Review after 12 months
This site is all about Reviews for the Suzuki Grand Vitara small SUV (SQ Series). This page represents the ownership experience after 12 months. Just remember that there are many different Grand Vitara variants throughout the world.
My SGV as undergone its 15,000k service, at the 9 month mark and in the mid 20,000s as I write this report. Prior to the service I began to experience a chunk noise from the front end similar to a rubber bush worn out type noise when the wheel was turned after the car was parked over night. It was intermittent and I couldn't really see that anything was amiss underneath. Furthermore the air-con had started to make a loud clunk noise when turned on.
I suspect the front end chunk was caused by the wheel alignment which I treated the car to whilst in Darwin. I suspect the place/shop that did it wasn't very good ie a bit dodgy. I can't remember what the place was called at the moment but believe me I will update the site when I find the receipt.
A few things have happened that are worth noting. Firstly the service performed in Newcastle was good, I didn't spot any oil drips and they even painted the tyres. However I experienced a buzzing noise coming from the engine bay soon after the service. I can't remember if it was there prior in a quieter form, nevertheless it was louder. I checked the engine bay and discovered that a screw of the exhaust manifold was missing! I can't imagine why the service people would remove it hence I will assume for now that it vibrated off.
Anyway the front end clunk has now gone and the air-con turn clunk has been reduced. So I'm all happy again.
As for the rest of the car, an annoying vibration has developed in the seatbelt height adjuster are on the drivers side. Again it comes and goes and not very loud it just happens to be near my ear that makes it stand out. Apart from that the car still feels pretty solid and nothing out of the ordinary to report.
The best part is that the gearbox is now much nicer to shift and the engine has freed up considerably. It's now more than happy to very past the 3000rpm sweet spot. Strangely the fuel consumption has decreased. It is a noticeable drop, I assume caused by the freer engine, as you don't have to press the throttle as hard. It's dropped to about 9 litres per hundred for a mix of heavy traffic and some highway cruising. Not bad for a 4wd flying brick.
The handling characteristics can be called fun. I guess its the way you look at driving. (If you want proper handling try another car read a normal car cause you won't get it in any of the other choices in this vehicle class.) It won't go round tight corners as fast a normal car but on a flowing road its just as good. Again when in 2WD on a wet slippery road you do have to slow down. Driving around in the city its just as good in the dry but when wet due polluted roads by oil and grime you need to be careful with fast cornering.
I'm trying to find something new that I can say and that would be important for you to know before buying, but honestly nothing new to report.
I guess to summarize the 12 months of ownership, be careful who you let service or do anything to the car. Apart from that its held up well. I guess the biggest question is would I recommend it to anyone? The answer is yes, just don't expect sports car handling or driving experience. If you're like me who still does the majority of driving on normal roads, only wants a small car and actually goes off-road often then its ideal really.
Although I'm happy with the car there are some things which should be included to spark extra sales (I refer mainly to the SWB) :
A fuel efficient V6 engine.
Extra Bits The latest trip in the SGV was one to the
Snowy mountains in NSW. A mix of heavy Sydney traffic, highway cruising, hill
climbs, and over a variety of roads and even a bit of snow. The SGV again proved that is an acceptable
distance cruiser. I still thing the seat base is too hard (although no-one else
complained when driving, so it must be just me) but the lumber and back rest
perfect. There is minimal road noise, only the wind and engine noise that are
noticeable. The ride comfort or a short wheel base vehicle is very good.
The latest trip in the SGV was one to the Snowy mountains in NSW. A mix of heavy Sydney traffic, highway cruising, hill climbs, and over a variety of roads and even a bit of snow.
The SGV again proved that is an acceptable distance cruiser. I still thing the seat base is too hard (although no-one else complained when driving, so it must be just me) but the lumber and back rest perfect. There is minimal road noise, only the wind and engine noise that are noticeable. The ride comfort or a short wheel base vehicle is very good.
Suzuki Grand Vitara
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This site went live during January 2003.