Suzuki Grand Vitara Performance
Most critics feel the 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara's performance is good enough, though not outstanding. Motor Trend says that "despite excellent off-roadability, the changes with the new model give it much more show than go."
Though the standard V6 engine is good enough for about-town travel, thesays it "works hard to propel the SUV to highway speeds or up hills."
Acceleration and Power
The Suzuki Grand Vitara comes standard with a 185-horsepower, 2.7-liter, 24-valve DOHC V6 engine that makes 184 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm, which is 500 revolutions higher than most of the competition. Autoweb thinks that "torque may be the culprit when it comes to what feels like a lack of power."
Critics agree that the Grand Vitara's performance has improved over earlier models. But many, like Autoweb, say "the Grand Vitara's biggest downfall is its lack of power," while Cars.com adds "acceleration is good but not stunning." Automobile Magazine agrees and says "while the Grand Vitara is no longer desperately underpowered, it's still not as spry as a V-6 Ford Escape."
The Grand Vitara driver will find a smooth ride around town, but the lack of power may be noticeable at highway speeds. Consumer Guide finds that "highway passing can take patience." In spite of this, Cars.com says the Grand Vitara, "almost glides through smooth stretches more like a family sedan than an SUV."
The base 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara with manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in town and 22 mpg on the highway; automatic versions of the base, XSport and Luxury trims get about the same. This is "a little below average for this class of vehicle," writes Edmunds, though MSN says that's "OK for a compact V6 SUV."
The standard trim comes with a five-speed manual transmission, with an optional five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Xsport and Luxury trims come with the automatic. Of the automatic transmission, the Cars.com says that shifts can be "occasionally awkward, almost jerky."thinks "it works reasonably well but could use some re-programming to smooth out shifts."
Handling and Braking
Some auto writers found issues with the overall handling. Motor Trend says, "handling is fair, the steering somewhat vague." Car and Driver observes the Grand Vitara "suffers from dull turn-in and more pronounced body roll" and gives "dull responses to all driver inputs." And there are several mentions of a shaking effect, ranging from "too much jiggle on rippled surfaces" (Consumer Guide) to "shakes in more ways than Dairy Queen" (Car and Driver).writes "the ride is somewhat stiff," and
Other critics had a positive experience with the car. Edmunds praises the car's overall handling and says its "power-assisted rack and pinion steering is quick and exact." agrees, calling the handling "quite competent." Not surprising given that the Grand Vitara is engineered for off-roading, Motor Week finds the ride quality "quite firm" and likens it to "a pure truck."
A common complaint was noise at fast speeds. AutoWeek heard "a lot of road noise at highway speeds." also experienced "engine noise evident upon acceleration." And the says pushing the vehicle creates "noises about as sexy as a weed whacker."
A four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts in front and a new multi-link setup in the back, and a locking center differential "keep the Grand Vitara's nose from diving but allow its haunches maneuverability," writes Edmunds. The calls it "a much improved suspension." And Cars.com says its reactions are "very quick and controlled."
The Grand Vitara has a four-wheel antilock brake system with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), a technology that distributes the force applied to each of the vehicle's brakes based on road conditions. Automotive.com writes that brakes are the Grand Vitara's "weak link," adding "the engineers cheaped out and gave us rear drums, which grab hold a little too strongly." Motor Week auto writers observe that "stops from 60 were a little long at 135 feet but with excellent stability."
Many critics were impressed with the Suzuki Grand Vitara's off-road skills. The base trim comes standard with a single four-wheel-drive mode, while the upper trim has a four-mode system for different off-road terrain. Edmunds calls out its respectable "off-road prowess," while says the 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara is "a surprising standout on rough terrain."
The Grand Vitara has a 3,000-pound towing capacity, which Velocity Journal says allows it to "accommodate larger trailers." The calls this a "respectable" capacity, though About.com says, "leave that yacht hooked up to your F250."