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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 and earlier)

latrarlatrar Posts: 3
Got information on a new model (2000)for the Grand Vitara (GV) 12 inches will be added to the wheel base..... the car wll be lenghten to increase cargo room and add a third row of seats...the rear door will be larger to make it easier to get to the rear row of seats... the engine size will be increase from 2.7 to 2.5 and horsepower increased to 188 ....sound like a Great SUV - is supposed to come out the summer of 2000

Met w/ the Suzuki REP today @ Auto Place Suzuki in Williamsville, NY .. he told me that the AC will shut down (overload) @ very cold temp and that the fix is to add a resistor in the AC electrical line They will be installing the resistor under warranty tomorrow .. this should fix the problem


  • Latrar,

    I wonder if new GV will have a different name or modified name since changes appear significant enough to warrant having both models available. Was any info available on total weight, towing capacity, and availability of rear pop-out side windows? Adding third seat and other changes may open GV to new markets, but at 15 plus feet and 3800 pounds (my estimates based on your data), I wonder if this will still be a mini-ute. Also, what will happen to its off-road capability as well as relative ease to drive?
  • latrarlatrar Posts: 3
    I did not ask him the questions about weight,towing capacity or pop out rear windows .....I did ask him about price and the Suzuki Rep said it would be about $2000 more than the regular GV he also said if will have the same off road capabilities
  • swest1swest1 Posts: 9
    To latrar:

    Are you saying that all 1999 GVs need this AC fix?


  • rbalkrbalk Posts: 15
    There is a new EGroup mailing list for the Suzuki
    Grand Vitara owners. You are welcome to subscribe.
    Only you can do is just send an email to
    suz[email protected] with blank
    subject and message and then you are automatcilly
    subscribed. You can click and
    see for yourself.
  • danl1danl1 Posts: 5
    The Suzuki Canada site has been updated with specs on the 2000 model. It's available with an Adventure package, a Leather package and a Limited Package. MSRPs are up a few hundred bucks from last year.
  • dan127dan127 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the link, Danl1... but now I am confused-

    Several things caught my attention: first of all, the U.S. site has not been updated- still 1999.

    Also, I noticed that every package of the GV except the JX dumped the cassette and got a CD player instead (like Honda did). On the Edmund's site, it says the "+" packages will add a 6 CD-changer in the back, but makes no mention of a standard CD player. Looks like we still got the cassette.

    Another thing- there is a "wood trim" option for the GV on the Canadian site, but Edmunds says nothing about it. In fact, I looked at the GV Limited here in San Antonio, and I saw no trim of that sort- I imagine that it looks very nice.

    I'm sure there are many other discrepancies that I haven't mentioned... which brings me to this question:

    Why aren't WE being provided with these options? They are after all options, and if people don't want 'em they won't buy 'em.

    Maybe... maybe Suzuki has more leverage in Canada to expand options and target a more "luxury-hungry" niche of buyers? I have a feeling that Suzuki is just targeting the BUDGET-minded buyers in the U.S. to stay competitive against the other budget makes. I know I'm really reaching with this theory, but it's all I've got! =)

    Does anyone have any insight on this matter?
  • Got my GV back after 2 wks being at the dealership. They finally tracked down the squeak in it. After pulling their hair out they finally discovered it was the hood. After really getting the squeak going good they slowed down to a crawl and took a chance. The popped the hood and it stopped immediately. The pulled over, closed it and it was back. They made an adjustment to the hood and that took care of it. Mine is a 99 with 14K on it, other than this squeak and an A/C drain plug problem I have had no problems.
  • danl1danl1 Posts: 5
    Dan127: There's an interesting press release on the Suzuki Canada site.
    "With the arrivals of new Korean entries, who have adopted price driven strategies, Suzuki plans to rise above their competition, by raising the brand Suzuki. Their goal is to make a connection with consumers solely based on the fact that Suzuki automobiles are built better than they need to be."
    The Suzuki marketing phrase for this year is "Suzuki. Engineered Beyond Belief."

    I've noticed a few other differences betweeen US/Canadian specs. 2WD and remote keyless entry aren't available in Canada. The Canadian accessories catalog has some chrome items in the pictures but notes that these aren't available. They are probably available in Japan or other markets.

    Most of the Canadian accessories are listed at this link:
    I've seen the wood trim set at my dealer. It is a 9 piece set that snaps on over the current trim. With the current US/Cdn exchange rate, it might just be worthwhile to get some stuff from Canada. Maybe I should start a web business to sell Canadian accessories to Americans. :)
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    If it scratches less easily than the plastic, I'd sure give the wood trim a try.

    Kelly B
    '99JLX+, 5 speed, 18,800 mi
  • I just got back from my garage (not the Suzuki dealer garage), $618 poorer. I had noticed vibrations while driving, particularly in the 45-55 mph range, getting worse and worse. My mechanic has faithfully rotated tires (car now has 15K miles)and said the tires were "chunking". My understanding of chunking (from him) is they have a wavy surface, not a completely round one. Anyway today I went in for an alignment because vibrations getting worse and felt through steering wheel. Tire dealer and my mechanic drove ti and decided that the tires were no good - the original Bridgestone tires that came with the car. They said although Bridgestone DOES make a good tire, the tires that come with the GV are about the worst of what they manufacture. Although these tires still had a lot of tread on them, they were basically "goners" after only 15K. They said basically the tire was not suited well to the car in addition to being cheap. They recommended I put on Michelins and boy, what a difference!! But with a price of $139 each, I find myself very irritated that I have to replace the (junk) tires that come with an otherwise great car - why doesn't Suzuki put something decent on up front? By the way, there is still a little vibration in the 45-55 mph range but I understand the Suzuki garage has said this is due to the drive chain (rather than a rubber one) and natural for this those Bridgestones!
  • dan127dan127 Posts: 4
    You know, I have done a lot of reading and almost EVERYTHING has pointed to the quality of the tires that come with the car. At first I thought it was just hard-core off-roading aficionados. But I am learning (too quickly) that the tires are the persistent complaint of GV owners...

    Is there ANYONE who disagrees with the rest of the pack? I am disturbed to hear about this, because it could potentially be dangerous.

    My final question is, even with this problem (list others if you wish), do you feel your purchase was worth it? (It would help in the decision making process of GV vs. CRV).
  • dan127dan127 Posts: 4
    Another thing I forgot to ask- is it hard to find tires that fit the GV? I read somewhere that the specifications for tire size were a rare find.
  • I had heard "rumors" that Bridgestone were "marginal tires, depending on what you got. I guess, just naively, I assumed that a NEW car would have decent tires, but this is just not the case today (and Suzuki isn't the only one...) My mechanic was quick to point out that he couldn't find anything wrong with the tread - that they appeared safe, but because of the "chunking", he felt the quality was definitely subpar and the cause of the vibrations. On your other questions, I,too, do a LOT of reading and checking before any major purchase and my research paid-off - the GV is a very GOOD value as per the reviews and I am very happy with it except for the tire issue. Even my mechanic said what a well-built car it was, to quote, "You couldn't ask for a better little rig than that." I have had a LOT of compliments on it (have the Planet Gold) and am very pleased. In fact, we're thinking of getting a second for my wife. I juust wish Suzuki would address the tire issue, and no, it doesn't seem to be a problem to find the right tire size. I live in a town of 17,000 and the local tire guy had 'em right off.

    I'm sure the CRV is a nice car, but I didn't want to pay all the extra for the name and with much less power.
  • There have been several posts around 200 to 250 about the quality of the OEM tires. For what it is worth, the OEM tires that came with my 1995 GMC Jimmy lasted only about 20K miles. And that was on a $30K vehicle. So if you get 15K miles from an OEM set on a $20K vehicle, you are still coming out ahead.

    Jriley5, which Michelin did you purchase? Also, has anyone else tried Continental CH95 Grand Touring tires?
  • I too, notice a humming sound at around 60 mph. It's definitely there but I only find it mildly annoying. It seems to disappear going about 67 mph or over.

    Gone2sea - I'll check the Michelin tires for specs. and report back later (today, hopefully). They ride is much smoother and are also quieter. By the way, if you buy 4 Michelins right now, you get a free emergency road kit (have to send for it)that my mechanic said looked great (had one at the tire store on display) and worth over $100. Helps to make one feel better about paying $139/tire!

    As a note, when I was complaining to my mechanic that the car only had 15K on it and the tires couldn't be shot already, his son, also a mechanic working there, overheard and said, "those Bridgestones are junk tires." His father said "no, not all Bridgestones are crappy." and the son rejoined, "that particular one is crappy - I've seen a lot of problems with them. They make a few good tires but this isn't one of them"

    Other than this stuff, very happy with my GV. Just installed front window visors/windshields (which will keep the rain from dripping inside the car) and the roof rack crossbars (and I agree, the instructions are terrible!)

    Hope all this helps...
  • Gone2sea: Specs on the Michelin tires I just bought for my GV:

    Radial XSE 99T
    Max. psi: 35lbs.

    Hope it helps!
  • Thanks for the information on the Michelin tires. I know about the $100 safety kit offer but I only have about 2200 miles and buying the GV itself was enough for this year (I hope). I will be interested to read how these tires handle in heavy rain and/or snow of any kind.

    Thanks again.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Gone2sea, you'll find they're remarkably good in the snow, though after the OEM's are about half gone, they'll start to hydroplane at ridiculously low speed.

    I've got 19K on my GV, and the original tires are about half worn. Have had snow only once, this year, and they still did okay. Slush and moderate rain, however, make for some scary moments, even at speeds as low as 40 mph. The truck is really too small and light for tires this wide, plus, the tread pattern is much too tight. It needs some big circumferential grooves...or an all-terrain pattern.

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 5 speed, 19k miles
  • Would you consider/recommend P225/60R16 as an alternative to the P235 OEM size?
  • Thanks for the tire information. Good luck with dropping the 30 or 31 inch tires in. Sounds neat idea but my better half would probably have other comments if I ever did that.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Fortunately for me, my wife likes going hard-core 4 wheelin' as much as I do, maybe more. Plus, as it is essentially my commuter car, I pretty much get to do with it what I want.

    Oh, and I was inspecting my tires today while getting gas. At 19,111 miles, three of them are within 5,000 miles, maybe less, of the wear bars. Not good. Calmini better get going on lifts and whatnot, because I don't want to have to comprimise on tire height.

    Kelly B
  • Didn't I see a picture on some vendor website of a Vitara with a body lift? It was a very minor variation on the 4-door Sidekick kit. Now you got me curious, I'll have to go looking again.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    I know there were pictures in the August issue or 4x4 Power (I think it was that mag), with lifts done by Calmini and someone else. I wish I'd gotten it, now.

    If you find it, let us know.

    Kelly B
  • I complained to the Suzuki garage about the ridiculousness of new tires lasting just 15K and my having to replace them. I got a call back, along with a lecture frm the saleman, that I should have called them first, etc. etc., so they could check the tires (depsite the garage not being open on Sat. & Sun and me working 75 miles away from there...) Anyway, the service department is bringing the issue to their District Manager to see if Suzki will back it (even though they said it's Bridgestone's problem - yeah, right, but the upshot is they're willing to listen. I had to fax all my maintenance records (rotations, alignments, etc.) to them. We'll see. I'll write an update when I know...
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Well, the dealer doesn't seem to have checked for the rather obvious squeak coming from what seems like the dashboard area, so I started experimenting myself. A few commutes had me convinced it wasn't something inside, even though it sounded like someone was rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together. I decided to try one last thing...I popped the hood. The noise stopped immediately. I stopped, jumped out, closed the hood, and it came right back after the first bump. So, I tried it again, mid-squeak by a stroke of luck, and it stopped again as soon as I pulled the hood release.

    Now all I have to figure out is how to stop it. Anyone actually manage to have this fixed?

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 5 speed, 19,300 miles
  • Kellyb,

    My Jimmy did this at 10,000 miles. Fixed it by adjusting hood levelers (one on each side of the hood towards the front of the vehicle). Try spraying silicon spray on the four rubber gaskets first. If that's not enough, adjust levelers in a parking lot with speed bumps (instant bump). Mechanic did quarter turn change, closed hood, and drove over two speed bumps. Process was repeated until squeaks gone. Took some doing but worked. Key was adjusting hood so wind could not get in under hood on either side and cause it to vibrate enough to jostle rubber leveler gaskets back and forth. While I didn't get a squeak on GV, I checked hood on each side with a micrometer and adjusted it so both sides were same height. Also set hood a little lower than fender on each side. Lastly, if you can't lower the hood much, try adjusting levelers just to get them equal.
  • I don't have hood squeaks in my 99 GV, but when I test drove the machine, I noticed that one side of the hood vibrated up and down while the other side didn't. After the drive, I found the levelers that gone2sea talked about above, and screwed the one side up until the hood stopped vibrating. Only problem then was that that side of the hood was above the side body panel by about 3/8 of an inch, and that looked stupid.

    After buying the machine, I moved the leveler back to its orignal position, then I grabbed the open hood and twisted it hard and down into the loose side. I then shut the hood, and it matched both levelers, an both sides are even with the body panels.

    Something certainly is weird with the hood fit from the factory, but the hard twist solved it for me--no more problems with a vibrating hood and it's level with the panels.

  • I had read almost every entry in the old Grand Vitara forum, test drove both the Honda CRV and the Suzuki GV, and I happy to report I just purchased my new 2000 Silver Grand Vitara JLX+, I've only got 100 miles on it so far but I love it already. I have to admit afer reading some of the complaints from owners I was somewhat skeptical, but the good press and deal I got were to good to pass up. The only slight annoyance is one I had read about in some previous posts: at highway speeds 50 mph and above, it sounds like the windows are open just a hair and wind is rushing in, even though of course all the windows are shut tight. Has anyone else come across this and more importantly is there a fix. My only other main concern before purchasing the GV was its lack of cargo space, but now I read future 2000 and/or 2001 models may remedy this. I not sure wether to be happy or pissed off. What if I really like my present truck and I trade up to a new roomier model and it sucks. I guess I could have waited antoher 6 months or so before buying, but i didn't see the point...until now. Well I monitor the future developments of the GV and see what happens. Thanks to all for your great input.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Funny, 'cause I adjusted my hood stops the day after purchase, to make the hood even, and to stop the vibration at 65+ mph. Now, I haven't re-opened the hood since experimenting last Thursday, and no squeaks since.

    I need to get some silicone spray, thanks for the tip.

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 5 sp, 19,500 mi.
  • I would like to install a security system with remote start. Any recommendations? Should I get the dealer option (is there one?) or an aftermarket system?
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