The Grand VitaraXL-7 is a CBU, and so it is the SUZUKI Grand Vitara XL-7. So what does xl-7 stand for? The Grand Vitara is available in short wheelbase and long wheelbase versions. So maybe XL stands for xtra large (long wheel base) and 7 stands for its 2. 7 . It is priced at a position where that much money could fetch you a Mondeo, Vectra, Camry or an Accord V6. But SUVs are for those who want SUVs, and not for those who want cars. It has some tough competitors like the Pajero. But the xl-7 really impresses.
looks and build - the xl-7 is a face lifted version of the old Grand Vitara. The changes are less, but nevertheless are good. The front used to look like the one in the photo shown above. On the xl-7, it looks much more elegant and macho looking. Headlamps are multi reflector. The grille is especially good with its chrome strip. The bumper has huge fog lamps. The side looks muscular and strong. The wheel arches and alloys look good. The tires are 16’’ inch. I feel that the side looks like that of a land cruiser. The rear is bland. The tail lamps aren’t even multi reflector. The spare wheel is placed at the back and it does not get a full cover either. The build quality is good enough for an SUV. The looks are okay and are really good in the side. But the Pajero definitely gets the advantage here.
interior - the interior has a lot of leather and wood. The seats are comfortable. The instrument panel is well laid out. The dash looks very attractive with wood and its LCD readout. Ergonomics are very good. There is plenty of space too. The second row has legroom, but not as much as expected. There is a third row though. Materials used in the interior are of good quality. For a car of its price, people will expect a luxurious interior (like in the Vector, Accord, Mondeo and Camry). The Vitara definitely has it. The Terracan is way behind. The Vitara is as good as, or better than the Pajero in some aspects.
engine and performance -the engine is a v6 and can displace 2700 cc or so. It runs on petrol and power is very good at 164 bhp. The torque could be better. 24 kgm is good, but not good enough. Incidentally, the xl-7 is the most powerful of all SUVs in its range. the engine is refined even if there is some noise. The Grand Vitara XL-7 weighs around 1.6 tones. So that works out to around 1 bhp for 10 kilos, which is good. The terracan is much heavier and its power to weight ratio is lesser. The engine is petrol and is powerful, so one can expect good performance. There is kick even lower down. It takes you by surprise with its quick acceleration. 0-100 km/h comes in just above 10 seconds! That is as good as many of the other sedans in this segment! I did not expect it to be so fast. The top speed is above 160 km/h, which is okay.
ride and handling - ride is very good. All the irregularities on the roads are swallowed with ease. In cities the ride quality is good. Handling is what can be expected from an SUV. It is okay, but because of its size and weight, it tends to under steer. It has power and other capabilities that are required to be a good off roader.
fuel efficiency - this vehicles has a v6 engine and runs on petrol. So forget about fuel efficiency. This is an SUV after all! In the city around 6 km/l is just useless. Even on the highway it does not return more than 9 km/l. in mixed conditions it gives just 8 km/l. the Terracan in this respect is much better because of its diesel CRDi engine. same with the Pajero. So with power comes a price, which may be too hefty.
FINAL VERDICT - the Grand Vitara is as good as the Terracan and the Pajero. It has elegant at the same time muscular looks. It is very powerful. It is luxurious inside and has a very capable refined engine, which can venture off road. The handling is no better than other SUVs. The efficiency in fuel consumption is disappointing. So, should someone buy it given they have the money? Yes, if they want an SUV. But it is not a class beater. The Terracan, Pajero and Grand Vitara XL-7 are equally good. Buy it if you want an SUV. If not, go for the accord v6 or some other sedan.
VALUE FOR MONEY-9/10