provides of luggage space. Maximum capacity (with second- and seats down) is 73 cubic #151; that’s 7 cu. ft. more the similarly sized Nissan With just the third-row down, there’s 37 cu. ft. of cargo However, if you need to use the third capacity drops to a measly 6.6 cu. ft. makes much of the fact the XL-7 is the first small SUV to three-row seating.

While not palatial, this third row is functional for small children and passable for full-size adults, at for short trips.

If you don’t the third-row seat, just it stowed and make use of the cargo as you wish.

The XL-7 provides value to those seeking an to the much-stigmatized and ubiquitous minivan and the oversized SUV. A two-wheel-drive transmission XL-7 in Standard (which includes air conditioning, windows, power mirrors, door locks, remote entry, tilt steering, control and a first aid kit) $20,299 including destination Our 4WD test vehicle was the Touring

It has all the Standard trim-level goodies, in-dash CD player, antilock 16-inch aluminum wheels, sunroof and fog lamps. An automatic is a $1,000 option.

We like the of the XL-7, too. It’s of the sculpted, rugged Toyota The Suzuki’s 16-inch alloys and all-season radials fill its wells, which are attractively by flared fenders.

Whereas the front and rear overhang the Grand Vitara look a stubby, the XL-7’s extra makes it look more and athletic. The square headlamps, grille and body-color bumpers add class and distinction.

Too bad the XL-7 available in my senior year my mother could have her chaise and I would have my money on burgers instead of on clutches and dry socks.

Road Summary

The Suzuki Grand XL-7 is the SUV the automaker should built years ago. got attractive looks, strong ability and solid value.

in 2001, the XL-7 is the largest vehicle ever produced by It is 19.1 inches longer the Grand Vitara on which based. The extra length Suzuki to offer the XL-7 a surprisingly functional third-row folding seat.

The extra also makes for a smoother over rough spots in the because body pitching is absorbed.

The XL-7’s 2.7-liter 24-valve V6 engine generates 170 With a five-speed manual we were able to squeeze performance from the willing V6. In our testing, the XL-7 completed the mph dash in 9.3 seconds.

Handling is also excellent. The actually performed better the 2001 BMW 325xi Wagon our instrumented handling tests.

The won’t kill you at the pump, Suzuki reports EPA fuel of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the

We like the looks of the XL-7. It us of the sculpted, rugged Toyota The XL-7’s extra length it look elegant and athletic.

The headlamps, chrome grille and bumpers also add class and

We were impressed with the performance off-road. It proved capable on terrain where and sedans would definitely be and most small SUVs struggle.

We aren’t overly with the XL-7’s body though. Its lack of substance was when we closed a door. of a satisfying and reassuring clunk, the delivers more of a tinny

Also, the interior is dominated by plastics #151; all colored in gray. There is no center and the door bins are too narrow for more than a map or two.

The provides excellent value to seeking an alternative to ubiquitous and larger gas-guzzling SUVs. A manual transmission XL-7 in trim (which includes air power windows, power power door locks, keyless entry, tilt cruise control and a first aid costs $20,299 including charge.

Our 4WD Touring model vehicle had all the Standard trim-level plus an in-dash CD player, brakes, 16-inch aluminum a power sunroof and fog lamps. An transmission is a $1,000 option.


Road Test Ed Hellwig says:

So Suzuki it can just pull a little and stretch a little there and the Grand Vitara into a SUV? Well, almost.

midsize sport-utes have wedging another seat the cabin, let alone a small ute the Grand Vitara, so it came as no to learn that the third-row were barely adequate. The of actually fitting two adults there is limited, but a couple of kids probably wouldn’t Although the XL-7 doesn’t come through with passenger proportions, the extra carved out for the extra row of seats make the little sport-ute a capable cargo-hauler.

Like the Vitara, the XL-7’s ride is relatively composed in the corners, well-controlled roll and predictable Large potholes send through the body, but most road irregularities are filtered out little commotion. The V6 engine has of power to move an empty but add four passengers and a weekend’s of luggage, and the stretched Suzuki probably lose a good of its zest.

The interior is obviously where of the cost-cutting takes place, lots of gray plastics and switchgear. The layout is at least and legible, with little and easy-to-read gauges. The seats are cushioned and provide little in the way of for your back and legs.

passengers or not, the XL-7 present an interesting alternative in the sport-ute market. If you like the of a big sport-ute, but hate the idea of it, the XL-7 might just be the It still feels like a ute from the driver seat, yet you the extra room you need in a

If you carry full loads of on a consistent basis, the XL-7 be too much of a lightweight, but if a car-load of is only a rare occasion, stretched sport-ute might do the trick.

Associate Editor Mahoney says:

If you’re for a small four-wheel-drive SUV with a V6, feature content and three-row for well under $30K, the makes a lot of sense. Initially, it like a much more choice than considerably expensive midsize models the Ford Explorer and Toyota On paper, at least, the Suzuki like it would fill all the needs as more expensive but for a lot less cash.

Once the XL-7, however, it becomes apparent why Suzuki can afford to its vehicle for less money. is glaringly apparent in the cheapness of the and plastic interior materials, the cabin and the incessant vibration travels up through the notchy shifter.

If trailbusting is your though, you might be able to the Suzuki’s disappointing refinement in favor of its excellent off-road The independent front suspension is enough both on-road and off to excessive wallow, while the stabilizer bar suppresses body nicely. And though the standard V6 feels a little underpowered on the it proves more than for climbing dirt hills.

On rough paths, XL-7’s absorbers offer consistent keeping passengers from tossed all over the cabin.

and luxurious the XL-7 is not. But it shuttle seven passengers they need to go, even if destination is a long way off the beaten

Senior Editor Chris says:

Suzuki finally has an SUV with the Grand Vitara This is the SUV the company has needed for than a decade in terms of power, ride, handling and capability. But that doesn’t Suzuki got it right. yet.

the idea that an SUV this should be equipped with a seat is suspect, at best. I get the that Suzuki was willing to with compromised second-row comfort and reduced maximum capacity because some genius figured that seven-passenger seating would in giant sales gains. you’re toting Oompa from Willy’s house to the factory, seven people gonna fit inside this folks, so don’t scratch the Expedition off your list yet.

Had Suzuki opted to give second-row occupants legroom and create a deeper floor in back, the XL-7 make more sense. But its name would be all wrong. Suzuki.

This is the real Vitara, not that V6-powered currently wearing that

Another complaint centers the quality of the interior materials, the hard, grained, glossy that covers nearly surface, including the top of the door where lots of people be resting their elbows. At they’ve gotten the hang of faceplate design; you can actually the switches and buttons with hands and read the markings to what function you’re

Ride quality is surprisingly no doubt due to pavement-biased tires and the xtra long wheelbase. The V6 pulls with verve, but tired when climbing Four-wheel drive (Hi, not Lo) is to engage, and off-road is where the really shined in comparison to small SUVs.

It scrambled up a dirt hill like a goat.

Handsome, rugged and the XL-7 makes more than any previous Suzuki Too bad it still suffers from slurred speech, making it more difficult to understand a Ford Escape or Honda

Consumer Commentary:

I really it. Power everything, cruise, tilt/retract sunroof. CD and cassette sounds decent), beautiful pearl paint, deep windows. all standard with line.

We are a family of four, one large dog, and had been at either the Passat wagon or the Sienna. We were going to up a down payment for either one to our monthlies more affordable, but we saw the deal on the XL-7, which seven and had the V6 engine, we bought one . Got it for $99 invoice, about $24,700 out the It’s a nice ride.

Much better than our Isuzu I-mark we were to have to depend on for a year we saved up a down payment for a expensive car. — Suzuki Grand Vitara , #23 of 107, Jan. 2, 2001

bought my XL-7. My family of — with a 9-year 11-year old and 14-month old — fit I think it was the perfect choice for us.

The is smooth and the vehicle feels . I recommend it to everyone. — Suzuki Grand Vitara , #82 of 107, Feb. 13, 2001

from cartex2000:

We have the car in the second row, passenger We didn’t try putting all three in the seat. The other kids turns riding in the third

They like it back and that was one reason we needed the seat — to keep separated! We are still enjoying the very much. — Suzuki Grand Vitara , #86 of 107, March 5, 2001


System Score: 4.5

This system is sparsely For starters, it has only two pairs of These include a pair of full-range speakers in the front plus an identically-sized pair in the doors.

There are no separate or subwoofers in this system. The is a low-buzz affair. In addition to positioned too low in the dash for optimum it has a flat topography, meaning of the buttons don’t stand out from the faceplate to make for usability. Its only saving is widely-spaced buttons that the topography problem somewhat.

The also offers a single-play CD, but no

Performance: Other than a bass response, this one distinctive sound. The absence of tweeters means things get muddled in the midrange region. also, are brassy and irritating, and the sound of the system suffers an artificial quality. The amp gets at about two-thirds volume, the speakers to distort.

Nothing to home about.

Best Beefy power amp.

Other than the generous amp, there’s little to this system. Also, vehicles in this class a six-disc CD changer in-dash, would be a welcome addition.

Scott Memmer

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