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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Overview
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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.0

*Important Note: Please be aware that Suzuki has filed for bankruptcy protection and is shutting down its car business in the U.S.

The 2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara can get lost in the compact SUV segment. Competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 sell in droves, while Suzuki's lone SUV is often missed. Though given a mild facelift this year, the GV still relies on a rather dated powertrain and can struggle to compete in this hot segment of the market. Yet the GV is not without its merits. Its starting price below $21,000 makes it one of the most affordable of the few compact SUVs that are genuinely capable off-road. And the 4-Mode 4WD system on the Limited model is especially good with low-range gearing that helps it in the rough and a flat-towing mode that's perfect for RV owners.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a small and affordable SUV that's rear-wheel drive (RWD), or one that offers low-range gearing in 4-wheel drive (4WD) for better off-road capability, the Grand Vitara could be it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Realistically, the Grand Vitara lacks the power, fuel economy, sophistication and dealer-network support of competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. And if serious off-roading is your thing, a Jeep Liberty or Nissan Xterra might suit you better.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Suzuki Grand Vitara gets a modest facelift, with a new grille and fascia, as well as some new interior materials and colors. The navigation and infotainment system also gets some upgrades.

Driving the Grand Vitara

Driving Impressions Suzuki's Grand Vitara is a suitable partner for short commutes or longer journeys, especially if off-pavement excursions are involved. The GV's unusual integrated unit body with reinforcing ladder frame creates...

a rigid platform, and its 4-wheel independent suspension feels well-controlled. Athletic it's not, and with only one engine option good for just 166 horsepower, it's near the bottom of its class in terms of sheer power output. The GV does have precise steering and a relatively tight turning radius of 36 feet, which means better access to parking spaces and fewer 3-point turns. One of the Grand Vitara's high points is the 4-mode 4-wheel-drive system in top-of-the-line Limited model – it makes the little SUV surprisingly adept at rolling through snow, mud and rocks.

4-MODE FULL-TIME 4WD
Available only on the high-line Limited version of the Grand Vitara, this system stands out among the current crop of small SUVs and "soft-roaders" because it has low-range gearing in the transfer case – something usually reserved for serious-duty off-road vehicles.

NAVIGATION SYSTEM
Every trim level of the Grand Vitara comes with an integrated touch-screen navigation system that also relays traffic information, gas prices, flight times and other useful, up-to-the-minute information.

2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Details
2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara photo Interior

The 2013 Grand Vitara has a pleasant, functional interior that can seat up to five in its two rows. The cabin design is not overly exciting, but neither is it complicated. Cloth seating is standard, with leather available in Limited versions. Hard plastic remains, but gauges and dials are easy to read and the large rotary controls for the audio and climate systems are easy to manage, even with gloves on. Fold-and-tumble rear seats help create plenty of space for cargo or large, awkward items.

Exterior
2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara photo

Suzuki's 2013 Grand Vitara has traditional SUV looks: Boxy, confident and exuding strength. It has some sharp angles – especially in the new front end – that stand in contrast to the curvy looks common on many other small SUVs. The vehicle features 7.4 inches of ground clearance, giving it a purposeful look as well as real off-pavement capability. An old-fashioned swing-out rear door can make loading cargo a hassle if parked on the curb in a tight space. Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard on the base model, with 16-inch aluminum-alloys on the Premium trim, and 18-inch alloys on the Limited.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The biggest surprise about the 2013 Grand Vitara is that even base models come with an upgraded touch-screen navigation system that is an asset for not just finding the best route to your destination, but for obtaining movie times, the weather forecast and more. All GVs also come with automatic climate control, automatic headlights, keyless entry and 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite radio.

Optional Equipment

Most options for the Grand Vitara are bundled with trim levels. Premium trim models add cruise control, Bluetooth and available full-time 4-wheel drive. Top-of-the-line Limited Grand Vitaras have a power sunroof, leather seats, a premium 7-speaker audio system with subwoofer, and 18-inch wheels. Limited models are the only versions available with the excellent 4-mode 4-wheel-drive system.

Under the Hood

Since dropping the V6 option after the 2010 model year, the Grand Vitara offers a single engine choice: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 166 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Though adequate for a vehicle of this size and weight, there is no escaping the fact the Grand Vitara's engine and 4-speed automatic transmission are only barely competitive in the class. Base models are linked to a 5-speed manual transmission (and RWD only), earning a respectable 26 mpg on the highway. Two 4-wheel-drive systems are used, a conventional full-time version on the Premium trim level and the more capable and sophisticated 4-Mode 4WD, with low-range gearing, on the Limited.

2.4-liter inline-4
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (manual, RWD), 19/25 mpg (automatic, RWD), 19/23 mpg (automatic, 4WD)

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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 201 Ratings for the 2006 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

I love this car. It's been a great car.

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"would but another one if there was a dealership in town. Best car I have had in a SUV, loved everything about it. Having multiple CD player is the only way, I am not into MP3."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

It has been reliable and comfortable.

By on Sunday, June 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "4wd great and climate control great."

Cons: "Windows fog up."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"After looking at the interior or Rav 4 while shopping for a new car, the Rav4 and Grand Vitara look similar, they have the same features."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Excellent Value and Reliability

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great ride. Comfortable seating. Luxury feel."

Cons: "low beams mainly (read review) Only 19mpg Highway"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought brand new with 7 miles on the odometer in March '06. In more than 8 years I have replaced tires ($700), & Cat. Converter ($900). Minor cheap maintenance such as alignments, and oil changes w/tire rotations. Battery replaced ($100) after 6 years. My wife would constantly leave interior lights on throughout the night, so... NO Engine issues. NO tranny issues. NO electrical issues EVER. In fact the transmission shifts so smoothly I have to listen for it. I have leather seats that are SO comfortable. I have seen bmws, lexus, etc. with leather seats that start to fade, crack, split and look terrible after 80K, but NOT my Suzuki. After I clean/condition it, it still looks brand new and firm even when approaching 110K! The car runs strong even after 3 accidents. Yes, 3. I was never at fault, and the car was in the body shop for a TOTAL of 8 weeks. After all the body repairs, this car still runs like the day I got it! My title will most likely be a "salvage", but I really don't care. The car took 2 rear end hits and a fender bender like it was no big deal. Never been garaged or overly pampered. The OEM tires need to be replaced as soon as you can! Buy a good set and it will transform your car and will actually last a lot longer than the ones that came on the GV (yokohomo, IIRC) My key FOB is great. It senses where keys are. You cant lock your keys in the car! Its impossible. Unlocking it requires me to be close to the car. It senses the key in my pocket. Cons: (Known issues with these GV) - I feel its a little "noisy" in the cabin. Not a lot. Music will drown that out quickly. - Alignments can be tricky. Expect 2/yr. I had to tell the Suzuki dealer that there is a new alignment spec for these cars. They kept going until they got it right. - Low beam headlights aren't the brightest, even with aftermarket bulbs. Its common with these cars to go through bulbs quite frequently. I can go 3-8 months between bulb changes. - Small issue, but I WISH it chimed when the gas gets low. The only indicator is a small orange light. -The car comes with something that I refer to as "Downhill Brake Assist". When you are traveling down a hill, and begin to brake, the car will drop gear for you to prevent you from accidentally losing control I guess. While not really an issue, it takes a while to get used to this! That's it. Good in snow w/o snow tires. Great in heavy rain with good rain tires. I strongly recommend buying one!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great little vehicle

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great small SUV, very roomy, great on gas."

Cons: "Slow on the take off! But great on straight away."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had this SUV seven years it has started everyday, very reliable. It's great on gas. The only thing I have replaced are tires in seven years. I have to admit its a little slow on the take-off, but fast on the straight away."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Never neededanything other than normal maintenance

By on Monday, April 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "easy to drive & park"

Cons: "prefer better mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is very dependable and never required anything but normal maintenance - basically oil changes, wipers & headlights."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Solid, dependable, comfortable, unstoppable

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good on gas and full of luxury features"

Cons: "Oil filter is in the most unreachable spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife drives this SUV through snow and slush all winter long. I put Michelins on it instead of the junk OEM tires and nothing can stop this vehicle."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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