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Suzuki Grand Vitara

Suzuki Grand Vitara LTD

on May 30 2013 | in Car reviews, Suzuki Grand Vitara | by | with Comments Off

Car specifications

Price: $41,990
Engine: 2.4 litre four-cylinder, 122kW/225Nm
Transmission: Four speed automatic
Fuel economy: 9.9 litres/100km
Emissions: 234g/km
Equipment: Bluetooth, leather seats, satnav
Safety: Four-star ANCAP crash rating
Factory warranty: Three year/100,000km

Two statistics, both the number “four”, point to the fact that Suzuki’s third generation Grand Vitara is nearing the end of its lifespan. The first four is its ANCAP safety rating, still okay but maybe not a strong selling point when many of its newer rivals have a fifth star. The other four is the number of speeds in the automatic transmission. These days, a five speed is normal with six speeds making inroads. But don’t write off the conservatively styled Grand Vitara, currently available in six versions including a diesel and a two-wheel-drive. On and off the road, the four speed auto is fine; its main drawback is not being as fuel efficient as the newer rivals. As for the four-star rating, ANCAP notes that, although the more stars the better, four- and five-star ratings “offer the highest level of occupant protection”. Apart from  the 2WD, all Grand Vitaras have both 4WD and low-range gearing. It’s not there for show, because the Grand Vitara has a proper chassis integrated into the body, and it’s meant to be able to soak up off-road punishment. The trouble is that, at 200mm, ground clearance isn’t up to seriously rutted tracks and the tyres are very much street oriented. Not to worry, few people buy Grand Vitaras to go serious off-roading or, in fact, to do any off-roading. This is why the next one is expected to appear without low-range gearing, and aimed at the “soft” market. Grand Vitara rides and handles well, for what it is. Brake Override has been added to mitigate those “oops” moments when the accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time. Sensors work with the computer to safely slow the vehicle.

Good features
Genuine off-road ability

Not so good
Starting to show its age

Rating 7/10
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