Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 and earlier)



  • Hey guys 1st of all I'm very happy with my new GV.
    Here are my questions:
    1)Does it have a fuel light that tells you you're "close" to running out of gas?
    2)Does the rear defogger have a shut off timer?
    3)I'm not getting too good fuel mileage (with about 1800 miles on it so far)...does the mileage improve when the engine "breaks in"?
    4)Does anyone know if you actually use more gas when you use the cruise control?
    5)Has anyone calculated the difference in mileage when you're in 4X4 mode?

    Thats all I can think of for now....any help would be greatly appreciated folks...
  • mwidellmwidell Posts: 2
    1) No, confirmed. (smile)
    2) No, and this is annoying.
    3) Mine has been getting about 18-19 mpg, and I drive alot of highway -and- city miles. (In comparison, we also have an early 90's Dodge Caravan with the large V6, and it gets 19 mpg. Also, mine has about 18k on it right now, purchased this time last year. The only thing that has improved with time is that it doesn't smell like rotten eggs any more.
    5) Unless you drove in 4x4 mode for a good range (perhaps 100 miles), then topped it off, this would be hard to guage. However, watching the gas guage while in 4x4 reminds me of when I owned my '76 Olds - gas hog.

    Michelle in Illinois
  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    I have the foglights and center armrest along with five other options, including a pre-wired trailer hitch with external brake light and electric brake controller. I purchased the options as part of the vehicle so I don't know individual costs. Foglights are excellent and I recommend them highly. Center armrest is nice but you lose use of rear cupholder when it is down. My solution was to store audio cassettes in the rear cupholder spot and purchase an adjustable cupholder that sits on top of the cassette holder inside the armrest.


    My 1999 GV does not have a low fuel light and I don't think 2000 model does either. And the rear window defogger does not shut off automatically on my 1999 either. Cruise control usually just as economical except in very hilly terrain. When going up hill, cruise control will kick in harder than you might and more gas will be used. I don't use cruise control on local hilly streets. I do use it on 45 miles per hour or higher roads even with hills since it maintains speed up and downgrade. This is my second SUV owned and the third I have used. You always get lower mileage in four wheel drive because the engine is working harder. Doesn't matter if you are driving a GV or an Excursion; 4WD mileage will be lower. And speaking of mileage, at 7750 miles my automatic gets 22 to 24 miles per gallon in mixed highway, rush hour, and local city driving. On a recent 150 mile trip at 60 to 65 mph, it got 25 miles per gallon.

  • mwidellmwidell Posts: 2
    Since I joined the conversation towards the end, I'd like to comment on a few posts.

    First, I have experienced the "leaking" a/c once. It was during a 4 hour drive, 200 miles, when it was extremely hot. The passenger side floor was sopping wet. I read another post from someone at that said the dealer told him it was condensation. It hasn't happened since, but I have not been on such a long drive since then either. In any case, it's inexcusable but hard to prove.

    I purchased my GV this time last year and had the dealer install the armrest, floormats and splash guards. They threw the labor in on all, and also the cost of the mats and splash guards. I paid about $100 for the armrest, and it was definately worth the cost.

    The fog lights I purchased on my own for about $225. Expensive, but they were pretty easy to install. You do have to be pretty nimble, tho, to work in the tight spaces. You have to >cut< your bumper with a sharp knife, which was pretty scary, but it was easy. I also had to unbolt part of the wheel liner to get at the inside of the bumper. They work great, tho.

    It's been a decent car, but not one of my best. I think the rather inexpensive price (considering, for an SUV) was made up for with the use of cheap, easily scratched plastic and other ill-fitting parts. It does turn heads, and is pretty peppy for a tiny 6 cylinder. Also, the manual tranny is a joy.

    I purchased the 100k warranty with my GV, and plan to make use of it. :)

    Michelle in Illinois
  • rbalkrbalk Posts: 15
    Hi Michelle ... Just curious
    Which dealer did you purchase your GV?
    I bought from Grossinger.
    What warranty did you purchase?
    Mine is Gold Warranty.

    Still enjoying my GV

  • rbalkrbalk Posts: 15
    There is a eGroups mailing list for the Suzuki
    Grand Vitara owners. You are welcome to subscribe.
    Only you can do is just send an email to with blank subject and message and then you are automatically subscribed. You can click and see for yourself.

    Good Luck and enjoy this mailing list.
  • dougf340dougf340 Posts: 9
    for MWIDELL, i had the same A/C condensation leak last summer during a long trip. The problem is that you need to bring it back to the dealership and tell them to add a resistor to the A/C unit, and to check to condensation hose (mine was all kinked up). Once the dealership added the 30 cent resistor and changed the defective condensation hose, the leak disapeared.
  • brown64brown64 Posts: 8
    i am wondering what kind of sound systems comes standard with the gv. what company makes their audio componet? what kind of speakers and how many watts? how many speakers are in the gv? what size are they? do they have a top of the line sound system in the gv limited or do they all have the same type of sound?

    what do you think of your sound system in your gv? good? awesome? poor?

    any info on this subject would be greatly appreaciated.

  • wendyhwendyh Posts: 1
    I bought my GV early last summer and have really enjoyed it (other than the tire issues others have mentioned). I drive about 60 miles a day commuting to work (highway all the way) and notice that on windy days its all I can do to keep the car moving in a straight line. Today I had one of the scariest drives of my life. It's a particulary gusty day in Pennsylvania today so I expected some problem not looking like drunk behind the wheel. However, not only did the wind have me swerving around, but I ended up entirely off the road and into the berm twice! The car felt like it had a life of its own--and I was scared for mine! Has anyone else had any experience with this. Could this have anything to do with the "junk" tires?

  • rbalkrbalk Posts: 15
    There is a eGroups mailing list for the Suzuki
    Grand Vitara owners. You are welcome to subscribe.
    Only you can do is just send an email to with blank
    subject and message and then you are automatically
    subscribed. You can click and
    see for yourself.
    Good Luck and enjoy this mailing list.
  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    I have a 1999 GV since September 1999 and I live in northern New Jersey. This SUV is like the Jimmy I drove before it in high crosswinds. Remember, you have a taller vehicle that is shorter in length than many cars. The key is to know that the winds are there and be prepared when you enter areas with open fields on either side of the road. In addition, I raised the tire pressure in mine from 26psi (dealer spec) to 32 or 34 psi to significantly improve directional stability. The key here is that the wind still tries to move the GV around but when I counter steer the effect is immediate. Lower tire pressure will not provide that instant corrective response. Mind you, the ride is a little harsher at 32psi or more but I think its still safer.

  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    My 1999 GV came with a Clarion AM/FM cassette unit with two 4 inch speakers in the front doors and a pair of 6x9 speakers mounted above the rear cargo area. It is not the best I have owned but not the worst either (that was from AMC in 1974). I have read comments on this and other lists about people changing everything or at least the speakers. I don't bother with that until they break and that hasn't happened at 8400 miles. One thing I do is adjust the Front/Rear Fade towards the Rear to take advantage of the larger speakers above the cargo area. Sound is fine when I commute. When we have friends with us, the radio is off anyway so they don't complain about it being to loud just behind them.

  • Anyone have the problem with thier rear wiper not sitting flat on the glass? Therefore when you use the wiper it's missing the middle part of the wipers surface area, and/or leaving streaks.
    I took it to the dealer here in Toronto with only 6,500Km on it so far and they told me that Suzuki doesn't cover window wipers in the warranty! Can you believe that???
    They then told me that is a design flaw in the wiper arm with not enough pressure being placed on the wiper blade itself so it can sit "flat" on the glass.
    Has anyone encountered this problem with there GV?
    or is the Dealership just hanging me a load of ----?
    They said they can't replace it,EVEN though I told them it was a problem from the beginning of delivery and it just didnt start up recently. They told me there is a aftermarket "spring-like " device that I could get to hold the arm down with a little more pressure on the window, but why should I have to do this if it was like this from the beginning?
    Any suggestions guys?
  • Heres the deal!! Every other day my air bag light comes on and stays on primarily when the car is cold. Why I don't know but even if I start the GV and turn off and then restart it the light comes back on! I've taken the car to the dealer 3 times once they couldn't douplicate the second they checked it out and said it's nothing. If it's nothing why does it stay on. The light is supposed to flash and then go off. Maybe some one can shed some light on this topic!
  • dougf340dougf340 Posts: 9
    for dtilden....i replaced my Bridgestones (which are the worst tires for the g.v.) at 10,000 miles. I bought four Yokohama Geolanders, there the same size and they actually have a tread pattern on them! it made a huge differnce in the way the truck handles. I got them at town fair tire near Boston and paid $110 per tire. I highly recommend them.
  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    My rear wiper did that at times when I first got the GV. I adjusted the wiper arm slightly so it pressed the entire blade against the windshield. Dealer should be able to do this if you don't want to. It's worked fine ever since the change.


    Airbag light bit can be a pain in the neck if you let it. Mine does that at times during winter. Only way dealer might be able to duplicate it is to have GV sit overnight in cold weather on their lot. When they start it following morning light might come on. I don't let it bother me because it only happens in cold weather and it GOES OUT completely after engine has warmed up inside of truck near that part of the dash. I think the problem is a loose relay contracts when it is cold in the circuit and causes the light to be displayed. When enough heat reaches the area where the relay is, the contact expands and the light goes out. It only happens when the ground temperature is below 35 degrees. It also only happens in the morning. After driving long enough with the heat on to heat the interior of the vehicle, turn off the engine. Then restart it and see if the light comes back on. I live with it because the odds of getting the dealer to duplicate it are worse than odds of winning the state lottery.

    99JLX+, Auto, ABS, 9010 miles
  • ddssjsk9ddssjsk9 Posts: 36
    Is this a dead subject on Vatari Vibe problems.
    Has everyone's vehicles been repaired, tired of
    complaining or posting somewhere else?????
  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    I don't know if all the Vitaras have been repaired and I have a Grand Vitara. However, you might want to pose the question on the Suzuki Grand Vitara list at and see what they have to say. Looking there might give you an answer also. Once there get into Egroups you need to register at no cost and then search for Suzuki Grand Vitara. We are always happy to welcome new members.

  • henry31henry31 Posts: 1
    Hi all. I heard that this is perhaps THE best site for checking out vehicles. I'm currently in the process of finding a new car, and I have narrowed it down to the Grand Vitara and the Ford Focus. I'm planning to test-drive aGV as soon as I can.

    My question is--why should I get the GV when the Chevy Tracker is the exact same thing for a little less.

    Thanks in advance!
  • dougf340dougf340 Posts: 9
    here's the answer to your question why you should get a gv instead of the Chevy tracker.....A V-6 MOTOR
    and stay away from the Ford
  • car19car19 Posts: 3
    Satisfying Performance
    courtesy of The Toronto Star
    March 20, 1999

    New Grand Vitara brings Suzuki back into the mainstream.

    Suzuki has an honourable history of making rugged little sport-utes that could use
    more power. Now, with a V6 under the hood of the all-new Grand Vitara, the
    problem is solved.

    Suzukis and I go back a long way. My first contact was with an SJ410 Samurai
    over 15 years ago. Equipped with a buzzy 1.0 L engine and a four-speed manual
    transmission, the vehicle was woefully inappropriate for cruising North American
    highways. But it sure was tough.

    Soon after, Suzuki brought us a revised Samurai, the SJ413. It was wider, rode a
    bit more smoothly and was motivated by a bulletproof 1.3 L engine - backed this
    time with an overdrive tranny - that still lacked power.

    Fast-forward to 1990, when I had a sneak preview of what would be the four-door
    Sidekick. Its 80 hp still wasn't enough. In 1992, computerized fuel injection brought
    power up to 95 hp - into the realm of the barely adequate. Although it lacked the
    snap and the reserves we Canadians prefer, the Sidekicks in both convertible and
    four-door format were charming vehicles that defined their class.
    My university-bound son Rob drove a JLX four-door and loved it.

    With other manufacturers rushing into the sport-cute class, Suzuki made a valiant,
    but foolish, attempt to maintain top spot in 1996 with the Sidekick Sport.
    Richly equipped and gussied up with plastic cladding, the Sport lost the purity of
    the original. And although it was certainly enthusiastic enough, the 1.8 L 120 hp
    four filled the cabin with racket.

    At the same time, Japan, the U.K. and other drive-on-the-left countries received an
    otherwise-identical Vitara Sport equipped with a 2.0 L V6. A good friend in
    Bermuda owns one and it is both quiet and quick.

    For 1999, Suzuki brings the V6 and Vitara nameplate to North America and takes
    up the challenge again with an all-new double-downsized sport-utility - a direct
    replacement for the Sidekick Sport - dubbed the Grand Vitara.

    The styling works. Gone is the endearingly clunky but dated look of the Sidekick.
    The shape is now aeroform and modern. On the Grand Vitara, the luxo touches of
    colour-keyed plastic cladding and wheel opening flares are still with us. But the
    solid stance and tall greenhouse have also been preserved and the
    adventuresome, purposeful spirit of the original four-door Sidekick has resurfaced.
    I'd call it handsome. But those of a certain age and gender will likely see plenty of
    cute in it.

    Suzuki has also introduced a less grand Vitara - built in Ingersoll alongside the
    similar Chevrolet Tracker - powered by a 127 hp 2.0 L four. The Vitara and Tracker
    are available in either two-door convertible or four-door hardtop versions.

    A fully loaded Grand Vitara JLX with a five-speed manual lists at $26,495, with auto
    it's $27,995. The less-loaded JX comes in at $23,495 and $24,995.

    Although the successful combination of sleek and cute will likely sell a lot of
    Suzukis, it is the Grand Vitara's quad-cam, 24-valve V6 engine - punched out to
    2.5 L and delivering 155 hp and 160 lb-ft of torque - that will regain the coveted top
    spot in the niche for the Japanese manufacturer.

    Notwithstanding that the V6 has no competition, it is a marvel in its own right -
    built with all the weight-trimming technologies that Suzuki has borrowed from its
    motorcycle experience (thin wall this, hollow that). Performance with the
    four-speed overdrive automatic is satisfying, at last.

    The Vitara scoots through traffic, completes highway passing manoeuvres with
    poise and displays a sense of self-assurance that no previous Suzuki 4x4 had.
    Weather conditions during our test period eliminated the chance for normal
    acceleration and fuel-use tests, but at the Car of the Year testing last fall, AJAC
    recorded an official 0-100 km/h time of 10.7 seconds with a manual transmission.

    Transport Canada fuel consumption estimates (automatic tranny) are 12.6 L/100
    km in the city and 10.2 L/100 km on the highway.

    What we did get to try during that period were all manner of snow and off-road
    challenges. In these, the Vitara excelled. Four-wheel drive can now be engaged
    on-the-fly up to 100 km/h. But what you are engaging remains a simple direct-drive
    system which, for my money, still out-performs sophisticated full-time

    I tried hard to get stuck, but failed. Avoidance manoeuvres on a snow-packed
    parking lot again revealed the worth of four-wheel ABS - providing you know how to
    use it. Mumbling along in low range on an icy and convoluted off-road trail proved
    to me that the latest Suzuki has lost none of the wilderness talents made famous
    by its predecessors.

    And, with that, I should point out that the Grand Vitara remains the only true 4x4
    truck in its class aside from the two-door-only Jeep TJ. The others - Honda CR-V,
    Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester - are cars with truck-like bodywork. The Vitara
    continues to use a separate body joined to a full boxed ladder frame. Ladder
    frames are both blessing and curse. They're strong and durable, but they flex and

    The flexing directs some of the torsion to the body structure, creating creaks -
    ultimately rattles and misalignment of panels - and it plays hob with the engineers'
    attempts to tune the suspension. Earlier Suzuki 4x4s fell prey to both of these.
    But the designers, apparently with an eye to the Third World, steadfastly
    maintained that the vehicle's off-road skills were due in part to the frame's

    I didn't buy that. I felt that the previous models' road-going behaviour and body
    integrity were being compromised in favour of unpaved travel. Which leaves me in a
    quandary. I'm one of few folks who go off-roading and, when I do, I'd like
    it to be in something as capable as a Suzuki. My son spends a lot of time
    bad-roading and I'd like him to be in something that handles predictably.

    On the Grand Vitara, the cabin structure is rigid and isolated from the frame's
    motions, eliminating squeaks, creaks and wear. Remarkably, this frame does
    seem to work in concert with the MacPherson struts up front and the well-located
    coil-sprung solid axle at the back. As a result, the newest compact 4x4 provides
    competent handling both on and off the road.

    I'm a believer.

    Suzuki gets one of my gold stars.

    Freelance journalist Cam McRae, who writes on light trucks
    and vans, prepared his assessment based on long driving
    experiences in a Grand Vitara supplied by Suzuki Canada.
  • gone2seagone2sea Posts: 33

    I have 10,000 miles on my GV. It replaced a 1995 Jimmy because I simply was fed up with General Motors and wanted to stay away from anything related to them. However, the GV behaves exactly like the Jimmy it replaced because the engine to weight ratio is identical. It also tows 3,000 pounds with ease even though the North American rating is 1,500 pounds (it's rated at 4,000 everywhere else). Best of all, it has a strong V6 engine, a weight distribution of 53% front 47% rear (it rarely spins rear wheels even in heavy rain in 2WD), and is an absolute breeze to park. Lastly, at 10,000 miles I am getting 23 to 24 miles per gallon in mixed highway / city / and rush hour driving. Never got that from a Jimmy.

    Hope this helps.

  • twogvs1twogvs1 Posts: 1
    My 1999 GVJLX was replaced in Nov by Suzuki Canada with a 2000same.The new one came with after market alloys and Michelin Mxv4+ tires.It shakes shimmies and wobbles too but not as bad.Bridgestone tires are not the only problem.Does anyone know more about a problem with 4wd release mechanisms?Do I have to wait for a recall?Help!
  • ddssjsk9ddssjsk9 Posts: 36
    I had my 1999 Chev Tracker bought back for vibration problems. Chevrolet still maintains
    vehicle's are operating as designed. I guess they
    are saying the vibration is a design element. ???
    Who knows? If I were you I would file for buyback
    on the second one, but ask for a refund this time.
    You would not be the first person that has
    received buyback on the second vehicle.
  • bouybouy Posts: 14
    Can you please tell me what type of vibration problem you had on your tracker, at what speeds and how loud was it? My Tracker has had a vibration problem for a long time. The Chevy dealer I went to also maitains it is a design element! Also how did you go about returning your Tracker if they were so stubborn. Please E-mail me at
  • gvownergvowner Posts: 1
    As a new '99 GV owner (okay, almost new), I am very happy with the vehicle. It does everything at least well, and some things very well. I test drove all the SUVs in its class and thought the GV competed with all of them on many levels (regardless of price).

    I have spent a lot of time driving a Porsche Boxster and I own a Volvo 850 turbo wagon, both cars are very enjoyable (and different). Even when compared to them I still think the Suzuki GV is a very good vehicle.
  • i am looking for a small suv for my very responsible 16 1/2 yr old daughter & i am wondering if this is a good veh? is it safe? are there any maintenance problems? what is the general experience outthere? i live in glendale & i could not locate a dealer close enough & i wonder where do i take the veh for service and maintenance? any comments would be helpful. thx
  • doody0599doody0599 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of purchasing a 2-door vitara. Most of the postings discuss the GV...Does anyone have a 2-door convertible vitara that they can comment on?
  • tominnovatominnova Posts: 1
    Does anyone have a feel for the benefits of going with the extra cost for a GV Ltd. ? Also like to know if anyone has heard of any GV changes in the offing for the 2001 GV ?
  • has anyone done anything to up grade the performance of thier gv? i would like to up grade to a better air filter or some form of induction. and also some exhaust upgrades.
Sign In or Register to comment.