Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003 Review
I had to travel far and wide to find our comparison model, an old manual four-leg-drive called Diesel.
He came courtesy of Rawnsley Park Station in the Flinders Ranges.
Now, at 36-years-old, Diesel is somewhat of a vintage model, but he's still pretty impressive and tough competition in sometimes rough conditions.
He is sleek, shiny and 16 hands tall, so visibility is great. He handles beautifully – on smooth surfaces or through rocky creekbeds and up steep hills. Diesel responds to the slightest touch and offers a fairly comfortable ride – for a while, at least.
But there is a limit, and three hours in the saddle is about it.
Three hours in our Suzuki, on the other hand, is an easy task and putting this 4WD through its paces is a pleasure.
It, too, handles well on the road or off the beaten track and visibility is good (except for a blind spot out the back).
Plus there is seating for seven, or for five with room for lots of luggage ... try doing that on a horse. The XL-7 has a healthy shine (well, it did when I first picked it up) and is completely tricked up for long hauls: climate control with front and rear outlets; 6-CD stacker and more compartments than any saddle could offer.
There are spots for sunglasses, maps, books, lollies ... and, yes, cup holders. The centre console flips open converting from an arm rest to rear cup holders.
The XL-7 is as quiet as a mouse, or, at least, a horse. She does chew through a bit of juice – but then it's a long, thirsty drive for any workhorse.
A word of warning, though. Don't push the boundaries. Empty means empty. Actually, when the empty light comes on in the XL-7 you have about 60km left in the tank. However, unlike a horse, you can't kick the Suzuki on a little further with the promise of a good feed and drink when you get there.
Running out of petrol was just a horse's whisker away.
The XL-7 handles the outback with ease but is equally at home in the city.
For speed and comfort, the Suzuki wins out – but then it was up against an old Diesel. As for price, the Grand Vitara will set you back $41,890 for the auto. Diesel? He's priceless.
Range and Specs
|Freestyle (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$3,080 – 4,840||2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003 Freestyle (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Slalom (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$3,190 – 4,950||2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003 Slalom (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Sports (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,990 – 4,950||2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003 Sports (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Sports (4x4) (Wide)||2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$2,640 – 4,180||2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2003 Sports (4x4) (Wide) Pricing and Specs|
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