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Suzuki Grand Vitara replacement in the works

Suzuki's new Grand Vitara could materialise in the next few years with larger dimensions and seven seats.

A new Suzuki Grand Vitara is expected to be revealed in the next two years to replace the now-discontinued JT-series model, and could grow in size to accommodate up to seven seats.

Though Suzuki Australia boss Michael Pachota would not be drawn on concrete details, he said the Japanese brand typically does not abandon nameplates.

"I can't confirm it, but based on what I've heard I don't think Grand Vitara is dead," he said.

"I think there is an opportunity for that nameplate to come back. It's just a matter of the right research and development on SMC's (Suzuki Motor Corporation's) part.

"They haven't confirmed at all whether or not it's coming, they're keeping it very close to their chest. But we had the same experience with Jimny... and that car was five years in development before they released the vehicle to the public, so it takes some time to get the product right."

A larger Grand Vitara would put the model up against the likes of other seven-seat mid-size SUVs including the Honda CR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander – a segment Suzuki contested from 2001 to 2005 with its XL-7.

A larger Grand Vitara would put the model up against the likes of other seven-seat mid-size SUVs. A larger Grand Vitara would put the model up against the likes of other seven-seat mid-size SUVs.

However, unlike its potential rivals, Mr Pachota indicated that a Grand Vitara successor will likely retain its predecessor's off-road capability, while there is local market demand for a Suzuki-branded seven-seater.

"Based on Suzuki's history with the Grand Vitara model, I would say it would be living up to its heritage," he said. "In saying that, and when we're talking about the word 'Grand', it would say it would be a bigger and more capable vehicle.

"Suzuki customers definitely want an XL-7. Still to this day, people come in with their old XL-7s asking if we have a new one... but I guess it's all about Suzuki from a global perspective identifying that, and understanding what needs to be done to build a new model.

"It all depends on what technologies are available too, in the marketplace based on competitors, and understanding what they need to develop to meet the market's demand – so if that's what the market is developing, Suzuki will look down that track, but I can't confirm yea or nay because they haven't even confirmed to us they're bringing a new Grand Vitara out."

Though the previous Grand Vitara was built on a ladder-frame chassis, it is unclear whether a new version would retain the same underpinnings or switch to the front-drive-based architecture of the Vitara small SUV.

Do you want a return of the rugged Suzuki Grand Vitara? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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