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2005-2017 Suzuki Grand Vitara
The compact SUV market evolved throughout the years. Previous models used to be truck-like but with the changing market demands as well as trends, they have to ride on car-based platforms which may limit appeal to several segments but then you cannot please everyone.
One compact ute that had stayed true to its form is the Grand Vitara, which remained a rugged image despite its competitors that had gone curvy. On its third iteration which was first introduced in 2005, it utilized a GM platform but all the rest are done by Suzuki independently. It had a run for 12 years straight with multiple updates throughout to keep this vehicle fresh, with rivals having two generation models with that year length. After a long time, most markets receive the fresher fourth generation model which had transitioned to a car-based platform and became shorter than it was before.
A stalwart ever since Suzuki had set shop or in some cases, the term “compact SUV” was invented locally, the third generation Grand Vitara was first introduced to the Philippine market in August 2005 in the form of a 2.0 4WD model available in both manual or automatic transmission. Throughout selling life, updates from engine upgrades (and additional ones) are done and for 2014, the sole model was is a 2.4 2WD with a Special Edition model added months later. There may be remaining stocks for this car but Japan had stopped production of this car.
Value and Costs
For 12 years straight and apart with some minimal changes, focus on the general condition of the vehicle more especially the engines are unchanged. If you are interested in a small SUV with off-road capabilities, this vehicle will set you back between P335,000 for early models released ten years ago to P800,000 among later models. If you want 4WD, only the 2.4 does not have it so hunt for other engine displacements.
Keeping this baby won’t set you back big bucks nor your kidney but Suzuki parts cost more than the average Japanese competition. Problem points for this vehicle involve the aircon and the engine support, so have these checked prior to buying. As an economical choice, this isn’t the one since city driving will fall below 10kms to a liter and the V6 drinks more than a drunken man.
Exterior and Interior
Timeless looks and a rugged exterior makes this SUV silently stands out in a crowd. Throughout the years, the grille was changed only once. Let us leave the design alone which speaks for itself.
Going inside, this vehicle will treat you to lots of space which can fit five people comfortably. The interior controls are logically placed but some interior touches feel cheap, despite the fact this one is a CBU from Japan. Despite buying a later model year unit, you will feel that you are in something from a decade ago. Just imagine this: you have an iPhone X but the specifications come from earlier model releases.
Four engines (of gasoline descent) were offered throughout selling life and we will detail them one by one. For 2005 til August 2008, the base engine is a 2.0 4-cylinder with 145hp at 6,000rpm and 193Nm at 4,000rpm until an update had a 2.4 having 168hp at 6,000rpm and 227Nm at 3,800rpm fitted under the hood. To compete with the likes of the higher end models of the Mitsubishi Outlander and Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, two V6 power plants were made available: From 2006 to 2008, there’s a 2.7 engine having 185hp at 6,000rpm and 250Nm at 4,500rpm while from 2009 to 2012, a larger 3.2 V6 utilizing 230hp at 6,200rpm and 288Nm at 3,500rpm. Enough of the numbers, let us delve how do they perform in the real world. The 2.0 is sluggish at first but gets going when it gains momentum, the 2.4 is the best choice as it provides a sweet spot, and both V6 are quick enough to accelerate and to drink fuel. Our pick? The 2.4 engine.
Compared to the modern competition, you will feel that this car is from a different time era which masquerades itself as a modern person. A bumpy ride coupled to a decent handling feel, this one wouldn’t you consider as something modern.
Being different is not a bad thing but fitting in to the modern world while retaining your old image is something a feat. While the GV has its own virtues, it has to evolve and adapt to keep up with the modern times but having an old image isn’t something bad, just a limited appeal.
- Cavernous cabin
- Excellent off-road
- One of the last authentic truck based compact SUVs
- Laggy automatic
- Firm ride
- Some cheap interior trim
The Pick: 2.4
Engine: 1,995cc J20 and 2,393cc J24B I4, 2,736 H27A and 3,195cc N32A V6 gasoline
Power: 145hp @ 6,000rpm (2.0), 168hp @ 6,000rpm (2.4), 185hp @ 6,000rpm (2.7), 230hp @ 6,200rpm (3.2)
Torque: 193Nm @ 4,000rpm (2.0), 227Nm @ 3,800rpm (2.4), 250Nm @ 4,500rpm (2.7), 288hp @ 3,500rpm (3.2)
Fuel Consumption: 4.5-10km/L (city), 9-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (2.0), 4-speed automatic (4-cylinder models), 5-speed automatic (6-cylinder models)
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi link
Price (New): P1,160,000-P1,700,000
Price (Now): P335,000-P800,000
On Sale: 2005-2017
Rivals: Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4
Suzuki Auto E. Rodriguez – (02) 726-2709