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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Overview
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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

By

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 5.0
  • 4.7
  • 5.7
  • 4.5
  • 5.7
  • 7.8
How It Ranks

#9

out of 11

Fuel Economy

#5

out of 11

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.2 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view 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
2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Engine photo

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)

Pricing Notes

A base 2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara with rear-wheel drive and manual transmission starts at $20,799. A Premium model in RWD (automatic only) runs $23,199, and a Limited, $25,299. Specifying 4-wheel drive adds about $1,500. A top-of-the-line Limited model with 4WD and a good selection of accessories can push $30,000. At these prices the Grand Vitara is competitive, but not the screaming deal it used to be. The base Subaru Forester and the Mazda CX-5, for a couple of examples, are only about $1,000 more, while the ever-popular and better-equipped Honda CR-V starts just over $23,000, as does the Toyota RAV4. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are paying for the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Down the road, the Grand Vitara's resale value will be among the lowest in this segment, a reality that's made worse by Suzuki's U.S. bankruptcy and the fact that the company has decided to stop selling cars in the States.

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2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 196 Ratings for the 2006 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

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."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

170k miles with no issues!!

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

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: "Everything!!"

Cons: "Nothing comes to mind any more"

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

"This is my annual review of the vehicle. Last review Feb '13 at 145k. '07 Grand Vitara survives another brutal winter in Northern Mi in style. This is the most amazing vehicle ever. Finally, a minor maintenance issue: insignificant leaks from rear axle seal and transfer case. Cost $320. Not bad after 7 yrs and 170k miles. Suzuki pulls out of US market. GM posts record profits amidst major recalls. You be the judge."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love this vehicle!

By on Thursday, January 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Value, back seats fold down, I sit up high"

Cons: "3 point steering wheel, inadequate visors."

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

"Bought it new in 2006, still driving and loving it 8 years later! Everything fits in the back, love it!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best car in the world

By on Sunday, November 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handles like sports car;so reliable;best value"

Cons: "Noisy on the freeway - Meh"

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

"I LOVE this car. Hate to see it getting old, but I'm not giving it up. It's a perfect vehicle for me. If you ever get a chance to own one, DO IT. Don't think twice. My only complaint is that it is noisy on the freeway. Big deal. In the scheme of things, that matters about 1%, while all the positives about the car are the other 99%. It's got room for people, for cargo, for BOTH. Good gas mileage. Good looking. VERY reliable - never lets me down; even runs on fumes and keeps going when I've neglected it for short periods. Get one and never let it go."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great small SUV. Gas millage good for AWD

By on Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Just an excellent all round vehicle."

Cons: "none that I can think of!"

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

"I bought this vehicle when I became a travel nurse, moving from state to state with 2 dogs in tow. It had enough room to take us and our belongings anywhere including Nebraska in winter where I used the 4 wheel drive often in the deep snow.Incredibly reliable I never felt insecure when I traveled. Comes highly recommended by me."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Husband really loved this vehicle

By on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great drivability; good vision"

Cons: "Headrest awkward for short people; ugly a/c contro"

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

"My husband had a 07 Suzuki Gran Vitara. HE LOVED IT. I had problems with the headrest as I am short & it hit the middle of my head moving it forward. The a/c controls are ugly and not really as functional as some other vehicles. Drives very well; handles well; had an issue with the rear drive shaft in the first year but other than that not anything but brake check; mechanic said great brakes; heavy duty and strength of what is equivalent to Suburbans. Mechanic said suzukis do not come in for repair; very dependable vehicles. Vehicle was totaled by a drunk driver and husband was devastated. Could not find another used one to replace it with so we bought Ford explorer. I do not like driving the Ford."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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