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Suzuki XL-7

pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
edited August 2014 in Suzuki
Here's a direct link to Edmund's First Drive of the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7, by Karl Brauer.

What do you think? ;-)

Pocahontas, Host


  • Does anyone know when the XL7's will be in the dealers showrooms? Iheard Dec1 and another dealer said Jan1
  • What's that you're quoting? If this information is copied directly from an article you read somewhere, could you please provide us with a link instead of posting the article here?

    We appreciate your efforts, but for copyright reasons we cannot allow articles from other sources to be directly copied onto this website without written consent from that source. Please send me an email, if you need to discuss this any further. Thanks.

    And now back to the subject of the Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7. Happy Motoring. ;-)

    Pocahontas, Host
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I saw the spec data for the XL7 on the Suzuki web site. The data puts the rear seat leg room at just over 33". Does anyone know if this is the rear seat leg room for the second row of seats or for the third row of seats?

    I am a former owner of a '93 Sidekick JLX and really liked the vehicle. Rear seat leg room was not great but it was livable. I am interested in the XL7 but the 33" of rear seat leg room does not excite me. If the second row seats are around 36" like the Grand Vitara and the third row is at 33" then it may be something I could consider . . . however, if the second row is 33" and the third row is even less than that it is another matter altogether.

    I have test driven the Subaru Forester several times and like the driving position but I could never fit a normal sized person in the back seat of the Forester while I am driving. I'm 6'-7" tall and need the driver seat all the way back when I drive. The Forester has 33" of rear seat leg room and it is WAY too small for a normal sized person to fit behind the driver seat. If anyone has any input I would appreciate it.
  • car19car19 Posts: 3
    Sorry Pocahontas,forgot about copy rights. Saw it at

    As far as leg room is concerned the second row is 36.4" max as it could be adjusted and the third row is 31.3". It's also got a wheel base of, get this 110.2" long. The closest of it's competitors is only 104.3" in the KIA Sportage!!

    Should hit showrooms the end of the first week of Dec or early second.

    See ya
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Oh great, now another one enters the market. More confusion now on what to buy...
    This sounds like its going to be an Escape/Tribute killer. It has my interest peaked...
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I am with you on this. I am looking at small SUV's and have considered the Escape/Tribute and the Sante Fe. I don't like the looks of either the Rav4 or the CRV and the wimpy 4-bangers in those cars don't impress me. The extra seating capacity, seating flexibility, V6 engine, ladder box frame, as well as the part time 4WD with low range transfer case make the XL7 look pretty good. I also like the physical appearance of the XL7.

    car19 - in reference to the legroom numbers that you have posted; is the second row legroom numbers based on having the second row all the way back AND the front seats all the way back? That 36.4" sounds pretty good to me if that is the case. But the MAX number at the end of the 36.4" makes me think that they have the front seats forward and the 2nd row seats back to achieve that 36.4" Also, does the 31.3" third row number have the second row slid all the way forward? I assume from the 31.3" MAX number that you need to push the 2nd row up to get that number.

    It looks like I may have to wait until early next year to get in one and verify this stuff myself. The Suzuki website has some information but doesn't specify 2nd and 3rd row data for head and leg room. I was told by a local dealer that the brochure will become available about the same time as the XL7 hits the showroom floor (sometime in January). I was hoping that the review by Edmunds would include a link to the vehicle specification. The article does elude to the fact that there is sufficient room in the 2nd and 3rd rows for adults for short trips though.
  • Never had a Suzuki. Any input about expected reliability given track record of other vehicles? Any problems with dealer service or parts availability- dealer network is pretty small in our area. Also notice that powertrain warranty is only 36/36- about the shortest in the industry.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I am not sure if you read my previous post (#6 above), but I am a previous owner of a '93 Sidekick. I had a very positive experience with that small SUV.

    There are not a lot of Suzuki dealers in my area either but there are several auto shops around that are familiar with the Suzuki vehicles. Once the warranty expires I know of several places I can take the vehicle for service. Parts availability is kind of an unknown for me. I owned the Sidekick for seven years and the only major part I had to have replaced (besides tires) was the water pump and that was available for installation the same day I brought it in for service. I also replaced the battery after 5 years but that was also readily available. The local "quick lube" places here in town did not have the air filter in stock on several occasions. I don't know if that has changed in the past year or so. I do see a lot of Suzuki GV's and Sidekicks around the roads here so I would think they would be stocking them now. Just my $.02
  • I drive a '93 Sidekick JLX w/ 93k miles are so on it. The only things I've had to replace is the spark plugs/wires/rotor/cap, battery...and that's all about all i can think of now (mostly routine maintenence, air filter, etc..). To date I've had no major mechanical problems(Need to change that timinig belt soon....ugh wallet's gonna be alot lighter..). I also drive the tiny 4-banger hard too. If you need more info just e-mail me.

    [email protected]
  • giowagiowa Posts: 599
    Last night I stopped by the Omaha, NE, area Suzuki dealer (actually in Council Bluffs, IA, across the river from Omaha). They did NOT have any XL-7s in stock but are anticipating getting their first one in sometime this week or early next.

    They did have the full color detailed brochures. I've been pouring over the info. While the brochure does list interior dimensions for 1st and 2nd rows, it fails to for the 3rd row. However, it does say there is 37.0 cf of space "with 3rd-row seats down" and 73.0 cf "with 2nd- & 3rd-row seats down". Has only a 16.9 gal fuel tank. The EPA mileage figure for the 2WD manual tranny model is 18/20. The other 3 combinations, incl 4WD manual & automatic, are 17/20. Doesn't clearly say if it comes with 4-wheel disc brakes or rear drums.

    I was pleased to see that the XL-7 Touring can be had with a 5-speed manual. The Limited, which only adds leather seats and automatic tranny to the Touring, can NOT be had with manual.

    Biggest failure is the serious dearth of safety equipment. Wife and I know already we'll have to wait till '02 model out. XL-7 does NOT have side air bags, no traction control (ABS is standard on both Plus and Limited but not an option on Standard or Plus). Does have front seat pretensioners but no mention of force limiters. Too bad. I'd love to get one but won't risk my life to do so.

    Oddly enough, in 01/01 issue of R&T there was a big ad for the XL-7. It said call an 800# for more info. I did but the Suzuki customer service reps at the # had yet to get anything from Suzuki on the XL-7.

    I've owned two Suzukis and loved both. An '89 Geo Metro 3-dr hatchback and a '91 Suzuki Swift 4-dr sedan. Wife and I loved them both. Never had any troubles with them but when we added kids the cars were just too small. Traded the Swift in for a '93 Chrysler Concorde and the Metro for a '92 Merc Tracer Wagon. We loved them both so much that we still have pictures of them both. Praying the XL-7 is as reliable.
  • giowagiowa Posts: 599
    The 12/4/00 issue of AutoWeek has a nice review of the XL-7. That writer shares many opinions with the Edmunds's road test reviewer at this site. The Suzuki USA web site also has a couple of reviews. There is a nice comparison page there showing how it stacks up against CR-V, RAV4, etc.
  • Upstate NY- We just unloaded 9 2001 Suzuki XL-7 off the truck-be right back I see customer out on the lot!
  • In this thing is OK. I am 6' tall and fit in the third row with a 6' person in the 2nd row and 6' person in front. Seats are easy to move around and to get in and out of. I would not want to take a trip sitting in the 3rd row but it is OK. BTW it is a Touring model with a sunroof and automatic transmission,power windows, power locks, cd& cassette, cruise control, tilt wheel, rear air and keyless entry and the sticker is $25,094. Good looking vehicle.
  • Just test drove the XL 7 There is not much leg room at all in the third seat. It looks like it might be ok for children under 5 I am only 5 2 and would not be able to sit there for a long haul. The back row or second seat is ok if you push the track all the way back and the front seat is forward. The salesman was 5 11 and said he had plenty of room with the seat forward. One thing that bothered me was that the headrests in the middle row cut down on my visibilty
  • The head rests are removable and can be stoerd under the seat. How did you like the price tag?
  • The sticker price for the touring model was 25,094 that includes just about everything
  • maseymasey Posts: 2
    Has anyone drove this vehicle yet? Why is there no talk about this vehicle.
  • We now have 11 XL-7's in stock. Call Darrell or James at(402)494-5904 to get yours today!!
  • maseymasey Posts: 2
    Looks like the xl-7's are in..but is anyone test driving them? I am just and interested consumer trying to figure out what SUV to buy. This appears to be a good vehicle, with 7 passenger seating. How does it compare to the durango or mdx? I know price or quality?
  • We just drove one. Looks like Edmund's has the trim levels off a little. There are actually four trim levels. The highest is "Limited" and is the only one to come with Leather and cannot be had with a 5-speed in either 2 or 4wd.

    The leather is a big issue for the Mrs. and we're thinking about getting the Touring and having leather added b/c the dealer didn't know when or if he could get the Limited and the display only showed a grey leather.

    Overall, the ride was good. It's quiet. It's very windy here today and we had it up to 75mph on the highway and it was still smooth and quiet.

    Unfortunatly, the power isn't anything to write home about. There were three of us in the car and it never seemed to really want to accelerate. I changed the transmission to the Power setting and didn't notice any difference.

    Third seat room was Ok. Not as good as the Durango, not as bad as the Montero. It was a little tricky for an adult to get out of.

    We're considering this as a more stylish substiture to a Toyota Sienna. The Toyota wins on quality and ease of use. Don't know which way we'll go.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I sat back there and they were pitiful at best. Also it sacraficed the 2nd row of seating in the durango...

    But back to the XL7, this looks like a good competator with the execption of the power issues. Especially because it should come in @ around $23K max for the one that is stickering @ $25K

  • I really love it. Power everything, cruise, power tilt & retract sunroof. CD/Cassette (stereo sounds decent), beautiful white pearl paint, deep tint windows... all standard with this line.

    We are a family of 4 plus one large dog and had been looking at either Passat Wagon or Toyota Sienna. We were going to save up a down for either one to make our monthly's more affordable, but when we saw the deal on the LX-7, which seated 7 and had the v-6 engine, we bought one.

    Got it for $99 over invoice, about $24,7 out the door. It's a nice ride. Much better than our '89 Isuzu I-mark we were going to have to depend on for a year while we saved up a down for a more expensive car.
  • bini44bini44 Posts: 1
    Wife just purchased Cool-Beige color XL7 on 19 DEC. Cool color and nice vehicle design. A little small in the next 4 seats behind drivers and shotgun seating. Extremely smooth ride over railroad tracks and handles great. My wife has sunroof, but not a plastic sun shield. Doesn't touring model supposed to come with the sun shield?
  • Bini44 -

    I have the Touring model. By sunshield, do you mean a outer visor attachment along the front windshield top edge? If so, no -- no models come with that nor is it available as an accessory.

    If you mean the manual sliding inner cover that blocks the sun from shining through your sunroof, yes, it should have come with one.

  • I live in Europe and the XL-7 will not be here until Spring, so I will have to wait and keep reading the comments the XL-7 gets here.

    bini44! The color of your car is it the same as seen in the page is that the "cool beige" color, bright beige/silver ?
    + I cant see that sunroof wind reflector is included, they talk about sunshade, colored glass roof or the thing you pull across the sunroof.

    Is it possible to remove the 3rd seat row, I find it unbelievable if you are stuck with them. I want them in or out at my own choice.

    And for anyone to inform me, I see that the car is bigger, versus the standard Grand V. But what car does it compare to size wise.
    The body is wider, correct me if I am wrong!
    Or am I a Landcruiser wannabe !

    I really like this edit-30 min. thing ;)
  • mty96mty96 Posts: 3
    I got a chance to test drive the XL7 recently. Very nice ride, quiet. Power is acceptable but nothing to write home about. The third row of seats is barely functional and difficult to get into. They might be better served to have a version without the third row of seats and offer more 2nd seat legroom and more cargo room. I eventually purchased the Mazda Tribute based on price and reputation but I would not have been disappointed with the XL7.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You do realize the Tribute = Ford Escape which has 6 safety recalls and 2 stop sales, and 2 stop production line recalls! I'd take the suzuki anyday over the FORD Exploder little sister :) Good luck with your mazda, i just hope you didn't believe the commercial where it claimed to be raised by miatas, cause there isn't one single thing mazda about the Tribute :)

  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I test drove an XL7 today. I liked the ride and the acceleration was o.k. The second row leg room could be better but isn't bad for a smaller SUV. The rear most seats are for kids or small adults. The second row of seats can be slid forward to make third row leg room better but the second row leg room gets worse. I would like to take my family down for a test drive in the XL7 to see how it behaves when it is loaded down with people and to see how the leg room works out with the car loaded up.

    noleman - The 3rd row seats are not removable but they do fold down out of the way. The rear area is not flat with them folded however, the folded seats cause the floor line to slope up towards the second row of seats.
  • mty96mty96 Posts: 3
    Yes I had heard about the recalls etc. and I have concerns over the issue, but what I meant is that over the years Mazda has a decent reputation as does Suzuki. You said that there wasn't one single thing Mazda about the Tribute which is not quite correct. The only thing not Mazda about it is the engine. The Tribute/Escape were designed by Mazda. I am watching and listening very closely for anything out of the ordinary. By the way, the Tribute and XL7 were neck and neck with me. The final decision came down to paying a $2K premium for the third row of seats. For my needs it was not worth it.
  • giowagiowa Posts: 599
    1. Just came back from the Omaha Auto Show. Nice chance to check out all the major brands. XL-7 really stood out due to its 3rd row of seats. My wife, I, and our daughter climbed all over the 3 XL-7s at the show--2 Plus and 1 Touring, all automatics. I have to have side air bags so until Suzuki puts 'em in we'll just be looking. However, in comparison to the Santa Fe, Sportage, Escape, CR-V, RAV-4, etc. the XL-7 was clearly a bit bigger and more functional, and I think just plain better looking. Great proportions. While 3rd seat cannot be removed, it folds pretty flat, as does 2nd row. Too bad 3rd doesn't fold into the floor like some minivans' 3rd seats. I'm 6 ft 2 inches and 185 lbs. I was able to get into the 3rd seat without too much trouble. Wife and I were able to position all 3 rows of seats simultaneously so 3 adults could fit adequately well in each row. If kids in 3rd row, 2 sets of adults can fit nicely. Noticed that the driver seat lacks height adjustment. Tire jack is located under the driver's seat. With sunroof, my head was nearly touching. Rear gate is a huge one piece with fixed glass. It opens from the left side with the hinge on the right side. Designed for British & Japanese roads; will be awkward to load and unload on US and Canadian streets.

    2. Feb '01 issue of Car & Driver has a 1-page preview on p. 89. They are a bit hard in their review: "it's a stopgap, a product of undergraduate whimsy in competition with grown-up machines."
This discussion has been closed.