Suzuki calls its Grand Vitara an "offroad athlete." The five-passenger SUV is based on a purely Suzuki design, and competitors include the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4. Base, XSport and Luxury versions are offered.
New for 2009
The Grand Vitara gets a four-cylinder and a larger V-6, an updated front grille and bumper, rear disc brakes and a few new interior amenities.
The Grand Vitara features accented flared fenders and a tailgate-mounted spare tire. It measures 176 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 66.3 inches tall. It's longer than the Tucson but shorter than the CR-V and RAV4. It's fairly close to its competitors in both width and height.
- Seventeen or eighteen inch alloy wheels on V-6 all-wheel-drive models
- New front grille and bumper
- Moonroof on XSport and Luxury editions
There's room for five in the Grand Vitara on front bucket seats and a 60/40-split folding rear seat that offers fold-and-tumble operation. XSport and Luxury models include a six-CD changer. A SmartPass keyless start system, standard on XSport and Luxury models, locks and unlocks the vehicle with the press of a button on the door.
- New driver information display
- Illuminated steering-wheel controls
- Chrome interior door handles
- Automatic climate control
- Sun-visor extenders
- Armrest with slide function
Under the Hood
The Grand Vitara's previous 2.7-liter V-6 has been done away with for 2009. New engines include a smaller four-cylinder and a larger V-6. The four-cylinder comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. V-6 models have a five-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard and single- or four-mode full-time all-wheel drive is available. The four-mode system includes 4H, 4H Lock (slippery), 4L Lock and Neutral positions, and it has a limited-slip center differential. The neutral position allows for flat towing behind recreational vehicles without mileage accumulation. All-wheel-drive V-6 models feature standard hill descent and hill hold controls. Hill descent control automatically applies the brakes when driving down steep, rough and/or slippery hills to help control vehicle speed. When starting to drive up a steep or slippery hill, hill hold control prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when the driver's foot moves from the brake to the accelerator.
- 166-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 162 pounds-feet of torque
- 230-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 with 213 pounds-feet of torque
- Fully independent suspension
- 3,000-pound towing capacity
- Rear disc brakes
For 2009, the frame is strengthened for increased rigidity. V-6 models with all-wheel drive feature hill hold control as well as hill descent control.
Other standard features include:
- Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for front seats
- Side curtain airbags with rollover sensors
- Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution
- Electronic stability system
- Strengthened frame for increased rigidity