in 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,242 - $15,745
Original MSRP: $19,649 - $25,399
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers find the Vitara’s interior spacious, though they think the seats are hard. They also think the center console is easy to use and are impressed that the Vitara comes with a standard navigation system. Most of their complaints address interior materials that are somewhat cheap and rear seats that are hard to fold flat.

  • "The cabin is a smart blend of plastic surfaces and padded panels; nothing looks or feels cheap. The Limited's leather upholstery is particularly rich-feeling." -- Consumer Guide
  • "You won't confuse the design effort with those from Germany, but at launch this new Suzuki was far removed from the almost agricultural efforts which preceded it. There remain plenty of hard plastic elements, but gauges are clear and informative, the centerstack is eminently logical and seating - with a height-adjustable feature for the driver - keeps you in comfortable control even on long trips." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The first thing you notice when you climb into the Grand Vitara is the simplicity of the interior. All the controls are within easy reach and easy to use, and there aren't too many of them -- enough buttons and dials to get the job done and no more. The black dash, carpet, doors and seats are set off by tasteful silver accents. Unfortunately, they're also offset by cheap-looking faux-marble trim around the gear selector and on the interior door handles." -- Motor Trend

Suzuki Grand Vitara Pictures

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In the Vitara, there is plenty of space for the driver and front passenger, but the driver may have a hard time seeing what’s behind him because the rear head rests and roof pillars get in the way. The rear seats also have enough leg- and headroom for adults. While driver and passenger space is good overall, adults may find that the seats themselves are flat and hard, regardless of where they sit.

  • "(Front seat) Headroom is ample, legroom is adequate, and step-in height is reasonable for an off-road-capable SUV. Seats are comfortable, but some drivers will wish for more lumbar support. Rear visibility is hindered slightly by thick rear roof pillars and tall front headrests; the rear headrests retract below the driver's sight line. … (Rear seat) There's ample headroom and foot space. Legroom is adequate for adults, even with the front seats well back. The seat cushion is hard and flat, but the seat backs recline. Egress is hindered by narrow door openings." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There remain plenty of hard plastic elements, but gauges are clear and informative, the centerstack is eminently logical and seating - with a height-adjustable feature for the driver - keeps you in comfortable control even on long trips." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

The base model Grand Vitara comes with features that are usually only reserved for the higher trims of its competitors, such as a touch-screen navigation system, an auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and remote keyless entry. The navigation system comes with a one-year subscription that provides real-time traffic information, and upgrading to the Premium trim or higher gives you access to weather, movie, gas and airline information. This service also lasts for one year. A standard navigation system is uncommon on any car or SUV, but the Vitara is missing some other basic standards. Cruise control requires an upgrade to the Premium trim, Bluetooth is optional on the Premium trim and higher and a USB port isn’t available.

While the features list is a mixed bag, reviewers are pleased that the controls are easy to see and use.

  • "Fully appropriate to Suzuki's value proposition is a generous grouping of standard features, even at the entry-level (under $20K) price point. The platform includes a multi-link independent suspension, 4-wheel disc braking and manual(!) transmission. Inside, power windows, locks and remote would typically be found in the option column of the competition. Perhaps the nicest surprise is the standard navigation - supplied by Garmin - on all trim levels." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Gauges are large and clear. Audio and climate controls are mounted high within easy reach; both feature large knobs and clearly marked buttons. The Limited's standard keyless entry/engine start is a nice amenity." -- Consumer Guide


The Grand Vitara's cargo area is a bit of a disappointment to reviewers. It provides 28.4 cubic feet with all seats in use and 70.8 cubic feet with the second row folded down. These are good numbers for the class, but the folding rear seats present some problems because they only fold flat when the cushion is moved forward, and to keep them folded, you have to attach them to the front-seat head rests with a clip.

  • "Space is good behind the rear seat. The rear seat backs fold easily without removing the headrests, but lay flat only with the seat cushion flipped forward, which shortens the cargo deck. The seats don't stay flipped up on their own--they must be attached to front-seat-headrest supports via an inconvenient plastic clip." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The flip-and-fold rear seats provide additional load flexibility, but don't begin to offer the volume enhancement afforded by the fold-flats in the Honda Fit." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cargo hold will handle groceries or luggage for a week, but the pull shade to hide contents is flimsy. And the door with spare tire attached swings open rather than lifting up, which makes it hard to use if someone parks too close behind." -- Chicago Tribune

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