This compact SUV is similar to the Chevrolet Tracker, and both are built in Canada at a plant Suzuki shares with General Motors. Suzuki designed the vehicle, and both brands offer two-door convertible and larger four-door wagon body styles.
Suzuki has had exclusive use of a 2.5-liter V-6 engine in the Grand Vitara since 1999, but this year it will share that engine with Chevrolet.
All models get a new sound system this year with an in-dash CD player, and the Grand Vitara+ and Limited Edition add a cassette player. The Limited Edition also adds a standard power tilt/slide sunroof.
At 165 inches overall, the four-door Vitara is about 11 inches longer in wheelbase and overall length, but the convertible is as wide and tall. The canvas top on the convertible folds manually. On both body styles, the spare tire is mounted on the tailgate, which opens to the right.
Appearance changes this year include a new grille on all models and new front and rear bumpers on the Grand Vitara. Unlike some other small SUVs, which are based on car platforms, the Vitara and Grand Vitara are based on a truck chassis.
The convertible seats four, and the wagon holds five, but the rear seat is short of legroom on both. Modest cargo space behind the rear seat can be expanded to 45 cubic feet on either body style by folding the split rear seat.
Under the Hood
A 97-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the convertible. A 127-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard on Vitara wagons and optional on convertibles. The Grand Vitara wagon comes with a 155-hp 2.5-liter V-6 engine. All three engines are available with either manual or automatic transmission, and both body styles are available with two- or four-wheel drive.