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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Since honda gave gm a vtec for the VUE, I'm expecting it to be here also. IMO, gm's v6 or straight 6s are either weak or gasaholics. :P Look at the verona for example. :blush:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    "reliability, (and specifically Suzuki Grand Vitara reliability), remains a complete unknown at this time."

    If initial quality problems are any indication, I'd say there are remarkably few problems are being reported for the new GV compared to anything, let alone for a new model. Some people have had their new GV's for months now, and are racking up the miles. But then the Dodge Spirit was one of the most reliable cars in their first years. But after 10 years.....ack.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Yes, I'm a real fan of the Volvo V50 too. Just looked longingly at a white one on a local lot Sunday. Seems because of the extra weight, etc., according to the reviews it looses out quite significantly performance wise vs. that great Mazda 3 sport GT. Then there's the significant price difference. To drive the Zoom Zoomer in sport GT configuration, either with the manumatic or the manual 5 speed, (the wife and I drove both), is to completely fall in love [with driving] again....

    Hearin the word Dodge has me instinctively wanting to "duck and cover". Also, just how many vehicles can they turn out anyway, with "Powerwagon" look alike front ends? Who ever thought that's what "we" all really, really want????

    Ya, the new Suzuki SX-4 would definitely be worth waiting to see first, what with it's standard awd capability.

    Yes, xostnot, great to apparently see good intitial reliability! I sure hope it remains so, especially with the "out ther doin' it" usage your giving your own new GV. In particular I'm really interested to know, longer term, how that complex driveline stystem will hold up. We're all hoping for the best on this all new model, and are here only, (I presume?), taking the time to make these posts as evidence of our keen interest in same. We hold these truthes to be self evident.
  • acetexasacetexas Posts: 4
    OK, so where is the radio "aux" input? Is it buried under the dash, a lot of good that is (IPods, etc.).
    One more, the driver seat has very little front (Leg) adjustment for solid leg support. Am average height, even with front height maxed out the seat falls short for proper (comfortable) leg support. Am I missing some other adjustment that would mitigate the issue?
    FYI - outside of the above items the vechile is great!!
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I also want a piece of the cake. I would trade my current GV for an upgraded version. For now, it's working for us and no complaints and no problems.
    I did take out the rear seat. The plastic covers are the biggest problem by your feet. I broke the little tabs at the top. I doubt norwoodsman will notice when he buys my trade in. :blush:
    Since we're all sneaking in some tidbits, don't forget to boycott all Mexican restaurants for Cinco de Mayo.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    My warped viewpoint is that the "powerwagon" grille is very deliberately designed to evoke a menacing grimace, without making it so obvious it's ridiculed. Just like the "bullhorns" integrated into many recent vehicle front ends. As our lives get easier (or as we get more crowded), people compensate by choosing vehicles sized and powered and styled to intimidate others.

    I was thinking that the GV's drivetrain seems to be set up to release the traction/stability control beyond a certain point, to protect the drivetrain from the stresses, of, say, hauling the whole vehicle up a steep hill with only one wheel having traction. This would explain why the traction control seems to be inactive in certain circumstances. People who equip their off-roaders with locking differentials know the forces that puts on drivetrain components. SNAP! So if Suzuki got it right, we shouldn't have durability problems, it just won't perform as well as I'd hoped. Their marketing people must be pretty clever to have set up an off-road course that revealed none of the serious shortcomings (such as the lack of 2nd gear engine braking) during the press introduction. It's pretty good, though. In terms of the price and on-road dynamics factored in, excellent.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I understand the aux input is in the back of the radio. Apparently it's easy to remove the fake metal strips along the sides of the console, then the console itself can be dismantled.

    It took me weeks to find how to adjust the drivers seat to be comfortable, so don't give up on it yet. You might want to move it back to lower your legs, but then the steering wheel might be too far away.
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    Ok, I just took my 2006 Grand Vitara to the dealership to order NEW CARPET, NEW FLOOR MATS, and NEW SOUND INSULATION for the area where my "gas" foot normally is.

    If you will scroll back a few posts, you will see where I rented a small open trailer (the smallest trailer you can rent from U-Haul), and took some items to Las Vegas. Well, right past Baker, CA is a steep grade, about 40 miles long, to the top of the pass. I was driving in the slow lane (the same lane that the 18-wheelers use), about 65 MPH. The GV was in third gear revving about 6,000-6,500 RPM (approximately, I'm going from memory here). Besides absolutely horrendous gas consumption, I did not notice anything out of the ordinary.
    Well, the other day, I noticed that the right sole of my "Hush-Puppies" shoe was....well...melted. Huh? What? How did that happen? For weeks, I could not figure out what happened to my right shoe, until I looked at the floor of my GV. There is a "crater" where the heel of my right foot sits (this is my accelerator foot for you Aussies that drive on the wrong side of the road). I lifted up the floor mat, and there is a black stain coming through the carpet. Apparently, the gooey, black sound insulation under the carpet had melted and separated, and my foot sunk all the way to the floorboards.
    Take a guess to what is directly under the floor? The catalytic converter. It seems that as I was straining to get up the grade, the "cat" became very, very hot, along with the floor right above it.
    The dealer is going to repair it under warranty, but this is a very bad oversight on Suzuki's part. What this means is that there is not enough shielding around the cat and surrounding areas.
    So, this is a warning to all that plan to tow (even a light load) with the Grand Vitara. The floor will get very hot during steep grades. Once the dealer fixes my floor, I am going to the local hardware store, buying a sheet of aluminum, and building myself a heat shield for the floor.

    Does Suzuki Corp. read these boards? I hope so.....

    Any comments? Flames?

    Regards, ARG
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Glad to hear it didn't catch fire! I bet they have to do a recall for this. Have you reported it to the NHTSA website? If not, you should. Suzuki should replace your shoes, also.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Wow! I know the road you drove on. I'm surprised you didn't put your foot through the floor trying to go up that hill. I think 6500 is redline. That converter is right by the floorboard and must have had quite a nice color to it. It does have a shield and some reflective insulation underneath, I guess it wasn't enough. We're heading to Vegas today. I'll check how hot the floor gets at highway speeds.
    Checked my fuel consumption for city driving. Tried to be as accurate as possible in filling up the same. A/C is on. 17.6 mpg US.
  • acetexasacetexas Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback xostnot, I'll keep jacking with the seat adjustments. Do you think the aux connection is worth it, especially if you have to disassemble the console? I wonder what type of connection it is. If you can not put a lead on it to utilize access from a normal day-to-day condition I guess not ???
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I haven't bothered with the aux connection and don't really know what it involves. Some people talked about it in the '06GV forum at

    With enough money, you can get anything rigged up, even a totally different radio that uses the same buttons.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Hearin the word Dodge has me instinctively wanting to "duck and cover".

    :P lol. So wrong yet sooo true :D

    Good luck with the 3. Can you wait to test out a the CX-7?
  • pisulinopisulino Posts: 78
    Talking Engine size:
    I remember back in 1988 when driving my Suzuki Forza with the 1.1 3 cylinder engine.
    That little [non-permissible content removed] drove me to work and camping with my wife and two small children aged 4 and 2 years old.
    It was very slow at picking up speed but once there, it was a no problem cruising at 60-65mph in 5th gear.
    I had that car for five years and never had a problem.

    Now we are in 2006 and people are concerned that a 2.7 V6 engine may not be enough to pass on the HWY....WOW this is crazy LOL.
    If you need more power than that while keeping a good MPG (23-25), go and get the VUE V6 with the Honda 250HP engine and tranny.....that will take you places and probably at the same price as the suki.
  • acetexasacetexas Posts: 4
    Well, it's been a month with the GV. Overall, the SUV continues to meet owner expectations. However, some not so perfect findings:
    1. Cruise control accl button executes a high rev acceleration (like pressing down on the pedal for passing) for just a minor speed increase command (single button press) on flat road conditions. To avoid the high engine rev surge you must reach a higher speed by using the gas pedal and then reset the cruise accordingly.
    2. The radio aux is useless for day-to-day usage.
    3. The sunroof needs a auto pop-up (when in use) windbreaker. My sons Sicron works great.
    4. Gas mileage is definitely poor (just as stated on the sticker) - at best 21 MPG. Wish we had a diesel option when we purchased.
    FYI – we still get people looking and asking about the vehicle were ever we go. Typical comments: Nice looking inside and out :) .
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    You missed the piece of the cake that was being passed around. At least that's what most of us would like, a more high tech engine for the GV. I'm happy with it because it suits my 16 year daughter just fine. If you're into serious highway driving, it may be dissappointing to most people who are into the big horsepower. After all, this is 2006 and we want everything.:shades:
    We looked at the Saturn but the closest dealer was over 2 hours away and we didn't have any good luck with our past saturn or the service. I would have liked the HP but I wouldn't like visiting the service department every week.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Glad to know you still enjoy your GV. We've had ours about 6 months and are still happy.
    I haven't noticed the cruise control.
    I think the entire radio/xm ready is useless.
    Is your son's car a Scion? :confuse:
    My last check on city driving was 17.6 mpg. I haven't been able to do an accurate highway but I know it's close to the 24mpg as posted for the 2wd auto.
    My biggest gripes are that the Luxury should have come with a power seat and the back seats should have been more user friendly in folding or being easily removed.
    And you are correct in that it has a unique style that we like and nothing compares to it especially in price.
    Also it has one of the best warranties. I want to run out of gas just to try their roadside assistance. Maybe I'll do that in front of my house. :D
  • acetexasacetexas Posts: 4
    My "fat finger" spelling error, you are correct on the car brand "SCION". After the sunroof retracts, a small, but efficient windbreaker pops-up - pretty cool :D .
    If available, the power seats would be worth the extra $200.
    Mothers Day at the park had a lot of nice comments on the vehicle.
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    The dealer called and set up an appointment to have two factory Suzuki reps inspect my Grand Vitara. If you will recall, my floor "melted" while I was towing a small trailer up a 40-mile grade.
    They ran all kids of tests, and used a scanning device to check engine specs and values from all the sensors.
    They concluded that the fuel trim is off on the right engine bank (the 3 cylinders on the right side of the engine). They also said that the right side of the engine is running 50 degrees hotter than the left. NOT GOOD. They took all the data and will conduct the same tests on other Grand Vitaras with the same options to see if they can repeat the findings (to see if this is an isolated incident or a problem inherent in all Grand Vitaras). Next week they will return to do a back flow test to see if the pre-cat on the right side is clogged. If not, then something is wrong with the fuel injection. And so the saga continues......

    The one Suzuki rep I spoke at length was quite nice and very knowledgeable regarding the Suzuki product. Actually a pleasant person to chat with. Seemed to like cars a lot in general, in other words, a "car nut" like me.

    I will keep you updated on what is wrong with my GV.

    Regards, Vitara4me
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I placed an order with and there was a problem with one of the parts I ordered. Their customer service had the part picked up and refunded my money. :D Sometimes things don't go that easy.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Back on March 30 msg 435, nramos76 posted:
    "Being an electrical design eng. by trade, I'm interested in developing a modification to enable the gas mileage meter to do an average reading versus instantaneous. Since I would need the electrical diagram from the Suzuki service manual, but can't justify purchasing the manual for this alone, I was wondering if anyone was kind enough to scan the diagram and email it to me? If I am able to develop a mod I would be more than happy to share it with the community here...
    Noel "

    After three months of Internet commerce adventures, I finally got my '06 GV factory service manual. It's quite a hefty thing, and has some good detail. HOWEVER, it has virtually nothing about the mileage display. About all it has is that the readout gets information from the ECM, presumably the fuel injector metering system. I imagine the processing to a readable format is done in the dash display assembly, rather than the ECM, and there's certainly nothing describing the innards of either, or how they're programmed.

    Presumably, the same signal could be fed into a different module to do the required processing, then fed back out to the same display. Taken further, you could use the fuel tank level sensor information, and the odometer sensor information, plus a clock, and combine these to give Distance to Empty and average fuel consumption for a trip. It would be easier to buy an aftermarket unit that plugs into the transmission diagnostic connector, but then you'd need to mount it somewhere.

    Sounds like Suzuki is going to fix this next year. The question is whether they're reprogramming the ECM to do so, or just the display. The display has a clock, and that's what's needed for averaging. The trouble is that if you can fix this by changing the display unit, it likely will be priced at $200-300 (for something as complex as a clock radio).
  • fury168fury168 Posts: 2
    Just picked up a Black Luxury GV at the end of April. I must say I love this GV. Got the front 2 windows tinted to match the back and had a light tint put on the sunroof. Can't believe it wasn't tinted already. Also had an autostarter put in it. The place where I had it installed was able to make it work through the Keyless entry fob by pressing the lock button 3 times. Works great and the range is 150 feet. The guys at the shop were very impressed with the GV. (first time they had seen an '06) They liked the styling and were blown away that it had keyless entry and start.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Congrats Fury!

    Please post about your deal over in the Suzuki Vitara: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion. Thanks,

    Steve, Host
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    "alking Engine size:
    I remember back in 1988 when driving my Suzuki Forza with the 1.1 3 cylinder engine.
    That little [non-permissible content removed] drove me to work and camping with my wife and two small children aged 4 and 2 years old.
    It was very slow at picking up speed but once there, it was a no problem cruising at 60-65mph in 5th gear.
    I had that car for five years and never had a problem.

    Now we are in 2006 and people are concerned that a 2.7 V6 engine may not be enough to pass on the HWY....WOW this is crazy LOL.
    If you need more power than that while keeping a good MPG (23-25), go and get the VUE V6 with the Honda 250HP engine and tranny.....that will take you places and probably at the same price as the suki."

    Back in 1988, the national speed limit was 55mph. Guess what? The speed limit can be 70-75 mph in some places.Driving in the year 2006 requires more than the power that cars had wheezing up to 55mpg back two decades ago.Yup,the Saturn has more power than the GV. The V6 Rav also has more power. The new Mazda has more power. Come to think of it, there's not a six cylinder powered suv that has the GV's combo of lowest power and worse mpg. That's the result of low tech. Even Suzuki knows that the GV motor is yesterjunk; that's why they built a new engine factory that will make GM designed vvt engines, engines that will give 25mpg and offer 250hp.
  • brmatthewbrmatthew Posts: 1
    I purchased an after market hitch, Draw-Tite, for my GV. The hitch was an easy bolt in however trying to wire the trailer lights has been a different story. The harness provided by Draw-Tite has a T bone connector with five prongs. They indicate it should plug into an outlet located in the jack compartment. I can't locate a outlet in this area and I think the instructions are for a pre 2006 Vitara. I have also spoken to several dealers and they have been little help two indicating there should be a outlet somewhere and one voting for hard wiring it. Bottom line, has anybody hooked up trailer lights on one of these and knows where the hook up is?? Any help appreciated.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    You are correct on the GV being the lowest power of all v-6 comparisons. The fuel mileage also isn't the greatest but I don't see any high numbers on any of them.
    The Saturn Vue is probably the best bet all the way around if you want a GM built vehicle other than the drivetrain.
    The GV is still the only one with a base price v-6 under $20k and has the best warranty.
    Expect to pay about $4,000 more for all that high tech hp other than the Vue.
    If GM is going to start putting motors in the GV, I hope they add an extended warranty.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    How do you separate the mileage penalty of the GV's engine from the penalty exacted by "full-time AWD", the extra weight, and the shorter body? And after that separation is made, a fair comparison would factor in reliability. Only then could you determine if the cost of the extra gas due to the older engine is a worthwhile tradeoff compared to more expensive engines.

    A head gasket job at 8 years will erase any savings on gas. Depending on which vehicle might need such work.

    I have no idea what the answer is, but there's a good chance the outcome looks better than the ADVERTISED mileage ratings. I understand manufacturers have been known to fudge horsepower numbers also.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I wasn't trying to do an exact scientific account of all factors endured in my official test and bs opinion.
    I was just stating that the GV is still the best priced bang for your buck suv.
    I just made another look at the Saturn Vue forums (again, nothing scientific or exact comparisons)and there were many people unhappy with the 22mpg they were getting versus the 28 mpg as stated by the sticker. It's also my guess that the Vue visits the dealership more often which will also decrease your mileage.
    My neighbor bought the Ford Escape hybrid and hates it. The hybrid part only works in slow traffic so the $37k price tag didn't pay off for his long trips.
    We just made a combined city/hwy trip to Las Vegas with the a/c on and I have to say I drove it hard so I could get to a casino and a free beer and got an exact 21mpg. That $4k I saved over getting an extra mpg was used for some fun.
    I doubt any suv out there comes close to their sticker mpg so that even further enforces my bs opinion of the extra expense of the high tech engine, although I would love to squeal the back tires easier.
    I'll be trading in my GV long before my warranty runs out. Anything can happen in the 8th year, or maybe not. Head gasket or whatever is just a crap shoot like anything else. Are the GVs known for that in the 8th year or 80k miles?
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I agree absolutely with your view of the value of the new GV. And if the remarkable scarcity of problems with them continues, we'll be able to add another factor in its favour.
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    "We just made a combined city/hwy trip to Las Vegas with the a/c on and I have to say I drove it hard so I could get to a casino and a free beer and got an exact 21mpg. That $4k I saved over getting an extra mpg was used for some fun."

    That is horrible, horrible mileage! I guess you might think that is great if your previous vehicle was a '72 Dodge Polara.
    But 21mpg? So, it has 185hp and only gets 21mpg, and you are bragging about it? That's just pathetic.
    I often drive to 'Vegas myself. In my '96 Impala SS (weighs 4400lbs, modified motor with 3.42 gears), I average 23-24 mpg. In my old Honda CRV, I averaged 26mpg. On long trips, my '06 GTO gets 26mpg. I top off the tank, divided the odometer number by gallons to come up with these figures; I don't guess.On my last trip to Vegas (via 15), with fully loaded car, a/c and an average speed of around 100mph, my TDI wagon got 36mpg. In my stable of a 400hp 4400 hotrodded sedan, a 400hp 6 speed '06 GTO and a '03 Jetta wagon TDI five speed, a 21 mpg Grand Vitara would be the gas hog of the bunch.
    You can claim that no suv matches the epa sticker all you want. If that helps you sleep at night, then so be it.I forgot what the epa sticker was on my CRV, but I do know that it easily got 26mpg. On my Jetta, the sticker said 50mpg, but heck, I have gotten 55mpg. With the price of gas, the difference between a vehicle that only gets 21 mpg and one that gets 26mpg, over a period of a few years, is huge.If you think your being logical, think again. How much gas did you burn up to get a "free" beer?
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