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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    Right, let me try this...

    xostnot, where is your list of 06 GV likes/dislikes posted?

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    tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Follow up question: Why don't you just list them here? :shades:

    tidester, host
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    We're all anxious. I agree, just post them here so we can critique them. The list can't be that long. Mostly positive, I'm sure.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Back to your point, why not buy now, sans: "I personally don't have the time and effort to scrutinize every detail in a new vehicle." Alternatively, as a no fault statement re: your opinion, (honest!), obviously alot of us are fairly obsessed with doing just exactly the opposite when buying new. Especially since as it was mentioned here, we're in the intro year of an all model. A SUZUKI model. Been there done that. So being obsessed, are "we" maybe even not just a little "conflicted" too when considering purchasing another "all new" Zuke? Guilty as charged again. Why? Well, we've wanted so much more for such a very long time, and this one's so very close to completely winning us over as being "Mrs. Right". But, an all new Grand Vitara? Let's venture back under the hood. When I test drove brand new auto and manual transmission equipped XL-7's in the past few years, to see if I oughta to buy one, what literally thwacked me upside the head was, hey, this thing's got a drinking problem!!! NO that didn't just come from reading my reading the specs on fuel economy. Instead it was a driveability issue, IMO, (in my opinion). IE: when one "stands on it", say for a NOT at all hypothetical passing maneuver here in ye Norwoods, 'round a fully loaded logging truck, (and they're pretty long rigs, trust me), what happens? At somewhere around 3/5th's boil or so in the rev range the XL-7 engine clearly begins to labor, making sound and fury which largely seems to fail to translate into a compensatory sufficiently authoratative amount of forward motive force. OOPS! IS THAT ANOTHER LOGGING TRUCK NOW COMMING MY WAY IN THE OPPOSITE LANE HEVE ON THIS TWO LANE ROAD? HOLY ....!
    Catch my drift?

    So for me, since with only minor additional tweaks to it's XL-7 derivative engine?, well, knowing this same mill IS transplanted into the ALL NEW GV, and having felt the new manual GV I drove last weekend similiarly felt constricted performance wise in the very same rev range band as in those XL-7's I've driven, while all the rest of the bits and pieces around it, are, well.... Seems to me like all the rest of the vehicle is made up of exotic if not actually intoxicating bits and pieces which Scotty just beamed up from the planet Futura, in terms of "their" exemplary sophistication and design. So bud, well I guess some of us are hard to please.

    Playing "Devil's advocate" here for prospective "newbies", regardless, just like all other Zuke engines, an armour piercing bullet fired at the now venerable, (by virture of age), XL-7 mill under the hood of the new GV, would simply bounce off, and it would continue soldiering on well after many of THE GENERAL'S past offerings in GM vehicles had chugged their last. Food for thought?

    So my own continually evolving purchasing strategy seems to look like this, [today]. They bring out the 3.2 mill whenever dclark2, hey, please keep us informed!, and then maybe I'd even consider going for a 2.7. I'd be armed to the teeth with the latest up to the minute internet pricing data, and venture forth Saturday mid afternoon December 30th, (the very best day and time this calendar year to buy any new'06 vehicle. I enter the Suzuki dealership on a take no prisioners mission, (my wife's good at this now too), and we literally steal a forlorne, forgotten manual base five speed GV to be our surrogate Subaru awd. All for say close to maybe a minimum of 3G's (cdn.) off list as I can get. Been there, done that, purchasing new Suzukis. Then, just exactly like you now bud, at that point with my 2.7 I'd never look back either. But then just on paper alone, (when we see the paper), the on road performance of that 3.2 would be so vastly dramatically different, that I'd end up having to do a trade right then and there on the spot, ending up with it being "the product advisor" who pulled the Terminator routine [on me]. Shiver me timbers!

    Enough ramblings. IMHO,(in my humble opinion), the definitive new GV reviews may finally only now be being [very well] written on these very pages. Thanks to everyone for your invaluable last few posts. Especially dclark2, wow, what an info source. Keep it comming. I look forward to objectively seeing your "flip sides of the coin" posts as we continue this educational process.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    I agree with your engine requirements. We don't have snow or logging trucks, but we have "snowbirds" in their massive 5th wheels and motorhomes who don't seem to care that they are doing 20mph under the speed limit. There are times I wish I had the magic button to add 100hp to pass safely and easily. Other than that, the engine is adequate for our needs and our 16 year old daughter driving for the first time.
    I would also be hesitant about 1st year buying, but the new GV was an easy choice for us. Price and style were the main deciding factors. It was easy to eliminate most of the competition without even taking any test drives. The warranty will take any worry out of any bugs found, but so far it has been flawless.
    Other than the engine, you don't seem to have anything bad to say about the rest of the GV.
    My only question would be, what if they don't change the engine and transmission for next year? OK, one more, will you wait another year?
    If Suzuki still has their customer loyalty discount for next year, I know that I'll get an additional $1,000(US) discount that I wasn't able to get this year.
    I know that there will be changes for next year, I just hope that they aren't so drastic for you to say, "I told you so". We'll see. Good luck in your decision.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    When the model year end comes, first, they will have screwed together enough of them to assuage some of my latent "new model anxieties". Secondly, with carry over 2006 inventory left on the lots, particularly a base manual 5 speed model, (Jeepers, who would want one of those anyway?), I'd be pretty well guaranteed I could get the same deep discount deal I've become accustomed to when buying new Suzukis. Third, with a son finishing his studies at year end down in the Frisco Bay area, (supported in part by our northern pesos), it's partly just our personal financial timetable at work here too.

    As a counterpoint in support of in particular the 2004 model year XL-7, (the last year it was made with the manual transmission), I still wonder if it's the rig both xostnot and myself should be looking at to add to our respective stables? Problem is, you spend time there inside that great new cockpit, and..... Again, we had a great time with it on our test drive last weekend. But we're also not in a rush with two Zukes running fine right now. Come Dec. 30th?, (just a second here, no, I see the wife's not looking over my shoulder), then we'll see. In the meantime I can't see a downside either for myself, or anyone else with an interst in this site, in shying away a look at both sides of the coin, so to speak. I look forward with considerable interest to the next posts.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    To be honest and no hard feelings, I don't think you are ready or you are just waiting for that special deal and that's fine. You gave me a new outlook on the new car buying experience. I wish I had that time frame to wait and see. You and I are way too much alike(I also dislike jeeps and the arrogant people that drive them,whew, now I feel better) except I "needed" a vehicle for an extra driver. I hate to say that especially in front of a salesman. Budman,AKA, Cheap Charlie is always looking and waiting for that great deal. We bought from a good friend and he couldn't do the customer loyalty discount. I don't think Suzuki will offer the deep discounts that the Big 3 have offered, but I've made one mistake in my life before. Look at the current news and all the imports were the favored vehicles for the past year. Suzuki wasn't in the top 3, but the point is clear to consumers.
    I'll stop here and wait for the new posts, too. I wish there was an e-mail area so we wouldn't have to tie up this thread, but it's all good info.
    By the way, I don't know where you live, but I have family in Montreal and Toronto. I think they know you. ;)
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    but it's all good info.

    Exactly - I can guarantee you there are a bunch of lurkers hanging on your every post that would really miss out if people were just emailing each other.

    Now if we could get a few more folks to unlurk. :shades:

    Steve, Host
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    dclark2dclark2 Member Posts: 91
    It is no secret that Suzuki is moving towards vvt motors; one version of the current GV that was tested in Jamaica has it. Here's a url: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/Business/html/20050911T040000-0500_8813- 6_OBS_SUZUKI_GRAND_VITARA__.asp

    Here's an url about their engine factory:
    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/06-23-200- 4/0002199086&EDATE=
    Again, I am not saying that the '07 will have one of these, but logic says that if they are building a factory making 3.2/3.6 motors, they have to put them into something, right? Plus, they already announced that the xl7 replacement will get 3.6.
    I have noticed that there are all kinds of positive GV reviews popping up. Also, it was just announced that Suzuki just had their best february in company history- sales were up 39% last month
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232

    I got our GV at nearly $3000 off MSRP, late last December.

    I wouldn't want an XL-7. The length would show up sooner or later as a clearance problem, I've been in an '03 GV and it's just too narrow inside, we don't need the third seat, and it doesn't have modern (requirements) for me such as all the air bags and stability/traction control.

    As for engine power, every year the manufacturers make us want more and more. For me, the '06 GV has plenty. No matter how much power's on tap, there will always be passing challenges.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Ok, just this once. I don't like posting the same stuff on two sites; and updating stuff like this list, in more than one place, isn't going to happen. This site also has a limit on the length of posts, that I'm sure I'm about to run into.

    Here's where the list came from:

    Here's a list of my likes and dislikes about the new GV JLX-L. Bear in mind they have varying importance to me. Both the items in the lists and their importance will vary for other people. There are many things I take for granted and have not listed as Pros, such as split/folding rear seats and steering wheel-mounted cruise controls. If I haven't mentioned something, like styling or power, it means I'm ok with it. The pro and con lists are about equally long, but on average the aspects I like are more important than the dislikes. The balance for me is that overall I like the new GV better than anything else I choose to afford, and I expect to keep it a long time. Other than some inexplicable nuisances, it's an outstanding design, well executed, and top value.


    - attractive, well-fitted interior and dashboard
    - reasonably scratch-proof plastics
    - excellent dash controls
    - colorful instruments
    - automatic air conditioning
    - excellent radio reception
    - mp3 capable radio
    - good speakers
    - outside temperature readout
    - steering wheel radio controls
    - good interior lighting
    - 2-3 power outlets
    - seat heaters
    - three rear headrests
    - three rear shoulder belts
    - reclining back seats
    - large front footwells
    - space under front seats
    - seatbelt tensioners
    - smart airbags
    - side airbags
    - curtain airbags
    - cup/bottle holders
    - grocery bag hooks
    - seatback pockets
    - lots of storage spots
    - reasonable quality standard floormats
    - roomy, except cargo area
    - tilt/slide sunroof
    - no rattles or squeaks, seems well-built
    - tough construction
    - agile handling
    - tight turning radius
    - good ride/handling
    - quick off the line
    - sure-footed
    - soaks up washboard
    - keyless entry/start system
    - good, fairly expensive, oem tires
    - heated mirrors
    - large mirrors
    - no optical distortion in windshield
    - good windshield washers
    - automatic headlights
    - excellent headlights
    - restrained design of headlights (don't go halfway to windshield)
    - separate rear amber turn signals
    - lock for spare tire
    - rear drum brakes
    - "smart" ABS
    - stability control
    - traction control
    - low range gearing
    - 5-spd automatic
    - transmission engine brakes when coasting
    - even weight distribution on wheels
    - timing chain
    - fairly accurate cruise control
    - stability control can be turned off
    - easy entry/exit
    - sturdy spare tire mount
    - sturdy optional roof rack crossbars
    - roof rails good to grab for loading the rack
    - upright windshield improves visibility
    - made in Japan
    - superior warranty
    - low price
    - my wife likes it



    - no shade band across top of windshield
    - no sun visor extenders
    - cheesy carpet
    - steering wheel too thick
    - wiper controls are counter-intuitive
    - front headrests slightly too far forward, no adjustment
    - leather seat bottoms stretch and look baggy already
    - single temperature, leather seat heaters cycle hot on/off
    - no rear seat center armrest in North American spec
    - front door and center armrests are awkwardly positioned
    - front passenger seat does not fold flat
    - rear seats bulky when folded
    - rear seats not easily removable
    - map lights are too bright
    - no glove compartment light (didn't know this was possible)
    - steering wheel controls and most armrest controls not lit
    - back windows tint is too dark
    - mileage readout is instantaneous only (another dumb execution of a desirable feature)
    - no cassette deck
    - "XM-ready" radio requires installing $300 option
    - beige floor mats (what were they thinking?)
    - accessory rubber floormats are front only
    - too noisy, insufficient sound insulation
    - noisy and therefore mileage-impairing thick optional roof rack crossbars
    - roof rack rails not parallel, complicates adjusting crossbars
    - no security system
    - aftermarket security systems don't integrate with unique keyless entry/start
    - traction control seems crude
    - stability control deactivates in 4L
    - no ABS shutoff
    - soft paint
    - no plain white paint offered
    - extremely limited interior color choice
    - mudflaps are accessories
    - can't combine either type of accessory mudflaps with the accessroy fender flares
    - no protective film on rear wheel bulges
    - drivers' outside rear-view mirror is optically distorted
    - no under-hood light
    - grille and headlight assembly must be removed to replace turn-signal bulb
    - no remote filler flap release
    - no automatic transmission power switch in Canadian spec
    - fiddly shifter gate on automatic
    - can't engine brake in 2nd gear with the automatic
    - transmission delays kickdown, slow to upshift
    - 2-gear kickdowns sometimes happen when gently increasing throttle when climbing
    - vague throttle response
    - vulnerable muffler
    - vulnerable exhaust system
    - North American spec has underbody components that reduce breakover clearance
    - skid plates are insufficient, no additional ones available as options
    - rear licence plate bezel reduces departure angle, will tear off
    - version with low range should have a little more clearance
    - no low range available with standard transmission
    - no low range available on cheaper models
    - low range available only with 17" wheels, inferior combination, limited tire availability
    - can't be driven in 2wd
    - unimpressive mileage
    - undersize spare tire with 17" wheels
    - spare rim painted yellow
    - tapered shape of spare tire cover costs extra rear visibility
    - no lock for spare tire cover
    - tailgate glass doesn't open
    - should be more space inside tailgate, right side cargo area, for storage
    - fog lights are pretty useless in fog
    - cheap lug nuts
    - comical jeepney meep-meep horn
    - no one notices it
    - scarce dealerships

    If Suzuki wishes to use this as a guide to improving next year's model, and rewarding my efforts by swapping my '06 for an improved one, then I think I could agree to that.
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    tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Thanks! That looks like a very well thought out list and now you can direct people to your comprehensive list right here! :)

    tidester, host
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    "the definitive new GV reviews may finally only now be being [very well] written on these very pages"

    if you go to the yahoo auto reviews...about 21 of the 23 who reviewed the gv gave it a 4.5 or 5 stars. nearly perfect overall score...they were also gv owners who ACTUALLY BOUGHT the vehicle and use it everyday...the only 2 who gave it a 1 or 3 star were the ones who didnt buy it.

    its a GREAT suv..their comparing the thing to a beemer or benz for chrissakes....some of the negative reviews i see are to be quite honest...so trivial..it's all about the OVERALL VALUE you as the owner percieve of the vehicle...not wether you can generate a "con" list with the same length as that of your "pro"...

    when this thread started you had all the owners glowing with excitement and pride at their gv...same great reviews (like in yahoo) from those who actually bought and use it...then you had some people(who are "planning to buy") creep in here with their "definitive" reviews as if those who bought the vehicle didn't know what the heck they were buying..

    apologies to all for the bitchy post...but i am just suspicious by all this recent definitiveness
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The '06 consumer reviews aren't linked at the top of the discussion yet, but they can be found from the Edmunds.com New Cars tab:

    Consumer Rating & Reviews

    It looks like there are 35 reviews posted as of today for the Grand Vitara and the average rating is 9.1 out of 10.

    If you have one, please click on the link and review yours.

    Steve, Host
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    You listed "read drum brakes" as pro. Please elaborate on this point as I know a lot of people prefer to have rear disc.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    Sorry, I was going to give up on the non-owner GV replies.
    I agree 110% with manifold. These pros and cons are simply insane, let alone petty. Steering wheel too thick, taillight glass doesn't open. I can't even go on. What a useless list. Go make your own car and leave us alone with our happy vehicle that we ACTUALLY BOUGHT. You will never own a new vehicle, let alone something that could possibly satisfy your needs. "Your" car will never be produced. The Suzuki engineers have to be laughing their [non-permissible content removed] off.
    I'm sorry i asked for your list and advise. Go to the Toyota forum where you will be much happier, well, maybe not.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    That was also the first reaction to my list on the Suzuki-forum.

    While I too like the idea of rear discs, by far most braking is done with the front wheels. Just experiment on a bicycle, if you want to check this out. Drum brakes are perfectly capable of handling the forces needed to be exerted by rear brakes.

    At the same time, disc brakes are far more difficult to protect from crap than drums, which are by their nature enclosed. This issue is of far more relevance on a vehicle that can be expected to be driven on gravel, in mud, sand, and slush. As suv's are supposed to be intended. All this means much higher upkeep costs for rear discs than rear drums, despite drums being absolutely suitable.

    Our '91 Pathfinder had rear discs. They needed relatively frequent and relatively costly maintenance. I got so tired of sticking calipers. And since discs don't lend themselves to being used as parking brakes, the vehicle had a little set of drum brakes on the back anyway. Which didn't work as well as using full-size drum brakes as a parking brake. I'd imagine drum brakes are also cheaper to begin with.

    They just don't have the cache of discs. Rear discs probably make plenty of sense on high-performance cars where they came from because they operate in cleaner circumstances and the lower body means less weight transfer while braking.

    It would be interesting to check how the stopping distances and fade characteristics of disc/drum suv's compar to disc/disc suv's. I haven't heard any complaints about the new GV's brakes. Until I see compelling evidence to the contrary, I'm going to view the GV's rear drums as a refreshing instance of common sense.


    I'm also going to have to temper my criticism of today's shallow and forward-positioned door armrests. On reflection, I suspect they are shaped and fitted to avoid interfering with side airbags, and to reduce crushing into the occupants in side-impacts.

    And an addition to the Likes list: exhaust tip won't seriously melt rear bumper if pushed up, and the rear tow hook is shaped to protect the exhaust.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    manifold and budman3

    It appears you believe I don't own an '06 Grand Vitara. Would you like the VIN? I have less faith in the quality of your thinking process if you can't derive that I own one from what I've stated in my posts, including the list you find so offensive. You're free to sit on your duffs and take potshots at my list, or ignore mine, or create your own, or any combination thereof. But don't question my right to post what I think.

    For instance, I said: "The balance for me is that overall I like the new GV better than anything else I choose to afford, and I expect to keep it a long time. Other than some inexplicable nuisances, it's an outstanding design, well executed, and top value."

    I took some pains to emphasize that overall my opinion of the new GV matches yours. By saying that, I assume no obligation to overlook its shortcomings. I appreciate that for the price, some corners have to be cut. And the designers will always make some errors and the marketing department will always do some things I won't like. But none of that is a reason not to list the shortcomings. If we didn't sometimes focus on how to improve things, we'd still be living in caves. (Which were a positive alternative to sleeping in the rain.) The reviews manifold referred to simply don't allow posts long enough to go into detail. I added my own weeks ago.

    I didn't set out to make the pro and con lists the same length. That just happened. If you re-read my prefacing remarks, this should be more than clear enough. Keep quantity and importance separate.

    The '06 GV is an excellent suv. The things I don't like are relatively easy and cheap to fix. I easily recognize the list will be different for everyone. But have you noticed any things most owners agree on? If just the majority of the dislikes were fixed, it would be a great or landmark suv.

    Uncritical worship is just as dangerous and stupid as pure criticism.
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    A quick note re low range and manual transmissions - the combination is available in Europe and Australia from the lowest end five door petrol 4 cylinder GV to the top end 2.7 litre machine. Automatics are also available.

    Also in most of Europe and Australia there are no 2wd versions available in any configuration, and there is also a 2 door short wheel base variant which only has plain AWD, with no choice in range or locking.

    I'm guessing that relative lack of popularity of manuals is the reason for not having a manual transmission/low range option in North America.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    OK, so you DO own one. Norwoodsmn is the only GV wannabe. So, why did you buy it? i can't figure your reasoning. You hate it, but you like it.
    "(Which were a positive alternative to sleeping in the rain)" you are a strange duck(rain, sleeping, just a joke).
    You have to admit your list is pretty lame. If everyone were to go to that extreme on crticism of every vehicle, nothing would be sold.
    I guess I'm glad you own a GV(vin not important)but not sure of what else to say.
    You scare me.
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57

    I was by no means trying to single you out. My post was really based on a series of comments of more to the point, the direction the thread is going. I'm by no means offended of any negative reviews of the GV. I've no association with Suzuki whatsoever other than just being one happy owner of the GV. What irked me is that there seems to be an agenda behind some of the review(s). How can a vehicle which consistenly scores near perfect points by the owners who've bought them, have a thread that makes it seem like its full of defects? Sure, I can understand a need for wanting a better sound system for example but that's only one small aspect compared to the overall package. To someone whose already bought the vehicle, that's peanuts. As for pro and con lists, I could rattle of one with ANY vehicle (they all have shortcommings which is relative to the owner). I can make the list any lenght you want but what would be the motive or purpose behind doing so? There is a difference between genuinely being dissatisfied with the vehicle versus just wanting to find faults with it. As I've mentioned in the end it's the overall value. Consistently the owners have stated they are very sastisfied with it. If the goal is just to "educate the newbie buyer" with these pros and cons then, fine. But what is a newbie? Many of the owners Ive read traded in a SUV(or some car) so they have quite a bit of automotive/SUV experience. But really, everyone who've ever asked me a recommendation or review about any vehicle ultimately says "What is the bottom line?" Yes, you did say that overall you liked it, but it honestly makes you less believable when you followup with a very long con list. I noticed that with some of the other comments..."Yes, its absolutely fabulous.....oh by the way it sucks here and here and here and here and here...." It looks sneaky.
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    tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    ... avoid making it personal and stick to discussing the vehicle. Remember, you can always scroll down past messages you don't care to read.

    tidester, host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Ooops! [Thought] I was going to be "looking forward to the next posts". I don't think anyone is spending time here with some hidden agenda, trying to "creep in". At least I hope not. If it's worth anything manifold, I've been an 18 year, exclusively Suzuki owner, (sold one of our Accords during that time frame), and will likely be picking up a GV at a time of my own choosing, (ok?). But if the fact I haven't bought yet, makes my perspectives irrevelant, hey (site managers?), please advise.

    But I [hope] you might have to put up with the perspectives of the odd crusty long time follower of the marque. Long time owners whom as such have felt, yes, we have an ongoing vested interest as each new model is released, as we consider upgrading our stables. As capital letters unequivocally WONDERFUL as the new GV may be to new star struck owners, (hey, I'm happy for you!), alternatively, (trust me on this), if Suzuki had had a pre production pipeline to garner feedback from it's historic client base, I guarantee you manifold, you would have been even happier with your new GV. As that didn't happen, agreed, ya gotta dance with the one that brung ya.

    No, especially as Suzuki owners, hey, we don't, (and never have), sought out a model that is perfect in every way. Those are pretty few and far between. But regardless of whether you're someone who has already bought one, will tomorrow, or whenever,to think this vehicle wants for nothing is plain and simple naivete.

    Wasan't the scoop down south, (I'm a Yank by birth incidentally), the problem with presidential candidate John Kerry was he just thought and "over analyized" things too much? Well pardner, I'd take that any day versus the alternative.... "You've done a heck of a job Brownie!"
    Get my point?

    To me the mass market reviews so far have been shallow in scope. Is the vehicle vastly improved versus it's Precambrian predecessor?, well duh.... But, for instance, (discounting of course my XL-7 engine performance post, as you would have), still did you loose you eyeglasses when dclark2 and others were discussing engines?

    To it's credit again, Motoring 2006 listed the glaring ABSURDITY, (my word), of only offering the low range feature with leather and the auto transmission. Again, for sure, forget any of my opinions, but didn't you see xostnots posts with his real time dilemma(s) experienced in his new GV in off road situations?

    Ditto the excellent Canadian magazine "Wheels" which I subscribe to. A new one came yesterday, and of course, (and I agreed with them), they gave the GV a good review, but listed that same "con".

    Still, (sorry, forgot you would have ingnored that post too), that I now think the base GV may be the sleeper here. Far cheaper than a Subaru, and if you accept that you'll give up the real hairy stuff off road, and instead use it like a Subaru in the base awd configuration. Plus have that enjoyable manual 5 speed transmission to play with... But again I just drove it, how soon do I have to do the deal for it to be for ok to post here again, in your opinion? Thinking. If we all collectively begin to start to think, maybe a little more objectively here, perhaps we'll all get somewhere, together.

    ps xostnot's very inclusive list was much appreciated here.
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57

    You've already stated your complaint about the lack of the lo range with the base model. If you look back at the thread some 4 months ago you and I were discussing it. I come back 4 mos later you're still harping about it. In fact, you're bringing it up again now. It's like you constantly want to remind prospective buyers and owners about it. Why?

    Owners who've done the great reviews don't seem to care that their particular model didn't come with a lo range. Or that theyre able to offroad without it. But you don't seem to want to accept that.

    As for reviews, I'll take vehicle owner reviews anytime over some car magazine writer who just took it out for an afternoon test drive. Vehicle owners who've driven the vehicle and put in hundreds or thousands of miles in the odometer under all sorts of driving conditions versus some critic who think they have it all figured out by climbing a few ridges here and there over the weekend. I drove mine across the Virginia state under whiteout conditions (wee morning hours) during the last noreaster. Miles and miles and miles of uncleared freeways with at least 10 inches of snow and offroads with at least 2 feet in them. I've driven mine across heavy torential down pours. Across really bad dirt roads. Across wide swaths of beach sand. Across ice. Across heavy traffic. Loaded it with all sorts of junk including heavy furniture. Can you say the same with the one you "just drove"? The GV did great on all of them. And yes, mine doesn't have a lo range.

    How much more of this "it didn't come with a lo range" do we have to hear? And why should we care that you owned a Samurai when we're reviewing the 06 GV?
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    This is one of for the Edmunds staffers - Unless I'm looking in the wrong place I don't see a full road test for the 2006 GV on Edmunds yet, only the first drive. Is a full test coming?
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Editorial is their own separate world so I don't know if or when a GV full test may show up. You are welcome to request one - send them mail at editors@edmunds.com.

    Steve, Host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Sorry, I seemed to have completely missed a few clearly critical, [to you] aspects of this site.
    1.) We're all hear to learn regarding this new model. I hear you, I'm sure wrong on that one.
    2.) that 18 years of ownership of these vehicles, just doesn't cut it with you.

    Gee, you know on a bit of reflection, well,(oops, I can't print that here).

    Allow me to make what will seem to be a substantial digression here for just a moment. How to change an oil filter on your new GV. Get one of those medium sized elongated drain funnels, and duct tape off the end. Then loosen the filter, put the funnel in place beneath it, angled side beneath the filter gasket area, and continue completely removing the filter. Then just drop it into the funnel, and the excess runoff will follow. Being so presumtive though as to post to this site, (right), Jeeze there he goes again, (right?), how the hell would he know, he doesn't even own one?

    Answer, our Esteem wagon suffer from the same, (in my opinion), basic owner maintenance design malady, and I found a way around it. But again, an Esteem is NOT an all new Grand Vitara, so again, hey, strike that info, as I'm confident you will.

    It's laudable, I'm more than positive, you have no concept whatsoever of the root dna of the vehicle you just bought. Marketing types will sleep all the better for it perhaps, seeing long time owner's like myself or xostnot, dissed, when we raise issues, re your beloved Goldylocks, which we see could be improved. In fact I have to honestly wonder if the concerns expressed so lucidly by xosnot for instance, amount to nothing more than his wasted effort given the offsetting degree of apparent boundless zeal of new to the brand cheerleaders such as yourself. We long timers with the brand, tend to take a vastly more farsighted and measured view.

    But hey, I do have a life beyond this site, and if it is genuinely as offensive to others that I post here, as it clearly seems to be to you, hey, by all means [you] can return to wonderland. But it also seems pretty clear based on the ground you've clearly staked out for yourself, in your last post, all of your future ones will strictly have to ape the three monkeys, hear, see, speak, by vowing never ever to initiate any discussion about any aspect of this vehicle, which you'd like to see improved. Fair enough, I hear you, that's an Oxymoron, as clearly it's absolutely perfect for you. I'm happy for you.

    But sorry, I could care less about "measuring myself" against your yardstick, it's irrelevance personified, to me. But again I'll gladly sign off if that's what other users of this site would like to see as well, with no hard feelings, and best wishes to all of you on this "owner's only?" web site. Just let me know.
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    vitara4mevitara4me Member Posts: 35
    Hello all. I want to post my personal opinions regarding my new 2006 Grand Vitara. Instead of posting what I like, I will only post any negatives that I have experienced with the vehicle so far.
    I have a fully loaded Luxury Edition with automatic and 4WD. Options include alarm, trailer hitch, fender flares, chrome exhaust tip, side step rails, and body side molding. I have driven it from LA to Las Vegas twice and these are the only things that I have noticed:

    1) Transmission shift logic is flawed. If the trans downshifts while climbing a steep hill, it will not up shift if you raise your foot off the gas pedal. Manually shifting the trans does nothing. It will stay in whatever gear it wants to stay in, until it feels like shifting again. I have ordered the factory service manual for this vehicle in hopes that there is some sort of adjustment.

    2) I think that part of the cause of the problem above is the "drive-by-wire" throttle system. The throttle is opened and closed by an electric motor, and not by a cable (as in most vehicles).

    3) Rear headrests are not comfortable unless they are in the "up" position. While in the up position, they rattle like crazy on even the slightest bumpy road. I have to drive with them in the down position to keep my sanity.

    4) Front tire wear. My front tires are already showing "knife-edging". This is a toe problem. Obviously, the vehicle needs an alignment. Problem is that no one, not even the dealer, has the up-graded software that is needed for the computerized alignment rack. The current software does not cover the 2006 Grand Vitara. I was told not to drive the vehicle for three months until they (the dealer) get the new software. I am still looking for a company that can do a proper alignment.
    The dealer has already rotated my tires once and as stated above I only have 5,000 miles on this vehicle.

    5) The big plastic spare tire cover rattles like crazy on bumpy roads. Also rattles a lot when you close the rear hatch. Dealer said it was "normal". I went to an automotive parts store, bought some rubber stick-on window gasket material, and placed strips of it inside the cover. Now the cover fits tight and it is rock solid. No more rattles.

    6) My biggest complaint is a vibration between 45 and 55 MPH. It feels worse when there are other people in the car (more weight). Most noticeable when accelerating. I took it to the dealer twice and at first they said it was normal. The second time I took it in they stated that there is a service bulletin regarding a defective front differential mount. The service director showed me a service bulletin that stated that certain early 2006 Grand Vitaras had defective front and/ or rear diff mounts. My vehicle had only the defective front mount. A newly designed mount has been ordered and I am to be notified when it comes in.

    I did a search for safety recalls on the new 2006 Grand Vitara and found a recall notice regarding leaking rear diff seals (where the left and right drive axles fit onto the sides of the rear differential). The leak is bad enough to cause the rear diff to seize up while driving and cause a loss of control of the vehicle. NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 05V548000. Please call your dealer to have your vehicle inspected (SUZUKI AT 1-800-934-0934)

    Other than the above problems, I have been very satisfied with the vehicle. I feel quite fortunate actually considering that this is a first-year new vehicle design. Please feel free to post any comments or concerns.

    Kind regards, ARG
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Briefly, I think I should offer a few more points, (if, again, it's appropriate for me to even be logging on here. Ok, I'm choked a bit over it, but here's an olive branch in hand here. First, I'll agree to accept your not "here" on this site just to be a blind cheerleader for the new GV, if you'll accept I'm not here just to [non-permissible content removed] about it, ok?

    Further as the pinnacle of ironies manifold, after feeling so roundly dissed in your last post, (an apology would be nice),I find we actually AGREE on at least one thing. In my last few, I expressed my own realization that like you, maybe I could be happy with the base unit, sans low range, (do you notice the irony there too?), Whoa!!! Instead I'd just use it as I would a Subaru, but with a tich bit more capability thanks to that reinforced frame. Be assured, I didn't personally post word of my own arrival at this "epiphany" either to seek your approval or disapproval. Instead I thought it might be a perspective of interest to other would be new GV purchasers? Ones who like me have always appreciated having a Suzuki SUV with maximal off road abilities built in, as part of the standard equipment load, (until now).

    Re: the low range. The "NEW" point I was trying, (unsuccessfully I see), to raise about the question of it's absence throughout the model range here in North America, was intended ONLY to indicate that FINALLY it seems to be seen as being a signifcant factor not of importance not just to me, but that the main stream media is FINALLY moving somewhere beyond the initial cheerleading stage too. To me obviously, that's very welcome NEW news, which I wanted to share. But agreed again, as to going back to the why and wherefore reasons, I haven't. It's old ground [for us here].

    To close, for further clarification, the fact that I just drove that delightful 5 speed last weekend, but have not yet signed the dotted line yet, does that disqualify me from participating on this site? Thanks.

    ps: Of course I don't know if you could fit that funnel in there under the filter on the new GV. But it sounds like much the same highly restricted access issues there as what I face with my Esteem wagon. I have to do it from beneath too. Ps: our "road car" has the timing chain too. Ya just gotta luv it, eh?
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    vitara4mevitara4me Member Posts: 35
    Hello again. For those who would like to know about the latest factory service bulletins, please follow this link:


    If you are having a particular issue with your new 2006 Grand Vitara, there may already be a service bulletin out for it.

    Vibration between 45-55 MPH? There is a bulletin.

    Harsh down shifting? There is a bulletin.

    Noisey rear headrests? There is a bulletin!

    Spare cover rattle? There is a bulletin!

    It is amazing what you can find on the Internet with a little searching......

    Regards, ARG
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    Instead of posting what I like, I will only post any negatives that I have experienced with the vehicle so far.

    Then that clearly makes you a troll. Not for the fact that you want to post only the negatives but for the fact that you explicitly had to make an announcement with a statement like that. That you are really here with a different agenda other than being a constructive member of the community. So please, take your comments some place else.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    I apologize to all GV owners and soon to be owners for my rude behavior. Budman
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    tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    TGIF. Now we can all get back to being kinder and gentler! :)

    tidester, host
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    Own a base model with 2.0 litre engine & manual. Got the low range in it as well. Very happy with the car so far. Unfortunately Suzuki Australia doesn't think safety is an important issue for the Australian Spec - we don't get the ESP & side airbags.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    That site will give you the basics of a TSB, but they charge you to read the entire article. Should be free from the dealer. Am I missing something?
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Steve. Message has been sent.
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    I never disagreed with you that the lo range on a base would be nice to have. Look back at our last discussion. But I also said many owners(including me) are perfectly happy and can most definitely offroad without one. I can say that because Ive done it many times with the O6 GV. Read some of the Edmund forum topics on driving in sand, snow etc. In some cases you'll read about SUVs with lo ranges getting stuck.
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    Yup, that's the one I'm getting as well (in Australia too), and the lack of esp, traction control and side airbags is a bit disapointing, but I can live with it - considering my last vehicle didn't even have ABS it is a step up!

    I notice that Suzuki is going to be releasing a new luxury model, with leather, side airbags, ESP and an automagic for a couple of grand over the 2.7 litre. Considering what I'm going to be doing with it leather probably isn't appropriate - I spent four days and a lot of sneezing and coughing trying to get outback dust out of the last lot of leather seats! Not an experience I want to repeat! :)

    How are you finding the 2 litre engine? Does it seem underpowered or is it fine? And how is the gearbox - is it nice and smooth once it has been run in?
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    The salesman was pushing me to get the 2.7 however I kept telling him I drive freeway most of the time & fuel economy is my main concern because I travel a lot. Got it for 4 grand less then the RRP, guess they were desperate to get rid of them as the new year was coming.

    Happy with the 2.0, enough power for my driving & I purposely get the manual to compensate for the smaller engine. Gear box is smooth & precise.

    Surely a step up from my previous 2000 Corolla, quieter too.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    I also have the front tire "knife-edging" problem.
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    Nice discount! We're buying through our own company so get the GST taken off the purchase price (and have it amortised over seven years, so in theory it won't cost much at all!), plus a bunch of accessories. In the end it cost us $26.5k on the road. So with your experience and mine it looks as if they're quite keen to sell as many of them as they can.

    Our problem is, shared with many in .au apparently, is that dealers just can't get stock. We've been waiting months for ours...

    Still, I'm seeing a fair few on the road, although they're massively outnumbered by the new Swift, of which I counted eight while being extremely bored on my busride into work yesterday :)

    Good to hear about you being happy with the 2.0 and the gearbox, and yes, fuel economy is important to us too. The fact that I enjoy driving manuals far more than automatics is just the icing on the cake.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232

    I appreciate your posts, and hope you weren't discouraged by naysayers.

    1. agreed
    2. I am finding I'm getting more accustomed to the vagaries of the throttle, but not the transmission.
    3. I think the rear headrests aren't meant to be used in the down position. Except maybe for kids. I think the down position is just a way to stow them for folding the seat, or keep them out of the rear view if no one's using them. I haven't noticed mine rattling, but seldom use them in the up position. I drive on rough roads weekly.
    4. I'll check my tires (at 3000+km). It seems like Suzuki support service is lagging behind selling this car.
    5. Mine only makes sounds when I close the tailgate, not when driving. The auto journalists mentioned this. The foam idea is perfect.
    6. No vibration on mine, but thanks for pointing it out.

    Are the bottoms of your leather seat covers staying taut, or bulging like mine? Does the side of the drivers outside rear view mirror closest to the cabin distort the image? What alarm did you install, does it have an immobilizer, does it use the factory keyfobs?

    You can also find tsb's on the NHTSA site.

    I didn't see one for the tire carrier or headrests, though.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    I just checked mine, and I can't detect any problem. Is this with the 16" wheels or 17"? Or both. We have the 17's.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    I have the luxury 2wd 17" tires. You can see the edges are sharp and wearing funny
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    vitara4mevitara4me Member Posts: 35
    The reason I listed the negative aspects of my Grand Vitara is because there so few of them. I could write ten paragraphs praising the vehicle, but why waste bandwidth?

    That being said, I really don't appreciate being called a troll. I want to see if there is any one else out there that is having the same problems that I am having. If so, then lets find a way to correct them....agreed?

    I am going to order the service bulletins from the web link above. I don't trust my dealer to let me "see" all of the various bulletins that are specific to my vehicle. With service bulletins in hand, I will ask the dealer to correct any known issues with the 2006 Grand Vitara.

    Regarding the leather seats, I too have noticed that the leather is loose and wrinkled after a long drive. The next day however, the leather is flat again. This may have to do with the type of foam that is used in the cushion. So far, there are no bulletins issued regarding the seats.

    The spare tire cover rattle is here:

    Vitara 14 12125 Tonneau Cover Rattle 30 Days 2006-2006 GRAND VITARA

    Regarding the "knife edging". You can't see it but you can feel it. Rub your hand in both directions on the surface of the rear tire; should be smooth. Now rub your hand the same way on the front tires. It will be smooth in one direction, and rough in the opposite direction. You will be able to feel how the rubber has a curled-up shape on the edge of the tread pattern. To answer the above question, yes I have 17 inch wheels.

    There is one more thing I forgot to address: Changing the oil filter is a royal pain in the $$$. I like to change my own oil and filter. I must tell you that the oil filter is almost impossible to get to, much less get a hand on. If you have really big muscular arms, them I'm sorry, you are not going to be able to get the filter off! Plus, once the filter is loose, the old oil drains right down your arm.

    I tried to remove the filter from up top, but you must remove several hoses and brackets just to get your hand in there.

    Plus, once you get the filter off the engine, you can't get the filter out of the engine compartment!! I had to temporarily remove a large bolt on the front diff bracket just to get the old filter out. Talk about a tight fit...... :(

    Kind regards, ARG
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Yes, this tire condition showed up on a couple of other vehciles we've had, until they got alignments. The GV definitely doesn't have it (yet). The people who have it, especially since it's on front wheels, should notice some "pulling" in the steering.

    The leather on the seat bottoms is loose on all the seats just after they've been sat upon. But some of them tighten up after a while and some don't. It's definitely not the foam underneath pushing it up. I have read somewhere in a mass of brief reviews, someone getting theirs replaced under warranty.

    I'm curious to find out if the harsh downshifting tsb applies to the occasional double downshift when going up hills, or the inability to keep it in 2nd gear while engine braking. If either.
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    pearlvitarapearlvitara Member Posts: 5
    Hello All,
    I hope you don't mind us jumping in and starting a new discussion but I haven't been able to find the answer to my questions by reading the previous messages, so I'll just post them and hope they haven't been covered before.

    We just bought the 2006 GV, pearle white, 5 speed, (we plan to tow behind the motor home occasionally),V6, and all the goodies. I'm pretty sure we got a great deal...only $15,999. The salesman said it was the advertised special..said that when they run an ad in the newspaper for a rediculously low price (in hopes of steering the customer to a higher priced model), that by law, they must have at least one of those exact cars on the lot at that price, and we got THE ONE. Usually they are sold by the time most people get there. I feel good about it...any opinions? The sticker price, and the price on all of the other GVs on the lot was $23,999. Keep in mind that we live in Los Angeles County...everything is expensive here.

    I'm confused about the subwoofer system...where IS this thing and how does it work? Is it just built into the stereo system or is that box thingy I feel under my driver seat? Any information that anyone can provide about it will be greatly appreciated. How do I turn it on, (Or is it already on?) and how do I adjust it? Also...and I do realize this is minor...I can't figure out how to unlatch the floor mats! I LOVE that they are connected to the floor and won't slide all over the place but I sure wish I could take them out and shake them once in a while! Couldn't find anything about them in the manual.

    We bought a suzuki esteem back in 1998 that my husband uses for a commuter car and even as old as it is, it still runs great and is basically maintenance free. We've had such good luck with it that when it came time to buy a new vehicle, Suzuki was the first choice. I researched online through all of the mid-sized SUV's for the past few months and this very model, right down to the exact color, is the model I chose a month ago. When the salesman at the lot showed us this car, and then told us it was on sale, it was a done deal. Everything fell right into place and I must say that its the firt time I've ever bought a car and drove off the lot not feeling like I had been taken. I hope I still feel this way a year from now!

    Has anyone purchased a dash cover for thier 2006 GV's yet? I'm wondering if it will cover up the automatic headlight sensor, and how it will affect the passenger side air bag.

    I look forward to talking with you all, and getting to know my new SUV a little better.

    Janis and Steve
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    Hi Troll, JUST KIDDING :D
    I could see the sharp edges on my front tires. I haven't looked in the warranty book, is that covered? Usually front end alignments are only covered the first 30 days or so.
    I haven't noticed the leather seat issue. I would think wrinkling and stretching is a characteristic of leather.
    Finally, someone who has the same issue with the oil filter. I dread doing my next oil change. I would gladly pay to have a remote oil filter mounted somewhere else or just take it somewhere and watch the look on the mechanics face :cry:
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    vitara4mevitara4me Member Posts: 35
    The subwoofer is located under the drivers seat. There is a gain control on it to increase or decrease the amount of "woof" that you desire ;)

    The drivers floor mat is released by pressing on the little black plastic prong with a fingernail, and at the the same time pushing down on the floor mat retainer. The floor mat simply "snaps" on and "snaps" off. It takes a little practice with the fingernail though....

    The dealer told me that the alignment is covered by the bumper-to-bumper initial warranty. My dealer does not have the up-dated software for the alignment rack so an alignment is not available (to me anyway) at this time.

    There is a factory alarm available for the 2006 GV as well. It is fully integrated into the wiring harness and works with the keyless entry system.

    Regards, ARG
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    we bought ours from a friend in San Diego, I don't think I can say more than that. I trust he gives us the best deal possible. If yours is the Luxury, you got an awesome deal.
    My guess is that it's the base model, but still a great deal. if you tell me it's the Luxury, I will be :sick:
    Woofer is under the driver's seat and there is a knob to adjust it.
    can't help you with the other stuff.
    Maybe,if my daughter would let me drive it more....
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