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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008

145791021

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    pearlvitarapearlvitara Member Posts: 5
    We actually got the premium model.
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    u must be living in Sydney, down in Melb not many at all, only seen another GV once before but lotsa swift... got 4 around my neighbourhood. I know the dealer I bought it for sold only 8 GV in 3 months, then again they are just a small dealership. Surely is glad I bought the GV instead of RAV4 & for the price I paid for, it's worth it.
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    However, if you are thinking of fully loading your GV, the 2.7 is the way to go. When I have 3-4 ppl on board, I feel I can do with more power, but when I'm alone in the car then it has enough power for me.
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    It seemed you were being facetious with the statement that's why I called you on it. If not, then you have my apologies.

    As for your comments...with regards to my own gv

    Vibration between 45-55 MPH - i dont notice any in mine

    Harsh down shifting - i have an auto. shifting from D to 4 is a breeze. shifting from 4 to 3 is kinda stiff

    Noisey rear headrests? - i don't notice any in mine

    Spare cover rattle - nothing new there. every GV reviewer has mentioned it..by virtue of the placement of the spare...but only when you go thru considerable bumps...when im on the freeway i dont hear any on mine...

    oil change - i got a free 1 year oil change from the dealeer wher i bought my GV...but i never do my own regardless anyway...not an issue for me..

    knife edging - i have to check...
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    erraticerratic Member Posts: 7
    No, I'm in Brisbane.

    I tried out the Rav as well, but it was too much of a compromise.

    Will bear your comment about the 2.7 in mind. Thanks.
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    vitara4mevitara4me Member Posts: 35
    The vibration is only on certain EARLY 2006 Grand Vitaras with four wheel drive and the automatic.

    The harsh down-shifting is only when you downshift automatically, and not manually (using the shift lever).

    The rear headrests are noisey when in the UP POSITION. If they are fully down, they are quiet. The problem is that the headrests are uncomfortable for adults in the down position (try it). I purchased the TSB (technical service bulletin) from another website. The fix? Very simple, remove all the headrets, pull the two chrome prongs apart about another inch, and reinstall. No more rattles. This info is from Suzuki!

    Spare cover rattle can be fixed with additional stick-on weatherstriping placed inside the large plastic cover. I fixed mine that way and now when you shut the rear door, it is solid and tight.

    The oil filter problem is only a problem for us "DIY" (do it yourself) kind of people.

    I have the alignment specs if anyone needs them. I just found them on the Internet from www.alignmentspecs.com

    Kind regards, ARG
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    mcperrmcperr Member Posts: 74
    Just coming up to 5000 km on our full-load GV. A few comments:
    - first new vehicle that I have had that hasn't required squeaks and rattles adjusted
    - comfortable, very capable city/hwy vehicle
    - averaging 20 miles per Cdn gallon in the city with below-freezing temperatures. Not great, but not that bad.
    - classy, well-built interior
    - folding rear seats without removing headrests is a major plus
    - several features are far beyond this price class (auto climate control etc.)
    - rear corner blind spot is annoying
    - spare tire does rattle when daughter slams rear door
    - could have more power
    - low range in only the high-end model IS silly
    - being able to disengage the front wheels and operate in 2wd could improve the gas mileage
    - transmission beautifully smooth on upshifts, abrupt on downshifts (will check with dealer)

    Windshield: we have two cracks on our windshield already resulting from very small stone chips (no bruising or starring). The size of the cracks is way out of proportion to the degree of stone chip, in my opinion. Has anyone else had difficulty with stressed or brittle windshields?
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    how long do you wait for the engine rpm to come down on cold starts? I like to wait to shift into drive until it's under 1,000 rpm. We live in fairly warm climate and it still takes f o r e v e r.
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    I bought mine last september 05 I believe, if that helps. I believe it qualifies as one of the early ones. They didn't even have the sport model out yet. I was the first GV customer for the dealer =)
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    manifoldmanifold Member Posts: 57
    I believe the manual advices that if the temp gauge reaches the "C" mark then its good to go.
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    budman3budman3 Member Posts: 187
    I doubt Suzuki is responsible. We get small chips and cracked windshields on all our vehicles in AZ,USA. The nice thing about Arizona is the safety issue with the state and insurance has to pay with no deductible.
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    bearsgvbearsgv Member Posts: 19
    4 Stars for 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara. See the breakdown of the test & it's actually performing pretty well. :)

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/3738.html

    Too bad Australian model doesn't come with ESP & Curtain Airbags which probably will make it a 3 Stars car when the Australian test result is out. :cry:
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    mcperrmcperr Member Posts: 74
    I gave up waiting for the rpm to return to idle before driving. Our garage averages about 40F this time of year and I try to give the vehicle at least 3 or 4 minutes to circulate some oil before driving off. then we just drive moderately until the temperature guage starts to move.
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    autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    With all the complaints listed here, i hope suzuki addresses these problems. Since a few people that like the Grand Vitara and prefer a small third row of seats like me, i think the 2007 grand vitara should offer a bigger engine and a small third row of seats to compete with the new RAV4 and upcoming CR-v and Santa fe.

    Not hoping that for the upcoming xl7. I hope the Xl7 will be big enough to compete with the pilot, highlander, ect. SUZUKI, you do have caring customers who wish you could supply them a "little" better ;) .
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    dclark2dclark2 Member Posts: 91
    I think the GV will gdet a bigger engine next year, but 3rd row seats? No chance at all. There isn't enough room for that.
    The new xl7 will have 3rd row seats though. It will also be as big if not bigger than the Highlander and Pilot.
    Ever seen a Torrent/Equinox? They aren't shrimps. They are built on a stretched version of the Theta platform used by the Saturn Vue. Now, the XL7 will be built on a stretched version of the stretched version of the theta used by torrent/eek! Does that make sense?Or, in other words, it will be a couple of inches longer than those two suv's. In terms of room, it might comparable to the mid size suv offerings from the U.S. automakers.Also, it will have a 3.6 250hp engine. Will it have the tacked on frame that the GV has? Stay tune- they'll unveil it next month.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Right on!, welcome to "the fray". While everyone on this site is somewhere around 100% satisfied with the new GV, at least certainly vs. Suzuki's prior offerings, the bottom line question still is, (isin't it), SUZUKI R U LISTENING??!!? Yup, I just printed out two pics of the new Santa fe, (from the Detroit Auto Show website), to show to the wife. We'll be in Vancouver for the big car show the first week of April for a look see. Certainly the new GV is going to face some potentially stiff competition there.

    Rhetorical question two might be, SUZUKI, WHERE DO YOU INTEND TO GO FROM HERE? As long time patrons of the brand, (some of us here), we have every right to demand more from Suzuki to ensure [they] retain our brand loyalty, with
    NO APOLOGIES NECESSARY for feeling that way..("We hold these truthes to be self evident"). Big fear here though is that much like the prior generation Grand Vitara, Suzuki may yet again be tempted to just to rest on it's laurels re: the present configuration of this new model, and not make needed improvements. Ya bud, the concept of improving a new model is not some kind of an abstract idea I've just made up here....

    Last hypothetical. Look at the Honda Ridgeline, truck of the year. Like the GV it's got a reinforced unibody frame. But as a nightmare scenario for Suzuki corporate officials?, what if at some time in the future Honda "simply" decided to incorporate the same frame technology into say a CR-V? To digress briefly here, I just recently noted with no small degree of interest, (and I think you all will find it so too?), THE FACT that even this year's base CR-V, (no NOT the new '07 one coming out soon),has/is,(PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS), EQUIPPED WITH SKID PLATES AS STANDARD EQUIPMENT....! Folks, guess what purportedly fully off road capable brand new rig in the marketplace doesn't even offer them as an option at present? Could the name start with an "S" and end with an "i"?, you got it....

    If Suzuki chooses to only selectively listen to the well justified initial cheers re: it's new GV, and ignores the "little", (little, depending upon your viewpoint), details that still cry out for attention, then some other mfgr like Honda sneaks a run inside up the middle with just a marginally more off road capable CR-V, if so then wouldn't it be REAL HARD for some of us to continue to support the brand by just ingnoring the warts on our Frog Prince Charming?

    Much as we luv 'em, (Suzukis), if you've owned Hondas too, you know a Suzuki is no Honda in terms of refinement. In the past that just didn't matter owing to the no apologies necessary off road capability of each of SUV in the lineup. But now is the brand morphing into a CR-V, Rav-4 wannabe? Well on one level, if so, maybe that's ok. But if along the way Suzuki casts off some of us here in the metaphorical deep dark Norwoods, how might that affect "them" somewhere down the road as other manufacturers like Honda for instance, continue to produce vehicles which epitomize the very highest level of ongoing refinement, performance, well just the whole package?

    I think VERY much to the contrary of some opinions proffered here, we're still very much only just now entering into a seminal new "show me stage" with regard to what Suzuki can, or intends to do to satisfy the ever more sophisticated needs of it's larger customer base. Will it just rest on today's laurels? Seems not so at least in the engine department, (thanks again dclark2), and that's very good news. But again what about the rest of the vehicle? Will we see nearly another decade pass with the new GV essentially unchanged in it's present configuration? For example, epitomizing the very simplest of fixes, one that might even appeal to you bud?, would they/could they just please hinge the back door on the left side of the body for easier, safer cargo loading here for us in North America? For God's sake, how hard can that be to "fix"? Where do "we" (YOU SUZUKI), choose to go onward and upward from here, now that you have an intro vehicle which could be so right,if you chose to make it so?
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    dclark2dclark2 Member Posts: 91
    "Rhetorical question two might be, SUZUKI, WHERE DO YOU INTEND TO GO FROM HERE? By the way dclark2, wonder if the new XL-7 will pretty much be a "fixed" Equinox in size. Which I guess is a Torrent, etc., etc."

    I don't know what you mean by saying "fixed" equinox in size. As I said before, the XL7 will be built on a stretched version of the theta platform that is used in the Eek/Torrent, But that doesn't mean it'll look like ( I have seen a couple of pics on the 'net).
    For that matter, the GV is built on a moddified theta platform . Does it look or drive anything like a Torrent? No way ! They changed a lot of things to the theta chasis to come up with the GV; there is no reason to expect different with the xl7.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Thanks dclark2, please continue my (our) education here. By "fixed Equinox", I mean't a reinforced unibody frame, (of course that would be part of any new XL-7 if it was based on an Equinox redeux), etc. Again, you're sure the expert here, in my mind. Thanks again.

    In that regard, any gut feeling what today's announcement of GM's selling out of it's stake in Suzuki, might mean to Suzukis own long(er) term plans?

    A ps here: Am ignorant how to use the edit feature on the site, and emailed tidster about this. So my post 326 was a rough draft, with 327 the final edit. Asked tdstr to delete 326. But hope this clarifies my Equinox reference which was deleted in my final draft. Keep the info comming!
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    dclark2dclark2 Member Posts: 91
    "Thanks dclark2, please continue my (our) education here. By "fixed Equinox", I mean't a reinforced unibody frame, (of course that would be part of any new XL-7 if it was based on an Equinox redeux), etc. Again, you're sure the expert here, in my mind. Thanks again."

    Will the new xl7 replacement be reinforced with a frame? I have seen nothing on the net to say yea or nay. Personally, I doubt it will. This is based on some of the features of the vehicle. Fully loaded, this thing looks to be quite luxurious and those who buy it will be unlikely to offroad it. Think of it as an awd minivan with crossover styling. The GV would be the catch for those who want to venture offroad. Also, they will also have a small, awd drive car, like the Matrix/Vibe,so they will have a well rounded lineup.

    "In that regard, any gut feeling what today's announcement of GM's selling out of it's stake in Suzuki, might mean to Suzukis own long(er) term plans?"

    No effect. They will still work as partners, like the Cami project that makes Eeks/Torrents and soon xl7, and the engine factory in Japan that will turn out GM designed motors for both makes.
    Suzuki is on a mean tear right now. Last month's sales set a suzuki record for the month of February. The GV is selling well.This is no fluke. And, when the xl7 replacement comes out, expect that to further fan the hot sales. This all fits in with Suzuki's plan to expand its number of dealerships. They don't need capital from Suzuki. Indeed, were GM to fully own suzuki, they would be a drag on the company, sucking cash from them to help keep Chevy, Buick, etc afloat.
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    tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You should have gotten my reply at about the time you wrote that. Check your mail.

    tidester, host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Muchos Gracias yet again! I bow in supplication here in respect to yr. knowledge. (Seriously).

    Very interesting. Yes, I expected the XL-7 would also have the integrated frame/unibody construction, ala the new Grand Vitara. Very interesting. Thought I should add one more thing to my earlier reference re: the '06 Honda CR-V having skid plates. Didn't mean to imply it had a full set of bush bashers. Instead, Honda evidentally took it upon themselves to add them in key places. My reference said this was in response to suspension damage suffered by past models in certain demanding driving conditions. Of course I think my point is still applicable. If Honda will voluntararily and astutely show this level of TLC to owner's of it's soft roader, well...... If Suzuki wants to truly be a new pretender to the throne, they need to [yesterday] adopt a similar VERY pro active approach to crossing ALL the t's and dotting ALL the i's.

    Sure, just as an example, they'd probably have to retool this or that to hinge the back door on the left. But what the "h" do I care about that? On balance, (again, this is just one small representative point), is it more important to Suzuki to doggedly keep hingin' 'em on the right regardless for North America, just because they're made that way in the rest of the world? I just simply couldn't "buy" that sort of excuse from any other major mfgr. in the market place today. Doesn't wash, not even close. So when will THESE sorts of new [small yet MAJOR transitions be taking place? Guess we all just have to wait, watch, and see.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    I don't think they will hinge the tailgate on the other side. A number of similar vehicles have had this same issue, and I don't think it was changed depending on the market for any of them. CRV's and Rav4's have the hinges on the same side.

    To change it probably also involves substantial modification of the assembly line.

    As someone actually using it, first of all it's a large improvement over our previous suv, which had a tire carrier hinged on the same side, plus a top-hinged tailgate.

    In use, it's handy because you usually approach it, or finish using it, on your way to or from the drivers seat. It's hinged on the correct side for this.

    As for using the hatch while parallel parked, we've not yet parked close enough to anything that we couldn't open the hatch at least halfway. The reviewers' nonsense about standing in traffic for loading is just nonsense. Any light vehicle with a back end other than a trunk has the same issue to varying extents, from pickups to barn-door Suburbans.

    I would just prefer something that provides some shelter from precipitation when open, which this one certainly does not. But then the spare would have to go on another carrier arm.

    So I think the hatch hinge side issue is overstated, but feel free to debate it.

    As for the new XL-7 having a frame-like reinforcement, I'll put my money on that not happening. It would add weight, which would cost mileage and put it at a disadvantage against similar vehicles. During a spirited debate about the GV's "Theta" content, on cartalkcanada, someone who claims to work at CAMI said the GV can't be built there because it has a frame. Something about not fitting on the assembly line. Of course, at the time, some people were under the impression the new GV was an update of the previous one.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Welcome back xostnot. Thanks again for all the time and effort put into your "list" a while back. Hope you might send a copy to Suzuki...?

    For sure re: the tailgate hinging on the right, it's just one smaller point, though it's one mentioned as you probably know,in the Motoring 2006's road test. Main problem I've had with past Suzuki's "back there", has been when loading large heavy bulky items while parked on a busy street, with another vehicle occupying the space directly behind. In such situations sometimes there isin't even room to carry the load between the fully pre opened back door, and the parked car behind. Contrast that with the option, (if we had one). With the door hinged left you'd simply step off the curb and load up. Pretty simple.

    To touch on just one other something of far more importance, re: your automatic transmission/low range combo,again too bad you were not given the option of having say hill descent control, instead of some of the other bells and whistles. By the way, ever replace those stock wheels and tires for your off road adventures? If so what did you end up going with? See you in passing no doubt, at the Vancouver International Auto Show..

    Good to hear from you guys in Aus, eh? G'day mates!!!! Any Britts, or?, out there with a new Diesel GV yet? Or the base petrol 2.3 4cyl 4 door? What's it like? Good to know at least you lucky blokes have your respective "Green Engine" options. Hope we get one someday too, here in the North American MASS MARKET morass.
    Cheers!
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    autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    So true. It'd be nice if Suzuki would revamp the ENTIRE* brand. Also a Flip up window on the hatch would be nice too... Do you know how annoying it is to open the side hinged door to load some boxes into the cargo area WHILE PARALLEL PARKED!!

    *Suzuki could gain a lot of money if it did the verona 1st with a bigger V6 than that wimpy 2.5. The vitara could also use a much bigger V6 like the one in the Equinox :shades:

    R u a mime with alot to say??? :P j/k lol
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Right. If I might digress here just a bit, (as it's all in the Suzuki family?) The Verona, or at least just the GM Epica, is/will soon be toast. Will be replaced by a German Opel derivative with a superior chassis, and that's a good thing. Too bad in a way though with that tasteful Italian bod and nice interior. Plus, (almost bought one when it came out), the engine was one sweet straight six, but it lacked tuning refinement. Sound familiar....?

    Bring on those new Grand Vitara engine choice(s) Suzuki.
    Still I think the new GV, in it's present config., has every right to be viewed as potentially a very, very promising "bare pallet". One which, with the right strokes of tlc applied, could blossom into a niche market masterpiece. It's all up to Suzuki and whether or not they actually listen to folks like us.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    I didn't go away, several of my posts were unsuitable. Nice to see your continued participation.

    I can see the tailgate would be a major problem in some circumstances, but to play devils advocate, that would be the case sometimes for any vehicle, and you just park somewhere else or move ahead while loading. A bigger problem to me is that with the tailgate window not opening, and the side opening door, there's no practical way to carry stuff like 2x4's inside it. Oh well, our nice but old Dodge Spirit with the folding seats can suffice for such cargo hauling duties instead of the new sports UTILITY vehicle. It swallows skis without complaint also.

    The wheel/tire issue will have to be dealt with when the stock tires wear out. Do I then get two sets - summer and winter? I'd probably put something less aggressive on the stock 17" rims, and more of a pure winter tire on a set of 16"s. But if I choose to stay with one set, the choice will be difficult. We have occasion to drive in snow from October to May, and on challenging gravel roads from April to November. Just depends on the elevation which determines where the snowline is. But the vast majority of the driving is on pavement getting to those places, so you don't want to be rapidly wearing out snow tires most of the year. On the other hand, with two sets how do you choose which to use during the fall and spring? There is no good answer. One option I won't consider is biannual swapping tires on the stock 17" rims. There is almost no selection of "winter" tires in that size.

    I won't be at the car show. I try not to be a car nut, and I have my fleet settled for a few years. The last car show I went to was in 1966, where we swooned over the Pontiac fastback full-size coupe.

    As for my "list", Suzuki Canada hasn't been the slightest interested in anything else I have to say, so I doubt that would interest them. They respect the opinions of the people they pay, and we've already seen what those people have to say. Most of which is good, to be fair. Suzuki Pit Stop did respect my suggestions for making their mudflaps mount properly, but did not volunteer to provide me with the forgotten parts.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Defending a couple of GV criticisms: steering wheel thickness and lack of opening tailgate glass....

    I first noticed the steering wheel thickness issue when I drove a 2004 Grand Prix for a week. And now I find the same thing with the GV. Maybe it's just because I've driven vehicles with thinner steering wheels all my adult life, or maybe I have arthritic hands. Whatever, it doesn't matter. I got sore hands on both after driving 4-5 hours. I don't have the problem on thinner steering wheels.

    In a vehicle with a shallow, but high rear compartment like the GV, cargo gets piled high, and despite my efforts, things have fallen out when opening the rear door. Also, tiedowns from yet more large things on the roofrack may prevent opening the hatch. In these cases, opening just the hatch glass is very handy. Finally, having the glass open, especially with the GV's side opening tailgate, is essential to carrying long loads such as 2x4's.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Yes, while some things on your list are obviously less of an impediment to ownership enjoyment than others, well, in search of an analogy here.... Those of us who recently celebrated a Very Happy Valentine's day, can confirm that little things can mean alot.

    So here we are now together in this long term love/angst relationship with Suzuki, finding ourselves generally blown away by this full body makeover of the object of our [automotive] affections. But longer term, as she struts her stuff there in her new perhaps high maintenance guise?, will she still stop to remember that yes, at this stage in our relationship, that even "little things" can and do still mean an awful alot to "we" her clientele?

    A hypothetical letter:

    Dear Suzuki:
    With the intro of the new GV, you've left us all pretty well star struck. Congrats! But as our feet begin just now to touch back a bit on terra firma, seems we're still left with a few lingering questions... Chief one, as you've set the bar so high [for yourself] now with the new GV, and obviously therefore seek to attain more mainstream status in the markeplace, will we now finally now also see you place a SERIOUS emphasis on efforts to refine your product offerings, even the new GV?

    Honda makes motorcyles back there in the homeland. So do you. Honda makes vehicles too, and has shown a resolute Samurai's level of devotion to HIGHLY REFINING each and every vehicle in it's automotive product line. Car and truck of the year, (Civic and Ridgeline), and that's no flash in the pan. Why? Again, am obsession with product REFINEMENT. Now as you evidently aspire to similiar greatness, (do you?), will you finally make similar investments in this all important area?

    Problem is dear Suzuki, I have to confess lately I've found I have a wandering eye. So sorry. So I guess if you want our relationship to continue, now after we've been together for almost two decades, you're just going to have to prove it to me. For you see, "little things" still mean alot, and I find I can just no longer ignore that percieved area of deficit in our relationship. Show me you care [about that] too.... If not, thanks for the ride babe, I wish you all the best!
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    autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    I agree. Opel is still with Gm(making a roadster off the sky's platform) so if Gm is selling suzuki, then wouldn't opel not work with suzuki?? I believe suzuki could make their own Verona but even better but maybe with a different name. Remember way back when Honda had no Suv's and Isuzu produced tow of honda's first(as horrible as they were, i guess its the thought that counts?) suvs, the Honda Passport and Acura Slx? They were pretty bad but honda did make a profit. Now Honda makes 4 of its own suv's which are both highly recommended. The Honda Cr-v, Pilot, Element and Acura Mdx.

    Back to the suzuki and gm, Gm already shot isuzu a blow by stopping production of the & passenger ascender... Maybe suzuki should do what Isuzu once did and team with honda/acura. Suzuki's engines (watercrafts, ect) are very profitable but need some tweaking :lemon: ...
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Yup. We almost bought a Verona, being impressed [on paper] with all the purported rework on the Daewoo Lanos model upon which it's based. Gigario of Italy even did the tastefully understated bodywork, and I think even Porsche had something to do with some small aspect of the Verona's gestation as I recall. The unique straight six engine was super smooth sweet!, (I loved it), but it lacks either tuning sophistication or maybe just proper induction/exhaust bits. Has much smaller displacement and horsepower than, for instance, the GM Malibu six, BUT IT GETS POORER MILEAGE. Go figure....

    Should hasten to add I've got no specific info on Suzuki dumping the Verona, just what GM planned to do with it's Epica twin. Gee, if it had a five speed manual, they improved the engine tuning, and removed the marshmellows from out of the suspension, I'd buy one. But I'm not holding my breath since it's now into it's third model year, with no such changes even being contemplated as far as I know.

    But as that was an extensive [model] partnership with GM, so just as a point of interest dclark2, what about that one? Reason for going on here about "THE WRONG VEHICLE", (not the new Grand Vitara), is [again] the potential ramifications of GM severing it's ties with Suzuki. Ones which maybe we haven't had time to think about yet? Am awaiting another of your learned replies...
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    slinky1slinky1 Member Posts: 42
    It looks completely different, different suspension, engine, interior, sheet metal..........................
    The only common parts are stuff you never see anyway, you will have to trust my judgement, but it's much nicer than equinox/torrent.
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    slinky1slinky1 Member Posts: 42
    "But as that was an extensive [model] partnership with GM, so just as a point of interest dclark2, what about that one? Reason for going on here about "THE WRONG VEHICLE", (not the new Grand Vitara), is [again] the potential ramifications of GM severing it's ties with Suzuki. Ones which maybe we haven't had time to think about yet? Am awaiting another of your learned replies... "

    Lutz said recently " our investment in Suzuki has been one of our best investments, we look forward to a long future of partnership and perhaps more investment...."

    Suzuki needs GM for it's north american foothold and knowledge, just as gm need suzuki for its asian foothold...........
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    slinky1slinky1 Member Posts: 42
    About 15 inches longer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Um, I wouldn't hold my breath on Suzuki being moved more by your poetic appeal than their engineering and marketing departments.

    They have to find a balance between losing some sales due to the feature mix amounting to a show-stopper for some potential buyers, and the difficulty in fixing those features.

    For instance, most people reviewing cars only hold the steering wheel for a short time, not 4-5 hours on winter highways. So fat steering wheels feel pretty nice at first. Do you fix it and stand accused of the sin of having an overly-thin steering wheel?

    Adding features like a remote filler flap release to the North American market could push the MSRP over special thresholds like $30,000cdn for the JLX-L. However, today I noticed the MSRP for the JLX-L is $30,990. Hm, the sneaks. They raised the price and didn't fix anything.

    Making the rear hatch glass open would push up the price and presumably would require adding weight to the tailgate, partly in the form of stiffening to comensate for the unbraced hole. This would make an already-heavy assembly even heavier, and would shift the ideal 50/50 weight balance rearward. And added weight costs mileage. If you compensate by offering an alloy rim on the spare, then the price has to go up for both.

    Some wish the hatch opened upward. So what do you do with the spare? Putting it inside (if there's room), takes away a big chunk of cargo space. Putting it underneath requires lengthening the back end, with a host of consequences. A compact spare would be the butt of ridicule for off-roading.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Agreed. Waxing poetic here likely just won't cut either the mustard, maybe only the cheese. But why not try anyway? "Refinement", Sister Aretha, take it away:
    All together now, FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME. Jeeze, trying music now... But it's mostly a matter of corporate attitude, isin't it...? Why not aspire to be a Honda or a Toyota? Again, look at what Hyundai is doing today. WE t.d.'d the new Sonata too, and but for it's North American spec. suspension by Kraft, (Marshmellows), wow, there's a deal. But that [true] suspension fault is simply due to the dumbing down of the North American mass marketplace. IE: we get what we ask for, or, don't when we don't.
    G'day again mates! Noted you get the "euro suspension" setup on your Sonatas, which ought to make it handle just about like a Honda Accord, right? Dumbed down, thats us. But I think Hyundai is alot closer to Honda or Toyata now than Suzuki is, even with the new GV. That's why I'm quite interested to see the new Santa Fe up close and personal. And the new CR-V. See the brand new Acura RDX on Acura corporate sites. It's the new '07 CR-V in Acura clothing. The CR-V comes along later.

    Re: the Grand Vitara opening hatch. Good idea likely for the majority of users, (and/or a left hinging door!). But you can carry a heck of alot of two by fours, (or our 80 lb canoe), up on the roof of even a smaller prior Zuke, with the right aftermarket setup. I'd be tempted to see if you could "just" remove those factory rails, and see if, at the mount points, you could then adapt/fit say Thule, Yakima, or maybe even Sportrack towers?, directly into the four mounting points. Sure, the stock setup, with crossbars, (essentially like what's on our Esteem wagon), works ok. But you could still expand the load range with this sort of set up on you SUV. Eh?
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    PS: A quick meaculpa here. Probably, (no, have), taken up more than my fair share of cyber space here. Might feel refreshing to get back to more mundane subjects like how to make XM work in the new rig, (sans the $300.00 Suzuki kit)? In that vein, note that a cassette player is an option on US models. Probably impossible to fit it in as an aftermarket item here in the Great White North though. But if,then you could use XM's own inexpensive car kit adapter. Gotta luv it. Couldn't be without it here in the home! Got the basic Skyfi one unit, complete with home kit, for $54.00 US off ebay. Tuned in now...
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Yes, you can always carry stuff on the roof - on anything but convertibles. But that means putting the bars on and off, and securing the load, instead of just sticking things inside. Sport UTILITY vehicle would suggest optimizing for utility use. Maybe that's why they didn't bother making the front passenger seat fold flat either.

    From the picture in the owners manual, I'm sure any roof rack designed to fit on rain gutters will work on the GV's rail mount points. They remind me of the Bronco II, which had vestigal gutter segments just for mounting racks. The GV's mount points appear to be like small drawer handles, steel, with a gap perhaps 2" long and with 1/2" space underneath. The disadvantage of attaching a rack to those points is that you have no fore/aft crossbar adjustment. But a much greater choice of racks.

    I've taken a digital photo of the picture in the owners manual depicting the roof brackets. But there's no way to post it here. Now, if I had an email address for you, I could send it. I could also post it on www.suzuki-forums.com, but you'd have to register to see it large enough for it to make sense.

    BTW, we have a 60lb (kevlar) canoe, and I'm working out a way to attach the bow ropes to bolt points in the front wheelwells. For long distance travel, I put four stainless bandclamps around the rack crossbars, spaced so the canoe just fits inside the adjusters, and cover the clamps with bicycle inner tube rubber. Keeps the canoe from moving around. But the rubber inserts in the tops of the Suzuki crossbars may prevent this movement anyway.

    Hey, what's it doing snowing here? Big test of the GV's traction coming up this weekend, climbing a snowed-in road on the Sunshine Coast.

    I failed to find the cassette deck option on the US Suzuki website. But it does show the rear seat centre armrest, which is not part of the North American spec.

    What do you think of the prices going up while you weigh your options? (just to be irritating)

    Looking for entertainment from Suzuki? Here's their US magazine on-line.
    http://www.suzukiauto.com/owners/publications.php
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Pic posting instructions are in the Help file, but the easiest way would be to set up a CarSpace album using your current Edmunds user name and password. Then you just upload the pic to the album.

    I mounted 1x4's onto my Yakima round bars and the way I strap my canoes down (using ropes), they don't move. I toted one 17 footer 32,000 miles this way - never did like having the gunnels just resting on a narrow tube or bar, and the 1x4 makes it easy to slide the canoe on and off the side. No bulges to have to slide over.

    I have no mounting spots under my minivan's front bumper so I put a length of perlon inside the engine compartment and a few inches pulls out from the hood giving me a place up front to tie the boats off to.

    I sorely miss real external rain gutters. :cry:

    Steve, Host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    My kinda people there, homies! Yes, [we] need kevlar too. We've got a wide freighter [square stern] canoe on which I usually mount our small electric trolling for use on our tropy trout fly fishing waters. Very GREEN setup. Even installed a securely mounting, removable carpeted plywood floorboard for standing up to cast.. Have also devised a SOLO off rack on rack, launch and reverse, system. Using longer crossbars, (in my case Thule Towers and bars), on
    Rusty our now less trusty Sidekick, on the passengers side using u-clamps, mount a third cross bar lenghtwise outboard of the roofline for clearance, (of your boat), from the body. This would be a useful load unload feature even for a standard canoe. But for our freighter canoe, (this might even be enough to make you want one?), I devised a bolt thru top of transom two by six of varnished wood, based "chassis" with wheels. Again it's held in place on top of the transom by thru bolts secured by easily removable wing nut. The "chassis" uses a heavier, (forget the exact diameter),screw threat axle secured to the two by six, (see your hardware store or Home Depot for one), hack sawed to size extending several inches beyond the width of the two by six. I then installed two small lawnmower type wheels on the ends, (ones with an offroad sort of a tread pattern), using two bolts on each side of the wheels, (four total at each wheel, tightened against each other to hold the wheels most securely in their respective position(s). Actually, after installing the wheels, then you hack saw off the ends of the axle.

    With the canoe inverted on the rack, you simply move it fore and aft (and sideways bit by bit), on this three sided "platform", until it is fully sideways up there centered over your third cross bar. Actually, I've thought, if you added a fourth crossbar you could have the option of removing the boat from either side of the vehicle, plus be able just to rest it there in place fully sideways for a bit, if you wanted. Then, (to remove the boat), grasping the transom area by "the chassis", (if you've got you square stern), and then you simply slowly slide the canoe downward off the roof on the vinyl covered cross bar, (you could give it additional padding as well). Then with the wheels now on terra firma, work your way back up the gunnel to the bow which is still supported up there resting on your longitutdinal cross bar. Then grab the bow and begin simply "driving" your boat to the water. Works like a charm. Right the canoe once the stern is in the water, then remove the wing nuts holding the "wheels chassis" onto the stern, and stor it back in your new Grand Vitara, and then off ye go. Do the reverse when your day out on the water is done.

    Of course I should add this setup works perfectly on our Coleman tupperware "Scanoe". It would be a reach to expect anyone to drill the two holes required thru the top lip of say a Clipper Kevlar model!!! But maybe there's some other way to skin that cat? Also again, this well proven idea is only applicable to a square stern canoe. At least that's the only application I considered as I scratched my head trying to figure how I could get big bertha and myself out there on the water solo here.

    As "Rusty" the now usually trusty Sidekick is in an advanced state of decay with, going on 180,000 miles on him,(that's why we pretty drastically need either the new GV, a used XL-7, or...., soon, we just run the fore aft ropes over the bumpers using tie off points beneath. For securing the boat on the rack, with the third cross bar in place for geometric stability, to secure a boat up there I use a LONG length of heavy duty 2 inch wide nylon webbing with loups sew in on both ends). I originally had this custom made up for us at an outdoor eqpt. store for four person transport of our fully loaded expedition kayak(s) up the beach, for four person carrys, [two] straps fore and aft under the boats and running over "your" shoulders), to quickly move 'em up the beach before fully unloading 'em. Anyway, just pass one loup over a cross bar end on the driver's side of the vehicle, then over the boat to the opposite tower location, then under that cross bar and run it forward (or back) to the other tower/bar location on that the same side. Then under that cross bar and back on over the hull at that end of the boat, and then under the crossbar on that opposite side, (back to the driver's side). Then run toss the remaining end of the lenght of webbing across above the roof and loup over the webbing length there which runs parallel to your third, longitudinal cross bar, then bring the end of the webbing back towards you on the driver's side, and simply pull to full tighten "the web" which you've now created that holds the boat in place. Then tie off the reamining length of webbing to an adjacent cross bar. The only "danger" in this simple as pie method is, you can acually generate so much force in the tightening phase that you can deform the hull! But it sure is one VERY SIMPLE AND QUICK alternative for securing your boat up there. Have been using this set up for years now.

    Cost increase? Doesn't phase me at all. First I'm excited by Suzuki's apparent new profitability! That's fantastic, (potentially), news for all of us, especially if they plow back some of (our) cash into new model refinement. Further, while you scored 3G's off your top of the line model, (well done), I still think I may still end up going for the base manual 5 speed, maybe the sleeper of the bunch in my estimation, as it sits there as the unappreciated commodity it may now be, or become, come around December 30th. Then I'll still get [my] 3G's off, but on a vehicle which starts price wise at 5G's list less than yours. We bought our last NEW Suzuki for $1,400.00. Well, $1,400.00 BELOW DEALER'S COST!, (model changeover, etc, and an atypical situation), but I LIKE those... But I'd still figure one could see 3G's off the base manual 5 speed when Suzuki wants to clear them off the lots to make room for the '07's Patience can be a virtue, meethinks.

    Thanks too Steve. Think we can put out a fair bit of useful info here.
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    AND FURTHER re: roof racks. Ahmen there re: the demise of rain gutters. Sounds like your 1X4 mod is the same idea as my additional crossbar(s) one. But the extra crossbars do give absolute rigidity, though that's likely only a bit of an issue IF one wanted to consider using my webbing/boat securing concept. Incidentally, "that" method works even WITHOUT bow or stern ropes for short commutes to and from the fishin' hole. But at a minimum for safety I always use a bow rope. Again all this "tec" should be fully applicable to the new GV.

    By the way, would be interested to know, where'd ya go on those 32,000 mile expeditions, the Yukon, or?
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Kayakers drive me nuts because they rarely tie their bows and sterns down like I always do. The trip was AK to Labrador, down to TN, over to CA and landed in Boise for good. I just posted a few pics in my image page. You should too. :shades:

    Steve, Host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    AND, YET A FURTHER HEADS UP ON XM.

    The cassette deck option might come up on the "build your own" part of the site. I got a US brochure down south a while back, but tossed it. Can't remember if that's where I saw it. Where ever, now I sort of recall it might only have been available as an either/or option to a cd player, NOT as an add on to fit in WITH your six disc cd unit xostnot. So that wouldn't work for you anyway. And I think it was maybe only available as an option on the base model too. That's what my "vintage" brain cells seem to recall.

    Our Esteem wagon seems to have the best of both worlds, (other than only reasonable sound quality), not as nice as the new GV we test drove recently. But it has a double din chassis with cassette built in, (for the XM car kit cassette head input adapter, the way we will go), and we have a cd controller function. Bought our Clarion remote six disc changer, (same one, but black), as the one Suzuki sells, for much less from an aftermarket retailer. Really a setup like that would be nice in the new GV too. Still great dynamic range available there from high quality analogue tapes recorded on a high end deck.

    Re: your new GV's: Just got the, Whoa, way cool!, latest winter/spring '06 Crutchfield electronics catalog in the mail, sent up north here via my folks. Don't know if Crutchfield even mails catalogs to Canada? Anyway they are advertising under dash mount CLARION compatible, "vehicle dedicated" onboard sattelite radio tuner units, complete with the wired external antenna fob, for $69.00US after a $30.00 mail in rebate. If it fits, and that's a Clairon unit in your Zuke, isin't it??? that would be the way [for you] to go, IF IT FITS, unless you wanted just one radio for use in the home also, (our preference). Otherwise you pay separate, (though reduced), subscription fees for each XM radio. Crutchfield does suggest you will realize better sound fidelity via going with this under dash connectivity route, vs. using the cassette head input adapter available from XM, (but again, that's not an issue for any Canadian GV owner, with no cassette deck even available as an option. Option B is the home unit(s) simply dock and undock from cradles between home and car, for one subscription fee for one radio. Anyway, SOMEBODY (down south there?), want to call Crutchfield to get all the latest from these car and home electronics fittiments authorities? We'd all be interested in knowing for future reference. Find 'em on line to get the contact info.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    We're spraydecked Clipper Tripper saltwater camping trip kind of paddlers. I can get the canoe on and off the car by myself if I want to badly enough and have enough space. Besides webbing straps to the rack, I also use bow and stern ropes. There are lots of things underneath the back of the GV to tie the stern ropes to. I triangulate both to help resist crosswinds and bow waves from semis.

    I won't have time for a few days to figure out how to post photos about the rack brackets. Gotta go see if we can finally get the GV stuck.

    Your info on sound systems will be very useful. In our case, we don't log enough hours driving (no car commuting) without anyone to talk to, to exhaust the available cd's, mp3's and radio stations. I like to just listen to the vehicle itself sometimes. I've also found that in "off-road" stuff, you really want to be able to hear what the vehicle is doing. Bottom line is that we're not going to bother with XM. If I do anything like that, it will be to put in a proper trip computer.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    Thanks for the guidance for posting photos.

    Yes, tying loops out from the hood seams is an excellent approach, as depicted in the "Transporting" page in www.mohawkcanoes.com HOWEVER, due to the GV's clamshell hood, if you do this, it will exert strong upward forces on the edges of the hood. I don't want anything trying to pull the hood open. So unfortunately this won't work on the new GV.

    Hm, ok, adding a photo (roof brackets) was easy. I hope this link works.
    http://www.carspace.com/xostnot/?50@@.59a1a2fe!photoLoc=.59a1a305&skipNext=0&sub- mitNext=1&noThumbs=1#pic
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    That loop at Mohawk looks familiar -- that's probably where I learned that trick back in '99. My brother still has one of their fiberglass river canoes that dates back to the mid-70s.

    I was going to suggest an eyebolt going through the front grill but I see what you mean by the clamshell. Any spot up front seems like it's going to put pressure on the hood unless your bow hangs way over the front.

    Steve, Host
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    norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Member Posts: 168
    Ditto Steve, re photo posts. Enjoyed seeing yours. We've got eight inches of snow on the ground here, so won't be taking any canoe mount detail images for a while. But will look for some oldies showing our setup.

    PS re: XM. But for educational tv, McNeil Lherer and other PBS news programs, CBC and BBC tv news feeds, and ya, the odd mindless fluff, XM has caused us to essentially give up "the tube" It's great. Hope somebody down south does an UPDATE check for everyone out there to see what's the very latest re: new GV aftermarket XM connectivity. That $300.00 Suzuki tariff is just WAY too eXMpensive!
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    There may be a workaround for being unable to put the automatic transmission in 2nd gear for downhill engine braking, on the model with the low range. The automatic has these approximate ratios:

    1st - 3.5
    2nd - 2.0
    3rd - 1.4
    4th - 1.0
    5th - 0.7

    The transfer case is about 2:1, so in 4Low, you have:

    1st - 7.0
    2nd - 4.0
    3rd - 2.8
    4th - 2.0
    5th - 1.4

    So if you're in a situation where you need 2nd in 4Hi, you can put it in 4th/4Low, or if you need 2nd in 4Low, you can put it in 1st/4Hi. Since descents typically have a variety of pitches of varying steepness and roughness, this will require making choices between using the brakes more than necessary, or not going at quite the right speed, or stopping/starting to switch between the two ranges. But at least the ratios are available.

    This does mean using the 4Low for more than crawling, but I decided I would never need to use 2nd in 4Low
    when on dry pavement. You get really bad mileage in 4Low, even downhill.

    Incidentally, this is not a problem that showed up with the '06 GV. Friends with us yesterday have a 2003 Tracker with the 4-speed automatic and low range, and ran into the same issue of being unable to put it in 2nd gear in either range.

    I should also add that I've finally found a way to make the driving position comfortable. Not perfect (which would require a telecopic steering wheel, but close enough.

    I'm going to add a couple more photos from this weekend.
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    xostnotxostnot Member Posts: 232
    If you do a search for "2006" "grand vitara" on eBay, someone in the US is auctioning 2wd GV's. The price is around $7000 so far, and has not met the reserve price.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Funny, there's a Grand Vitara ad in the April Outside mag featuring a shot of a kayaker running some rapid (nice helmet cam shot). I suppose it's a squirt boat they hauled to the put-in inside the cabin. :shades:

    Steve, Host
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