2008 Suzuki XL7

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

197.2” x 68.9”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Ride quality
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Quiet cabin
  • 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty

The bad:

  • Small rear windows limit visibility
  • Headache-inducing new-car smell
  • Second-row seats don't slide fore/aft
  • No power front passenger seat

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Suzuki XL7 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Up to seven seats
  • Standard stability system
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Optional remote starter
  • FWD or AWD

2008 Suzuki XL7 review: Our expert's take


I have a collection of clothing items that I purchased for fabulously small prices. Who doesn’t love a bargain? Of course, it’s only a bargain if the thing you shelled out even a modest amount of cash for is something you actually want. My collection, as it turns out, is a testament to bad deals. They’re things I bought because they were on sale, not because they fit nicely or went with anything else in my closet, meaning that $50 top that I got for $9.99 was no bargain after all. As one of the lowest-priced midsize SUVs on the market, Suzuki’s XL7 will fit perfectly into my collection.

The XL7 looks great. The sporty front grille promises a fun ride, while the sleek lines of the body hint at luxuries within. The Premium trim I tested gets bonus points for adding a set of 17-inch aluminum wheels. All trim levels of the XL7 boast a pretty beefy V-6 engine that makes merging onto the freeway a breeze; it passed my “charge-up-the-hill-’cause-I’m-late-for-my-kids” test with flying colors. Sounds great, right? Initially, I too thought the XL7 was every bit the bargain of the century. Unfortunately, once I tried the XL7 on in every other real-life scenario, it was a letdown.

The ride is truck-like and really loud, especially at highway speeds. Even if you like a truck-ish ride, the XL7’s steering has this weird, floaty feel that caused me anxiety on L.A.’s constantly under-construction freeways. There seems to be a lot of play in the steering and handling, and it gets even worse at slow speeds (so, if you enjoy making five-point U-turns, this is your car). Visibility out front is fair enough, but it’s awful out back. Looking out the rear window is like peering through a porthole at the end of a tunnel. If there were some sort of rearview camera or backup warning system, that poor view would be forgivable, but without such supplements even available as options, backing up in the XL7 is just plain scary.

The XL7 has several incarnations; I tested a front-wheel-drive, five-passenger version with cloth seats and Spartan trim. Since I didn’t have the third row of seats, the cargo space was cavernous (especially when I folded the second row up). The second row fits three people comfortably, but there are only two Latch positions (there wouldn’t be room to squeeze three car seats into the back anyway). My three passengers were big enough to use regular seat belts, but the buckles in the XL7 are wobbly and hard for little fingers to grasp. The belt tension was also a bit temperamental; my 5-year-old kept locking them up when he tried to belt himself in. The whole setup doesn’t seem to be geared toward kids.

There are two cupholders in the backseat, both in the armrest, so if you have a third passenger back there you can’t use them. There are, however, cupholders in the cargo area, where a third row would be located. I believe I’ve already shared my argument for leather seats whenever kids are involved, so I’ll spare you the rant. OK, I won’t: Believe me, unlike that T.J. Maxx blouse, leather is worth the money.

I get that when I’m paying bargain prices, I can’t necessarily expect things like leather seats and kickin’ stereo systems, but I wish it didn’t mean my music has to sound like it’s coming out of a tin can. I also get that sometimes that bargain price accounts for poor design elements (I’m sure there are shirts out there that just won’t fit anyone well), but the XL7’s window controls are scattered to the far corners of the center console area. Operating the passenger-side windows requires the driver to reach around the shifter knob in a rather awkward maneuver, and the parking brake lever is somewhat buried between the console and the seat, which had me knocking my knuckles on a daily basis. Oh, and the automatic door locks don’t unlock until the ignition is turned off. Let’s just say I wasn’t very popular in the carpool lane that week.

Essentially, at the end of my test drive, the biggest thing the Suzuki and my clothes from Marshall’s had in common was that I wasn’t sad to see the XL7 go, either.

*For more information on the 2008 Suzuki XL7 and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to editor@motherproof.com.


Latch Connectors: 2

Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5


Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Puny

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore


Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair

Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Some


2008 Suzuki XL7 Premium FWD

Base price: $23,249

Price as tested: $23,249

Engine: 252-hp, 3.6-liter V-6

Fuel: 16/22 mpg mpg

Length: 197.2″

Width: 72.2″

Ground Clearance: 7.9″

Turning Radius: 20.9′

Cargo space: 49.4-95.2 cu. ft.

NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings

Frontal Impact

Driver’s side: 5 Stars

Passenger’s side: 5 Stars

Side Impact

Front occupant: 5 Stars

Rear occupant: 5 Stars

Rollover resistance: 4 Stars

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior 4.2
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 4.1
  • Exterior 4.3
  • Reliability 4.3

Most recent consumer reviews


Don't do it!

I purchased a used 2008 Suzuki XL7 with 112,000 miles. The car was in excellent condition and I paid $6500 Oct 2020. I drove the car for 3 weeks and less than 1000 miles when the timing chain broke. I can't afford a new engine so I lost big time!



I did a Long term test on the Suzuki XL7 it did good not bad for a SUV it .3.6 v6 did good we put 151 532 miles on it andthe Suzuki XL7 did really good in the winter and it did good the summer andi say it did better then the Chevrolet Equinox that did Long term test drive


Good reliable car if upkeep is done.

I bought my 2008 XL 7 new, it has been a reliable car. The AWD is fantastic it will go uphill on ice no problem. Just a few minor repairs to date. It handles well and has plenty of power. The interior is in very good shape. The gas milage is fair, less than claimed. I use 90 octane non ethanol fuel and get about 23 mpg. Most of my driving is highway or freeway. The caveat with the GM 3.6 engine is that if the oil is not changed every 3000 miles with a quality motor oil the timing chain tensioners become loose and the timing chains will need to be replaced. This requires the removal of the engine. The process costs more than this car is worth. A mechanic can use a stethoscope to listen for the tensioners bouncing around. A well cared for motor should get 100000 + miles. I wax mine, the paint is fine. I'm at 73000 miles. If you are considering buying one, make sure the oil was changed regularly. I've in a hilly area with a lot of snow and this has gotten me everywhere. I plan on using it until it is to expensive to fix. It has been a good reliable crossover AWD SUV with a good amount of cargo space.

See all 34 consumer reviews


Based on the 2008 Suzuki XL7 base trim.
Frontal driver
Frontal passenger
Nhtsa rollover rating
Side driver
Side rear passenger


New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
36 months/unlimited distance
84 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles