2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review
While the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara can handle itself off-road and has standard navigation, reviewers still say that its powertrain and cabin aren’t perfect.
Test drivers don’t call the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara a bad SUV. In fact, they like that it comes standard with navigation and are impressed with its off-road abilities. However, they still have a lot to complain about. First, with both two- and four-wheel drive, the Vitara has poor fuel economy ratings for the class, even compared with compact SUVs with four- or all-wheel drive. Second, two-wheel drive models aren’t as refined on paved roads or as powerful as models like the Toyota RAV4.
Inside, the Vitara offers standard navigation, but a USB port, which is expected in this class, isn’t available, and Bluetooth is optional. Test drivers also complain that while the cabin offers plenty of space, the seats are hard. You may also find its cargo area hard to configure. Folding the seats flat is a multi-step process.
With so much stacked against the Vitara, it’s easy to give this compact SUV the boot, but test drivers say that it’s still is a worthy choice for shoppers, especially for those who want standard navigation. That’s a rarity in any class.
Other SUVs to Consider
In the world of compact SUVs with four-wheel drive, the Subaru Forester and Suzuki Grand Vitara run neck and neck. The main feature that really sets the Forester apart is its standard all-wheel drive. That feature is optional on the Vitara, and makes it more expensive than the Forester when you add it. With the Forester, you’ll also get higher fuel economy ratings, better rear-seat comfort and more cargo space with the rear seats in use. Navigation, however, isn’t standard.
If you must have an off-road SUV, there is one model in the class that tops the rest: the Jeep Wrangler. Redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Wrangler features a new Pentastar engine that makes the Wrangler more capable off-road and refines its performance on the pavement. If you’re interested in the Wrangler, keep in mind that it is more expensive than the Vitara, has less cargo space and uses more gas, making it more expensive to own overall.
Details: Suzuki Grand Vitara
The Suzuki Grand Vitara seats five and is available in base, Premium, Ultimate Adventure Edition and Limited trims. The Ultimate Adventure Edition is new for 2012, and has front fog lamps, new side mirrors, 18-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated, water resistant seats. Other changes across the lineup include the removal of the spare tire on all but the Limited model and an upgraded Garmin navigation system that is standard on all models.
See the full list of 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara specs.
- "The likable Grand Vitara has a comprehensive list of standard features, competent road manners, adequate passenger space, and laudable off-road ability when properly equipped. Reasonable pricing is another strong suit. Its cargo area is not as flexible as most rivals, and the ride can be brittle on the top-end Limited trim. Still, any Grand Vitara model is well worth your consideration." -- Consumer Guide
- "The ... Suzuki Grand Vitara we recently had in for a test spin is one of the few capable compact offerings left for the U.S. market." -- Motor Trend