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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 and earlier)



  • Sounds like a winner. 2.7 l engine, longer wheelbase. Maybe my love for Chevy ZR 2 is over, who knows????
  • zane7zane7 Posts: 1
    I was at the Phoenix auto show yesterday and saw the jx-7. Anyone seen one at a dealership in phoenix?
  • vmk1vmk1 Posts: 1
    The new model is on the Suzuki website now.
    My first impression is that it looks great.
    So far my only complaint with my 99 would be if there was only a little more room in the back.
    This new model looks interesting.
  • I am interested in the new suzuki xl 7 My family is skeptical about suzuki products. They claim it will fall apart in three years and I will be disappointed. The saleslady I talked to said they are great cars and rarely come in for service. Anyone out there have any experience with this
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I had a '93 Suzuki Sidekick JLX (the 4-door hardtop). I had it for 7 years and besides regular maintenance (oil, lube, filter) I had to replace the tires twice and had to replace a water pump. It was a great vehicle. It traveled very well in the snow and performed well off-road as well. It never developed any rattles or squeaks . . . although the wind noise was pretty high at freeway speeds. I would probably still own it except I now have 3 children and the '93 Sidekick only had 4 seatbelts so I traded it in on a mini-van.
  • Casey38, I had three Geo Trackers so far. They are made on same assembly line as Suzuki. The only big repair on two of them was replacement of timing belts after 68000 miles on first one and 63000 miles on second one.The third 1996 Geo 4 dr is still without any service and under warranty. There is a lot of people making comments and most of them never had one. See for yourself the ratings in Consumer Reports. Go for it, I am waiting for ZR2 to be more available so I could push for a good deal.
  • Here's the direct link to Edmund's First Drive of the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7, By Karl Brauer. Good review. What do you think? ;-)

    Pocahontas, Host
  • dmac8dmac8 Posts: 54
    I'm pre-disposed to buy this truck because of the spec., body on frame, V6, true 4WD etc.

    After reading a lot of the posts on this board, my wife and I drove one. It happened to be a 00 Limited, with 1400 miles on the clock.

    When I started it up, there was a loud ticking from the engine, Sales guy said it was because it had sat on the lot for several days. His response told me this question had been posed to him by someone else.

    Fair enough, we drove it, it warmed up and the noise was still there. To drown it out required the radio on pretty high, or the AC and fan at a high setting. Goofy move to put a prospect in a vehicle with problems he already knows of.

    Other observations from the low speed test drive were the vague feeling steering, choppy ride and much less oomph than one would expect from the V6.

    Overall, the truck appears to be really well made. Some of the handling and ride issues are, IMHO, facts of life with a short body on frame vehicle.

    The only other vehicle we will consider in this class is the RAV 4, which we have yet to drive. Aside from the Toyota price premium, it carries the reliability reputation.

    I have a 5 year old Toyota Landcruiser which has been almost flawless. As that is also body on frame, I'm familiarr with what to expect in terms of minor rattles etc. However, it is quiet at high speeds and there is very little wind noise.

    Question is, can you expect to put a lot of miles on the Grand Vitara without the host of problems on this board (RAV 4 board is much more positive).

  • I'm not sure about the Limited that you drove (the situation seems suspect. Was it a demo car?) but I think the major issues dealing with vibration and steering have been resolved with the 2001 model. I have a 2001 CAMI truck with 5000 miles so far and there are no hints of any vibration. You have to remember even Toyota and Mazda/Ford are having major problems with their new generation mini-utes (look at the 2001 Rav4 discussion and read the papers about the windshield wiper breakdowns and fuel leakage problems on the Tribute/Escape).

    You're right about some of the "shortcomings" being inherent. However, even these have flipsides (e.g. The gas mileage is decent and parking is a breeze). If you can live with these things, I think the GV will be an enjoyable car that lasts you a long time.

    On a side note, the CAMI plant (I guess this doesn't pertain to the Limited and XL-7) is already "legendary" in the GM world. I have a friend who is a GM engineer and he tells me that the main reason GM agreed to the CAMI cooperative was so they could see how Suzuki makes cars and implement some of these ideas themselves (it definitely was not for financial reasons b/c they're losing money on it). My friend works for Cadillac and they're redesigning ALL their models from the ground up with many manufacturing ideas "borrowed" from Suzuki. While Toyota is still the industry standard, I think engineers agree that some companies, like Suzuki, are not too far behind.

  • dmac8dmac8 Posts: 54
    Thanks for the response.

    I like to keep vehicles for a long time and add on the miles. To accomplish that, I recognize good maintenance is critical.

    I have an 86 Acura Legend with 149,000 and one of the reasons I keep spending money on it is the fact that people have these vehicles with in excess of 400,000 miles.

    The Grand Vitara strikes me as a robust little vehicle that seems like it should hold up. With normal preventative maintenance, can you get 150,000 trouble free miles?

    This is pretty much a given with most Toyota and certainly Honda products. If you contemplate that sort of life cycle, the upfront cost advantages are not significant.

  • My wife and I purchase a new 1997 Suzuki Sport Sidekick JLX and have had nothing but trouble. At
    32,000 miles the engine slowly began self destructing necessitating a new short block at $3200 plus labor. Now at 72,000 miles, the auto tranny just blew up. The vehicle has been maintained at levels exceeding the manufacturer's recommendations (all my cars and trucks have gone at least 250,000 miles with NO problems under my ministrations: current truck, a 1987 GMC Jimmy, has 301,000 and is still going strong). Dealership Suzuki techs are undertrained. Parts are horribly expensive. The warranty period is woefully inadequate. Suzuki had little to say after a detailed complaint was filed. We wisely purchased a third party extended warranty when we bought the vehicle, and it has paid for itself five times over before the current tranny problem. Get any perceived problem diagnosed IMMEDIATELY! It will likely save you a bundle. I hope you all don't have the same problems we had. Good luck if you already have one!
  • Although this is the GV site, I thought someone
    might be able to help me diagnose the source of a
    squeak in my 95 4wd 4dr. Sidekick JLX. There is
    a sqeaking noise coming from the left front whenever I drive the car in cold weather. It goes away after a time, and hasn't seemed that serious but I would like to know what it is. I never hear the noise in warmer months. By the way, I love this
    little truck. It's been very reliable, great in snow, comfortable and with the five speed, has
    some spunk. I want something a little bigger and
    more powerful, so I'm opting for an Xterra now, but
    the Sidekick has been a great little vehicle for
  • bofeybofey Posts: 1
    I also bought the Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited. I was a little above the $20,000 mark when the included accessories of floormats, bumper guards, and mud flaps were included. I researched many of the competitors and nothing compared to the Suzuki. The Suzuki is definitely the best kept secret around. I have previously driven Honda and Toyotas and the fit and finish is on par with these vehicles.
  • rbalkrbalk Posts: 15
    There is a eGroups mailing list for the Suzuki
    Grand Vitara owners. You are welcome to subscribe.
    Only you can do is just send an email to with blank
    subject and message and then you are automatically
    subscribed. You can click and
    see for yourself.
    Good Luck and enjoy this mailing list.
  • orlyorly Posts: 5
    I just got a 2000 GV. It's very noisy when idling, dealer recommended using 20W50 oil, because the GV engine runs very hot. Says it's the lifters that have sediment on them. I never heard of a passenger car using 20W50... but, it's still under warranty...

    Other than that, I love it. Besides, the rear seat is perfect for mounting a rear facing car seat with a base!

    I had an '89 Sidekick JLX, and put 185K miles, and was still going strong when sold.
  • moe54moe54 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Vitara(not Grand). Recently when I depressed the clutch pedal, there was a "knock" that I felt in the pedal. This came on suddenly, no previous noise. My husband had me move the gear shift around and depress the pedal while he observed inside engine compartment. Nothing unusual. The next day the noise was gone. Help!
  • woody72woody72 Posts: 73
    Interesting that the '01 Tracker (4 cyl) manual emphasizes not to use 20W50. I use 10W40 but I don't know why they don't recommend 20W50. If my mechanical knowledge serves me right on an overhead cam (both 4 and 6 cyl) you don't have lifters, the cam lobes move directly on the rocker arm. Don't know why your idle is noisey other than in general these engines are noisey. Mine is noisier above 3000 rpm. I'd get another opinion. In case you are unaware Chevy Trackers are Suzukis.
  • I recently rented a 2000 Grand Vitara - and enjoyed driving it a lot so I decided to buy a 2001 Grand Vitara Limited. Haven't picked it up yet. The price, including tax, was $22,627.00. Is this a good deal? Which warranty does anyone recommend. I have most recently owned Saturn's which I found very reliable. Noticed the steering and brakes aren't the greatest on the GV but like sitting up high and the price tag isn't too much more than my Saturn SW2. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • woody72woody72 Posts: 73
    Consider looking at the Tracker. It has 2 models with a V6. GM has (or maybe had) a generous rebate on these. Check Chevy's web site under current offers. I bought a '01 Tracker in mid Dec and received a $2000 rebate which I believe ran out Jan 15, but GM has been known to extend these. I initially was looking at Suzuki but settled on the Chevy because of the price and the fact that these vehicles are identical except for standard/optional equipment. Good luck
  • Thanks for the info. I've already bought the Grand Vitara Limited though. No complaints so far!
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