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Only minor changes are in store for 2012 Grand Vitara models, including a slightly modified tailgate design (that nixes the spare tire on some models) and upgrades to the navigation system that include voice recognition and information such as traffic and weather updates.
A Garmin-based navigation system was made standard in 2010, positioning the Grand Vitara as America's most affordable SUV with nav. For 2011 they've updated the Garmin to the 1600 system; it now includes a host of services, including real-time traffic, weather forecast, movie search, flight info and lowest gas price. They've also - and more notably - eliminated the V6 powerplant.
Following in the tire tracks of the successful SX4, the Grand Vitara receives a built-in Garmin navigation unit with Bluetooth capability as standard equipment. Owners can upgrade to the MSN suite of features that includes gas prices, movie times, weather/traffic updates and much more.
Along with a revised front end, the 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara touts two new engines: a 2.4-liter four cylinder and a 3.2-liter V6. Interior improvements include illuminated steering wheel controls, a sliding feature added to the center armrest and sun visors and improved ventilation and audio controls.
*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.
By Roddy on Monday, October 20, 2008
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
"Overall excellent rating as GV has been very reliable, plenty of power, decent gas mileage, great styling, teriffic value compared to RAV4 or CRV. Couple this with excellent factory warranty and you have a great value. Only complaint is the amount of road noise that drums in from the tires. Hoping when I change to a better quality tire (from factory original Yokohamas), road noise will diminish. It's quite loud down the freeway at 65mph!"
13 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Greek on Sunday, February 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "Oil consumption"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my fourth Suzuki, three previous ones in Europe. Bought brand new. Only two flaws; axle too narrow for carefree freeway driving on ice but a good set of tires takes care of that problem, and, significant oil consumption but apparently lubricating well all moving parts. Other than that, the most maintenance free vehicle you will ever buy. Tougher than nails, you just can't break them. We tested their off-road capabilities extensively in a 4x4 club. Six cylinder incredibly smooth, coupled with an amazing tranny. 4x4 system ahead of its time. 22mpg average. Looks also ahead of its time; still one of the best looking SUVs on the road. I can't believe Americans have not embraced brand. Of course Suzuki is pulling out of North America- they can't make money if their cars don't break down and still look good after six years. By the way, after six years of operation in Northern Michigan with snow/ice/salt/road grime, there is NO RUST. Rusting Suzukis is a big myth!!"
12 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By SnowQueen on Saturday, December 08, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Low cost to maintain, great control in snow"
Cons: "somewhat frequent brake replacement"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second Suzuki auto built in Japan, sold in US. The price was practically a steal. The vehicle is the best for winter driving w/ full-time AWD and 4WD option for greater control. My first Suzuki gave me 274,000 awesome driving miles with extremely low maintenance costs over the lifetime. This car is proving to be just as good a value, though brake replacement is more frequent than I would expect. Also, very impressed with the gas mileage (considering the AWD/4WD) and its power going up hills. So disappointed Suzuki has decided not to continue auto sales in US. I had committed to this brand for life for its value and reliability. I would especially recommend this car for young drivers for its low maintenance costs, reliability, safety, control"
11 people out of 11 found this review helpful