2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

Grand Vitara

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2 national listings
Avg. Price: $12,715
Limited AWD
Avg. Price: $13,794
Avg. Price: $11,097
Premium AWD
Avg. Price: $12,596
Ultimate Adventure
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2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara

For the 2012 model year, Suzuki adds a new trim level—the Ultimate Adventure Edition—to its Grand Vitara lineup. Other than that, there have been no significant changes to the automaker’s compact crossover SUV.

Trims available for the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara are the Base, Premium, Ultimate Adventure and Limited, with all but the Base trim available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). All trim levels are equipped with a 166 hp 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that runs on regular gasoline and attains 162 lb-ft of torque. The Base trim comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the other trims are paired with an automatic transmission. The EPA estimates that the Grand Vitara gets 19 mpg city/26 highway (25 highway for the Ultimate Adventure trims).

All 2012 Grand Vitara trims are equipped with air conditioning and automatic climate control, power windows with an illuminated auto-down driver's-window switch, power remote control door locks with hazard lamp answerback and panic functions, remote keyless entry with panic button, power steering, a tilt steering wheel with audio controls, height-adjustable driver's seat with 6-way adjustment and low-fatigue foam, fold-and-tumble 60/40 rear seat, variable intermittent windshield wipers, rear window defroster, variable rear window wiper, driver information display, 4-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/ WMA, integrated touchscreen navigation system with 1-year subscription to traffic service and rerouting, voice-recognition and advanced avoid and detour system, automatic multi-reflector projector headlamps, a full-size spare tire with a Suzuki-logo cover and 16-inch steel wheels.

For those opting for the Premium trim levels, additional standard equipment includes cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls, a 1-year subscription to nüLink! (with real-time safety cameras, weather, movie-time lookup, airline arrive/depart information, lowest gas price finds, Google search and more) and Bluetooth HandsFree system availability. Upgrading to the Ultimate Adventure trims adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, water-resistant 3-tone seats and 18-inch smoked finish aluminum alloy wheels. Opting for the Limited trim adds a touchfree Smart Key keyless start and entry system, heated outside mirrors, power tilt-and-slide sunroof, color-coordinated woodgrain interior accents,  leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, a premium 7-speaker with subwoofer audio system with AM/FM/CD/Aux/MP3 and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels as regular equipment.

For safety features, all trims of the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara are equipped with dual front supplemental airbags, front seat side-impact supplemental airbags, side curtain supplemental airbags, side-impact door beams, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring system, 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, antilock brake system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist function, and electronic stability control with a traction control system.

Current owners of the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara note that the SUV’s seats can be uncomfortable, especially for long-distance drives. Many also note that the Grand Vitara can get quite noisy when traveling at highway speeds. Handling-wise, the Grand Vitara gets fair marks, but many current Grand Vitara owners had more power than the current inline-4 setup delivers.

Finding itself in the ultra-competitive compact crossover SUV market, the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara gets high marks from professional reviewers for the number of standard features it comes with, many of which can be found only as optional equipment on competitors such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson. However, the Grand Vitara finds itself lacking against that same competition with a notoriously weak 4-cylinder engine that seems suited for a smaller, less versatile vehicle.


by Mark S. Baker

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Grand Vitara
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Suzuki Grand Vitara Questions


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