2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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: