2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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Change year or car

$18,499

starting MSRP

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Offroad performance with 4WD
  • Interior space
  • Safety features
  • Visibility

The bad:

  • Automatic transmission operation
  • Short seat bottoms
  • Glove box size and access

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Available four-mode 4WD
  • New four-cylinder and V-6 engines
  • Available five-speed automatic
  • Electronic stability system
  • Hill hold and hill descent control

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara review: Our expert's take

By Jim Mateja

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


Snow buried it in the driveway, but the Suzuki Grand Vitara shook off the thick white blanket and securely pulled onto the road.

Whether snowy or clear, Grand Vitara was in command.

For 2009, Grand Vitara offers a 4-cylinder, a 2.4-liter, 166-h.p. version rated at 19/26 in the base model; a 3.2-liter, 230-h.p. V-6 rated at 17/22 with 2WD, 17/23 with 4WD has replaced the 2.7-liter, 185-h.p. V-6.

We tested the 4WD version with the noticeably more spirited V-6.

Above average energy and exceptional control in snow.

But on dry, uneven roads, the suspension tends to jiggle. And, if traveling in steerage, leave your knees at home.

Also prepare for the headrest torture – they dig into your back if left down – and wheel well encroachment into the narrow doorways.

The cargo hold will handle groceries or luggage for a week, but the pull shade to hide contents is flimsy. And the door with spare tire attached swings open rather than lifting up, which makes it hard to use if someone parks too close behind.

Base price: $26,799 with stability control standard.

Grand Vitara competes against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Jeep Wrangler, Goliaths that are tough to slay.

Read Jim Mateja Sunday in Rides. Contact him at transportation@tribune. com.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 3.9
  • Performance 3.6
  • Value for the money 3.4
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 3.6

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

One issue

I bought my 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara V6 first thing that went wrong was the that when ever I pressed the horn the radio volume would go up loud. After two years the ABS dash light came on, got it fixed. After five years all the dash light are on including the ABS. One year later a missed fire been happening it loses power while driving, you turn it off and the missed fire stops. It has gotten to a point we’re it has to be turn off and on every two minutes. Has this happened to anyone else?

4.3

Best vehicle I have owned for winter driving.

I really like the "Hill Descent Control" feature. That has been a lifesaver as I had to drive almost 70 miles just one way to work for 4 of the 6 years that I have owned the car. Winter driving can be a challenge at times in PA. The Suzuki Grand Vitara has been comfortable for me and dependable until I got around 135,000 miles and some throttle control sensors went bad under the hood. Great on snow covered & icy roads thanks to 4-wheel drive. The only part I don't like are the headlights. The low beams seem to be only the running lights; the big headlights do not come on in low beam. So unless you run the high beams all the time at night; visibility is not so good. I have had the bulbs replaced numerous times; but this does not correct the problem. Other than that it has been good.

1.6

Horrible vehicle

We bought this clunker in January 2010 at 8900 miles. From the get go, nothing but problems. The A/C went out before summer started, and the dealership repaired it. Indicator lights on the dash would appear and not go out, and had to be taken to the dealership to be reset. Last year, the A/C was blowing hot air. Come to find out, radiator fluid was leaking out, causing overheating, which shut the A/C compressor down. The fluid leaked out because the engine block cracked. Got the engine replaced. A few weeks ago, my wife was driving to Austin (from Dallas) and broke down on the highway an hour from Austin in traffic when the engine locked up. The timing cover broke and all the oil leaked out. Now we're on the second engine replacement in less than a year. We'll get some use out of this engine, then we're done with the car. It was a horrible investment.

See all 7 consumer reviews

Compare the competitors

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See all 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara articles