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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2009 - current)



  • :D Wow that is alot of things you think need to be improved i think it needs alot of work too... i don't own one but i can tell it does because how any of them do you see on the road?
    I have only seen about 2.I think they might go out of business soon because no one buys them! i think they either need to make their cars better looking or they'll go bankrupt.... also all the things you said you think they need too :) :) :)

    Patrick :)
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    It's easy to lose the perspective that the list of things I like about them is much longer than the dislikes. Or I wouldn't have one. And the dislikes tend to be much more trivial than the likes. Such as, what other quality cuv has a low range?

    Two things about sales of the GV. Jan '09 saw twice as many sold as Jan '08. And North America is only a tiny market for the Grand Vitara, which has a much larger market share in other parts of the world. It's sold practically everywhere.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Yep. The GV is HUGE in Australia (for instance) where incidentally they've got the stump puller diesel for sale now too. Perhaps they are the most "Outback capable, vehicle savvy market in the world? PLUS the GV now has all those additional "critter comforts" built in as of the '09' model year too. Once again however, (like back in '06), the jury shall remain out as to long(er) term reliability question(s)/issues.... NOT ones of the ilk: "it'll leave ya stranded at the side of the road" type ones, but rather: the little/or not so little aggravations that no consumer should have to put up with given the current state of product development in the automotive industry (vs. other brands) "type ones".... Time shall tell, thus, exactly just how much Suzuki has gotten [completely] right re: the '09 upgrades. Sure feels good out there on a td of a loaded one though.

    Re: our "new" '05 CR-V, (ok, no more about it, but ah do luv it), for GV owners, (xostno, I know you've got your new "snows", but), I should add [here] I just drove the Coquihalla (our high mountain pass highway in BC), last Wednesday, in some of the worst winter weather I've ever encountered on same, and found the NOKIAN HAKKAPALITA "R" XL'S, (SUV grade), tires, to be little less than INCOMPARABLE with regard to their performance on every sort of snow/ice combo which ma nature could throw at "us" last week. Low rolling resistance too boot, makes them a real pleasure in the dry too, and much superior in ride comfort and noise vs. the OEM Bridgestone summers. Superb VALUE despite the HIGH price.


    ps: In late Jan. early Feb?, remaining '08's DID end up flying off the lots like hotcakes. But it should also be noted they ended up selling at WELL BELOW dealer cost.... Current economic conditions should help determine "adjusted" [selling price] valuation(s) of ALL vehicles, SOONER THAN LATER? Therefore, maybe by spring all mfgr's will be offering more attractive incentives on new vehicles, Suzuki included if they can afford to do so in, yes, our relatively tiny market [for their vehicles]. Wonder if they'd rather have rebadged a Nissan Rogue instead of that pickup. But hindsight is 20/20, eh...?
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    No comparo there re: driving dynamics, much as our southern bud maybe put it a bit harshly on the other forum a while back.

    Ya miss me, don't ya, nrwdsmn? :blush:
    Glad to hear you came to your senses and bought a Honda.
    I was a bit harsh, huh? Much happier now. Although all the people who have been asking about the GV never said what their final decision was. So I blew alot of hot air for nothing. :sick:
    Did you see the article on the top 5 worst cars? The XL7 was there. :lemon:
    Hope you're happy with your new ride. We have a 2005 Accord coupe with the V6. Awesome car.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    We tell it like it is, eh Bud? I have to agree I'm H-happy too, but with a soft roader now there's that one mud bog on the way to my fave norwoods trout lake which may be a bit tough to traverse sometimes in the awd CR-V. Alternatively, it's that go anywhere ability which has been and shall remain at the heart of the "deeper than skin deep beauty" of Suzuki's [better] 4wd vehicles. To me I think that short list might include: the last gen 5 speed Samurai, the 4 door Sidekick, (both: body rust issues aside..), and the current '09 gen Grand Vitara, (reliability data, pending)....

    Further summing up re: "my defection", it would have been a tougher call say if this had been 2011, (with depreciation having worked it's magic on an '09 GV), and again with the caveat that the all the reliability data had panned out on 'em [first]. But RIGHT NOW with the Spring deals just starting to sweeten, if one needs, (and I repeat NEEDS!), that 4wd capability, the '09 GV's are metaphorically sweet Florida oranges, (hopefully not other citrus varieties like some '06's/'07's were), vs. a whole crop of pretty unremarkable [other] 4wd "APPLES", alternative choices out there. Why anyone would want to continue to contest those facts is a real puzzlement to me. Translation: the '09 GV seems real sweet to me, but, alas was not quite yet ripe for picking at the point when we had to pluck fruit from the tree. But as consolation, ya, we did pick the shiniest awd APPLE, (it seems), and yes, are enjoying it immensely... As an aside, our fave was the 2000 or so Honda coupe. Further, was sorely tempted by a black '08 on clear out on the Honda lot when we scored the CR-V. May we all get what we want, (and NEED), at the time of purchase, eh?

  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    "Motoring 2009", (our esteemed Cdn. weekly tv auto show), awarded the '09 GV this honor on a recent show. Chief reason(s) for them seemed to be Suzuki's "all things old are new again", (my words), *idea* of bringing back an economical four cylinder [for it]. They also mentioned it's price/bargain status in the marketplace, given its equipment/content features. No arguments here.....
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    We regularly use a road that climbs from sea level in Squamish, up to 3000'. It's a popular place to go backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The road's lower half is 2-lane gravel, and the upper half is 1-lane gravel. It twists and turns as it climbs, and in the winter, you cross the snow line somewhere during the climb. Usually you also cross a temperature transition from above to below freezing. The road is cut into a steep mountainside, and the road surface is cambered toward the dropoff. There is a ditch on the uphill side and a dropoff on the other. (Take your pick.) Obviously a recipe for trouble. To put the icing on the cake, a snowplow/grader with a dull blade had left a glazed greasy slick layer of hard snow. Sanding would have been the only solution, but it wasn't done.

    During 30 years of using varied vehicles on that road, I have had many vehicle challenges. Including a couple of cases of sliding backwards downhill. Fortunately none resulted in damage. But the GV has never failed to make it all the way up, and has never lost its composure. In fact, it romps up and down the road.

    On the way down that road last Sunday many people lost control. We saw: one 4-Runner rolled and wrecked, one 4-Runner with chains mounted slid into a ditch. One Ford Freestyle slid over the embankment and crunched against a tree. One large tow truck with dualies, on the scene to remove the 4-Runner and extricate the Freestyle, slid over the embankment and crashed into the side of the Freestyle.

    I have never felt as grateful for a cuv with a low range to allow slowly engine braking down the steep slippery sections - rather than use the brakes. I was also extremely grateful for the new Bridgestone Blizzak DMZ-3's. Not to mention a vehicle with excellent weight distribution (and lots of air bags).

    We were unaware of the degree of the problem until after we stopped in the middle of one of the steepest hills to await clearance of car-nage below. It was at that point I discovered it was very difficult to stand on the road without falling. After seeing the vehicle behind us go off the road (fortunate since he would have hit us had he gotten much farther), I decided to put our chains on. With or without them, we were able to stop anywhere, while these other vehicles could not stay on the road. There simply was a vast difference in how the vehicles handled the conditions.

    Numerous fans of other suv's and cuv's challenge the wisdom of buying a Grand Vitara. This fiasco certainly reinforced my belief that the GV was the right choice.

    Note to suv owners: the very popular BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires are useless on slick snow.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I was just noticing the advertisement next to this thread and the GV sure tries to compare itself to the CRV. They obviously left out quality and resale value.
    I know, "Hey Bud, go away and quit bothering us Zuke owners." ;)
    I did purchase one for all the same reasons you current owners have one. I just fell out of love and won't consider getting back together.
    There are some great points as xostnot has pointed out in driving conditions. Then there are those with vibration and tire problems.
    Since Suzuki didn't address my problems, I feel I'm justified and pointing out the not so good points to potential buyers of any Suzuki.
    Then there are reviews such as this, that doesn't help out the Zuke brand. hrone-lexus-in-reliability-study/;_ylc=X3oDMTEyMGJyNHYyBF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEc2VjA2ZwL- XRvZGF5BHNsawNhcF9qYWc-
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    And we drove our Samurai right up on the N/W flank of Mt. Garibaldi till we could go no further. Gotta luv 'em. Still, bud strikes a useful cautionary note by advising they, (Zukes), frankly require "more care and feeding", (so to speak), than the main stream softies do. I don't think anyone can argue that point. Ya, again, apples and oranges, but... However speaking from experience now actually owning a CR-V, (2005), and having td'ed the similarly equipped (loaded but for leather), '09 GV JLX 4 cylinder, well, I thought it was a great rig. NO not the same ULTIMATE sophistication/on road performance as the CR-V, but hey, with the low range, that fine new suspension, those short stopping new rear discs, the quiet new cabin thanks to the sound proofing refinements, well, but for the intractable, TOO STEEP intro prices of 'em when we HAD TO move to replace "RUSS", (the rapidly oxidizing! Sidekick), well we would have been happy as clams to have one parked in the driveway here. So seems the moral of the story is, if you need that rough country performance margin, think Suzuki. If you find on the other hand you can scale back the outdoor adventures a bit, well then the other choices are obvious. No one's right or wrong here, it all just comes down to what [do you] need?, and how willing you are to put up with the extra care and feeding that comes along with owning a more complex to service [Suzuki] true 4wd vehicle.

    There are going to be some happy fortunate folks who end up with very good deals on these new '09's between right now and December. The new 4 cyl JLX is as close to a CR-V in general feel as I think Suzuki can possibly make 'em. That's a real tribute given it's considerable capabilities as duly noted by xostnot. You're welcome [again] Suzuki...

  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Hey nrwdsmn, How's the CRV working out? I was trying to follow (yes, you talkalot ;) ) your replies and thought you said the crv was boring. When I drive my daughter's 08, it can be a bit underpowered and no frills and yet it is a Honda. Trouble free so far.
    Curious why you chose an 05 CRV over an 06 or 07 GV? Seems like there are some great deals to be had.
    BTW, the zuke dealer in town closed it's doors. As well as a major boat manufacturer. The economy sure is taking it's toll on everything. :sick:
    Hope it's warming up for you. We've only had a couple 90* days and rain today.
    Have a Happy Easter!
  • theguytheguy Posts: 16
    Just picked up a new 4 cyl 2.4 gv model JA 5 speed manual this month. Wow pretty refined little machine. I have owned suzis all my life I have had an x90 and 2 trackers, This machine is an entirely diferent beast quite smooth rides nice not bad on gas. I have put 1000 km so far in 2 weeks. Very impressed now time will tell as far as maintaining goes. If there are any questions people may have fire away I will be as honest as possible about the vehicle. Cheers.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Yo bud! One priority for us was"tsb free", (tecnical service bulletins), THAT YA! we'd be FULLY confident of unlimited TSB free miles in our CR-V on the highway, (vs. in a Zuke), no matter how good the new ones actually turn out to be, (think JD Power reliability stats on down the road). BUTthat notwithstanding, just this am to show I am far from being the "traitor to the brand" which I may appear to be?, I strongly recommended the new 4 cyl loaded, (with low range) equipped '09 to the guy who was best man at our wedding, several centuries ago. In favor of 'em, (new '09 4 cyl gv's "w/goodies", look no further past the post of that happy guy, "theguy" who previously to this one logged in with the last post here. Hey guy, welcome to the discussion! Though he has the full base 4wd, again my fave was the auto equipped fully loaded JLX, but, enjoy! Anyway:

    So well ya, why'd ya do what ya did then, (you may well ask?) First we TDed a brand new '09 full base awd CR-V. In full base trim it came "equipped" with ACRES, (HECTARES up here), of unending dull grey plastic. And wow though there was a, (well, ya, it's about time you got competitive in the marketplace, HONDA!), year end $7,000.00 internet factory deal!, (internet buying service figures, we'd signed up...), even with that it just didn't wind my crank. It didn't feel right in the sense that you were so fully isolated from what was going on there at the road interface(es) with the tire contact patches... IE: just making you feel too "oh so comfortably remote" from the driving experience. Enter maybe two months later, our chance finding of a fully loaded low mileage, (22 thou MILES), '05 AWD [prior gen] ex lease one on the local lot, (good as Gold in color, at about twelve grand less than it's original selling price!), AND including it's vastly more involving [prior gen] feeling of yr. being actually invoved in the driving process, (vastly more road feel in the handling department vs. the isolation from same a new '09), and hey, we were left only with the question, what time does the bank open up Monday morning? Actually we went with Honda finance which with our Cr. Rating, readily gave us an acceptable deal, the next business day. But without totally spillin my guts here, (this aint a short one so far, is it?), we had other issues on the horizion too, including aging parents down south of the border. In fact just two months after scoring the CR'V, my dad "crapped out", (so to speak), and I can tell you it was a real godsend to be down there for almost a full month recently, with out having to worry about, (for instance), the chance my gas gauge might suddenly quit working. My heater core would suddenly disgorge its contents onto the floor of the passenger foot well, the seat belt fasteners were found to have been mfg'rd deffectively, and, but I wouldn't know about it, the this, the that... Or that the insulation beneath my cat converter might "smoulder?" as I drove over the mountain pass I had to traverse while heading south, (sendin fumes into the cockpit?), or, or, or and or......... Still again this very morning ya, I recommend with out reservation the new 4cy GV to my best bud. How/why? He has a ski cabin just down the hill from were we grew up, (almost, we're still workin' on it), skiing together as high school kids, (still go way too fast on 'em yet, Atomic GS race skis though we graduated to the Nomad Crimson ti's this season), AND because his cabin is also immediately adjacent to one of the finest alpine wilderness parks in the lower 48, AND ya, you need a 4wd w/low range to get in there on some of the key access roads, so I HAVE TO influence him to buy one FOR US TO USE while I am visiting, (please?). Don't even think about with your CR-V, on the other hand...

    Nuff said? Ya, probably more than, but maybe you can discern some path of logic in these ramblings?

    Yrs. Nwdsmn.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    You da man, guy.

    Please keep yr. input coming, that's chiefly why we're here I think, to hear from you new '09 owners.

    Just a few items re: my "War and Peace" length, (sorry), last post. Correction: our new CR-V tester around the first of the year was an '08 on clear out, (with that 7 grand internet factory discount). Think you can do about 5 grand now on a new '09 awd, (have had no reason to check back any more now). Did see the spring deals are starting to blossom just a bit on the '09 Zukes though. But for he or she who can wait til the frost is on the pumpkin, or the snow is on the yule tree, well, the deals oughta be killer then... Just hope the brand doesn't suffer too much in this economic climate as wary folks continue to contribute to "deflation". Further, sure don't see those Equator's flying off the lots, (at least not here). Would be interesting to know the sales figures on the other '09's. Have not seen any recently. What's happening back east there now on the lots in eastern Canada, (other bud)?

    JUST GREAT to hear you too have owned other Zukes, as there ain't many of us here, (as near as I can tell), though the Maestro of GV info?, our bud xostnot sure is an invaluable info source. But now we're waiting to hear from you, (and yet again ultimately, one: JD Power), to see if these latest Zukes can transcend their past reliability issues. No, as you and I and others know, nothing there that would ever tend to leave you stranded by the side of the norwoods road, but regardless those haunting little gremlins do, (lets be honest), manage to score right up there on the aggravation meter.... If Suzuki can now prove with the new '09's that it has overcome the necessity [for all of us] to have to keep noting this repetitive "issues footnote", well then at such time imo, the marque will finally have fully matured.... Hope it goes that way for them, and we the [mostly] still faithful.

    Keep us informed.

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Trouble is, the more people wait to buy Suzuki's, the more dealerships will close, and the higher the risk Suzuki will pull out of North America.

    If you want sales figures, someone at cartalkcanada posts US and Canadian sales breakdowns monthly, right down to the model. The Equator, indeed, is not doing well. Surprise! The SX4 presently is saving the company's North American bacon. However, on the global scale, and Suzuki IS a global player, Suzuki is doing ok, having recently moved up to 9th largest world carmaker. #1 in India, for instance. There are, however, lots of stories of closing dealerships in the US. Not that it's not happening to other brands though.

    This site has a wealth of information about Suzuki, a magazine, even a picture of the Iwata plant where the GV is built.

    North Americans have a completely different perception of Suzuki. People on other continents don't single out the brand for resale value, mileage, reliabilty, dealerships, etc. They also don't read Consumer Reports. Perhaps if Suzuki wants to grow in North America, they should look at how Hyundai has done it. If they care.

    I've come to distrust Consumer Reports and JD Power reliability ratings. The only souce I respect is Michael Karesh's Speaking of which, he could use a few more GV owners to get the GV onto "fully qualified" status of 25 vehicles per model year. The reliabiilty stats gathered so far are mid-pack. Certainly not at the bottom as CR and JDP rate them. Below Chrysler, for instance. Obviously that has not been our experience.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    [Pretty much] 4 sure....

    I still think the Aussies have it right seeing the true PURPOSE IN LIFE of the GV, for it is revered (nearly) "down under". Yet on the other hand we don't have to wrestle many "crocks" here in North America, and so are different folks. Though on the subject of "crocks", seems something akin to fair dinkum full of one, for more than just one of us here? to have felt over time it may have been something akin to having to pin one of the big long scaly toothy ones, (think Sea Crocodiles???), to the ground, (metaphorically speaking, of course), when trying to solve ownership "issues" with, (for instance), either the dealership service network, or on occasion, "those 20 footers out there in reincarnated form, if you will", represented by those Suzuki's national customer service rep types... Need I say too much more.... Ya, ok, ok again, they can't all be that bad, but my own satisfaction level was just 50%, so...

    So that's just one more example why yes, we ARE a breed of brand loyal owners, (mostly loyal), who by definition are apart from "the clutch", (reptilian reference there again), apart from the mainstream of new vehicle buyers. Yet are some of those unique distinctions ones we wish to readily embrace, by choice? You can and have spoken as well to these sorts of nagging issues as well as any of the rest of us. "Generic" info there really, irrespective of what model(s) we may have, or now still do own. Ya, our drive it till it drops Esteem wagon is still parked outside, and ok, I'm glad I have it. But I just recently finally had to toss up the hands and give up the continued aggravation of fruitlessly pursuing a clear dealership service related issue any further, but will still [have to] live with the vehicle anyway, til it drops..

    Re" just one, (of a number?), of GV aggravations of yours, for instance: it would absolutely "tan my hide" to have paid what you did for your loaded GV (with leather), and then to have 'em stretch out within such a relatively short period of ownership, yes, your "rig's" excellent o/r performance notwithstanding. Contrast that with our older "new", (to us) loaded '05 CR-V, where they, (the hides), remain totally pristine but for some minor stretch [marks] as opposed to being "stretched out". That reminds me, I need to pick up some leather treatment stuff today, any recommendations?).

    Elsewhere under the hood, our Accord/Acura TSX sourced engine has not allowed me to add even one drop of oil now during our first 5,000kms of ownership. In fact the service intervals using synthetic oil, (factory service recomended invervals), on the new '09 CR-V's, are WAY up there beyond a GV's, (the ultimate quality of the new '09 GV's, and their engines, of course yet remaining to be fully known, however). Ok, ok, again I know were back to apples and oranges, but... But although I also know the fact Suzuki's require 1 quart per 1,000kms, has nothing to do with the longevity of their bulletproof engines, still, speaking very simply to "engineering tolerances", the message there re comparative oil consumption figures is pretty clear if you look a bit deeper. That this fact doesn't seem to effect engine life in a Zuke, is of course a real blessing. But the devil lies [elsewhere, elsewhere in the vehicle] in those [other] engineering "details", when you the new owner of a new to the market Suzuki offering, gets to play "real world shakedown test pilot" as in effect those "engineering tolerance related issues" can and do crop up somewhere else, "here and there" at some point on down the road... Been there, done that, and don't miss it at all now, I must be frank, just like our sometimes audacious, (oops, no offense bud, seriously!!!), bud, Budman3. In the interim, I sure hope for nothing but good news from that guy, "The Guy".

  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I must be frank, just like our sometimes audacious, (oops, no offense bud, seriously!!!), bud, Budman3.

    Haha, at least you're still thinking of your ol Bud. ;)
    I must say that I have mended my ways of audacity and ferocity ever since the GV left the garage for someone else's demise. I think the stress of ownership and not knowing how much more out of pocket expense I could endure and trips to the dealer (which is now gone) all contributed to my evil ways. :sick:
    Once again, the reason I stay is not to cause harm and cruelty to other owners but to let NEW owners know what they may encounter and with a product that Suzuki won't stand behind. :lemon:
    I forgot about the oil burning in the GV, as well as the cardboard on the floor to soak up the oil leaks. It's equivalent to my Chevy truck that sometimes I wonder if they originally designed it to be a 2 cycle lawnmower engine. Between the Hondas/Acuras in the family, I have never added oil or found leaks.
    I really do hope Suzuki wakes up to smell the coffee and correct some the issues but they are definately putting more nails in the coffin as time goes on. The first couple years when a new product comes out is the most critical for the future of the product. When complaints fall on deaf ears, it won't take long for the public to notice.
    I was hoping to hear from some of the members to see if they actually purchased the Zuke, not only here but in the older section of the GV. I guess if they did, they would be here complaining. :cry:
    I'm almost there, nrwdsmn. My replies are getting loooonger. :P
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    I must say that out here in the Laurentians, you see more GVs than Rav4, but must admit that there is a lot of Suk dealers around.

    Now mine is about 3 1/2 years old with near 50K Km behind it, running smoother than ever and not burning oil, never had to add a single drop in between the changes.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Good stuff. Now if they nail the [overall] reliability on these '09's, (and manage to weather this recession), they will have achieved a great success. But obviously it's tough times for all auto makers, and so for a relatively minor player here, as xostnot reminds us, we shall see.

    What a CR-V won't do: is provide adequate braking in 1st with the slush box on steep grades. Went in search of the season's first Mountain Bluebird(s) early this am, (successfully), and confirmed [that] on the descent, though this was no surprise. For an interesting counterpoint here?, I'll be beginning to wring out "the rig" a bit as trout season approaches, and will report on how she traverses that mud bog en route to my fave norwoods lake. BTW, just took delivery of Thule's trailer hitch mount "Goalpost", item 997, though it's still in the box. Will report on it [as well] once it's set up to carry the freighter canoe, and I've used it.

    Zero maintenance again on the CR-V in the first 5,000kms. Supreme comfort in everyday driving. A real delight. To xostnot, my yard stick re: rec. use sufficiency will include, (here in BC), the Idaho Peak lookout road above Slocan Lake, the Gibson Lake road into Kokanee Provincial Park, the one into Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Prov. Park, and the Trophy Mountain Meadows one north of the town of Clearwater. Might make it up to the fire lookout above Kaslo @ Kootenay Lake, but would be a real brake test on the way down. If she does all those, and makes it to my fishin' hole here in the backyard, well I'll remain a very happy owner. Will I miss having an '09 GV instead?, time will tell, and I'll let you know....

    Of course it's no small irony I could probably sell the Honda today for the same I paid for it, and turn around and buy a "steadily incrementally cheaper" new GV as the product cycle for them runs its course. Looking at the other side of the coin, the reverse certainly would NOT be true if one wanted to sell a GV to move on to something else. There are reasons why that is so.
  • leo34leo34 Posts: 2
    I planed to look at Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. Dealer recommended me a Suzuki GV 2008 (4WD/V6). He said it is a great deal because that one is the stock of 2008. The price he asked is $18,995 (original ~$23,000)+Tax,Title...=Final $20,137

    I did not have any experience for purchasing a new car. 2008 Model is fine with me. I only care the price. I want leather seats too. Is that possible i get the car with leather seats in OTD price: ~$20,000. My Calculation: TMV in Edmunds is $18388+$1200 (Leather seat) =$19588 (OTD).

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    While you're waiting for a reply here you may want to have a look at Suzuki Vitara Prices Paid and Buying Experience.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Sort of bored here so I thought I would post. I just have alot more time on my hands since I'm not visiting the Zuke dealer. ;)
    All kidding aside, I'm surprised there aren't more comments on the newer models. Back in 06/07, there was alot more talk. Does this mean everyone is happy or they haven't had a chance to experience any problems yet? Maybe they aren't selling? Anyone planning on upgrading their older models? xostnot? Would you be a loyal customer?
    Just flappin my jaws.
    Thanks to those that have served/serve our country.
    Everyone have a happy and safe Memorial weekend.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Good questions.

    Re: upgrading, as you/we know all too well, what you get on a trade for one means the answer is NO, (in most cases), until the one you've got "drops". Really, how could anyone afford, cash wise, "psyche wounding wise", or hey, just plain "WISE WISE"?, to justify absorbing that BIG a loss to depreciation, say if you had an '06 or '07 that had finally transitioned out of it's "teething period"? Of course like you I'd like to see xostnot's, or our Quebec bud's perhaps definitive answer(s) to your upgrade question. All I can offer here is, sure, I lusted after the latest models as upgrades were made to the Sidekick(s), BUT. But ultimately instead of "upgrading" I just "scrapped" Russ for cash from our Province's eco recycling fund. "He" was 18 years OLD, and my upgrade was to: ykw....

    Back to '06, there was that very effective NGV marketing job which so successfully attracted folks who pre purchase, had little or no idea what might be involved in living with one of 'em, (a Suzuki), longer term. Especially! what it meant to get into an ALL NEW to the marketplace Zuke model. Fast forward here, and [you] maybe best represent those who have now since voted with their feet. All the above is very much more than very too bad though, I think, for those posters out there who currently drive one of these unique O/R capable vehicles, or who may aspire to do so again at some time in the future, (perhaps myself included there). What would my next 4wd Zuke look like?.......

    Dear Suzuki:

    Go retro. Scrap the too small Jimny, and replace it with a world wide upgrade based upon evolutionary changes to a four door Sidekick/Vitara, (pre '99 Vitara), SIZED chassis. Sure, give it the unibody/frame construction, the latest version of the "new" four cylinder engine, (or maybe even better, a smaller displacement VW like turbo diesel), BUT with a simpler part time 4wd system, (with a low range too of course), to help further conserve fuel. And why not?, maybe give us a pick up and or "crew cab" versions too?

    Suzuki-san: further look to the used vehicle marketplace over here. The fact prime examples of Zukes of pre '99 vintage are still sought after today, is further testament to the wisdom of this [downsizing] "new model" idea. Further with pending CAFE mileage figures on the horizon, (good work Obama!), EVERY mfgr's future SUV will need to loose both size and weight to conform. It's either that or let's hope the "SUV" doesn't simply die out, rather that "it" successfully "evolves" (in Suzuki's case), by their rediscovering the wisdom personified so well by their own smaller lighter and SIMPLER O/R capable market offerings here in North America. Can they build a modern one?, well, who better to do so? Again, think China if Suzuki doesn't wake up to meet this challenge in time....

    Suzuki: Take a bottle of Sake, and please call us in the morning......

  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    Upgrade ? NO ! For three main reasons, I'm still happy with it, not enough good reason for an upgrade, and when I got it, if my plan would have been to upgrade it, let say after 3 years, I would have gone with a long term lease instead of buying it. Right at my purchase time I was considering to keep it for about 8 to 10 years.

    I'm on my 4th summer with the EOM tires (their last season), I'll be doing a 5th winter with my winter tires (it will be their last season as well), so next year I'll need to buy 2 two sets of new tires. When you think about it, this is a big expense, but with that I should be fine for another 5 years. The GV would be around 10 years old after that second set, I'll see then if it still worth going with another expense of around 2000.00 $ of rubbers. Most probably not, it will be time for me to go on the market again, buying new or used ? I don't know yet neither, I had good experiences with both (one bad in each case).

    Kids will be gone from home, I'll still be going fishing, camping and skiing, I'd like to be able to find on the market a small economical and simple to maintain SUV.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    On occasion I do ponder what I would buy if we were deprived of our '06 Grand Vitara. That means stolen or wrecked, not just to upgrade.

    We still need a smallish suv with a low range, which pretty well limits the choices to the GV or the Patriot. In the Patriot's favour are the skid plates and raised suspension. And cheap! Against it are the fact it has only one low gear, it's made by a bankrupt manufacturer, and I don't like the styling. I could have nightmares caused by buying a car with a cvt and made by Chrysler.

    On the balance of the GV's cost, limitations, benefits etc., I'd have to say I'd buy another one. I wouldn't be thrilled about it, but it seems like the best choice. If they ever put out a version with skidplates and 1" more clearance, it would be a very easy choice.

    While the current '09 models are more desirable than the '06-'08's, the differences are relatively minor compared to the differences between any '06-'09 GV and even similar cuv's. I've achieved one of the advantages of the '09, by installing additional sound control measures in our '06. Which leaves just the rear suspension, engine upgrades, rollover sensors and the much missed remote gas cap opener. Those improvements are trivial compared to the fact ours is worth only half what a new one would cost. Plus the taxes on top of that.

    I have been preparing to keep the GV for a long time. That's why I went to the trouble to get a second set of (used) oem 17" alloys for my fancy new awesome winter tires. (The oem tires have 32,000km on them, and have 6-7/32's tread left.) Recently I got the front bumper refinished (thanks to an encounter with a frozen snow bank) and also redid a lower door cladding panel that had gotten damaged. I've got a set of clear plastic custom cut film that will be installed on the front end as soon as I get around to it.

    But there are still a few issues. One is that I get a very sore [non-permissible content removed] from the leather seats on long drives, and it bugs me that it lacks a shade band along the top of the windshield. And the hysterical transmission. Then there's the valve clearance inspection (next month).
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    And greetings and thanks to you'se guys too. Long (and often?), have said a fairly detailed "equation" has to be "solved" before one antes up to own one. If you're out there "givin' 'er", she's still the best deal out there, as we agree. Again, I probably would have gone for an '09 had the deals been sweeter at the time when "Russ" was essentially reduced to "a pile of oxidization". But then I figured I owed one to the wife too, (no small consideration there), as we'd had and loved three new Hondas in past years, and yes, while owning Suzukis, how we got to know the dealership(s) service manager(s), district service rep(s), and on a few occasions, those national customer service types, much better than we would have wished, given free choice in the matter(s). Yet again, sure hope that changes with the '09's.

    Re: tires. Time to re-tire [summers] on the CR-V too. Even though our '05 has one "brand new", (a never rotated Bridgestone Dueler H/T mounted on the ALLOY SPARE RIM), both the ride and outside tread wear on the other four is such that I wouldn't consider getting by with three more new ones.... Again on the blogs most CR-V owners strongly dislike these oem's too. So according to my latest research online, the Tire Rack's: General Tire "Grabber AT 2'" might just be the best deal out there for we woodsy types. Pretty outrageous [looking] tread to mount on a part time "city slicker", but read the reviews including one by a CR-V owner actually.... Seems they ride well on the highway, and are very well priced at only $96.00 US plus shipping for those of us who can arrange a pick up south of the line. Pretty sure General Tire's "rubber" is widely available in the Great White North too. Didn't check to see if there is a GV sized one.

    Back to the future [of the SUV]. Sure will be interesting to see what the next generation of EITHER the GV, (or it's replacement model, whatever it might be called), OR the replacement? for the unfortunately styled current gen Honda CR-V will look like... Should be coming up on a four year product cycle upgrade for the CR-V next year. For Suzuki, I hope that mid sized car is off the table [here] long term, in favor [instead] of their concentrating on providing us with a bit smaller, lighter weight all new dual purpose city slicker/true bush beater SUV model. Ya, seems PAST TIME also to finally bury that tired old "Vitara" moniker, (to say nothing of that [gag me] pretentious "Grand" prefix), and start out with a completely fresh sheet of "marketing savvy paper". Common sense there I think?, during this nothing less than revolutionary period of upheaval in the the auto industry. Also in the interim now, maybe do a "Mini Clubman like" stretch version of the very attractive little SX-4, and may you be amongst the first mfgr's to bring us one with an eco friendly diesel engine for 2010 as well.. Continued good luck over here Suzuki-san.

  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    As widely reported in the media now, the XL-7 is toast. Suzuki's ill conceived, (from the beginning), decision to make a GM cloned replacement for the prior gen XL-7, was doomed from the start, IMO. Chief reason why?, no, IMO again, it was not necessarily the obvious one, (the wrong vehicle for the times..), rather it had more to do with brand recognition and acceptance, which, oops, here I go again, dare I say it?, is also tied to brand reliability. Maybe head to head versus GM products and their ilk, it was competitive reliability wise?, (gag!), despite the MANY initial reliability issues it suffered from?, but again, (sorry), it just never could compete reliability wise, vs. a Toyota or Honda SUV. I think ALL knowledgeable prospective purchasers of one, would have had to have known this fact, and so they didn't [buy one]. Is there a lesson there? Well I think there are lots of 'em.

    Thank the Deity yet again (for Suzuki), that the new midsized car project was shelved before it got off the ground, prior to this historic low point in new vehicle sales. Now, can they break the agreement with Nissan's Tennessee plant re: the Equator?

    I dunno... The next moves for the company seem pretty critical regarding their continued presence in the North American marketplace. First, just how many dealerships are surviving now? The highly regarded (real) Suzuki Swift sold on the rest of the planet is due here when?, (should have been yesterday). While in the SUV department, in keeping with the clear trend towards smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient vehicles, just bring the long in the tooth "Jimney" over here?. No, it wouldn't have a chance of selling here.

    The GV in present form IS undoubtably here with us for a number of years yet in it's present form, (I concede), which is a good thing if it's reliability and ongoing refinement continue apace as per the Co's significant efforts with the '09 models. HOWEVER, (and that's a big one), again seems world wide, Suzuki could be doing its self a huge favor by bringing out a new fully modern "Jimney" replacement, but call it something else [new], maybe giving it a small turbo diesel, [THINK MODERN, PLEASE!], yes, again, with all that off road capability still remaining intact. A new one of sufficient quality/refinement also that it COULD sell here in the North American marketplace. That sort of a wished for niche vehicle is one which Suzuki provided "us" with for years on this side of the pond, up until the uninspired and boring Vitara appeared to "replace" the Sidekick. So one more time, give us a fully modern, less expensive, Sidekick sized Jimney replacement over here and in the rest of the world?, and that would round out the SUV line nicely. Will that happen? Most assuredly NOT if Suzuki chief focus continues to be [first] on seeking to emulate what others are doing, at the expense of what it/they once did best: making a small efficient affordable SUV.... In the meantime, sure hope the GV keeps 'em afloat here, along with help from the SX-4

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Though I have seen another mention that Suzuki has dropped the XL7, the only "official" word I've come across is that they suspended production. That may be exactly correct, or an understated way of saying the model is dead. I understand they built only a handful of '09 XL7's.

    I checked out this topic on my favourite Suzuke site, and the XL7 owners don't know any more about this either. A Suzuki rep commented that the XL7 got an extra hit from the move away from larger vehicles. Like you lamenting a Sidekick/Jimney, many wish there was an updated version of the previous XL-7.

    While the XL7 sells in extremely low numbers in Canada, I was surprised to learn how many are sold in the US. Thousands, which could make it worth building them.

    I hadn't heard that the new generation XL7 has reliability problems, and the owners' website doesn't appear to host an unusual number of issues.

    A simplified offroad version of the SX-4 could be a hit.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Greetings again xostnot.

    The XL-7 post I saw said, yes, production had been suspended in September owing to poor sales. Since then however, just within the past week the Co. decided to END production, (period). The North American plant here in Canada where they were built, will now be devoted exclusively to building the new gen Equinox.

    I never quibbled with the fact that the Suzuki had as std. equipment, (for instance), a much superior engine to the one available in the Equinox. In many ways I was also pretty sure that the non off roadable gen 2 XL-7 would have been superior to it's root clone vehicle [perhaps] in other ways as well.... In the end however it chiefly came down to brand acceptance, IMO. Had, at any point, any past Suzuki SUV achieved comparable reliability, build quality, etc., etc., stats comparable with that of one of it's respective Toyota or Honda competitors, had the brand ever achieved such a "rep" via earning those credentials, and a "rep" likewise for it's dealer service network, (that wouldn't have hurt either too, would have it...?), with all that in place aforehand, the GM clone might have had some chance to have made it past it's considerable initial teething problems to have made it's mark.. But instead, the handwriting seemed on the wall from the start, to some of us...

    If for example, someone had said to me, here: as a freebie you can have either an loaded Equinox, or a ditto, an XL-7, well, [I] am not sure what even [I] would have done. As just one sensible consideration?, for instance, which one might yield the better residual trade in value, and, and, and and.....? As to the mass market, it's pretty clear those unfamiliar with the brand were far more likely to have gone GM, (and did), when having had to actually pay for one themselves. No, don't know what the actual sales stats were, but surely FAR MORE Equinoxes were sold than XL-7's. Yes, there were some model to model differences, but in the end again, it didn't matter. Again therefore another root question remains, was it ever in Suzuki's best interests to make a GM cloned SUV at the expense of abandoning it's niche position of having always had a smaller less expensive SUV model in the lineup? The problem with the prior "little guy" on hand before the NGV appeared, (think the base 4 cyl Vitara), was, it was about as long in the tooth as a beaver which had not chewed wood since the pond thawed.... Ouch!

    Now sort of through reverse engineering in a way, of course the new 4 cyl GV for '09 is quasi filling that entry level gap. But a supplemental model new smaller fully modern Jimney/4 door Sidekick sized SUV, would be guaranteed to sell well in the rest of the world, and one would hope, here too as their entry level SUV.

    As to an orig gen XL-7, we came very close to having bought [a used one] this past year, after td'ing two of them fairly extensively, but... One pro evaluation of it which I came across stated: they took a mediocre handling vehicle, (the old GV/Vitara/chassis), and made a longer stretched mediocre handling vehicle out of it. I'd have to agree with that asessment completely. So I would have been afraid to have seen what bun might have popped out of the oven, had they based the next gen one on that same tired chassis/suspension setup. Instead, it turned out to be, hey, lets just emulate a GM SUV. Bad karma from the git go.

    Again, count me in, as I sure hope they come up with a NEW smaller sized world market entry level model to supplement the NGV in the lineup, before a Chinese knockoff arrives here first. Surely the Suzuki version would be of much greater quality. I quite like the looks of the SX-4 too, but could they make a true bush beater out of it, based on that chassis? Seems the "rig" we may be thinking about here, needs to penned on a clean sheet of paper.

    May we live in interesting times..

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    My basic reaction to the new XL7 was that it was a blend of minvan and suv. The minivan people would choose to buy something that works even better as a minivan, such as a minivan; while those looking for an suv would choose something more suv-ish, like an suv. No shortage of choices in both. So the XL-7, in attempting to be too many things, ended up bland. Just like the Chrysler Pacifica. Mix many colors of paint and you get grey. People looking for a vehicle just a bit upscale are looking for distinctiveness and specialization, not blandness and versatility.

    So the XL7 had quirky styling. Quirky can err on the side of being attractive, like the new Kia Soul; or be quirky unattractive, like the Aztek. The XL7 was quirky/unattractive. Nice engine? Too bad, the neighbours can't see the engine.

    Like the Equator, the XL7 may have been relatively cheap to tool up for. But surely the XL7 hasn't repaid the development costs. Maybe Suzuki was desperate to utilize their stake in CAMI. Well, maybe they should have done more research into the styling. I find the Equinox more attractive than the XL7, and the Torrent even more so. They needed something inspired that hung together as do the new GV and the SX4. But no, the XL7 was a mishmash of unrelated styling elements. Surely they could have done better, but instead Suzuki now has another failure on their record.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Now that's more like it! I'm pleased to note [here] I just saw a news clip re: the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality Study(SM). While there was no individual model data included, of great interest to long time Suzuki fans was the Co's having achieved the honor of showing the greatest degree of improvement of any mfgr for '09, by moving UP from 32nd place in '08, to NINTH IN 2009! Way to go! Of course we'll all have to hope that's not primarily due to their selling Nissan pickups now, (the "Equator"), as I imagine they have to be pretty reliable? Instead lets also hope all those significant '09 upgrades to the GV have been accompanied by like improvements in the area of "gremlin extermination". If so, next up ought to be a maturation of the quality of the dealership network. But any of 'em who survive this current "depression" in the auto industry, ought to be "keepers" thanks to the process of natural selection. But then comes a pretty important question though, how far [then] will you have to drive to have one serviced? Here the marque survives thanks to it's being one of a few different makes sold at the dealership. For stand alone Suzuki dealerships, these truly must be the toughest of times. Looking forward to seeing individual data on the '09 GV's, as time goes on...

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