"I own a 2011 Grand Vitara, it only has a couple thousand miles on it but I have had many new cars being in that business for most of my life. I also test drove virtually every small SUV type car in t...
"I own a 2011 Grand Vitara, it only has a couple thousand miles on it but I have had many new cars being in that business for most of my life. I also test drove virtually every small SUV type car in the under 30K class. In just the short time I have had this vehicle I have already verified that many of the slams you read about this car in American Press are simply not true, or are twisted to sound bad. For instance:
1. They say it does not ride quite as well as the CRVs and Rav4s and all these car-like SUVs in this price range. But only the GV comes with on and off road tires which are designed to firmly hold things like jagged rocks, as all the others come with regular highway all season radials which are a much softer type tire.
2. Acceleration- This 4cylinder (uses a timing chain not a internal belt like the others) gives 0-60 consistently at 8 seconds. That is no match for my SLK roadster but fine for a 4Cyl SUV, the only SUV that felt faster (without timing them) was the Nissan Juke.
3. Noisy. The 2011 is packed with sound stopping material, it is far more sound isolating then any other in this price range. Even the firewall has a thick layer if isolation material. It is so quiet that they may have just started using so much sound deadening material.
4. The GV has brakes like claws, which are rarely mentioned. It stops significantly shorter then my MB SLK roadster. only108' from 60MPH vs 115', and this has already saved me from a crash that would have likely happened in my SLK.
5. Almost all 20-30K car-like SUV have their suspension bolted onto their uni-body, real off-readers still need a fame. The Grand Vitira bolts and welds it's suspension and uni-body onto a full latter frame. Not high tech but a very expensive step that the others have eliminated. This allows the GV to hold its structural integrity while traveling down a West Virginia trail, or while pulling a 3000Lb trailer, they even sell snow plows for Grand Vitiras.
6. The Rear hatch. I may be hindered for 10 minutes over my life because the rear hatch swings open like a door. But I will enjoy the fact it opens over a foot wider then some of its competition, and even with its higher ground clearance mounting its regular full sized spare on the door allows it to have a much lower, and flatter loading floor the ones with a temporary spare under the floor.
7. Most of the others now have a keyless entry and pushbutton start. But if your fob batteries die, or if it breaks you can be stuck. This also has the keyless entry and operation but instead of a push button you still turn the key bracket on the steering column, you just do not need to put real the key that slides out of this fob in it as long as it is in your pocket. But both the outside door handle and ignition will also operate keyless or with the key. I do not recall this on any of the others.
8. Amazing handling - YouTube/MotorWeek/Grand Vitira and watch how its real 50/50 weight distribution also eats up the slalom track, with very little lean.
9. When you take every option Suzuki puts on this which is vast, Sun Roof, Climate control, heated Leather seats and side panels, GPS, full power, it still only lists for 25K. Most of the others comparably equipped breach 30K, and you won't find any other low range transfer cases either.
I am extremely pleased with my decision to buy the Grand Vitira. Because it is actually a super stout rear wheel drive based 4X4 utility vehicle dressed up like a pretty little car, instead of a pretty little car puffed up to like a utility.
Bottom line. If you want a Crossover that can go anywhere, effortlessly pull a nice fishing boat that is also loaded in the mid 20s, then the GV is the most outstanding choice.
Most of those crossovers you see on American Highways are only sold in America. The Grand Vitira is sold in 137 countries, because it is just as at home countries that have few roads as those with highways going everywhere.
If you never go off pavement, or if you never ne