By KBB.com Editors
In 2007 Suzuki introduced two timely new vehicles, including the crossover XL7, and celebrating a marked increase in sales. Crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), built on car-like unibodies and with some attributes of both minivans and SUVs, are outstripping SUVs in popularity and the sleek XL7 joins the crossover segment as a modern, style-conscious seven-passenger vehicle with optional all-wheel drive and excellent fuel economy. There are four trim levels: Base, Premium, Luxury and Limited.
You'll like the 2008 Suzuki XL7 if you enjoy a mobile lifestyle, want flexible seating, need plenty of horsepower and torque for towing light-to-moderate loads, such as jet skis, and don't want to break the family budget. For weekend off-roaders who find gravel roads exhilarating, the XL7 all-wheel-drive can deliver power to all four wheels full-time.
You may not like the limited rear view through the tailgate window and, if you need to tow bigger loads, you'll have to look somewhere else.
A new, lower-cost five-passenger front-wheel-drive base model joins the line-up. A rear-vision camera is now available, but only on the Limited trim level.
Driving Impressions The sedan-like quality of driving the 2008 Suzuki XL7 is evident from the start, and it's easy to forget there is space for six passengers. Steering is responsive, even on...unpaved roads. Driving on a patch of severe washboard road there was, naturally, some shake and vibration but the XL7 Limited we tested ran straight and sure, thanks in part to the self-leveling rear shock absorbers. The handling is easy and precise, with minimal body lean, and braking is strong and responsive. The manumatic, which allows the driver to manually shift up or down by tapping the shifter, is an excellent, easily-operated assist system and welcome on steep hills. Despite its size and heft, the XL7 provides a quiet ride with barely discernable wind noise. The all-wheel-drive system in its three modes -- two-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive Lock -- operates effortlessly.
Cool weather means cold seats, but from a distance of 200 yards they can be warmed up in advance using the XL7's remote start, which automatically starts the engine and warms up the heater when the outside temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Automatic transmissions are way ahead of manuals in popularity but appropriate shifting with the manumatic can enhance control and, on downhill runs, save brake wear, as well.
As plush as its price allows, the interior is entry-level luxury. Spacious, comfortable second-row seats recline and flip down. The front passenger seat, and the optional third-row seat, both fold flat to provide extra cargo space. Tall passengers will appreciate the headroom, but riders in the third row may find the legroom restrictive. For road warriors, the four 12-volt power outlets provide power for electronic devices and the cockpit-style dash is compact and friendly. Door openings are wide, even for entering the third row. Fully equipped, with a functional cabin to suit most needs, the XL7 offers four trim levels, three of which are available in both five and seven-passenger versions. Very little road noise disturbs riders, although a louder turn signal might better remind drivers to turn it off when no longer needed.Exterior
With a styling combination of SUV and station wagon, the sleek 2008 Suzuki XL7 has a balanced exterior with triangular headlamps among its most noticeable features. Clean lines and muscular wheel arches identify the XL7 with the midsize crossover segment. Integrated roof racks, a high-rise tailgate and a dignified grille add up to an attractive vehicle.
An emphasis on protective features defines the front-wheel-drive XL7 as a vehicle for 35- to 45-year olds who are concerned about family safety. Front and side-curtain airbags for all rows lead the list, along with a rollover sensor, electronic stability control with traction control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, automatic transmission with manumatic shift, remote entry, cruise control and four 12-volt outlets. On the models with three rows of seats, self-leveling suspension and rear air conditioning are standard.
The Premium model offers seven passenger seating and all-wheel drive, while Luxury-model options include DVD entertainment, a sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Moving up to the flagship Limited version, there's an available touchscreen navigation system with the option of a rear-vision camera.
The engine on all three models is a 3.6-liter V6 designed by General Motors and built by Suzuki in Japan, matched to a five-speed automatic/manumatic transmission that provides all the driving modes most drivers will ever need. One liter larger than its predecessor, the bigger and more powerful engine nevertheless delivers equal or better fuel economy.
252 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
243 lb.-ft. torque @ 2300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/22 (AWD)
By EMLR (OR) on Friday, June 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car with 3,000 miles on it, it had been a rental car. Mine is a 2008 model. Other than the standard maintenance, I have not had to put one penny into it. It runs great, drives great, decent on gas, can't think of one bad thing to say about it."
By SawMeComing (CO) on Friday, June 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Peppy engine"
Cons: "electrical design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Most electrical issues I have ever had with a car. Constant radio/turn-signal issues. Heater needs to be reset by pulling fuse, same with traction control, and ABS... Engine runs good, and it is paid for now."
By Carly (NM) on Tuesday, June 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, easy to drive, lots of extras"
Cons: "the 1 thing i'd hope for is more storage up front"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this vehicle brand new, and i've had absolutely no issues with it! (knock on wood!) Anyway, this vehicle is so plush and comfortable, i wouldn't have it any other way! It tells me if anything is wrong with it, and it's fixed immediately. I have no complaints, i would recommend it in a heartbeat. I know the XL7's aren't being made anymore, but used i would recommend it absolutely! I've never owned a luxury vehicle, and this Suzuki is amazing! I feel so spoiled by it!"
By llosaw (VT) on Saturday, May 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price luxurious"
Cons: "3rd row set up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We bought our XL7 used with only 30k miles on it and we LOVE IT!! the only complaint I have is the way the 3rd row seating is set up. Like many SUV's with 3rd row it does not have the split captains chairs for easy access to the 3rd row. and with a car seat in the back it makes almost impossible to get into the 3rd row easily. otherwise this vehicle is a great option and is reasonably priced."
By Chaz (NY) on Saturday, March 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and vaule used! Fits in our Garage."
Cons: "Not much..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Best kept secret! A 3 row SUV that fits in our garage! Our XL7 is white. We always get compliments on how nice looking it is. Very peppy accelleration. Gas mileage in the real world is exactly as rated. Even with Ethanol. We bought this vehicle very well "loaded" with 4000 miles for $16,000. Low resale mean low cost to us. We never planned on flipping it. Not having ever owned a suzuki/gm product we can honestly say we love it. Very comfortable on long trips. The third seat is tight as expected BUT super convenient to have. Excellent cargo space. Is it perfect? Does it have the best of materials… no but very acceptable. Best of all it fits on our garage and we do not need to fold our mirrors in! You cannot beat the value!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By neveragain (OR) on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "level ride system"
Cons: "expensive parts when something does go wrong"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"its comfortable for long trips and the level ride system helps on the gas. It is/was a great car. loved the color and the overall proformance on the road. Only problem is the parts are expensive if/when they need replaced and the labor is extremely extensive."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful