Suzuki Grand Vitara
Review: In this age of the ubiquitous crossover vehicle, itís easy
to forget about real SUVs. What if you want a reasonably sized vehicle
that can actually go off road occasionally and has real four-wheel
drive? The Suzuki Grand Vitara can do it, while still offering the
creature comforts buyers demand today.
I tested my Black Pearl
Metallic Limited V6, the top level offering, between two luxury
crossovers, so the differences really stood out. The Suzukiís windshield
is more upright and the interior feels more businesslike than the
overtly stylish designs of the crossovers. That doesnít mean that it
drives like a truck though. The artificial wood was attractive, the
light and dark tan plastic panels and silvery accents were well
finished, and the inside felt open and airy.
From the outside,
thereís no mistaking the Grand Vitara for anything other than an SUV.
But at 177.2 inches long, with short overhangs, it is not too imposing
or lumbering. Stylish touches, such as the rear pillar slicing down,
defining the wrap-around tail lamps, work nicely, and thereís a big
spare tire on the rear door, which opens sideways, not up like a hatch.
My tester rolled on
18-inch alloy wheels, the largest standard rims, which gave it some
extra road presence. They resided in typical SUV fender bulges, giving
the car a purposeful look.
You can select from two
engines, a new Suzuki-designed inline 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a
3.2-liter V6 with more power than last yearís model. My car had the V6,
and with 230 horsepower and 213 lb.-ft. of torque through a five-speed
automatic, it moved the nearly two-ton car along easily at 70 mph. The
five-speed automatic performed flawlessly and I didnít hear the engine
straining on sustained uphill grades.
offers somewhat better fuel economy and makes the car a bit lighter.
With 166 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque, it comes with a
five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. This car would make a great
little workhorse up at the cabin, and with Suzukiís standard four-wheel
independent suspension could be a reasonable in-town car too.
The four earns EPA
ratings of 19 City and 26 Highway; the V six drops to 17 and 23. The
V6ís official average is 19 mpg, and I got 18.9. Right on the money! The
EPAís Green Vehicle Guide puts the Grand Vitara at 7 for Air Pollution
for all models. The Greenhouse Gas numbers vary from 4 to 6. The
2-wheel-drive, manual-equipped four-cylinder model makes it into the
The Grand Vitara offers
real four-wheel drive, in two flavors. The single mode is the more
basic, but my tester had Suzukiís 4-Mode Fulltime system. Leave it in 4H
and it moves torque from front to rear automatically on the road. If
youíre out in the dirt, you can lock the system in 4H or 4L (low).
V6-equipped models also include Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold
Control. Youíll appreciate this in the wilderness, or in San Francisco.
You can tow a Grand
Vitara behind your RV without putting miles on the odometer or wear and
tear on the transfer case by setting it to neutral. V6-equipped models
can now tow up to 3,000 pounds plus themselves.
The Grand Vitara comes
in four levels, from Base to Premium to XSport to Limited. You can pick
the four-cylinder or V6 engine and rear-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive.
The manual five-speed comes only with the smaller engine.
Every Grand Vitara
includes a navigation system, automatic climate control, a trip
computer, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, automatic on/off
headlamps, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM Satellite Radioģ-compatible
audio system and power windows, mirrors and door locks.
The Premium level
(four-cylinder models only) adds cruise control, a leather-wrapped
steering wheel, privacy glass, a full-size spare tire cover, a cargo
cover, hands-free calling, Bluetooth, and the option of an automatic
The XSport adds a power
sunroof, keyless entry and start, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rack rails
and fog lamps. V6 models will get 17-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded
The Limited puts
frosting on the cake, with heated leather seats, fancier interior trim,
18-inch alloy wheels and more.
Prices range from
$18,894, including shipping, for the Base car with manual transmission,
to $27,994 for the Limited with V6, four-wheel drive and all the
trimmings. For the standard navigation system, Suzuki placed a portable
GPS system into a little pop-up door on the top of the dash. Sound runs
through the carís audio system. Programming is easy, although the long
reach and tiny buttons require careful work. The birdís eye view on the
small screen works surprisingly well.
Thereís a sense of
authenticity to the Grand Vitara, handsome but not overstyled, honest,
yet still rugged, and that all feels really good.
By Steve Schaefer ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited is a small compact SUV that can
perform with the best in this class. The Grand Vitara has the power to
go off road as an SUV, and the finesse of a crossover in town, to
conquer both worlds. With 2 engines, 3 transfer drive trains and 4 trim
levels it can be equipped just the way you like it. The Grand Vitara has
grown up, and now has the power options, comfort and safety features,
plus its good looks, to make it a great everyday driver.
Bottom Line Review
provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The 2010 Suzuki
Grand Vitara Limited Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
ďTony the Car GuyĒ is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in
the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony
send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
www.autowire.net - And remember: ď You Are What You Drive Ē
Suzuki Home Page
Column Name: Grand
Vitara is a great everyday driver
Topic: The 2010 Suzuki
Grand Vitara Limited
Word Count: 1,025
Photo Caption: The 2010
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Photo Credits: Suzuki
Grand Vitara Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 39
the Microsoft Word version here:
2010 Suzuki Grand
Download the Original Image File here:
2010 Suzuki Grand