In the saturated sport/utility market, you have big time players like the Ford Expedition and diminutive models such as the Subaru Forester. Each vehicle serves a purpose, providing room, comfort, and portability for passengers.
In the middle of the market are numerous vehicles sold by every manufacturer with a presence in the US market. Once the sole purvey of Jeep, everyone has jumped in with their own models including Japanese automaker Suzuki who has the Grand Vitara.
First, let’s take a look at some background information about Suzuki before we discuss the Grand Vitara.
Founded by Michio Suzuki in 1909, the company is as well known for building motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, marine engines and other small engines as they are a builder of passenger vehicles. With fewer than 100,000 vehicles sold stateside annually, Suzuki has the least amount of sales of any Japanese automaker (except for Isuzu which will be exiting the American market in 2009).
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact SUV in a segment dominated by the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV and similar vehicles. First introduced in 1999, the Grand Vitara was overhauled in 2006 – the current iteration of the vehicle represents Suzuki’s midcycle update in advance of a likely new model debuting in 2011 or 2012.
For 2009, the Grand Vitara has received the following updates:
New powerful and efficient four-cylinder engine rated at up to 26 mpg
All-new V6 delivers better fuel economy and 45 more horsepower than previous V6
Stronger structure, 50-50 weight distribution, revised front styling and increased off-road performance with two four-wheel-drive systems
More user conveniences such as sliding armrest and visors, illuminated steering wheel gages and improved HVAC cluster and radio design
Available Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control inspire discovery and engage senses
Other changes for 2009 includes a new grille and front bumper design accent, illuminated steering wheel controls, sliding front center armrest, visor extenders, HVAC controls, upgraded audio system and updated cloth upholstery. Every Suzuki Grand Vitara as well as every Suzuki sold in the USA is backed by a comprehensive 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
The new Suzuki-developed 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 166 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of peak torque, delivering EPA fuel economy estimates of up to 19 mpg/city and 26 mpg/highway. Available for Grand Vitara XSport and Luxury models is a new 3.2-liter V6 engine with 230 horsepower and 213 lb.-ft. of torque, replacing the 2.7-liter V6 engine in last year’s Grand Vitara that produced 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
Should you consider a Suzuki? If you’re in the market for a small SUV, then comparing the Grand Vitara to similar models is a great idea. With new features included, a competitive price offered, and one of the best warranties in the industry, Suzuki could just be the best overlooked vehicle line out there.
(Source: American Suzuki)