Grand Vitara

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2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

For 2009 the Suzuki Grand Vitara gets significant drivetrain upgrades that improve its already impressive off-road capabilities and some styling revisions that enhance its already attractively aggressive exterior. Despite these upgrades, the Grand Vitara remains one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the market, with the Base trim starting at $18,499.

Four trims are available for the Grand Vitara – Base, Premium, Xsport, and Luxury. The Base and Premium trims come with the new 2.4-liter, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder (I4) engine capable of 166 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. This I4 mates with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. The Xsport and Luxury come with either the I4 or a 3.2-liter, 24-valve V6 capable of 230 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 213 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. The V6 is mated to a five-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission that powers the rear wheels.

A single-mode all-wheel-drive system is offered for the Premium trim and a four-mode AWD with a low-range locking transfer case is available for the Xsport and Luxury trims. With a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive Base and Premium trims get 19 city/26 highway mpg and those numbers gradually lower to 17/23 for the Xsport or Premium with AWD, the V6, and the automatic transmission.

The I4 has plenty of zip off the line, but passing on the highway may take some added time. The V6 is the opposite, gradually building speed from a stop but offering plenty of power at the other end. The Grand Vitara's somewhat meager 7.9 inches of ground clearance may limit some off-roading, but Four Wheeler magazine took the new Grand Vitara through some serious tests and felt, “it handled pretty much anything we could throw at it.” The Grand Vitara’s unibody construction with a built-in ladder frame adds to its off-road capability and durability. Hill hold and hill descent control also aid the Grand Vitara’s rough-terrain handling.

City driving is not a strength for the Grand Vitara, and it's noticeably less smooth than car-based compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. However, the automatic transmissions are responsive, the grip in tight corners is adequate, and the four-wheel antilock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution offers solid stopping control.

While the Grand Vitara maintains the tough-guy exterior styling of a classic SUV, its interior is both spacious and well appointed. The front seats are comfortable, even if they are not extremely adjustable, with plenty of headroom and sufficient legroom. The Grand Vitara may not offer the smoothest ride on the highway, but its rear seats recline, have ample space for three adults, and offer nice legroom even with the front seats pushed far back.

The controls are easy to use, and the interior surfaces do not feel or look cheap. Air-conditioning, power windows, locks, and mirrors, a tilt steering wheel with integrated stereo controls, 60/40 split-fold-and-tumble rear seats, and three 12-volt outlets are standard on all trims. The Grand Vitara also provides an impressive amount of cargo room, with the Base and Premium trims having 24.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 68.9 with them down and the Xsport and Luxury offering 23.8 and 67.3, respectively.

All four trims boast a strong lineup of safety features, including Suzuki’s Electronic Stability Program and Traction Control System; advanced, dual-stage driver and weight-sensing front- passenger airbags; seat-mounted, side-impact airbags for the front; front and rear curtain airbags; a tire pressure monitoring system; a head impact protection structure; front and rear side-impact door beams, and a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that includes a roadside assistance and courtesy vehicle program.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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Grand Vitara

Looking for a Used Grand Vitara in your area?

CarGurus has 76 nationwide Grand Vitara listings starting at $1,551.

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Suzuki Grand Vitara Questions

If My Suzuki Is Burning Oil, Which Is What I A Happening Now,what Are The ...

My suzuki grand vitara 2.4 LItre (2009 model) is burning oil. Do I have to do an engine rebuild or can I just change the valve seal. It is only 54000 km. what could have caused it at such a ...

Replace Air Conditioner Evaporator

How long does it take to replace the evaporator

2.4l 4cyl In 2009 Vs 2.7l 6cyl In 2008

I am trying to choose between a 2008 Luxury or a 2009 X-Sport. What is the opinion regarding the 2.4 4 cyl in the 2009 vs. 2.7 6cyl in the 2008 relative to the 2009 brakes and noise improvements. W...

Why Is My Grand Vitara 2.4 LItre Engine Puffing Smoke After Moving From Tr...

it is an intermittent problem with a grating sound. The puff of smoke is so huge at times, sometimes the vehicle behind stops to avoid it getting into their vehicle