Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
Expert Reviews 2 of 6
By Bob Golfen
February 27, 1999
Pleasant surprises arrive in all shapes and sizes. And sometimes it's true that good things come in small packages. I just hope nobody takes offense when I say: Despite its weird name, the 1999 Grand Vitara is such a good-looking,
nice-driving vehicle, it's hard to believe that Suzuki builds it. As a motorcycle builder, Suzuki earns top marks, especially for its hyper sport bikes. But as an automaker, Suzuki's record has been spotty, offering little more than basic
transportation at a budget price. From the much-maligned Samurai to the diminutive Swift, Suzuki has fallen consistently into the lower tier of Japanese automakers. Granted, the motorcycle champ came onto the automotive field late in the game, but it
still rates consistently behind such stalwarts as Toyota and Honda. The V-6-powered Grand Vitara could be the start of a whole new role for Suzuki. With a new body and chassis, it's so much better than Suzuki's last subcompact sport-utility vehicle,
the boxy Sidekick, that it ascends to a new category. Now, it's no longer a budget compromise but a desirable sport ute in its own right. Really, the only thing held over is the reasonable price tag, competing well against Toyota and Honda.
There's nothing tinny about the Grand Vitara, unlike Suzukis of the past. Doors close with a solid thunk, and the interior feels roomy and well-finished, not at all spartan or cheaply made. Grand Vitara is powered by a V-6 engine that performs
quietly, smoothly and strongly. The demi-truck also steers and handles nicely. It's equipped with a rugged, trucklike four-wheel-drive system for fairly serious off-road excursions. Along with the new Vitara comes a new Tracker for Chevrolet, also
much improved. The body and underpinnings are pretty much identical, except the Tracker doesn't get all the stylish plastic body cladding of the Grand Vitara. It looks better without it. Also, the Tracker doesn't receive the benefit of the V-6 until
next year, apparently so that Suzuki can reap the benefit of the upgrade without competition from its stronger partner. A recent road test of the four-cylinder Tracker found it to be eager, fun to drive and a giant step up from the previous version.
The four-cylinder is not as strong, smooth or quiet as the V-6, but it's not bad, either. It cruises well at highway speeds, and accelerates well, at least with the five-speed stick shift of our tester. The V-6 engine, though, really transforms
the Grand Vitara, making it seem more substantial and generally quieter, especially on the freeway. Acceleration is strong but not too brisk, with a feeling of torque, like a truck, rather than horsepower, like a car. But let's get down to brass
tacks here: Grand Vitara is a ridiculous name that sounds more like a lodge leader than a sport ute. Really, what were they thinking? After such cool names as Samurai and Sidekick (for fairly mundane vehicles), whoever thought that a name like Gra
nd Vitara would help attract people to buy Suzukis? Not me. Suzuki started the whole genre of mini-sport-utility vehicle, with the teeny Samurai, which received a nasty reputation for flipping over, followed by the better-designed Sidekick,
which became the double for the Chevrolet Tracker. Korean automaker Kia followed suit with its attractive but limited Sportage. Then along came Toyota and Honda, which moved up the bar considerably with their well-turned-out mini-utes, the RAV4 and
CRV, respectively. And Subaru, champion of all-wheel-drive cars, came up with its Forester model, which is really a trucklike body on the subcompact Impreza automobile. Now, it looks like Suzuki (and Chevy) have something to offer that rivals RAV4
and CRV, and in some respects, tops them. Especially with price tags starting under $16,000. The V-6 is a major boost, though Honda plans to offer one soon in the popular CRV. The other is Grand Vitara/Tracker's full-fledged four -wheel-drive
system, a rugged Jeep-like system with low range for tackling the tough stuff. Toyota and Honda make do with carlike all-wheel-drive systems that are limited in off-highway usefulness. In an afternoon's four-wheeling with the Grand Vitara - nothing
terribly challenging, mostly rocky trails with a few stints in high-range four-wheel drive - the Suzuki was well-controlled and comfortable, in spite of small dimensions. The ride was firm and rattle-free, handling well on the switchbacks and easily
controlled on loose surfaces. And the ride on pavement is also firm but compliant, exhibiting none of the stiff, rough-ride behavior of some sport utes. The only real complaint about the Vitara/Tracker is its small size, which limits legroom in the
back seat and keeps cargo to the minimum. The driver and front-seat rider will find lots of space, however, with plenty of driving comfort for a tall person. The Vitara and Tracker tested here were both four-door models. Two-door Vitaras and Trackers
are built on a shorter wheelbase and have a folding canvas top over the back seat. The two-door gets only the four-cylinder engine. It's good to see Suzuki earn a solid hit. At this price, Vitara/Tracker is still a bargain, but also with value beyond
the bottom line. 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara Vehicle type: Four-passenger, four-door sport-utility vehicle, rear/four-wheel drive. Price as tested: $20,454. Engine: 2.5-liter V-6, 155 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, 160 pound-feet of torque
at 4,000 rpm. Transmission: Five-speed stick shift. EPA fuel economy: 19 city, 21 highway. Highs: Smooth power. Total upgrade. Lows: Tight interior. Weird name. 1999 Chevrolet Tracker Vehicle type: Four-passenger, four-door
sport-utility vehicle, rear/four-wheel drive. Price as tested: $19,761. Engine: 2.0-liter in-line 4, 127 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 134 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Transmission: Five-speed stick shift. EPA fuel economy: 19 city, 21
highway. Highs: Budget price. Total upgrade. Lows: Tight interior. No V-6 for '99.