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Suzuki XL-7



  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I have read the new (2003) XL-7 will be a crossover like the RAV-4. So if you want a true truck go for it now. However, I take this with a grain of salt. Suzuki put a lot of money in the XL-7 to just do a massive change after only two years.
  • 5greyhounds: My guy tells me the Grand Vitara(not XL7) will be the crossover vehicle, with the XL7 remaing as truck base. Makes more sense. XL7 needs to address some shortcomings to gain the public's attention as well as reviewers. Competition in this category only gonna get get more heated.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Thanks for the update. It makes much more sense. The short wheelbase GV is really competing against the XL-7 and the price is really not that much different and you get so much more for your money with the XL-7.
  • frankno1frankno1 Posts: 68
    My new XL7 has a wheelbase of 110.2" The Isuzu Rodeo has a wheelbase of 106.2" just enough to make the ride a lot smoother than the Honda Passport and Isuzu Rodeo. The Isuzu Trooper has a wheel base of 108.7" suprise, suprise. Height of all three vehicles is IR-70.4", IT-72.2" and the XL7 70.1" so this ought to make it a pretty stable vehicle in the wind. It is a vehicle about in the middle of the mid-size SUV's. I have owned and driven a Suzuki with a 97.6" wheelbase and it handles like hell in the wind. It should be a lot more stable than a lot of midsize SUV's. The engine is not a powerfull as the Isuzu Rodeo but its pretty good.
  • Hi everyone!
    After months of research, test drives, more research, and yes even some prayer, I am the new owner of an XL-7 Limited.
    My wife and I are Realtors in N. Idaho and have fought the "suv" bug for a long time, but finally we've had a winter that's pushed us into the need for 4 wheel drive. We are both naitives of the great northwest, and have never had a 4 wheel drive vehicle, never even used snowtires, but our growing family, changing needs, and slick weather changed our minds.
    SUV's in our area demand a premium and I just could not justify the price for the Tahoe's, Yukon's, Envoy's, Expeditions, and Explorers. We wanted a rugged off-road vehicle, with good winter driving dynamics and a 3rd row seat. I NEVER thought of myself as an import buyer (especially a Suzuki?!) but oh-my-goodness, what a wonderful vehicle! Great lines, real ladder frame design, good interior space, and talk about loaded to the gills. Leather heated front seats, auto-on lights at dusk, sunroof, power windows, locks, remote keyless entry, rear air, cruise, two trip meters, heated mirrors, full size spare, 3rd row (although mainly for kids) seating, decent power, sliding 2nd row seats (try that in your Durango) all for $27,000...unbelievable!
    I read a lot of different messages at this townhall discussion and I just wanted to say Thank-you to everyone who has posted any info (good or bad) regarding the XL(ent)-7. This vehicle is definitely a sleeper in a field of posers and wannabe's. You can keep your car based mini-utes for those mall speed bumps, but if you really need to travel off road, or deal with "back-40" areas then the Suzuki XL-7 should be at the top of your list.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Congrats on your new ride from S. Idaho (Boise). You can keep the slick weather, thank you :-)

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  • frankno1frankno1 Posts: 68
    Is the third row seat a bench seat, does it face foward or backward?
    Another question can it be bought and installed after initial purchase and what would be the cost?

    Just pondering,
    Thanks ahead
    Frank K.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I know this is the XL-7 board but you will understand why I am saying farewell. After 8 years and 118k my wifes Probe GT is headed to Florida and will be residing in he father's garage. When my mother died this winder we inherited, among lots of really nice things, a 1990 maxima with 84K on it. We both drive to work and have been driving the Probe and the Maxima while the XL-7 and Windstar stayed in the garage. Well, her dad needed a car and while the probe is not new it beats 245K on a old chevy beater. Thus, the XL-7 will enter the real world and join the commute.
    Idealtor, you will enjoy your ride. I have a 01 limited so I missed out on the heated seats but in Virginia they are really not needed. Just two points. If you need to adjust your seat back do it with the door open. Your watch will scratch the side of the door if you are not careful. The other is when you do put it in 4WD make sure the wheels are dead on straight. They will not engage otherwise.
  • Thank-you for the tips (this one and past ones). Drove around until 1 a.m. this morning in a major rain storm and was smiling the whole time. Showed the XL to some fo my family members and friends today and they were all very suprised by the feature content and price of my Suzuki...not one of them could believe that it was really a Suzuki. Isn't denial the first step?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Well, time to do the only thing I dislike about me XL-7: got to change the oil and filter. Oh well, at least I use Mobil 1 so it is only every 5k. messy!!!!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I would just love to get a hold of the person who placed that filter where it is. It was a mess but got it done. I now sacrifice an old bath towel by placing it under the filter so most of the oil goes into it and not on the ground.
  • imadad1stimadad1st Posts: 18
    I feel your pain. Just did the same thing this Saturday on mine. Since I also take the opportunity to rotate the tires at the same time, I put mine up on jackstands on all 4 corners before I start. Perhaps you've already noted that having the drivers front wheel off during the change gives just a little more room to move around under there while playing contortionist. I might just take it to the dealer the next time and see if they are serious about charging 6$ if I supply the filter and oil. I'm with you though, this is the only flaw I've found so far (and I'm sure other competitors are no better).

    On another note, I thought I'd give an update on my recent mileage. For the past two weeks, I've gotten 24.97 and 24.13 mpg! That puts it just a little lower than my old Sidekick, and not nearly the disappointment I was expecting by moving UP (size, class, power, etc.)!

    I didn't see anyone mention the Consumer Reports review of the XL-7. Can you believe they rated the XL-7 with the likes of the CRV. First of all, the Grand Vitara is more in that class of vehicle, and I wish they'd get more than a bunch of BMW/Mercedes driving reviewers to do truck reviews. If it weren't for the fact that they seem to provide at least some value in reviewing other types of products, I'd just give up on them altogether. I understand that these types of reviews are almost entirely subjective, but you'd think they could avoid sounding so biased that you wonder if they took lessons from Olympic skating judges!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Now I know why I really am happy with the V6. Even though I purchased my XL-7 in July of last year it was a cool summer in DC and even when it was hot I would drive the Van or the Probe. Now that the Probe is gone we are back to 3 cars (poor us). I drove the truck today and it was even hot enough for me to turn on the AC. As much as I like leather 90 degrees and leather do not mix. I think we hit a record today, about 90. Anyway, at 70 on the DC beltway (I know, to fast but it either that or get run over) you could not tell when the compressor came on. I would hate to be in a little old I4 and try to do that trick. I know the Toyota and Honda have nice engines but they can not stand up to a V6.
    Speaking of oil filters I did an oil change on the Maxima over the weekend also (first one) and I looked and looked and looked and could not find that sucker. Then I got out from under it and there it was, on the top of the engine, in the rear of the engine compartment. What a joy. No burnt hands, not cuts trying to get around the tie rods, just reach in with the wrench and twist. Someone from Suzuki needs to talk with them.
  • jamthompjamthomp Posts: 16
    What is the minimum rating of jackstand that you should use with the xl-7 if you want to lift it up to rotate the tires? (2,4,6 ton?)

    Also for those that rotate their own tires, do you use or torque wrench or the white nuckles approach?

  • imadad1stimadad1st Posts: 18
    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty sure mine are rated for 2 tons. Of course, you can't go wrong by going higher, but they get more expensive (how much I don't know, I've had my set for years). At the very least, logic would suggest that they should be at least rated for the weight of the vehicle (around 3800 lbs. I seem to recall).

    I use a (cheap) torque wrench. I just feel better about doing that, and giving myself piece of mind that the hubs were torqued evenly, minimizing the chance of warping. I also seem to recall someone telling me that it was possible to damage cast aluminum wheels by over-torquing them, but I don't know if that's just an old wives tale.

    I rotate my tires every 5K, since I've noticed that the fronts feather slightly in that amount of time. My friend that also has a 2001, hasn't rotated in 15K, and his fronts are quite a mess.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    The Greyhounds and I are headed to the dog show in Leesburg VA this Saturday. A little rain, muddy roads, slippery grass hills and roads, just the reason I got my XL-7. Last year in the fall show it was the same. Love that 4WD.
  • frankno1frankno1 Posts: 68
    How do I shut off the daytime running lights. Kind of annoying if I can just pull a fuse or something would be nice.
  • tmdaman1tmdaman1 Posts: 9
    Check this out!!! We were leaving our garden center (Winesett for you Hampton Roads folks) when a Ford Escape owner came over to us and asked about our XL-7. She asked what truck we had, how long has it been out, etc...... She really liked our XL-7.

    We both were very proud of our new truck!!!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    If you go back about a month you may find your answer. There was a long discussion on this.
  • Hello all. My wife and I are happy owners of a 2000 Grand Vitara (4wd JLX+ with 29,750 mi), but with the birth of our daughter, we are in search of more room. I am 6'2", and she is 5'10". We took a day trip this weekend, baby and wife in back, me and mom-in-law in the front. Wife sat behind me and of course I was very cramped. Didn't make for a fun drive (she was pretty cramped in the back seat too).

    Anyway, for those that have tried or owned both, how much more leg room in the 2nd row is there now as opposed to the GV. I doubt we will ever use the 3rd row of seats and would keep them folded down for storage.

    Also, any ideas why they stopped using the CD changer that the GV has? Going back to a single CD will be a slight step back, in my opinion.

    One last question. Do any of you see an advantage for me trading the GV in before it hits 30,000 mi as opposed to waiting a little while and putting a grand or two more on it?
  • parideparide Posts: 52
    I did my first oil change Saturday, and now fully understand the complaints regarding the location of the oil filter. After loosening the filter with a wrench from underneath the truck, I found it much easier to spin the filter off from above. However, once off, there simply isn't enough clearance to take the filter out from above which requires that you lay the filter down on the frame and go back underneath the truck. But, there also doesn't seem to be any easy place to remove the filter from underneath. I found that I had to slide the filter along the sway bar to the passenger side of the engine in order to reach an opening wide enough to remove the filter. By the time I finally got the filter out, all the oil in the filter had poured onto the truck frame and ground. Has anyone found an easier way to change that filter (other than having someone else do it for them)? I replaced the filter with a Purolator filter which was the same size as the original. However, Fram's version of the XL-7 oil filter seems a bit smaller. Has anyone tried the Fram filter? Is it smaller and, if so, does that give you the little extra clearance needed to make this job easier?

  • frankno1frankno1 Posts: 68
    Should a guy take a new XL7 and from the first oil change on use synthetic oil. I believe not only with synthetic make the engine last longer, but can it make the mpg better?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Paride: I tried a Fram last weekend and I think it is to short. It did not seem to want to "soft dock" with the block. By this I mean when the filter and block meet there is usually about a 3/4 turn left when you snug it up and tighten it. This did not happen. It just went so far and stopped. I took it off. I had an original Suzuki filter as a standby just in case I had problems and it worked just fine.

    Frankno1: Synthetic oil is what I have run since I bought mine. I just turned 10k last week so I did my oil change. I use Mobil 1, 5-30. I have used synthetic in all my cars and it works just fine. Also, since the oil change in the Suzuki is such a pain I am able to go 5k between changes. Some people try to tell me 10k is fine but I have always done a new filter and oil every 5k and have never had an oil related problem. I do not know about increased MPG since I have only run synthetic but from what I have read there is a slight increase in MPG due to the better lubrication properties of synthetic. While I have been tempted to change I have always stayed with Mobil 1.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I've heard lots of bad things about Fram filters, generally they are the lowest quality. I generally stick to Mobil 1 or Purilator filters.

  • parideparide Posts: 52
    Thanks guys for the info.

    5Greyhounds - It must have really ticked you off to get the Fram filter on the XL-7, only to have to take it off and replace it with the Suzuki filter. Nothing like getting under the truck a couple of extra times.

    Paisan - I used to use Fram filters, but it always concerned me that they were smaller then the original equipment filters, while in general, the Purolator and Mobil filters were sized correctly. Then a few years ago, I had put a new Fram oil filter on My Mazda MPV and discovered it had a pin hole in the case. I've stayed away from Fram ever since.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Funny, I usually use Purilator but there was a special on Frams so I bought one. That is why I had the Suzuki filter as a backup. I was going to use it and then tried the Fram. Back to Purilator and I think I will stay with OEM for the Suzuki.
  • parideparide Posts: 52
    As noted above, I've been staying away from Fram for several years. However, if the smaller sized Fram filter would have made changing the oil filter on the XL-7 a little easier, I would have considered it. Thanks for your input - I now know not to go that route.
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I too have heard bad things about Fram. That they basically sold there name to some cheapo oil filter company and now their filters are very poorly made. Not the better quality they used to be. I just let the dealer do ours for $20. Getting rid of the old oil is a hassle and after hearing you all complain about the process, I'd rather not bother.

    tmdaman1- we live in Va Beach and frequent Winesett too. Although usually in my Tacoma, would hate to get the back end of the XL-7 all dirty with plants. We are seeing more and more XL-7's around here, but still rare enough to notice one when we see it.

    Summer beach weather is coming up, time to go down to Hatteras!
  • tmdaman1tmdaman1 Posts: 9
    Yeah, I know what you mean about getting the back dirty....BUT when were shopping for an SUV, we wanted something that could also haul more stuff, i.e. plants, bags of mulch. So, when we opened the back to load the plants, we were like, "This truck is too nice to mess up BUT that's why we bought it!" So, we grabbed a few extra plastic liners and hoped for the best!!!

    I can't wait to drive to the mountains....
    Have fun in Hatteras!!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    We bought ours more as a weekend traveler for my wife, myself and a few of the greyhounds. We have a Windstar for all the "hauling of things" like mulch, plants, etc. I agree, it is to nice to mess up.
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