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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008

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  • Japan Suzuki website link title

    Japanese version is call ESCUDO, exterior has a small mirror on passenger side for blind spot . They have 2 types of engine available 2.0 and 2.7, they also have navigation system available for option. I like the LED fog light and interior light illumination. too bad i didn't see it's available in US model.

    Accessories link title

    PS. the site is written in japanese, you can use www.dictionary.com translator to translate japanese to english.
  • offroad test video link video
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I don't think Suzuki is unaware of the demand for a basic GV with the low range. I think they know many who MUST have the low range, and just can't wait, will shell out for the top-of-the-line model. For those more patient, I'm sure there will be low ranges on cheaper versions, starting with the Sport model which is already sold in the US. This is an old tactic by car companies, so they know they'll profit from it. Who is Suzuki going to lose those low-end w/ low range sales to? There simply is no alternative.

    I'm a bit pissed that to get the low range, I have to have leather seats, or wait for a Sport model. I don't even like leather seats. But then I don't like the alternative - an entirely-black cloth interior. If you wait for the Sport model, you can't get the sunroof. Sheesh, the hassles of modern life. They also put the wheel/tire combination least suitable for rough roads on the version with the low range. Obviously they understand the market well, even if the market isn't entirely rational.

    In the meantime, the party line is that even the fully loaded model is not expensive. A few days ago I put a deposit on one of them, using the carcostcanada service. The transaction was strangely devoid of trickery and pressure tactics. Although the price quoted plus factory rebate isn't guarranteed for the jan/feb delivery, it comes in between $2000 and $3000 under MSRP. No wonder they have waiting lists.

    The dealer didn't have a demo for a test drive, but I got to look at a customer's that was in for repairs. Repairs?! Yes, it made a tinny rattling noise from underneath when idling, and there were some plastic panels from the front seats laying on the floor. I noticed the spare tire rattled when I closed the hatch. Surely Suzuki can engineer that out.

    There's no ski pass-through like the X-Trail has, beause it's not long enough for skis inside. The lid for the under-deck storage in the cargo area isn't attached. The back wheelhouses intrude farther into the back seat than I expected, but you don't seem to notice them when you sit in it. A bit less rear seat legroom than I expected. Flashy 4-color dash lights. Enough elbow room, unlike the 2005 GV. Looks better in the metal than in pictures. Tidy and distinctive at the same time.

    Until this showed up, the X-Trail was our top choice. It has more cargo space and better mileage. But the GV has a low range, plus more features, for thousands less. And the X-trail looks like three separate styling groups did the front end, back end, and side.

    Although our '91 Pathfinder is about the same size as the new GV, somehow it has 30 cu ft, cargo volume compared to the GV's 24. I guess we'll live with it.
  • Yes, the press event was staged out of Vancouver here in British Columbia Canada. They drove up the Sea to Sky highway along Howe Sound to Squamish. Then a bit further north towards Whistler, (see you for the 2010 Winter Olympics!). Actually I became a Zukeophile while living there with my new 88 Samurai hardtop. I'm positive I even recognize the [test] road. Yes, it looks adequately capable, with durability being a longer term question.
    But my chief concern remains the fact that the only Grand Vitara model available with a low range, (the model tested off road), has:
    1.) an automatic transmission only when a manual five speed is optimal for off road use. Further:
    2.) to get the low range equipped model you have opt for the loaded to the gills, (leather, home link, well, just name it), model which lists at around $32,000.00. Hey, if that's your cup of tea or you want to bling one out for the street, more power to ya. But would I want to spill sun block or mosquito spay on my leather seats out back of beyond here in the wilds of BC? Not.. So again, where's "our" model optioned with the low range and a manaual transmission for those of us who use them off road?

    My feeling is a bit of pontification is well justified here, as to no small extent "we" helped get Suzuki, (three new one's purchased in this household), to this point in the marketplace where they could produce a vehicle of this apparent calibre. So where's our payback now with a more utility oriented version of this vehicle, to meet our ongoing needs?
  • Excellent points all. Sorry I just missed your post before my last one. Ditto re carcost. The rattle is a heat shield. A genetic thing. Most Zukes seem to go thru a period of teething post delivery, then settle down to provide a long reliable service life. Every choice is a compromise. Automatics have gotten better and better, even yielding slightly better mileage figures. Why I could almost see myself in a black on black AWD Grand Vitara, but with the 5 speed manual, for the street.

    But my dilemma now is there is no word from Suzuki of anything coming down thru the pipeline next year re: a GV configured to meet my ongoing needs. Actually, near the top of my list of contenders may be a used 94 XL-7 with the five speed manual. Either that or give up my wild ways and cast a wider net by waiting to have a look at the attractive new [see spy photo] '07 Honda CR-V, this time next year. More money, sure, but having owned Accords, well, you know how that old saying goes....

    Tidbits for the faithful:
    The earlier post re: the Japanese site is a good reference. I find it insulting to the max that there are virtually no hard engineering details, (or images), available re: the guts of the new Grand Vitara, in the north american marketplace. For instance our Canuck brochure just has a diagram describing how the 4wd system works! But the Japaneese site does include cutaway driveline and many other very interesting look-see's.

    For the best review I've seen after much research, (on all the new internationally available '06 Grand Vitara models, including the little 3 door), go to the english language version of a site out of Toulouse, France, by clicking on:
    motiontrends.com/2005/m09eng/suzuki/grdvitara.shtml

    Any other off roaders care to help kick up some dust out there? Suzuki just might listen.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I can see your guys dilema with 4wd. Down here in the USA we have our trucks and ATVs to go off road. We bought the luxury 2wd to drive back and forth to Las Vegas. We wanted more options, but we didn't want leather either, but we had no choice. The heated seats are nice when it's cold.
    My heart stopped when I saw $2000 to $3000 under MSRP. And MSRP at $32000. I haven't figured the exchange rate. My neighbor sold us our Honda and Suzuki and trust that he is giving us a good deal. We paid under $23k.
    I hope Suzuki reads your concerns and comes thru for you. Here's some more dust for you, Suzuki.
  • Precise msrp of the full luxo barge low range equipped Canadian GV is $29,995.00, but then add freight and PDI and roof rack accessories to carry your skis, and...
    Then add 7% Federal and 7% Provincial tax(es). It costs to live here in the Great White North! But we have universal health care, such as it is.
    As XOSTNOT so sagely stated, use an internet buying service [like carcost up here]. Down south I think Coscto even offers a members car buying service. Should end up being pretty much the same deal price wise. IE: cost plus a profit to the dealer of maybe $500.00 to $1,000.00, somewhere in that range. Here on my local lot I figured I could have bought the last base '05 low range, 5 speed manual trannie equipped 4wd GV for something close to $4,000.00 off list. Just never warmed to that model though, and was not ready to spring for the last '04, (correction, not a 94), XL-7 with the manual transmission and low range. On '05 and '06 XL-7's the manual trannie option on the 4wd version was deleted.
    Thanks for "the dust". From the get go back when Zukes first crossed the pond to North America, there's always been a very O.R. capable low range manual trannie base equipped 4wd Zuke truck in the lineup, ALWAYS, until now. Suzuki officials, want to add something here to this discussion? We're waiting.....
  • anyone know how to change fog light? it's seems very hard to reach the light bulb, any idea? :(
  • No need for 17's as the base model's 16's with the correct profile winters, should work fine. Discount Tire Direct in the US has 16" alloys starting at $85.00 to fit the new GV. Plus a winter package consisting of Hankook w401's and very good looking MB Motoring five rims for $648.00 US, inc. mounting and balancing. USA types, and those of us who visit, can get free shipping now at Discount Tire to a US address. Good excuse for a visit depending on where you live and/or if you have friends down south. Stay a few days and bring 'em back duty free. Didn't see steel rims offered, but of course Suzuki would like to sell you some of their 16's. Good luck.
  • Purchased protection package from this website.

    Suzuki Accessories

    2006 Grand Vitara Accessories Brochure Brochure
  • Nice sites and better accessory prices than Suzuki.com, thanks.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I hope I'm not going off-topic here, but it seems relevant. Let me know if I should have started a new topic.

    Norwoodsmn said: "But my chief concern remains the fact that the only Grand Vitara model available with a low range, (the model tested off road), has:
    1.) an automatic transmission only when a manual five speed is optimal for off road use."


    The fact the only '06 Grand Vitara that has a low range also has an automatic transmission raised the point that an automatic is inferior for "off-roading".

    I've only rarely driven a 4x4 with an automatic in 4x4 situations, but I've done a lot of rough stuff with a 2wd/automatic, and a 4wd/standard with low range. Right off the bat I'd say the latter had vastly better engine braking, while creeping down 4000' descents in the 2wd/automatic required a lot stopping to let the brakes cool off, and more brake jobs than usual.

    For climbing, they seemed about equally capable.

    Negotiating obstacles that went to the limits of the vehicles' clearance was the most interesting. With the standard, the following was the sequence to put one front wheel over a largish rock: approach in 4wd low range, but let off the gas so the tire didn't hit the rock hard enough to hit and bottom out or bounce over the rock. Then ease up onto the rock, requiring controlling the clutch and gas to keep the vehicle moving slowly, but without stalling. On top of the rock, release the clutch and hit the brake to slow the tire from dropping down off the rock. Then back to the clutch and gas to get moving again. The operation was tricky because it had to be done below the stall speed of first gear, the quick changes in operation of three pedals by two feet, and the sudden loss of engine braking when the clutch is released.

    With an automatic, on the other hand, there was no stall speed. You could come right down to a stop, then ease forward, using only the brakes and gas, and ease over or through things without stalling.

    The other thing we do a lot is traverse deep ditches, again taking the vehicles to the limits of their clearance. This requires the same operation of the pedals in either vehicle, since the slower you do these things, the less the vehicle settles on the suspension and so the more clearance it maintains. Again, I suspect that with no stall speed, and only two pedals, the automatic might just handle this better than a standard.

    Now, I've never done any "rock-crawling", so I don't know if a standard is better there. But it seems to me that an automatic in combination with a low range might be just fine for off-roading. Perhaps add a transmission oil cooler if one is going to be doing a lot of this at one time.

    Any comments on this?
  • If I might [xostnot]. I suspect we're both straying off the centerline, so to speak, as this site is probably of more of interest to the average owner. So my apologies here. But I think it still may be of some interest to new owners in the fold, to least know what the root DNA is in the product they're buying. Bear with me here. As a Sube fighter, bring on the new base full time 4wd model and it's luxo derivatives, and who cares which transmission it's equipped with? What a bargain if you don't mind the mileage and need that much room.
    To tow one behind your land yacht, you'll HAVE to order the fully optioned low range one with the neutral driveline feature, but how many of those will ever go off road?
    Got a rough road to the cottage?, maybe again all you'll ever really need is just the basic full time 4wd model. I'll be interested to see how it performs in demanding, but certainly non Rubicon Trail conditions. It could be the real sleeper here.

    As to the two wheel drive version, what I'm 100% certain about is, sans owing a body shop and/or a Suzuki dealership, I can't imagine one being used anywhere near off road. No I'm sure that's not what you're suggesting despite your having said you noticed little difference between climbing uphill in OR applications in some past model(s), wheather driving a 4wd manual or a 2wd automatic? Sorry, I don't get that part, I confess.

    But I digress. There seem to be two main contexts to address here. First, I don't think you are saying [either] that an auto box IS the best setup for offroad use, are you? Personally I never even thought of debating the point with any serious off road user, so I won't bother here. But what you don't seem [respectfully, I'd offer] to grasp is, the bottom line question here is not [even] which transmission, (auto or manual), is the best one which the very least experienced user might want to have out there to save his butt. Rather, (please), the big question looming large, at least on this northern radar scope, is, Suzuki's decision to pull the plug on our own individual personal exercise of free choice as to which transmission we'd each prefer to have to best meet our own needs.

    WHY HAVE TO PAY AN EXTRA $1.000.00, or whatever it adds to the cost of the new low range equipped GV, if you neither want nor need an automatic transmision???? Can anyone out there answer this [repeat] question? If I could hazard a guess of my own here, it might be because Suzuki may have been afraid to post the mileage figures for a manual trannie low range equipped six cylinder one, (more on Euro engine choices later), at it's North American launch. At least I hope that's the only reason.

    On another tangent, (ooops, here I go again), looking back, I'd ask you [xostnot] in your own experience, which of the full boat no holds barred mandatory luxo accessories that come on all new low range equipped GV's, did you feel absolutely bereft without, out in the outback during your own OR adventures? Was it Smart Pass, keyless entry, or maybe leather seats, (without even bothering to talk about transmission options).....? Funny, it may be ESP, but I think we'd both have the same answer(s) to that question, IE: none of the above. Don't misunderstnad me, it's truly great they're there to make the drive that much more fun out on the street. Let me interject, more power to ya there on Palm Boulevard, your ride looks truly great!
    I hope [xostnot]this helps direct you back to the MAIN points I've been trying to make.

    Give us back choice in the lineup with this great new model, Suzuki! I rest my case.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Either I failed to mention this strongly enough in previous posts, or it was missed. I completely agree that Suzuki should have offered a version without all the luxury stuff, and with a manual transmission and the low range. I watched the advertising as the new GV entered the market, hoping the news the low range was only on the top-end version, was incorrect. I thought I already described how this is based on marketing, and people like you (and me) get lost in the rush to make money off the posers. So we're in complete agreement there.

    I'd much rather have $1000 in the bank than leather seats that I don't even like. 17" wheels? I'll have to go to the trouble of replacing them with 16's. And I have to wait 8 weeks because all the posers want the fancy model also. I believe there will be a version as you want after the new car buzz and demand slackens off. But I already waited six months for this thing to reach the market, and I don't want to wait another year.

    As for the automatic vs standard for rough-roading, I put that forward as a topic of discussion, not because I have any firm belief either way. A topic to be explored, rather than a viewpoint being forced on others.
  • Fair enough. But if this is adequately on topic?, I don't necessarily share your optomism that the rest of us will see a Utility oriented new GV any time soon, sans our kicking up a big fuss/dust. Look at the XL-7. For the past two model years, '05 and now '06, there's been no manual transmission option on 4wd models. True, it's winding down now in it's current configuration, so who cares? Again that's why an '04 4wd XL-7 with the 5 speed manual, may be what I and others end up buying soon, if Suzuki chooses NOT to offer us a new GV, one configured for off Sunset Boulevard use. Maybe you can even get your deposit back?

    To follow the end thread of your last post, do we want to go that far off road re: comparative merits of a manual vs. auto tranmission in O.R. applications? There's certainly no law agin' it, but if so I think site etiquette might be endangering logic. Why?, it's a moot point isin't it, if you want to buy a new GV this afternoon.

    As a public service re: replacing your 17"'s with 16"'s, again I'd refer you to Discount Tire Direct. I bought after market alloys there for our '02 Zuke road car, at what amounted to the same figure as list price for Suzuki's plain Jane steel takeoff rims. That's with the US/Canadian dollar exchange rate taken into account. Then used the steels for our winters. Again, check out those 16" MB Motoring 5 ones that fit the new GV, (see images on the Discount Tire web site). Pretty spiffy. We've also used The Tire Rack to get a tire that Discount didn't carry. Great outfits, both. Try Toyo's if you can find them, for a good rugged tire.

    PS Sounds like you've been unable to see many of them, but Suzuki's steel wheels on the new base GV's, are very, very attractive. Still another reason why I'd like to be able to configure a more Utility oriented one for myself, if....
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Thanks for the tips on the wheels and rims. Casual browsing had so far turned up 16" alloys on aaarims, for $82. Their nicest looking ones that will fit the new GV, and also the cheapest. But I wonder if cheap alloys are machined as precisely, and finished as durably as more expensive ones?

    In fact, I haven't seen the GV steel wheels.

    While you're specifying a rugged-use GV, I'd add to to the wish/demand list, besides the 5-spd: a bit of a suspension lift, proper skid plates, rear limited slip differential, and put the rear licence plate somewhere else. That bezel in the bumper costs a few degrees clearance, and I'm either going to wreck it or cut it off. What were they thinking?
  • YES! and to the wish list let's further add the
    "highly regarded" Euro spec Suzuki modified Renault turbo diesel. It's due to be introduced over there right about now I believe. Packaged along with the other std. features we'd like, could you live with a COMBINED city/highway mileage figure of 30.56US mpg? Me too. And thinking green here, it produces fewer emissions [even] than their two liter gas engine.... Incidentally, each and every new 4wd
    5 door GV sold in the UK, comes equipped with the low range feature....

    Re: wheels, since I don't think you've taken delivery yet?, this won't help. But for other new registered owners, Suzuki offers semi annual dealer service coupon specials. The current one includes a steel wheel deal. I tossed that one not needing it, so I don't have the details. As you other folks may be too new in the system for the computer to have sent you one of these, it might be worth checking this out with your dealer. If they're even available for the new GV?, and are not the ugly black winter round holed types, go for it. Current offer(s) up here expire December 31st.

    Back to our sport UTILITY GV:

    Dear Santa: ..................
  • I too agree that the automatic with lo range will suffice for the most general offroading scenarios. I think there is enough gearing options in the automatic to accomplish most tasks that a stick would. What needs to be defined is what is "offroad". I think for most people thats generally poor dirt roads, traversing shallow streams or floods, heavy snow or mud, playing in the desert or beach sand and so on. Now for extreme offroading where you need a spotter all the time to navigate a wild trail of boulders is different. For the latter case, and from what Ive seen in pictures, the vehicles are usually modified anyway. The folks that I see in those scenarios are usually using a "throw away" or old vehicle wether they are jeeps, rovers or zukis. I rarely see images of new models being used on extreme offroading or at least without any heavy modifications.

    IMHO this would be general offroading..

    image

    this would be extreme

    image

    For general offroading the new GV with auto and lo range is up to the task.
  • There's certainly no doubt Suzuki North America corporate officials would most emphatically agree with you, given the current model lineup. Is the question then, can a new auto equipped 4wd one with low range, work off road in moderate conditions? If anyone said one couldn't, I missed that.

    The point that remains once the dust or smokescreen, flying mud or whatever has settled, is, anyone still interested in their choice of transmissions is instead now being told to be polite accepting consumers, until such time as Suzuki has had an epiphany and remembers the customer base that helped get it to it's current postion in the maketplace. Sorry, no takers here.

    Good pictures. Re: the general off roading one, just out of curiosity, wonder if that Samuari had a manual or an auto transmission,(just kidding). Picture two, nice Rubicon Trail type shot.
  • I think it would be best if you posted a sample image of what you think is moderate offroad that way we can see. I think theres also something to be said about how one drives on the offroads. The modified suv drivers tend to drive their vehicles like battering rams. While someone with a none modified vehicle(or even no lo range) would drive a bit more gingerly and strategically in a rough road and still be able to traverse it.

    As for why suki didnt include a lo range on a base, your guess is as good as mine. As you mentioned they shouldve and I agree. I bought the premium 4x4 auto which doesnt come with a lo range. But I wouldnt say I would be inhibited in taking on general offroad conditions without a lo range as well.

    But thats just me.
  • My best old shots are on video. Let's use the widely available Whistler press event images as the example. When I lived there in the neighborhood around '89, I took my new stock Samurai up every old logging road that I could find in that spectacular corner of the Coast Mountain Range. As mentioned, I think I even recognize the test road, one of my favorites back then. I'd consider that event/road to be moderate off roading [to me]for what ever that's worth. But that's a subjective judgement. To try to bring some more perspective here, and to encourage automatic transmission owners, I'll quote the journalist who wrote for New Car Road Test.com based on the Whistler event.

    "But then we headed off the graded track to an uphill section strewn with boulders that was nothing much more than a dry streambed. No way could any vehicle without a low gear tackle this. We tried it in 4H but within yards a boulder stopped our forward movement. After gingerly backing down, we shifted the automatic transmission into neutral and twisted and pushed the knob to engage low gear. Gently easing the gas pedal, we inched up the steep mountain trail, crawling from rock to rock as we tried hard to avoid hitting the undercarriage. We weren't entirely successful, as we did misjudge one maneuver and left a small ding in the passenger side doorsill. One driver said this exercise, directed by Suzuki, was too much. Maybe it was too much for that driver but it certainly wasn't to much for the Grand Vitara. We thought it proved that this SUV has true off road capabilities with good ground clearance, approach, departure and break over angles as well as short front and rear overhangs. Good off road maneuveing might not be a trait required by most SUV buyers nowdays, but surely it is still desired by some."

    Still, I've always greatly appreciated that extra measure of very precise control of all dynamic forces involved, afforded by having a manual transmission. That notwithstanding, clearly the Whistler test shows autos will be just fine in the hands of capable owners. Though the test writer sounded experienced, they did ding that lovely new sheet metal. When I sold my Samurai to get a new four door Sidekick, after scaring myself silly in it a few times, it was in pristine condition. Later I went on to take our four door Sidekick into old silver mining country in the Selkirk range. On one "road" we stunned an ATV driver who couldn't believe we were there. How wild was it? Grizzly scat and chewed artifacts lying around. Some distance there from Palm Boulevard. Never once have I wished in such environments that I'd had an automatic instead, but as you said "that's just me".

    Let me whisper real quietly here so no Suzuki official overhears us. Truth be told I might be able to live with the manual trannie base full time 4wd, if I could just give up returning time and again to those old favorite haunts. [You read what the reviewer said about needing a low range on that test road] But I'm just not ready to cash in my chips yet. Instead I want a new GV of my own configured as I'd like it. Is that really too much to ask, Suzuki? Thanks for saying you don't think so either manifold.
  • If the testers deemed it necessary that a lo range was appropriate for that scenario then I would trust them on it. I certainly wouldnt mind having one but I could live without it given the scenarios(general offroad) I drive in. I guess one could say having a lo range gives one that "go anywhere, conquer anything" feeling but I dont feel limited without it. Again, thats just me. Yes, it would be a nice option to have on the base model as some customers might want that choice/combination.

    I love driving a stick. The GV was actually my first automatic. Reason why I chose the auto was because the suv is also my commute car. Where I live the traffic is terrible and its exhausting when youre on a stick.

    I think its great that youre into the outdoors / offroad scene. I think a lot of GV owners here including myself would love to hear more of your tips, techniques etc on that subject.

    Good luck on your GV and let us know how it goes.
  • Thanks. Personally, I can't think of anything to add re: the low range and/or manual transmission discussions. Glad you accepted the word of the testers.

    Anyone done a lo rider?

    Seriously, it's great to see such a diversity of new owners comming into the fold, regardless of which model or what options [you] prefer. I just hope the sales numbers give Suzuki the confidence it seems to lack at present, to again produce a model more appropriately configured to the needs of it's traditional O.R. customer base. After all Suzuki, we're still some of your very best cheerleaders....

    Cheers!
  • I am looking to upgrade the stereo system and install an aftermarket amplifier to the stock radio in my 06 GV. I need ideas on where to install the amp. It will not fit under the passenger seat and the locations in the back do not seem that supportive. Any ideas?
  • Got new 12v phone charger, problem solved, nothing wrong with 12v outlets.
  • I just test fitted my aftermarket amp under the passenger seat, it's 11" wide and just barely fits without seat movement interferrence. I have 2 amps to install, 1 under each seat. I'll have a progress report after installation.
    Locations are limited, you may have to consider mounting to the back of rear seat with some sort of custom bracket.
    I've seen some custom installs like that.
  • The amp I have won't fit under the passenger seat. The factory subwoofer is under the driver seat. Did you use the factory head unit? Also, were you able to find any wiring harness/kits.
  • I went to the dealer today because I am shopping for a new car. I liked the look of the Grand Vitara and it was on my list. I thought it was smaller than what I expected. Also the motor seemed to grow tired and strained as I exceeded 70mph. For the price I guess it's alright. But I am going to look some other cars.
    fred
  • The factory subwoofer under the driver's seat will be history with my new install, got a sub enclosure. I originally considered using factory HU but I'm having second thoughts, since it's double din, I can get a mobile vid screen in that opening(Kenwood DDX-8017)for instance.
    Check out link title or link title" for wiring kits.
  • Anybody know if the '06 GV comes with an anti-theft and immobilizer setup?
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