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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2009 - current)

steverstever Posts: 52,462
Talk about '09 and newer Suzuki Grand Vitaras here.


  • 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.
  • To bm000092 re: yr. last post. Yes, it's odd... You couldn't even [somehow] remove the Suzuki roof rails, and use these good looking aftermarket Rocky Road ones instead, since the roof top bolt holes on "flat roofed" JA's are different from those on GV's with the factory rails... Not much of an issue here for roof rail equipped models, as there is even more choice now since Thule at least has finally designed it's own fix point feet/racks to fit roof rail equipped GV's. But this Rocky Road info is pretty much a lifesaver to JA owners who NEED a rack, but seem to have no alternative source except for what we've identified here....? Suppose on the other hand you could "build your own" using those holes, but $99.00 sure ain't bad for those nice looking ready to go RR ones. Ya, I'm a huge fan of ECONOMY, and this seems yet another reason to look further at an '09 awd JA, whenever I can find one to look at, that is.

    Have to guess in other markets Suzuki makes similar, (similar to Rocky Roads'), roof rails available for base JA's. Why else have those fix point bolt holes up there? Just another "loop hole" Suzuki needs to plug, (I'll repeat), by making their own, (or outsourced ones), roof rails AVAILABLE in the accessory catalog for the JA.

    Thanks again, bm000092, think we've done a public service with this [definitive?] info for JA owners. Anyone else please log on in if you've got other '06-'09 JA relevant info on this subject.... Of course all this assumes the bolt holes are exactly the same for all '06's-'08's, [and on the new '09] JA's. Have to guess they would be.

  • Finally found a base "full time 4 wheel drive" manual JA 5 speed GV to drive, and so can post a [world's first, ever???] road test of same...

    Most notable impression aside from the improved feel and function of the operation of the upgraded manual shift mechanism, [NICE] is, (in comparison to a loaded JLX we tried a few months back), just how well that auto box works, despite its being "only" a 4 speed rather than a more trendy and fuel efficient 5 speed "slush-ie". But the JA with manual is the mileage champ "pick of the litter", so... So maybe the VERY best thing about it is how it just loafs along at 2,800 rpm's in 5th gear @ 100kph on the open road, thanks to the new 4 cyl engine.

    As to how it all works in the JA config., maybe not surprisingly the lesser torque of the engine becomes more noticeable when one has direct control over it with the manual transmission. Maybe it's the different gearing ratios, the different drive train configuration, (or whatever???), but in an auto box equipped one, the acceleration of the new 4cyl feels much more seamlessly linear vs. what, (pre engine break in anyway), seems possible to achieve whilst rowing through the gears, (even with that very nice new manual box'es noticeable improvements). Still, having made that comparison, lets segue to the new Forester, (which we also drove a while back). By comparison it's manual box felt somewhat vague and "notchy". While we're on the Forester, again pre break in it's engine seemed rougher than the Suzuki's too. But before I go too far afield here, the road manners of the two are not comparable, with the Forester obviously performing just as one would expect given it's car based design, (like a car). It's steering performance and flat cornering abilities in particular, are VERY impressive. But it seems [here] the chief question is, which one would you rather be sitting in when the going gets really tough out there? Advantage Suzuki.

    What about out on the road? The "notorious" (for wear and otherwise), OEM Bridgestones, seemed to reveal one of their deficiencies in the area of tracking ability, (ability to keep to a straight line ahead), at speed on the highway. To be fair, we've had some "pavement issues" here, (uh, it's Winter), and while concentrating on the road and the vehicle @ 100kph, I didn't have time to see if some subtle deformation of the road surface might have had something to do with a slight tendency of 'em to want to "wander" slightly off course... Still in transient maneuvers at speed, (a rapid lane change), they did provide sure and predictable grip on a slightly wet road surface, something which also has to be seen likely as a further tribute to the '09 chassis improvements too? Further, a test of the anti skid on an un-plowed Mall parking lot with about 3 inches of snow on it, showed these [non snow] tires can be coaxed to work well with the system, while arcing around at moderate speeds in the slippery stuff. Still again vs. the JLX, clearly the on highway handling benefits of the larger 17 inch rims and low(er) profile tires on the JLX, (and JX), models, are significant vs. how those 16 inch OEM'ers perform on the JA. My conclusion there? I think if I went for a JA, I'd dismount the the OEM 'Stones day one and try to sell them. Then I'd use those steel rims for my winter snows and get aftermarket, (or Suzuki), 17 inch alloys with better summer [all season] rubber mounted on them.

    Other: no tinted rear windows in the JA, no cruise which you get on other models, or fog lights, more than four speakers, heated mirrors or heated seats, etc, which all materialize on board as you move higher up the food chain. Though again it had been three months since we TD'ed a '09 JLX, also the seat cushions seemed to feel quite a bit harder in this base JA than what we remembered in the JLX. Probably no surprise there. Beyond all of this, well, we really aren't entitled to know much more, (are we?), as to what other PRECISE specific model differences there are between Suzuki's "permanent 4 wheel drive" JA, and the JX's or JLX's. I've always "just assumed" (for instance) the suspension was identical on all of them, and/or whatever else, but who can say for sure unless Suzuki decides to tell us some day? With no auto mags ever being motivated to do in depth side by side comparison between the models, it shall ever remain thus?

    To sum up for 4 cyl fans: guess I'd suggest that for two grand more, a JX 4cyl with it's auto box, (the only way you can get a 4 cyl JX now), with its std. 4 mode 4 wheel drive system, and the other goodies like the tinting, fog lights, cruise, and some other bits, would probably be the best bargain, all things considered. But for ultimate frugality at the pumps, the basic winter highway driving safe manual box JA, just might fill the bill.

  • (Suffering from data research overload here), re: my JA road test, post 23: Correction: The OEM tires on the JA, (the ones some GV owners have reported to have had premature wear problems with), are Yokohama Geolanders, (NOT BRIDGESTONES). Mixed up the brands [here] likely because my research showed Yokohama Geolanders, (but upmarket model A/T-S ones), WERE well recommended as a good [aftermarket] tire for a GV owing to it's dual on and off road capabilities. See reviews for the Yokohama Geolander A/T-S on The Tire Rack's website.

    HOWEVER the OEM Yokos have a lower tread wear rating to begin with vs. their A/T-S "cousins". Moral of the story probably is: most of us know OEM tires are usually pretty far from being the top of the line, so usually we just "run them out". But again, the handling differences with the larger diameter 17 inch wheels, and lower profile tires on a JX or JLX GV, does make the upgrade worth considering by someone purchasing a new JA.

  • Nice writing. Just to add a little bit on your tire reflection, my "old" JX has the 16 inch, one of the reason I didn't want to pick the JLX that had the 17inch at that time, why ? More choices available in the 225/70R16 than 225/65/17 and cheaper as well. Also the fifth wheel (spare) in 16 inch was a real tire not a temporary one. And I think also that with the third world roads conditions here, the ride with lower profile would be too choppy and bumpy

    Now regarding the handling, I don't have changed the 4 seasons EOM Geolandar yet, but as you mentioned the handling could be a bit more precise, but I wouldn't put the fault on them being somewhat less lower profile, but tire quality, when I put my Winter tires (Michelin Latitude X-Ice in 225/70R16) the GV becomes a different beast, the handling is a lot more precise (I'm not talking about winter driving conditions here, it would be too obvious, but dry and wet pavement), something you wouldn't expect from winter tires. So I just can't help thinking about what will be the handling when I'll change the EOM Yoko's 4 seasons for some proper tires like Scorpion ATR or anything better quality.
  • Good points. Quite true about more tires being available in the 16 inch size. Again, don't want to give any impression of being anti Yoko's. I run their excellent Avid H4S'es on the Zuke wagon, as of last summer. Further my tire rack "print out" [here] from a few weeks ago, is [again] of their Geolander A/T-S model, from when we were looking at a used Suzuki [also] back then. Not perfect tires either, (see the review, but which ones are?), but a quick look at that tread speaks volumes about how they'd do in the dirt, plus look at their much higher tread wear rating vs. the OEM's....

    You're also quite right about being able to "cope" with 16 inchers vs. going to a 17 inch rim. It's just that I've experienced the 17 inchers on that '09 JLX now, and even with the stock rubber, (I didn't bother to see what brand or model they were at the time), I was VERY impressed by the handling and the complete lack of feeling "beat up" when it rolled over bumps in the road, unlike with some other "low" profile wheel/tire setups. Maybe they were even the same Geo's?, but in a different profile they worked better on the JLX?

    I once ran a set of aftermarket Goodyear Traction T/A all seasons on the wagon, which were SUPERB in the wet, and provided GREAT cornering adhesion, (though they ultimately suffered from atypical tread wear as latter reviews eventually showed). BUT point being, (regarding sticking with OEM tire/wheels sizes), YES, sticking with the 16 inch OEM GV tire/wheel config., yes, better tires WILL, (as you suggest), yeild better, to MUCH BETTER performance vs. the OEM Yokos, something true also with the OEM rubber that comes as std. eqpt. on probably most new vehicles today. Also as you allude to, for anyone not in the know?, snow tires make a HUGE difference performance wise too in winter, and everyone should run them despite the fact those OEM Yoko's can be made to work, (with careful driving), in winter. Have seen it is MANDATORY now this year in your neck of the woods to use snows in winter. That's a great idea almost anywhere here in the Great White North I think. Even in Vancouver, The White Circus that ensues every time the city gets snow, speaks volumes about how poorly so called "all seasons" do in the slippery stuff. Why there oughta be a law, and fortunately for the safety of everyone where you are, good to see you now have one in Quebec!

    So, [alternatively] for any would be JA fans out there buying one now, dismount the OEM Yokos off the steel rims, and replace them with good 16 inch snows. Then come spring pick up a set of aftermarket 16 inch alloy rims to remount the OEM Yoko's. Run 'em out in what, three years?, and then replace them with better tires just as you suggest. Either Discount Tire Direct or The Tire Rack, (I forget which), have particularly nice looking aftermarket alloy 16's available, (which are out of stock until next month as I recall). Check 'em out, or go with Suzuki's alloys.

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    "More choices available in the 225/70R16 than 225/65/17 and cheaper as well"

    True, but there's plenty of tires made in the GV's 17" size now. That's because cars like the Highlander use that size. When we bought our GV, there was only about one snow tire available in that size, whereas now there are at least a dozen. The choice in all-seasons and summer tires is, of course, even better.

    btw, at the moment the Vancouver Craigslist has a set of 17" oem rims with tires with 1000km on them, asking $900. He didn't say if the tires are the oem's.

    Also, be careful buying aftermarket rims. You have to match them up for: diameter, width, # bolt holes, diameter of bolt hole circle, offset, and the size of the center hole. The GV's also have a brake clearance issue that some people have run into. To avoid any issues, I bought a set of used 17" GV alloy rims that now sport a new set of Blizzak DMZ-3's. Surprise, the rims fit perfectly. No need to shovel the driveway now.
  • Ode to great tires, and a shocking confession: Just put a $900 set of Nokian's Hakka R's, (SUV XL grade), on our new vehicle. How to say this, well here goes: it's an '05 loaded to the gills one, but, (ok, here's the hard part), it's a Honda CR-V! (Sorry guys, honestly). How could this happen?, read on..

    1.) Way back to our loaded but for leather, '09 JLX 4cyl Grand Vitara td. We loved it to death last fall, but fell for it way too early in the product cycle to be able to get [then] the kind of deal we'd need on one, (even now probably as of this date?), while finally WE HAD TO HAVE SOMETHING NOW!
    2.) Again, had td'ed the last of the new '08 JA 5 speed manuals here, (twice), but also the deals on it had yet to reach "full goodness" at the time. Since then, (and oh ya, they actually "shipped" those out to sell them elsewhere?), since then maybe you could get one [now] for an unadvertised price of say around 18? DO IT, I know where there is at least one still left in the Province, and doubtless there are more. BESIDES we still wanted to td a new base '09 4cyl first anyway, but couldn't find one.
    3.) Finally did td the '09 base JA here recently, and found the Full Time 4wd drive line losses, (or?), seemed to dilute the 4 cyl's "oomph" making it actually less rewarding to DRIVE vs. the 4cyl auto JLX!, (a real surprise). But to segue here for a moment, I noticed some pro testers mentioned how the new Jetta clean diesel auto box version was so much better at working in partnership with that engine's torque curve, vs. the six speed manual, again a real surprise maybe?, but certainly less of a one to me now post my research, and now my first hand experience with those two '09 GV's.
    4.) Ok, (I then thought), maybe lets default back to thinking about that auto '08 semi loaded JX on the lot, but then found it sold just a day or two before. Ooops, now it sits in the lot where the wife works, but...

    In Retrospect:
    1.) advice here for any would be JA fans?: dash out and buy one of the remaining '08 six cylinders. The highway mileage is only about 3mpg lesser than the new 4cyl, though ratings methods seem to have changed. Further reason(s): the additional torque of the 2.7L six gives it marginally better acceleration. Just live with the less sophisticated rear suspension, lesser braking performance, and a bit more cabin noise, while with those rear drums sealed up against then mud better, it will be just fine in the rough stuff. BIG ONE: the prices on the '08's makes them a really attractive propostion.
    2.) Other new '09's?, any one with the auto box which incidentally gets ya the 4 mode 4wd system, but wait for the deals to show up, maybe in spring.

    Coulda shoulda woulda....

    After driving the '09 4 cyl 5 speed JA, couldn't help wondering how it woulda been if the "woulda" included Suzukis' just continuing along with their [own] development and refinement of their part time 4wd system, and how that sweet engine might have performed [THEN] in 2wd mode.... Sigh, ah, the good old days, eh?... But again, hey, [it] works just great with the existing drive line system with the latest auto box trannie, (even with Suzuki's non class leading 4 speed one used in the new 4cyl '09's.

    For the record:
    No we really didn't take to the N E W CR-V when testing one over the holidays. Drove more like a small Honda van, (we thought), ie: boring. However the td of the very Accord like, nimble prior gen one over the weekend, ya it's loaded, gots the Acura TSX/Accord I-vtec mill, etc, etc., sealed the deal for us, even though being 4 years old, it still rang in at virtually the same price we would have had to pay for a brand new '09 base GV. No comparo there re: driving dynamics, much as our southern bud maybe put it a bit harshly on the other forum a while back. Yes xostnot, no baggy leather seats either, although the hides on ours date back four years, or......

    But certainly I come here not to bury Ceaser, (the GV), but to praise him for what ye: the converted, (and I), know he can do out there in the dirt, just as we too have on many past adventures out here in the wilds of Canada, in our Zukes of yore. But when you come to a point when you realize you're likely to be doing somewhat less of the real rough stuff, and start to look around, well in our case [to our own surprise honestly] we ended up coming back home to a Honda, ok, soft roader.

    Further, guess I'd have to add to anyone out there, (maybe like moderator Steve), you there bro?, get the wife out in a prior gen awd CR-V, (ya, you can get one with a sweet five speed manual too, though we ended up with the GREAT 5 speed auto box), AND you won't be able to get 'em out of it thereafter. As for the base 4cyl '09 GV, have to say now as my education has progressed, I'm not really sure what it's value is in the marketplace really is, sans having the 4 mode 4wd system on board.

    It's been a trip here, (Quest for Wheels), and good to share it with ya. Ya, I'll still be here as I have a keen interest ultimately in hoping Suzuki is successful in improving it's position in the marketplace with the new '09's. Sure, sales figures now are pretty irrelevant for any mfgr given this economic meltdown, but it will be the reliability data which will ultimately filter down re: these new ones, that'll be the proof of the pudding re: all these new improvements. Just the same as it was in '06 post when the latest gen ones were first intro'ed. Buddies still? Of course, I'm sure.

  • Thought it might be of interest to note that new CR-V owners have blogged about dissatisfaction with their OEM tires too, so.... Bridgestone Duellers on ours with 37 thou and not too much life left in them, one and a half summers (maybe). Noisy too. Point being, aside from that GV alignment issue on earlier ones, CR-V owners had the same general experiences with their OEM tires too... He who rotates faithfully, has his tires last the longest!

    Re: the "short cross bar span" either with the GV factory rack or the skookum aftermarket CR-V Thule one I'll be getting, (as they are mounted up on either our vehicles' roof top "fix points"), ain't much of a spread there, especially for us when we'll be carrying our freighter canoe. Thule to the rescue. Check out their "Goal post" 2 inch trailer receiver hitch mountable, height adjustable "T" which rises to support one end of a water craft, (or whatever), off the back of the vehicle. Wouldn't matter whatsoever what kind of a rack you had forward of this "lifesaver". The uprights of the goal post(s) are two vertical load edge securing pieces that slide on the square Thule bar forming the top of the "T", making them adjustable for positioning against the side of yr. canoe hull, or whatever.

    I wondered if it extended far enough out of the receiver hitch to clear [our] rear mounted spare tires? But the Rack Shack guy confirmed today that a RAV-4 owner got one, and it cleared his. Check it out on the Thule website, item 997. Originally designed for use on the back of an open bed pickup, equipped with a 2" receiver trailer hitch, but it can also meet our needs for better load support with less risk of damage to the roof while carrying long max loads. Very cool. Have to live with being unable to open the rear door when it's in place of course. Abt. $229.00 Cdn.

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I always thought the previous generation CRV was the nicest looking cuv other than the new GV. I don't know much about them otherwise (except didn't they have stability control early and by then?), but I respect you to have made a very informed choice.

    Canoe carrying is when one appreciates a rear hatch lift glass that can open. Fortunately we tend to be using our sedan when we're carrying the canoe.

    I put 4 stainless steel band clamps around our roofrack crossbars, spaced to fit the canoe exactly between them. I covered them with innertube rubber slid over the ends of the crossbars. This arrangement completely stops the canoe from moving around in wind gusts. Solid as a rock, which is very reassuring.
  • Thanks much for that. The '05 model year was a big step forward safety wise for them. Yes, it got "VSA", (stability control), and side curtain air bags, plus needed additional refinements to the "slip and grip" "Real Time 4wd" system. Another difference vs. the GV is, it operates in front wheel drive [only] unless the system detects wheel spin, and the rear diff engages the back wheels. My own experience based preference is for Suzuki's 4 high lock system out on our demanding winter roads, with it's stability control on board now too, but I'll drive prudently in the Honda, of course.

    Love those new Nokian Hakka R's. Can't seem to do much to cause the 4wd system to want to engage on snow covered roads here today, as they just don't want to let go. LARGE advantage to the "Real Time" system is, the Accord/Acura sourced 2.4L motor gets a reported 27 US mpg on the highway when operating in front wheel drive. 22 US city.

    Tried an '04 manual 5 speed too, but as you can appreciate with your own top of the line GV, the fully loaded '05 CR-V, (besides all its "new" safety features), was a MUCH more comfortable, if not just plain OPULENT place to be! Just like a new '09 loaded one today, (I found out), out the door with taxes, freight and PDI, etc., incredibly it originally rang in at just under $40! Blew me right away! Good to see the initial big whack of depreciation taken off that, and a slow down of same from here on. Only 37 thou k's on it. Others on AutoTrader (nation wide) were listed for the same or more $'s, but most had around twice the mileage. IE: happy Norwoods camper....

    The "Opalescent Beige" with beige and taupe brown interior [ours] is a stunningly beautiful study in ergonomics too. Always my favorite version of 'em, but never thought I'd "defect" and end up owing one. Never even looked at one up close before, either. There's first time for everything, I guess.

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