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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2009 - current)

steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,982
Talk about '09 and newer Suzuki Grand Vitaras here.

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  • Good idea:

    Specs of the single greatest improvement for '09?, the "All things old are new again" [***IDEA***] to bring back a FOUR CYLINDER engined "Vitara" model, (my name for it), include it's anti vibration balance shaft and new variable port fuel induction system. Maybe just fancy soundin' stuff there on paper, up until you get in and drive one and discover the overall goodness this imparts "to the seat of the pants". Along with other upgrades, this sophisticated new engine further helps contribute to a 30% NVH reduction in the cabin for '09.

    While I want to see further confirmation of this from more than just one source, I saw a new(er) road test of a four speed auto 4cyl the other day, which claimed its zero to 60mph acceleration even slightly bettered the outgoing 2.7 litre six by about two tenths of a second. This is the same auto equipped 4cyl which has been criticized by some journalists for not having a five speed [auto] available, while the outgoing 2.7 liter auto WAS a five speed auto... (Saw Suzuki may add a five speed auto to the 4cyl by 2011, or?). Still, why not sooner regardless, along with a manual 5 spd. in a four mode four wheel drive 4 cyl JX model ASAP.

    As "NGV old timer forum posters" , (taking the liberty of speaking for xostnot too?), our chief interest lies in attracting new '09 owners into participating here so we can sit back and learn [from you] how the new '09's are "measuring up" in day to day usage...
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    New engines, 2.4L 4-cyl or 3.2 V6
    Rear disc brakes
    Redesigned rear suspension
    Longer nose
    Grille has recessed horizontal lines
    Scallops added around foglights
    "Bosses" around foglights are wider
    More sound insulation
    Better under-hood blanket
    Thicker glass in front side windows
    Improved door weatherstripping
    Time/Temp/Mileage info in led screen in instrument cluster
    Subwoofer in place where time/temp/mileage used to be
    Side curtain airbags will deploy in rollover
    Some models have turn signals on mirrors

    I thought it would be appropriate to start this topic with a list of changes. Feel free to add the ones I can't remember!
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    The faster acceleration is even more impressive if the numbers I've seen are true, that the '09 is at least 200lb heavier than the '06-'08. I admit to not having done a whole lot of detective work to verify that.

    I agree with norwoodsman that it will be interesting to see how the '09 fares. My curiosity is whether they've fixed the various problems, large and small, that most of us have had to some degree. It seems clear that the '06-'08 GV failed to carve out a sizable portion of the cuv pie, and this very mild update isn't enough to change that. The Rav4 and Forester just had updates, and the Tucson probably will be updated within a year.

    My disappointment with the '09 is that there still is no model tweaked for off-road use. Sheesh, even Chrysler saw fit to do such a model of the Patriot.
  • From Suziki and other various places:


    2.4l = 11.7s manual, 12.0 auto (11.7s is everywhere but saw also 10.2s in auto123 but in the blog they corrected to 11.2s )
    2.7l = 9.0 s manual, 9.3s auto
    3.2l = 9.3 s
  • Thanks for that. It's how the whole package "feels" on the road that matters most of course. However it would be interesting to see a braking performance test of an '09 with it's discs all round, vs. a rear drum equipped '08, since between adventures we all have to be "road warriors" out there.

    Xostnot's prior maintenance concerns re: here in snow country with "grit", road deicing chemicals, etc., and the affects of same on those new rear discs, is something to ponder. Still, like the other safety improvements available from '06 on, seems the trade offs ought to be worth it? The braking performance of an '09 certainly "feels good" on the road.

    In your "inventory rich" environment back east there bm000092, what's what now? Here [locally] we have a log jam of '08's which seems to be preventing the dealer from ordering in a good representative sampling of the various new '09 model configurations. (Actually, same question to you xostnot).... Just one '09 on the lot here.

    While late to the plate historically in certain areas, presently Suzuki's #1 miss seems [to me] to be it's lack of sufficiently creative fresh marketing ideas to help clear out those '08's. Like what? For instance, take the current clear out of Mazda's class leading "3" model, before the arrival of the new 2010's in Feb. Besides low starting prices there is factory stackable cash, (ya, Suzuki's got lots of that), BUT Mazda also offers 2.9%/60 months financing, (4.9 for other terms), as opposed to Suzuki's "it's either/or ONLY" scenario. PLUS, (yes, there's still more), 90 days till your first payment! Bottom line with out many cash only customers out there these days?, and plenty of '08's left [here anyway], well.... Also there seems to be few sufficiently "market climate savvy incentives" available on the '09's either. As nothing other than maybe a Mazda 3 is selling like hot cakes right now?, I don't get it....
  • Hi Norwoodsmn, Not too many 08 left, lots of 2.4L, 3.2L are rare but you can find some, I think that they want to push the 2.4L. I did test drive both of them, both auto.

    My own impressions ? Yes they are quieter, which I liked, brakes are better, not by much but you can feel it (being alone in the car, rear more below).

    I've been twice in an emergency situation where I needed to slam the brakes on my 06, first time being alone there was no problem, braking power is adequat with drums in that situation, the second time we were 5 + the dog inside and I had a 2000 lbs pop-up trailer, I felt the rear brakes giving up pretty quickly (in less than 4 seconds), I was about to pull on the right side of the road in order to not hit the preceeding car, and I had a good distance. I see there a good improvement in safety with disk, no question. However like Xostnot ( may be I'm from old school or had bad experience with maintenance fee of rear disk brakes) I favor drums (sic) mostly because I want to keep it for about 10 years. Being a 3 years purchase I would go for disks (it's only personal).

    Engine wise, in the past they all said that the 2.7L was loud and sluggish and had vibrations. Yes when new the 2.4l feels more refined and I guess it can only improved, just like my 2.7l did. Today after 3 years and 45K kms, this 2.7 is smooth and I like it very much, (personaly again I wouldn't see myself with the 2.4l, it really has less power and I wouldn't see myself pulling my trailer with it), the 3.2l is the one that I would go with, new it feels as good as my 2.7l, so when properly roaded it must be a charm. Not pulling anything the 2.4l is really effective, then it would be my choice, I'm not buying a race car but a capable 4x4 (not a rock climbing one).

    Finally it is always personal, the old one with it 2.7l, the new ones with the 2.4l or 3.2l are fine vehicules. I need to go some places for fishing that I wouldn't see myself with another vehicule, but my main use of 4x4 is winter, and they all perform as almost no other one can. We had 30cm of snow yesterday and the GV is so good. I learned over the 3 past year how to drive it, be carefull and the electronics do all the fine job, go wild and the electronics leave you all the control (they shut down) and if you have skills, the GV let them shine, it is so easy to control.

    One last thing, for normal driving (ie 99% of the time) the noise level being lower is great with the new one, the other 1% when you go wild is pretty satisfying with the old one, you can ear and fell all the mechanic, which can also be a good thing :)

    Hey here is a good video about the 3.2l:

    When I said "wild" be sure you won't never be a danger to anyone else, please.

    In conclusion what is great (the 08 and 09 being available) is that actually there is one for everyones needs, pick the one that is right for you, they have their pros and cons. I wouldn't change mine, when you get one that doesn't have any problems, keep it, every brand have their lemons and their good ones regardless or their models (yes even Toyota, ask me about it).
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    First, I don't have a handle on what proportions the nearest dealership has of '08's and '09's. I imagine they have holding yards elsewhere also.

    Next, the brakes. From the design, I'd expect discs to cool better and for the braking effect to initiate more abruptly. I've never had brakes overheat to the point of losing effectiveness. We've never towed a trailer, but we do come down 4000' vertical descents on rough logging roads. I try to use the engine/transmission to lower the load on the brakes. Another risk is that these trips sometimes include fording shallow streams, which can crack or warp hot drums and discs.

    Anyway, I too await comparative testing of the disc/drum and disc/disc setups.

    As part of an attempt to get Suzuki to resolve our squealing brakes, they took photos of our front discs and rear drums. The inside swept surfaces of the front rotors are significantly rusted, after only 30,000km. In contrast, the insides of the rear drums are shiny grey like new. They theorize that this rust is causing the noise, so they're going to replace the pads and turn the discs. I hate to think of what the rear brakes would look like if they were discs, the effect of deep rust on braking, and the cost to maintain them.

    Lastly, I dealt with the noise level by lining the doors and most of the floor and rear quarter panels with automotive acoustic insulation. I also added weatherstripping around the doors. Such as along the bottom edges to seal them off, and in the notch where the rear door meets the front door, and down past the front door hinges. Overall the difference is quite noticable. Today I was wondering why I couldn't hear any noise from the brand-new snow tires.
  • I really connected with the little GV. The '09 has me interested because of the revisions, and because I love the '08 model. I do some work as an automotive journalist, and even having driven $65,000 LR2's, I really liked the Vitara. I took it on the same off-road track that I took a Jeep Grand Cherokee and LR2 down - against my better judgement - and the Vitara was solid. I loved the size, the interior design, the exterior design, and the powertrain (even though slightly underpowered at freeway speeds). I loved the smooth shifting, intuitive 5-spd tranny. A little more power, with higher EPA ratings for the V6 will be welcome on the '09, and maybe I'll buy one. Oh yeah, let's see if they can eliminate the few little interior rattles that plagued a high-quality looking interior.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    The GV does surprisingly well against a herd of Cayennes in the trans Siberia rally/bash-fest.

    Speaking of Land Rovers, the other day a Range Rover fishtailed out of control on a snowy and slushy highway. I was about to overtake it, so I was going faster. As it lurched back and forth, it lost speed fairly rapidly. When it ended up sitting broadside to me in my lane, I had to brake a bit hard to avoid running into it. No problem. Stupid Range Rover driver. So I blew my squeaky little horn at it just for a laugh, and continued on my way. Don't those cheapo things have any stability control?
  • Or may be he spent too much money on it and didn't have any left for winter tires :P
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    And today, in similar conditions, a Prius taxi driver lost control just ahead of me and bounced off a concrete divider. This time I had plenty of space to slow down and go around him. It seems strange to me that people can just suddenly spin out their cars. Must make it very nerve wracking for them when they go driving in snow, not knowing what in hell is going to happen any moment.
  • Continues here. Even broke down and test drove a new CRV with the wife last month. Incredibly there was a $7,000.00 Honda factory cash incentive on leftover '08 LX awd's, and $5,000.00 on '09's in December! Ya, that's from HONDA! I did take pleasure in having the opportunity to tell them I was happy they were FINALLY adopting competitive pricing incentives, since I'd found 'em wanting badly in that area since we bid adieu to our last new Accord, to go 4 wheeling in Suzuki's, years ago... They even gracefully ate some humble pie in response. Sweet.

    But we found the CRV boring. So did someone else who works where the wife does, (we found out later), who happened to td one around Christmastime too, and had the same impression we did. Guess I expected it to be more Accord like in feel, but it was certainly not. Great awd system though, and impressively long service intervals aided by that superb Honda engineering. But.....

    Went to a Zuke dealership in "a bigger settlement" hereabouts this weekend, and likewise [like here] that dealer had no base 4cyl GV's either. At least the log jam?, (the '08 GVs), are finally moving now thanks to EXCELLENT factory support, which probably even exceeds the internet buying service posted incentives. For instance, here an '08 JX auto box four mode was priced (in the windshield at the dealer), at $20,900Cdn last week!, (plus freight and pdi). Wouldn't have been surprised if it actually went for a bit less too, (it sold). Surely now is a great time to pick up any leftover '08's if one were so inclined. Have to admit to being tempted, but... South, one auction service in the US is even advertising new '08 JLX's, (it looked like), on ebay, for $18,500.00US, on what was called a "Dealer overstock sale". Whoa...

    Picked up an '09 brochure at that other dealership on the weekend, and noted something I had not seen before re: the base 4cyl JA. The five speed manual shift mechanism has also been upgraded for '09, with improved performance, feel, and vibration damping. That again reinforces my idea that it oughta be the most fun GV to drive on road with that lively new four cylinder mill. Couple that with all the safety features, and it seems it might represent a good compromise as an all around driver, if one could avoid doing some of the more extreme stuff out there, (he continued to rationalize).... Still a JX with the four mode 4wd and a manual box, (not available in that config.), would be the logical jack of all trades at the most reasonable price. It remains incredible to me that Suzuki repeats this error of omission each and every time there is an important new intro of an all new or significantly improved 4wd model here in North America. Yes, the 4cyl auto works well, but we want choice.

    Only way to find/test drive a base 4cyl awd JA, seems to be to leave the woods for the coast where some of 'em must be sitting on the dock next to a dealership there. Someone want to post a shot of all of them sitting on a warf in Vancouver? Wonder if Suzuki may be limiting supply on purpose to try to keep the prices up, sans their biting the bullet by offering more competitive incentives now, or is it that no one is buying anything now, so.....?

    Suzuki's incentives seem to come out the latest of any mfgr's, around the 14th of the month here in the great white north, and are only good [therefore] for a limited time, (current posted offers expire Feb. 2nd for instance). And so we wait again, until Valentines day this time. Will Suzuki be sending us a Valentine in the form of enhanced incentives [then] on the '09's? It works for me....

  • There is still some 08 left here around Montreal, but they are becoming rare, you can get them at around 20 000$ as well. There is plenty of 09, but as you mentioned the 4 cyl. with manual is only available with the AWD (no 4 mode) for 09 models, as they did with the 06, most probably they will be available with 4 mode only next year, cannot understand why Suzuki Canada is doing that since we know they are available in other countries.
  • Right, plus more color choices in Aus for instance, like Mint Green and Purple Haze, (can't remember the actual names). But I like Graphite Grey and the new blue one. White with the beige interior seems good too.

    ROOF RACK for a "flat topped" base '09JA, or one of the '08 to '06 JA''s: anyone ever figure out what you can use?

    Absurdly, (to me), Suzuki doesn't offer its so called "roof rails" on the base JA, thus excluding it's own customers from being able to even buy a Suzuki roof rack. AND the aftermarket folks seem to only make the "fixed point feet", (plastic foot covers at least?), contoured to fit in conjunction with JX models and above, with their "roof rails". Just how much would it cost the customer if Suzuki chose to simply add those two longitudinal pieces on to the sticker price on every one of these chiefly recreation oriented vehicles? Put another way, is it worth the cost to Suzuki NOT to include 'em as standard equipment? Again, just think of the lost profit on those Suzuki racks for instance. Crazy.

    Still I've noted what look like four sliding covers on the flat top roofed JA at fix points?, beneath which one oughta to be able to attach [something]. If that is, any aftermarket mfgr. makes something compatible now?
  • I read that Rocky Road Outfitters is making one to go on the JA (it is like a safari rack). For the others that have already the longitudinal rails, besides the one Suzuki is selling (Mont-Blanc) Thule has something compatible in Europe and Australia but not here and neither in the USA. I got the ones from Suzuki, but got an adaptor from Thule to fit my old Thule ski rack on those roof rails.
  • Thanks for that, I'll check it out. I've got lots of Thule stuff myself, and also would hope to use it on our next Suzuki. I outfitted the Zuke wagon with the Mont-Blanc crossbars, and they have worked well, carrying some heavy loads.

    Back to your Thule "feet" looks like they come with "L" brackets which are bolted to the fix points, then the plastic contoured "cover", (if I've got this right?), contours over the top of those rails? Or is that plastic part its self load bearing too onto those roof rails? Probably is I'd guess? Guessing [further] that's the adaptation you made? Anyway that's the latest setup for a roof rail equipped GV on the Thule website. Not an immediate issue here for me, but good to nail this down for any other "JA" prospects out there.
  • Hi, the adaptor is from Thule, it is called FM1 (FM stands for Fat Mouth), on the Thule web site they say it is 65.00 for the 4 clamps, but I got them from a sport retail store at 49.99 cdn.
    You can use them to fit on the rails the ski rack, bike rack and cargo box.

  • Sorry for my post #16, I went on the Thule site later and found out that they now have available cross bars for the GV, they were not available about 18 months ago. But I was surprised to see how costly these bars are today. I was thinking that Suziki ripped me off for it 3 year ago, finally their price was not that bad.
  • Thanks again for the leads bm000092. Checking further I found shows two views of their $99.00US, (they are located in the states, Utah I think), roof rails mounted on a "flat roofed" base 2006 or later JA-GV. They are black finished tubular steel, and look similar to the typical sort of factory roof rails found mounted on many other vehicles. Further, there are tapered extensions on them, (front and rear), which should help spread the weight/load distribution over a slightly longer contact area on a JA's roof beyond the mounting support uprights. It attaches with bolts, (included), beneath the removable sliding plastic covers on the roof of base JA's. No detail installation diagrams online however, or detail either as to what the padding might be beneath those rail end extensions where they meet the roof.

    There is a contact phone number to get further details. These tubular rails are advertised as being able to integrate directly with round Yakima rack fittings, but you can get adapters to use Thule equipment as well. Looks like a very good setup. If I'd known about this sooner, I might even have made an offer on one of the "new" '08 JA's here, before they were "shipped out" somewhere else. But the manual 5 speed '09 JA, (when the price incentives are right), would be my first choice anyway. Again it's very hard to imagine how ANYONE who was buying any GV model, (including a JA), would not want/need a roof rack. Fortunately the aftermarket has stepped up here re: the JA. Suzuki sure as heck ought to come up with their own accessory rails, (like these), and sell them as an accessory for base JA's. Uh, I think that's called common sense....?

    Good exercise here, hope this helps someone out, (maybe myself included), as we continue to figure out what to do.

  • Just a side note to make it clear, as you mentionned the roof rails that are available from Rocky Road are for the JA (or base model) only. They cannot be fitted to GV that have already the factory roof rails, the anchors points where you bolt it on are in different positions. Yes it is odd, the base model and the other ones have a different roof.
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