By KBB.com Editors
In 2007 Suzuki introduced two timely new vehicles, including the crossover XL7, and celebrated a marked increase in sales. The current fluctuation in fuel costs and slow down in big SUV sales actually bodes well for Suzuki, as many Americans are looking to move to smaller, more fuel-efficient versions of their big SUVs. Crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) like the 2009 XL7 are built on car-like unibodies and have some attributes of both minivans and SUVs. 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 three trim levels: Premium, Luxury and Limited.
You'll like the 2009 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 six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode helps improve both fuel economy and performance. The Base trim is dropped from the lineup.
Driving Impressions The sedan-like quality of driving the 2009 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 fairly quiet ride with barely discernable wind noise but some noticeable engine roar inside the cabin. 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 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 three trim levels, all of which offer seven-passenger seating.Exterior
With a styling combination of SUV and station wagon, the sleek 2009 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 individuals 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. Premium trims include front and rear air conditioning controls, automatic transmission with manumatic shift, remote entry, a self-leveling suspension, cruise control and four 12-volt outlets. The Luxury trim adds leather seating, heated front seats and a power sunroof, while the Limited receives DVD navigation, a Pioneer audio system with seven speakers, remote start and 17-inch chrome wheels.
Options include all-wheel drive, which adds heated side mirrors to any model. Limited models offer a DVD entertainment system in lieu of the power sunroof.
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 six-speed automatic/manumatic transmission that provides all the driving modes most drivers will ever need.
252 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
243 lb.-ft. torque @ 2300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By TomP on Thursday, January 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality car for price."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Car has been used since retirement for 7 years traveling all over the US. Great comfort and easy to drive for me, now age 70. No problems, but do change oil regularly and results is a great car. I am so sorry they do no longer sale this car in US."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By begreattransform on Sunday, November 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, comfortable, fast on the highway"
Cons: "sun roof leaking, expensive parts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"We get my car in 2010 and it was amazing buy - we paid only 14K for XL7/2008. The comfort inside the car is absolutely outstanding, it is the most comfortable SUV I ever saw. The only real issues I had with my car were actually two things: the sun-roof and the windows. Never again I will buy the vehicle with a sun-roof, last repair cost was 780$, and it was leaking at least once in three months. And as they told me at the service - it was NOT covered under the warranty. Front windows were another issue for me at least three times over the last two years. I am thinking today about changing my vehicle mostly because Suzuki as company is out of US, and parts are getting so hard to find now or they are very expensive. I can recommend this car as a great and most comfortable SUV, but cant really recommend because the maintenance will be a real challenge."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Pk on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas mileage, seats 7. Tons of features."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great 7 seater with lots of options. Very reliable. Received many compliments, sharp looking vehicle with chrome wheels"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Suzuki XL7 on Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "The wife loves it."
Cons: "Engine, no dealers around anymore to repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Had to have the engine head replaced at 53000 due to faulty oil pump. Major leak from Sunroof, which the dealer could not figure out, but i did. Check Engine light comes on at random because of gas cap. If i didn't have to keep it, it would be gone."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Sally on Saturday, May 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe SUV to drive. Other people see you coming."
Cons: "Repairs cost outside regular maintance is $$$$$$"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"For a big SUV it drives like a dream. I have owned this car 7 years and have 105,000 miles on it. I get 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. I keep Good tires on it and always keep up with the services. The DVD is great with head set for kids and a remote. Leather seats, and OK Music system and CD. It has been a great car. I sometimes forget it is a big SUV. Very Comfortable seats with heated options too. I have always owned Hondas but this car took me by surprise. I got it as a trade in from a dealership my spouse worked at with 7,000 miles on it. Very nice car with lots of room and seats 7 people."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ray on Thursday, May 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"When I buy my next car it will be a Suzuki if I can find a dealer that sells them,we don't have a dealer of these cars any place close."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful