Introduction

This site is all about the Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD. It contains the most in depth review and information on the SGV on the web. Contents of the site includes ownership, experience and reviews, specifications, pictures, accessories, news trips taken and technical articles and opinions. IMPORTANT: This is a personal site and currently undergoing upgrades and editing!!

The car is also known as the Chevy Tracker or Chevrolet Tracker the difference between them is equipment specification and price. The Chevy is available only to North Americans. It is also known as the Suzuki Escudo in Japan for some variants.

This page contains the latest news and key opinions on the Suzuki Grand Vitara. It's now undergoing a face lift so old content has been moved to the archive pages and things generally being updated (2010). Enjoy your visit here.

News
Last Updated : 30 Dec 2015

2009 Series (JB Series II)
3 Door : 2.4L M $24,990
3 Door : 2.4L A $26,990
5 Door : 1.9L M $34,990 (Diesel)
5 Door : 2.4L M $29,990
5 Door : 2.4L A $31,990
5 Door : 2.4L A $36,990 (Prestige)
5 Door : 3.2L A $39,990 (Prestige V6)

September 2008 update - Suzuki has finally upgraded the old V6 and 4 cylinder engines. They have been used in various forms for over 12 years and although not completely new or particularly hi-tech they should be well received.

New safety features on all models also make the revised versions more desirable. ABS - Anti-locking brakes and EBD - Electronic Brake Distribution and ESP - Electronic Stability Program, front, side and curtain airbags, four wheel disc brakes.

The formerly underpowered 3 door finally gets the proper engine 2.4L petrol engine too!
I can now easily recommend the 3 door version if you want a decent small 4WD.

New 2007 Suzuki XL-7



A brand new 2007 XL-7 has finally been released! Details include a completely different look to the Grand Vitara. Looks like a bit more style and a bit more quality.

I must admit I was surprised when I saw pictures of the new XL-7.  It actually looks odd but good at the same time.  It certainly won't be confused for another make or model for that matter??  They have even incorporated 'classic' Vitara and Grand Vitara themes in the design.

Interior pics look great with various trim packages but overall a lifting of quality and look of material. It's actually looks likes like a nice place to be and although not 'youthful' in theme it's modern almost Volvo or European in in feel..

A new 3.6 litre V6 engine is now available too! Claimed figures include 186Kw and 329Nm. I understand it has variable valve timing. That's class leading performance - at least spec wise. 

The drive train is a part time 4wd system presumably 'torque on demand' although the acronym Suzuki will use is still unknown. Yes, it has all independent suspension.

Underbody bits are based on General Motors 'Theta' platform (AKA Chevrolet Equinox) but on the outside it all looks unique. It doesn't use the current SGV bits.

Any downsides based on spec ? Well reduced 4wd capability via height and system.  That said it is largely dependent on what traction control aids will be included with the car. Otherwise dare I say it ? Another typical SUV.

Expected release dates are late 2006 for Nth America and 2007 for the rest of the world.

2006 Grand Vitara News

In case you haven't heard a completely new Suzuki Grand Vitara (JB Series) has been released in various markets around the world. So far there are 2 body styles the 3 door of the 5 door. There are 4 engines available a 2.0 diesel, 1.6 petrol 4 cylinders, 2.0 petrol 4 cylinders and 2.7 petrol V6. 

16 Valve 1.6 Litre 4 cylinder engine - with variable valve tech or VVTi
(73Kw @ 5600rpm and 139Nm @ 4100rpm)

16 Valve 2.0 Litre 4 cylinder engine (J20A)
(103Kw @ 6000rpm and 183Nm @ 4000rpm)

24 Valve 2.7 Litre V6 cylinder engine (H27A)
(135Kw @ 6000rpm and 250Nm @ 4500rpm)

Direct Injection Diesel 1.9 Litre 4 cylinder engine. (F9Q)
(95Kw @ 3750rpm and 300Nm @ 2000rpm)

Constant 4WD is available on all models but only the 4 door comes with proper low range gearing.  All have 4 speed auto or 5 speed manual except the V6 which has a 5 speed auto. All have open 4WD diffs and only the 5 door has a manual central diff lock with LSD available for high and low range gearing.

The body and frame is integrated. It's not a pure monocoque but a modern compromise. The main thing is that it differentiates its self from the rest and being much tougher than other small 4wds.  See Land Rover Discovery or Mitsubishi for more details.

I hope Suzuki can capitalize on the toughness aspect than the city friendly aspect of this ability since that is what sells in this market - the ability to go off-road. It is interesting to note that the Grand Vitara and Jimny/Sierra are the only 2 door 4WDs left for sale - NEW in Australia.

Remember too that there are different mechanical specifications for each country.  Ie. Some countries have 2 and 4 doors do not have 4wd.  Likewise features vary from country to country.

Opinion on the SGV

The Grand Vitara package is certainly a niche one. All the other small SUV manufacturers only make monocque bodied cars while Suzuki uses an integrated design (frame and mono) that means its arguably more durable in off road situations. Furthermore it is one of a few that retains a separate low range gearbox with additional electronic aids.

So what should the next models provide, judging from past history a further refinement of the chassis, interior, suspension and 4WD system and engine would probably do the trick nicely. Suzuki do not usually follow the 4 year life cycle for cars and more like 6-7 years for 4WD cars instead.  So make sure that the car looks decent, one one wants to be seen in a car that looks like an afterthought eg. Liana, Baleno et al..  Check out the other reviews pages for more critical details on the Grand Vitara.

My recommendation

Since so many don't want to read the overall reviews here is a summary of my conclusions. 
Yes I would recommend the SGV to others. It's put together very well. Just don't expect sports car like handling on normal roads. (It's not terrible but compromised.) However its fun all the same because you know the limits yet feel assured that it will go almost anywhere you're willing to go.

The poor standard tyres are partly to blame for a number of off road traction issues.
Suspension could be tuned better for the on-road too.
Thankfully off-road it gives you confidence because the suspension actually works well and you know that 4wd system is actually working all the time.
It is a generally quiet car on road although the 4 cylinder is nosier than the V6.  The 4 cylinder sounds coarse but it very isolated from the steering so there are no vibes at idle or when driving. The V6 is very smooth.
Fuel consumption is on-par with the other 4wds in the price range.
The gearing and suspension actually make 100% sense in off-road conditions.
It takes forever for the engine and transmission to free up.
I am honestly happy with my choice as I didn't have high expectations.
 

 

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This is a personal website completely unrelated to Suzuki Motor Corp.
I don't work in the industry or any related organization.
It is for entertainment and for other who share the thirst for information.
Any images, trademarks, content, copyrights have been acknowledged where possible and are held by their respective owners.

All other content is : Copyright 2003 - 2016 Peter Lee.
This site went live during January 2003.