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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008

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  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Thanks again bmoooo92 for posting the 2009 video link. If you pause it during the rock slab climbing demo, looks like that one may be sort of a medium to lighter metallic LIME green....? Hummm. The forest green one offered elsewhere now, (and earlier in the run of the old XL-7), also appears in picture form in the current accessories catalog showing the "molded rear mud guards". Hope that's the one we get. Cats eye blue was probably my own personal fave on the old XL-7. Maybe we're going to get "trendy" now though with metallic lime green and "Pimp my ride purple"? Who cares [almost] if the rest of the vehicle proves now to be all that it can and rightly should be now for '09?. It's well past time to drop the Angst from the Love/Angst mix that has been included, (at no extra charge, unknowingly to most buyers), along with the purchase of too many new Suzuki SUV's. I wish them EVERY success with these new models, IF it can be proven they've taken the necessary steps to fully earn it this time..
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Re: "Interesting to speculate what Suzuki's up to". Found a post confirming my feeling that US boss "Rick" Suzuki: "Resigned to take responsibility for the company not meeting '07 US sales targets". I enjoyed some of his more audacious press releases. One can't achieve if you don't reach high enough though, and I found his unbridled enthusiasm refreshing. But sales didn't meet targets and along with Rick US staffing levels have been cut back as well.

    In another shake up, Suzuki also terminated it's US ad agency relationship in favor of going with another firm. Perhaps we'll get the Japanese Indiana Jones promo treatment? Further on Rick, I wonder if it he really needed to fall on his sword? Or, was it more a case of: (to loosely paraphrase an old saying), His press releases wrote a check that the QUALITY CONTROL ENGINEERS back home
    couldn't enable him to cash? Put another way, did GV reliability issues evolve to become a statistically important part of his problem(s)? Only he and home office know. He assumes the position of adviser to the board.

    Finally, we know nothing about '08 GV reliability data yet, do we? Maybe they've got it all right this year but for the overdue engine upgrades, thus making the current close out deals "interesting"? Who knows? It will be interesting to see the '09 pricing. Lastly, the apparently light green one I first saw on that 2nd gen video post, looks more like silver in the original footage in the Suzuki Japan promo. Maybe we will get the forest green.
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    I don't know who makes the decision about the colors we get, because that forest green and cat's eye blue were already available almost every where around the world since '06 except here in North America
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Right, and there's a true red which has been available down south in the US. Tech. name of the old green was Grove Green Metallic. As might be expected looks like the four will come with most if not all the new '09 goodies. Still at least there's hope an entry level one might be used to phase out "older" parts. Saw some '09 foreign msrp's expressed in US dollars, and they seemed STEEP. Can't necessarily correlate that, (I hope), to what we'll see here in North America.

    For fellow Canucks prepared to do the legwork, again you could now bring a US '08 across the line with the low range gear set, for close to the clear out price for the base model here. Check the duties and a "Fuel inefficient vehicle levy", (that's a quote from Suzuki Canada's own website, please note!), re: "cautions about importing from the US".... BIG for me will be to see if Suzuki gets closer to price parity with the US for '09. At least for us, that's been another major factor in our holding off on purchasing another new vehicle. As an aside, If anyone is considering a car as a SUV alternative these days, (another one of our dilemmas), the 2008.5 Mazda 3 Sport GS with the economical 2L engine is THE killer deal in the marketplace now, what with a new model set to replace it. Drive it and you'll love it.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,252

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Our mates down under landed the first good test drive(s) on a multi day Suzuki pulls out all the stops journalists outing. Ayers Rock, camels, and more. Check out caradvice.com.au and their Aug 28th post found under: 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara First Steer. [2008] indicating their test date of these new '09's.

    Great photos, good look at the nicely re designed new instrument cluster, facts about NVH improvements, and much more. One quote: "The new 3.2L is a big improvement over the old 2.7". Winter release down under is scheduled for Sept. Obviously/hopefully same for us here in The Great White North.

    Happy Labor Day weekend.
    Nwdsmn
  • Check out the Suzuki Australia website: suzuki.com.au where all cats have now been let out of the bag. Download their '09 GV brochure for a look at
    "Ever Green Pearl", (it is a lighter shade than Grove Green metallic was), and "Twilight Purple Pearl". Yes, it's truly purple, but should be nice in person. Slight extra charge [down under] for both colors.

    From other sources, the new 3.2 Liter motor is 9% more fuel efficient than the outgoing 2.7. Thicker glass and door seal changes, and perhaps some insulation improvements?, achieve a noise level reduction of 2db in the cabin. Not sure if that's for all of them, or just the premium models. However, all of them get four wheel disc brakes.

    The variable valve timing four has a vibration damping balance shaft, and a variable port fuel induction system, reported to result in a smoother idle and improved all round performance vs. all previous Zuke fours. Sounds good. Fuel consumption for the 4 is 8.8L per 100km combined as previously mentioned here. On paper it does look like we may finally have our own reasonable facsimile version of Honda's CRV motor. Different specs of course, but close enough for our purposes, it seems. Finally a four in the lineup again. But differing GREATLY from the dull, bog slow, inflatable toy look base '99 to '03 Vitara, (in '04 they gave it a 2.5 six, it's last year), INSTEAD we will have a 4cyl model which is every bit as modern for it's own time, stem to stern, as was the 4 door Sidekick when it was intro-ed way back in 1991. Rusty, (O' faithful Sidekick), you may be off to the wrecking yard. Suzuki listened after all.
    Nwdsmn.
  • Though neither Suzuki USA or Canada have anything about them online yet, our site autotrader.ca under their new car section, DOES. MANY pictures, specs, etc. They show some new colors, but it seems incomplete as I saw a sort of Metallic Navy blue '09 four cylinder JLX on the lot today, and they didn't show that color on the site. Supposed to get a plain non metallic white though, and a second red, but they didn't show either the green or purple. We'll see.

    The base model four cylinder, (no low range), with manual transmission, has a msrp of $25,995. Cdn. Mileage figures differ a bit from whats been posted elsewhere to date, indicating: city 11.2L /100kms, highway 8.1L /100kms for the base model. The "least expensive" four cylinder [listed] with the low range gear set has a msrp of $27,995. Cdn. with an automatic transmission. No five speed manual JX is shown, but maybe one is on the way. Specs show "underbody protection for the engine". Couldn't tell if the instrument cluster does differ from an '08. There's more on all of the models at this site.

    Again, with one on the lot here now, Suzuki should have the accurate details out soon. Will look forward to seeing a test drive evaluation of the four cylinder automatic transmission JX or JLX [here?] by someone who currently owns a 2.7 with auto box. There ought to be one in your hood now too?
  • So the wife and I TD'd the loaded to the gills, (but for leather), 4cyl JLX automatic.
    My speculation about it being a worthy, yes, Sidekick replacement, (attractive, nimble, economical, fun to drive), while the 99 to 03 Vitara was NOT, was confirmed. To wit: the lesser weight of the four under the hood of a GV, vs. that of a six, gives the all new VITARA, (that's what I'd choose to call it), very nimble handling, actually making it "tossable" in the corners. I'm smiling here while thinking at last, at last! Sure, of course it has the same Suzuki feel to the suspension as the '08 GV, a direct lineage from that of the Sidekick/Vitara for that matter. But again as we agree, it's that suspension which allows us to do what we do in the dirt.

    I'll leave it to auto box fans to delve more deeply into the performance of the four speed transmission, though to me it's operation represents a definite improvement to the breed. Most notable besides the handling improvements thanks to the lighter engine, was [yes] the quietness of the cabin. Tire noise seems the most noticeable factor there now. Sure, you can hear it when the trannie kicks down a gear when ascending a long hill on the freeway, but nothing like before in prior models. Yes, with two aboard and no load, it does accelerate nicely up those hills too. Making it's peak hp at a higher revs, it does rev up on kick down, but not at all as drastically as prior Zuke slush boxes, (at least it seems so to me).

    So we're waiting to TD the base JA with the five speed. Figure we'd have to give up the more heroic off road outings sans the crawling gears, but it should provide the sportiest ride in the entire lineup, while still having all the basic toughness necessary to handle most backwoods assignments. A tougher Subaru Forrester fighter, while the CRV is too SOFT roader to be used for comparison. Given the goodness of this configuration, surely expect the new six to be a real road rocket. Super there if you want/need that in an urban environment. But drive the new four and vicariously you will understand what some of us have been SO missing from the Zuke lineup way back since the last four cylinder Sidekick was bolted together in '98. Nice job Suzuki! Feels good not to have to [non-permissible content removed] here anymore with actual "ALL NEW" Grand Vitara(s) finally being offered for sale by Suzuki. Only "ointment fly" being there is no low range equipped five speed manual JX four cylinder model in the lineup yet.

    Oh ya, the new four wheel discs "feel" great. For six fans, one other tidbit I've gleaned is that the timing chain control mechanism has been redesigned. Back to colors, I no longer pretend to know what's what there, nor do dealers, with no brochures available yet. Will be interesting to see where Suzuki offically debuts 'em here in North America. Hope they don't obsess solely on the new six, and they TD the four also.

    After too many posts I'll shut up and look forward to your input....

    Nwdsmsn.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    norwoodsman, I'm always happy to read your thoughts on the currrent generation Vitara. I'm glad to hear they're getting close to what you have had in mind for the last three years. I think they should put out one model that's clearly for off-road users (skid plates, more clearance, 5-spd, diesel etc) and one for the Rav4 crowd (predominantly 2wd, soft suspension, even more sound insulation). They could keep the total number of models the same.
  • Thanks. Maybe it has something to do with why there's no beefed up CRV: apples and oranges? For instance I also noted for '09 Suzuki has significantly strengthened the GV's hybridized unibody/frame. So justifiably proud of being the opposite of what a CRV is in that department, why reverse engineer a soft(er) road version around this innovative chassis, in effect rendering those unique GV virtues redundant? Still one with a somewhat more car like feel to the suspension might broaden the GV's appeal, not that [we] really care about that.

    On the other hand who says we can't have it all? Seems now Suzuki has most ALL things sufficiently right for '09, (pending a future read on '09 GV reliability stats of course), that their next major engineering target could reasonably be to engineer a more unobtrusive feel to the articulations of the GV's suspension, while still retaining it's full suitability for off road use? Absent that, an all new Nissan Rogue like, glorified station wagon "crossover" with a car chassis/suspension, and this fine new four cylinder under the hood, might be a more appropriate option to fill that sort of a market niche?

    Have to dust off my old saw and say I still don't understand why a Mate can go walkabout to the store in Aus today, and drive home in a brand new '09 with
    five speed manual and the low range gear set AS STANDARD EQUIPMENT, while here in the Great White North, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon finds himself left out in the cold with only Nanook the wonder dog for comfort, sans having same even available here [yet]. What's this ongoing delayed gratification stuff, eh Suzuki?! I don't really want to give up a low range, much as I can rationalize about doing it sometimes. Will we have to wait almost a couple of years [again] to have one available here?
  • That's a five speed manual transmission NOT being available with the low range gear set [again] on any '09 model, with the pending intro of the new lineup, (according to what I've seen in print so far). The 4 cylinder JLX auto we TD'd was opulently swell, (ya, wish it was in the driveway now, but at 30 big ones with PDI, pre tax...), and it did have the low range gears. Same config [w/auto] is available one step down in the JX, but of course it adds roughly a grand to the cost of one for someone preferring a manual. Guess we're at the end of the distribution pipeline for some reason, and once again we'll just have to wait to see one here eventually. Seem to recall they may be going to build a factory in the US where they will assemble GV's. Was it Florida? Then maybe this North American supply issue, (if that's what it is?), will become a thing of the past? Incidentally, take a look at Steve's post # 876. That appears to be the new color of the one we TD'd.
  • Must HASTEN to add, I can't seem to re-unearth that apparent "rumor" about a future US Suzuki plant being built in Florida. (Anyone?) Saw there's a big new one in Japan, and one slated for St. Petersburg RUSSIA.
  • Glad you liked the new one, my dealer had 2 2009. I tried the 4L 2.4L with 4 speed auto tranny yesterday. Yes the engine feels more refined and quieter. For my part I didn't felt that it was more nimble compare to my V6 2.7L 2006, (mine is 1620kg, the new one is 1600kg).

    I agree it's a shame that the manual 5 speed doesn't come with 4 mode 4x4 (I guess they will do the same as when it was introduced in 2006, they will wait 1 year).

    The 4 disk breaks are good, hope the rear ones won't cost too much to maintain.

    This 4 cylinder should be more popular than the old 2.7L V6 with fuel economy near 2L/100km less and it's welcome. Yes Suzuki you made it.

    Yet it won't make me trade my 2.7L for this one, even if they rate the towing capacity (1360kg) the same for both I still believe that I need those 20 to 30 pound foot of torque for my towing needs.

    You mention something about the stiffness of the frame, did they change something ?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,252
    Maybe the rumor you saw was the old one about the Suzuki pickup that Nissan was supposed to start building for Suzuki in Tennessee starting this year. I guess that rumor didn't have any traction either.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Re: chassis stiffening. Have seen that from all sources, but sans any detail yet. One blog post I came across yesterday seemed to suggest it was just in the aft regions, claiming it had some relationship to the use of the new rear disc brakes.
    I couldn't understand the logic there. So we'll have to wait for details. LOTS of new sound insulation in there. Saw a Suzuki cutaway diagram showing that in a post from Australia.

    About the 2.7, to keep ALL options open we are also going to re test an '08, and watch to see if those close out deals get even better. They should as the year winds down. When we first TD'd one a couple of years back, I was not in a position to best evaluate the handling, vs. our opportunity the other day with the new 4cyl. But I had no issues with the handling of the 2.7. Glad to hear they are so similar in that department, in your opinion. Thanks for the info. Wouldn't want to pay full MSRP for a new '09 yet, regardless. Always buy low, and keep them forever! Better half sure liked the quiet in the new cabin too. My first choice on the road would still be the base 4 with the 5 speed manual. It ought to be a good one.

    As they are ventilated discs on the rear, that ought to help address potential problems brought about by the lesser quality steel mfgr's use for rotors today.

    Apparently more of them will have a beige cloth interior this year. The blue may be it for new colors here? If so that's too bad.
  • The four speed auto box is a carry over. Seems so good now thanks to the NVH improvements, which yes, include the 4cyl motor. One post said a five or maybe even six speed auto is slated for the 4 cylinder in in three to four years. Both new engines are fresh in house Suzuki designs. Aus gets the Diesel which has been further refined a bit for '09 evidently.

    Again from Aus: more NVH techno stuff. Prop shaft joints have been changed to sliding cv joints for reduced vibration and noise. Why hill descent control only on the six? Suzuki thinks more sixes will be used off road. How did they manage yet again to forget about ALL we prior Samurai and Sidekick owners?

    Why can Crocodile Dundee get all those options right out of the box, and apparently we won't? Maybe it's because of a 12.6% 2007 GV sales increase down under? If that's the crux of it, (follow the money), and we know in contrast sales numbers fell off in North America in '07, well on that point I have say, hey Suzuki, HEADS UP!

    My firm belief is sales dropped here for exactly the reasons so well outlined by xostnot in post #866. Specifically, [your] slow lead in time to bring these new improvements to market. We're just MUCH MORE demanding for ongoing change here, I think. I believe prior sales numbers data may have consistently mislead Suzuki company officials to arrive at hasty conclusions about market demand.
    Just one example: PLEASE UNDERSTAND that far from it being a case of not many folks wanting go off road in one of your four cylinder models, the real reason you sold ever fewer, fewer, and still fewer Vitaras here, was because you so neglected the four cylinder model range, to the point where the marketplace, (including we, the faithful), completely lost any and all interest in them. In the meantime, four cylinder CRV's and Rav 4's were selling like hotcakes, but no, they didn't meet our off road needs. So again those sales numbers were not at all an accurate measure of actual market demand for an off road-able, up to date four cylinder Suzuki model, any more so then, or right now today....

    STOP DISCRIMINATING against 4cyl fans who are amongst your most loyal of customers. Give us at least the basic goodies like the low range in a four cylinder model with the manual 5 speed, please.
  • What's out there so far suggests the rear sub frame was beefed up to handle the additional stopping power generated by the new rear disc brakes. More on NVH, one post claims an astounding 30% reduction in cabin noise.
  • Glad to hear you agree about the disappointment over there [again] being no low range equipped 5 speed manual announced in the '09 lineup. One tester from Aus, (they were given autos [only] with the low range gear set), also noted, (in my words), how it [the auto box] still didn't stop you from thinking about of the virtues having of a manual transmission. Again, that's not an exact quote but it is what he "said".

    To tone down the [my] rhetoric a few notches, (guilty), coming at this from another perspective, what is the sense of having the 5 speed manual in the base JA without the low range? To xostnot, (on this same subject too), yes, the JA is that soft roader fighter, (for now), the entry level one intended for mass market consumption. So logically without the low range on board, the JA would be going up against the Nissan Rogue, etc. As we know the mass market seems to prefer "those" with auto boxes. So why even config the JA with the 5 speed manual??? Maybe Suzuki should just switch gears making a 5 speed available only on a base JX with low range. It would then become the entry level off road capable model which so many of us desire. All the bells and whistles in the world mean nothing bouncing about on a backwoods route, (as the wife put it so well).

    Most car companies show deference to repeat buyers, don't they?. It remains agonizingly perplexing here in North America, why Suzuki seems so reluctant to pay homage to it's historic roots and it's long time customer base. An entry level OR capable model should be kept available in the lineup AT ALL TIMES, just as in the past.
  • Hi agree the base JX with low range should come with the 2.4L, 5 speed manual, and suto gear box as an option.

    Thanks for the information about rear disk brakes being of the ventilated type.
  • Beefier steel used under the hood in engine surround(ing) and mount point areas. Obviously this would apply to the front suspension mount points also.

    Rear IRS evidently stronger with mods to it's location [attachment points to] the hybridized body/frame structure.

    Re the six: as would be expected, improved linear torque delivery throughout the rev range, vs. the 2.7.

    As mentioned before, strengthened hybridized body/frame and suspension mount point(s), and the suspension mount [location] mods at the rear, yield improvements to ride/handling, including better steering feel. The effect of that combo is probably what I thought I felt when I TD'ed the 4cyl recently.

    The lighter weight three door [available abroad] 4cyl with the 5 speed manual,
    is said to be real delight to drive. Again, our 5 door base JA ought to be about as good, except for NOT having the low range gear set option. But that sets a JA up to go head to head with a base Subaru Forester. Same price even here in Canada.

    Take a hypothetical new soft roader buyer, one never needing or wanting a low range who of course was familiar with Subaru's formidable major marketing efforts and its brand recognition... A QUESTION: Which, (base Sube or Zuke JA), would she or he be most likely to opt for? If like me you might have say Forester, (and prior sales stats doubtless bear this out)?, well then.... Well then, doesn't that seem to indicate Suzuki should take a look at returning to doing what it once did best over here, by offering us our own Aussie-like equipped base model, well before launching a base Subaru fighter? Would there be a greater demand for a Suzuki Forester fighter, (which essentially is what the non low range JA is), OR instead might there be even more PENT UP demand for a MARKET NICHE DOMINATING, FULLY MODERN new four cylinder Suzuki GV equipped as we have suggested here Suzuki? Clearly its time you engaged four low to climb back up "The Hill of Confidence" from the top of which you might behold the wisdom of paying homage to your roots in Canada, if not in all of North America. Can't think of any more ways to say this, so I'll promise to quit trying.
    Nwdsmn.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    LOL, Hey norwoodsman, I think you're starting to talk to yourself and answering your own questions. ;) JK, of course.
    I nominate you to CEO of Suzuki and hope that you can clean up the financial sector of the USA. :sick:
    There sure are many changes to the GV. I'm not sure of the 4 cyl. If the current V-6 doesn't have enough power, what can the 4 deliver? Other than a 5 speed in the gear range you are looking for, I can't imagine anything smaller in the GV especially with an auto. The bigger V-6 would be a welcome sight, but for me, I would buy an XL7.
    My daughter just bought a 2008 Honda CRV. Again, we both need something to throw the dog in back and not looking for an off road vehicle. Underpowered, yes. Quality built, yes. It's really nice compared to the GV. To be honest, there isn't a comparison. I should have waited for the new CRV and would have been much happier.
    That gets me to my last point. I also agree with xotsnot's list of bad things on the GV. The Suzuki will never be a quality built vehicle. It will never hold it's resale value. Sure, it's a bargain to buy, like the Kia or Hyundai but in the end, you will lose. I think you said it before, people want the Toyota or Honda in their driveway (hope you said that). I'm one of those people. I want some sort of return on my investment. Suzuki failed me, big time.
    norwoodsman, I hope you get what you're looking for. For me/us, we're moving on.
    Take care, Budman :shades:
  • Hey, greetings down south...

    The CRV is top drawer for sure, for what it is. Deeper in the woods the old trapper owns one too. Smart as a fox?, I couldn't argue with that though he has a Land Rover too. Think if I was you though, I'd be sorely tempted to reward myself with an Acura RDX with tecno package. But I digress...
    Having had that chance to do a seat of the pants evaluation of what's new for '09, I'll restate my impression that the book now seems just as good as its cover. The four delivers linear power throughout the rev range too, and yr. fellow 1st gen "All New" GV owner, "bud's", TD indicates he was similarly impressed. But change can be a good thing too, so....

    On quality control, a few days ago I came across an interview of "Rick" Suzuki when he was still the boss down your way. He was asked to comment about the GV's 2007 J. D. Power reliability stats. He acknowledged the issue and indicated they were addressing it. I believe him because they HAD TO make significant investments in that area with these '09 upgrades, (if not before, with the '08's too which may also have occurred?). If not, and the bloom fades off the rose for too many owners of the '09's for reliability issues, then I don't know what Suzuki would have to do next if they hope to expand, or even retain GV market share here. That's just my gut feeling...

    Sorry we're going to lose you, but I understand. Previously I've felt one had to take a Suzuki into the dirt with some regularity to realize full value from the investment. They're obviously even a better deal if those opportunities are available right out the back door, or if you're a skier in the north country, (ditto, both). So a bit of a detailed equation always had to be solved for one to determine exactly how good a bargain they really were. Still, all the new changes for '09 DO make them genuinely feel more mainstream, (certainly so out on the road), while Suzuki apparently has improved upon the GV's core off road virtues too. All in all this seems to make the '09's a MUCH better bargain.

    For us, with no dog and a son off the family payroll into the work force, honestly the wife leans towards the Forester in the absence of an '09 4cyl GV config'ed as we'd like. Then again if a new base '08 gets down to $18 something here.... Or if a pristine prior gen XL-7 turns up for around $10 as a stop gap.... Have to admit I'm getting tired of all these equations too....

    My strong financial advice? Even though Sarah can see Russia from her house, vote for Obama!

    Nwdsmn.
  • About to wind down to enter rehab for excessive use [of this site]. But before I go, Who are we,? (your customer base here in Canada), Suzuki? No, we're NOT all soccer moms, and fewer of us still are looking to you for a surrogate Jeep Rubicon Trail, boulder bashin' "rig" either. So who are we?

    I think very simply we are potential Subaru Forester customers, (that's the truth for myself and my wife), who want/need the ability to go still just a bit farther out there off the beaten path, (with the low range), but with a bit more room for our gear and passengers. Just like those Subaru customers, we want a "Swiss Army Knife like" vehicle, but again we NEED those additional "blades" to help facilitate our "beyond Forester" outdoor pursuits. THAT'S IT IN A NUTSHELL.

    So although the new marketing agency for North America must be about to pull the wraps off the '09 intro campaign, here's how I'dadunnit, for what it's worth... Use the same granola crunching, active outdoor person approach that Subaru has employed so successfully, (and Suzuki once did long ago). Remember the forest ranger sitting in the Sidekick, etc.? First and Foremost, extol and be proud of those OFF ROAD virtues!, don't just try to portray them as yet another different flavor CRV or Rav 4 for soccer moms! MORE PRECISELY target the unique niche which your vehicles are purpose built to occupy, (at least that's how they are perceived in the rest of the world, I believe). STAKE OUT YOUR OWN GROUND over here, thereby eliminating what I think is the marketing "Identity Crisis" that Suzukis may suffer from in North America?
    UH, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO COMPARE THEM AGAINST A CRV, RIGHT? N O T !
    In "surfing" down under there in Australia recently, they don't seem to fall into this trap. Instead the vehicles are accurately seen, praised and portrayed FOR WHAT THEY ARE, instead of what some marketing types might want to try to pretend they are [not]. Another CRV?, RAV 4?, Saturn Vue?, Nissan Rogue?, Hyundai Tiberon?, not!, not!, not!, not!, and NOT! So why make that mistake when marketing GV's here in North America? Be proud of what they are and what they are uniquely built to do.

    One last time, much sooner than later, stop repeating the dispiriting error of forcing the faithful to seem to have to BEG [here] for a traditionally equipped off road capable base model, (either a JA or JX 4cyl with manual transmission and low range), at least here Canada, eh, concurrent with new model introductions....
    For what it's worth, the prior "Sport" model designation is just so much marketing FLUFF. To have to call a Suzuki SUV model a "Sport" is ludicrous, they are for sport [use] by definition. Seriously consider calling the 4cyl a "Vitara" in 2010, as a welcome gesture to restore the honor of the name, (world wide?), in the hearts of the faithful. Make them colorful too. The color range over here, (which may be little changed for '09?), is getting very stale. We're just as colorful here as our Aussie mates.

    Cheers...

    Nwdsmn.
  • Quicksilver Metallic, Black interior
    Whitewater Pearl, Beige
    Sandstorm Metallic, Beige
    Slate Grey Metallic, Black
    Black Pearl Metallic, Beige
    Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Black
    Volcano Red Metallic, Black

    Some shots suggest "Volcano Red" may be sort of an orange/red. The new "Deep Sea Blue" looks to be the pick of the litter. No green or purple.

    The four cylinder with auto and low range*, (*did not use low range on the TD), was a nice combo. They've worked at optimizing the shift points and got it right.
    The base model in the US is rear wheel drive only, and no 4cyls are available equipped for "traditionalists" down south [yet] either. Obviously "over here" Suzuki continues to set a high marketing priority on making the Grand Vitara appear to be all things to all people. Prime example: what is the sense [at all] of diverting the resources of time money and effort, to build a two wheel drive Grand Vitara, other than as wish fulfillment for a handful of marketing geeks? Meanwhile though, while all that clamoring demand for a 2wd GV is being filled, once again core customers are left waiting for The Right Stuff.
    Definitive stupidity. Otherwise, it's a time to rejoice over these new '09's.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Hey nrwdsmn! As in your previous post as to me looking at the RDX, I had been looking over that model. As far as size, we wouldn't have gained much. So far the MDX is the 1st choice. With the sagging economy and closeouts on '08 models, just about everyone is offering huge discounts.
    Looks like we'll be Suzukiless shortly. :shades:
    I was looking at some of the posts here and it looks like norwoodsman wins! Other forums, you would be considered a "post-ho". ;) At least you have constructive criticism and I hope Suzuki reads all or at least some of your ideas. They should feel fortunate that the faithful(you) still exist but then there are the unfaithful (me) that just fade away to better things.
    Good luck!
  • Yo, bud.
    If you're really feeling your oats, check out the new Bimmer X6. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw one on the edge of the woods here this spring. Some piece of iron. But the Acura MDX is an excellent choice. Who knows, I wonder if anyone close to plunking down cash for a new "whatever", might be amongst the last folks ABLE to purchase an SUV to meet one's own specific needs? I'm looking at it like that, as all vehicles will continue to be forced to slim down in every way, post peak oil. Yes, that Bimmer is incredibly thirsty! But on into the not too distant future, wonder how we'll come to regard even the reported 19 US mpg city, and 26 US mpg highway, fuel consumption figures posted for a new 4 cylinder GV? Here our long term plan is to keep the 38 mpg compact wagon, and conserve/hold in reserve, our next Suzuki SUV, (if that's how we go), to use it to meet our demanding recreational needs. AND to use it for MUCH safer long distance travel in our Canadian winters. Oops, but that's two vehicles, isn't it...? Haven't TD'd a Forester, but again a new base '09 GV with full time four wheel drive, is a bigger, tougher equivalent for essentially the same price, so.... So no low range. So...

    On discounts: We did end up TD'ing an '08 2.7L JA a week after our outing with the '09 4cyl, just to refresh our memories. Wow. With the differences between the two models, (2.7 '08 six, and 2.4 '09 four), it will be a very long time before close out deals of a prior gen Zuke ought to approach "the goodness potential" of one's that should [continue to] materialize for '08's, particularly towards the last business days in December. It's either that or melt 'em down and start over with the raw materials. The new '09's seem almost that good to me, though in fairness I should note the wife opines she could live with an '08, for the right price. Enough from here. We'd ALL like to hear from folks who have an '09 in the garage now.
    Nwdsmn.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Bimmer X6? cha-ching! We looked at the X3. cha-ching!
    Nice but nothing to write home about for the money. The MDX always came out on top and the fact that our friend owns an Acura dealer really paid off. cha-ching!
    Why didn't we do the Acura earlier you say? The GV worked at the time for our daughter while she was in school. Now she's in college and just happened to take the Honda with her and left us with the ol Zuke. So now we're empty nesters and need a fun fancy suv to drive. Not really, it's all for the dog. The darn pooch costs us more than the kids ever did.
    Well, we made the deal and MDX it is. I can't imagine spending anymore for a vehicle, especially what we use it for. All the reviews put it ahead of all the other SUVs in it's class. What we didn't realize was how much more we got for a few bucks more than the Zuke. Yes, quite a few bucks but what a world of differance. I hope Suzuki doesn't raise their prices along with their new technology. It sure won't pay off in the resale value.
    Just happy to keep stirring the economy. :shades:
    I'll stay in touch to let you know if we're still happy with our choice.
    BTW, what happened to the rest of the crew here? :confuse:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Too bad some of the 2009 updates couldn't have been done for 2007 when the GV was taking heat for mileage and refinement. The lack of a 4-cyl manual with the low range is just inexcusable. If they MUST make a 2wd (for southern US, probably), then why not make it a CRV/Rav4 fighter with JLX-L trim and cushy suspension.

    Anyway, I kind of wish our 2006 had some of the attributes added in the interim. Especially the remote gas lid release. I live in fear of losing the key for the locking cap while on a long trip. It would be nice to have the sensible version of the mileage readout. But I think most of the improvements aren't such a big deal.

    As for the new engines, I can get the same mileage by driving a little slower. Turn signals on the outside mirrors, speed sensitive radio volume control, hill start control and descent speed limitation? HoHum. Still no 2nd gear lever position on the 5-spd automatic. Which is something it REALLY needs, especially since you can't get the low range with a standard. Rear discs? Sounds like higher maintenance costs, and who complained about how the GV stops? Maybe it's to get rid of the brake squealing noise. Optional 18" wheels? Proof Suzuki isn't as independent from stupid trends as Suzuki would like us to think. Revised front crash structure and improved rear "axle" dynamics? Sounds desirable. Like the side airbags getting rollover sensors. At last.

    The improved sound deadening measures are overdue considering how easy it is to do this. But I just dealt with that on ours by lining much of the inside with acoustic dampening material and beefing up the weatherstripping.

    Still no enviable center armrest in the back seat, as provided in other markets. Still no way to remove the back seats so you can carry things bigger than a cooler. But it's nice they left the styling alone so ours doesn't look outdated yet.

    So the '09 wouldn't be a big improvement for us. Now, if they put out an offroad version: diesel, 5-spd manual, 1" suspension lift and skidplates, I'd feel like I'm missing out on something. And put the off-road Patriot out of idle contemplation.

    btw, while installing the acoustic insulation, I discovered the layer of foam carpet underlay and the styrofoam filler under the carpet in the drivers footwell have been fried by heat coming off the exhaust and catalytic converter under the floor. There was discussion earlier in this topic about someone melting right through the materials and the heel of their shoe. We don't do anything nearly as extreme as they did, with our GV, so I suspect lots of owners have had this overheating. On the other hand, only a small proportion of Canada's GV's would be driven over the Coquihalla in the summer. Apparently the Coq has the greatest elevation gain of any major highway in North America, and every km or so there's a patch of scorched pavement where a vehicle burned up on the shoulder. It would be interesting to know if any of those were GV bonfires.

    (Anyone interested in the GV should look up the transsiberia race, where a huge swarm of factory Porsche Cayennes are pitted against two 2-door GV's and a mix of private entries. Last year, the GV's acutally did very well, not quite so well this year. But they do cost a fraction of the Porsches, and one was driven by an amateur crew. I'd be interested in knowing what broke on the GV's during the race, but it seems impossible to find out much about their participation.)

    (Canoed to Vargas again this summer. Went too far beyond our comfort level in very dense fog one evening, and in stormy conditions on another day. Didn't make it to Blunden this year, but hiked all the way from Ahous to the NE corner of Vargas. Stunning beaches. Also hiked the Wild Side trail on Flores nearby.)
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    xostnot, if your rear brakes are squealing, there is a TSB on that. The brake linings are too wide and rub on the drums.
    I've always noticed a burning smell after hwy driving. I just checked under the drivers side carpet and it looks fine. There is a couple layers of heavy material on the floor and the styrofoam sits on top of that.
    With the new improved GV on the way, get ready for another hit on the resale value. It's really pathetic. 30k miles and 50% loss in value. :lemon:
    It's sad because it still looks nice and runs well and it's already had a set of tires(@20k miles) which is also ridiculous. Factor in the cost of maintenance and a dozen visits to the shop and the story worsens. :sick:
    I would have been better off buying one of xostnot's canoes. ;)
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