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  • 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited

    Posted on April 11th, 2010 ninarussin

    Value-packed compact sport-utility vehicle

    By Nina Russin

    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    Despite being one of the older models in its vehicle line-up, the Grand Vitara remains one of Suzuki’s best products. The compact sport-utility with true off-road capability embodies the automaker’s core values: fun, adventure and affordability.

    While Suzuki’s footprint in the US car market is relatively small, the company has accrued legions of fans for its motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine products. Suzuki customers take their playtime seriously; the Grand Vitara was designed to meet their automotive needs.

    It also fits their budgets. The limited grade is the most upscale of four available trim levels. Yet base price for the four-wheel drive model is just under $27,000.

    Standard comfort and convenience features include navigation with real-time traffic, news and weather updates, heated leather seats, automatic air conditioning, a MP3 compatible audio system, cruise control and a tilt steering wheel. The Grand Vitara’s high content level saves buyers the hassle of wading through myriad option packages at the dealership.

    There is no destination charge, further simplifying the buying progress. Suzuki’s seven year/100,000 mile warranty is a bargain as well, and is fully transferable.

    Two engine choices and full off-road capability

    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    Buyers can chose from a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine or more powerful V-6. Suzuki updated the V-6 for the 2009 model year, giving it better power. The 3.2-liter block on the test car produces 230 horsepower and 213 foot-pounds of torque. While its gas mileage can’t match the smaller engine, 23 miles-per-gallon on the highway is pretty good for a high-profile car with four-wheel drive.

    A five-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and maintains excellent acceleration in the critical 20-to-50 mile-per-hour range. The four-wheel drive system includes a two-speed transfer case, giving drivers the low gears necessary for negotiating extreme off-road terrain.

    Hill hold and descent control are standard: the systems help drivers maintain direction stability by preventing the vehicle from rolling backwards on steep grades, and limiting downhill speeds.

    Minimum ground clearance is 7.4 inches: plenty for clearing obstacles on trails, or deep snow in the mountains.

    Practical for city dwellers

    The Grand Vitara’s small footprint makes it a great choice for urbanites who have to contend with crowded streets and small parking spots. Keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for a key after dark, adding an extra measure of safety.

    The peppy V-6 engine on the test car has plenty of power to maneuver around slower vehicles on the highway. A 36.7-foot turning radius makes the occasional U-turn a non-issue.

    The combination of unit body and integral ladder frame gives the sport-utility vehicle the torsional rigidity necessary for off-road driving, plus a car-like ride. A fully independent suspension is compliant without feeling mushy. I took the Grand Vitara through some of my favorite decreasing radius turns, and was impressed with the chassis’ stability.

    Vented disk brakes on all  four wheels stop the car in a firm, linear fashion.

    Despite its compact dimensions, the Grand Vitara feels quite spacious on the inside, with seating for up to five adults.

    A large greenhouse keeps the interior bright and enhances visibility around the perimeter. I had no problems seeing traffic several lanes to my left when I merged onto the highway. Over-the-shoulder visibility to the right is also excellent.

    Designers mounted the spare tire low enough on the tailgate so that it doesn’t interfere with the driver’s rear view. Narrow rear pillars minimize blind spots in the back corners. A standard rear wiper keeps the back glass clear in rain and snow.

    Ergonomic interior

    Suzuki Grand Vitara Interior

    Suzuki Grand Vitara Interior

    The Grand Vitara interior is remarkably spacious for a vehicle with a 104-inch wheelbase. Three adults can ride in the back seats, thanks to a low floor tunnel. The driver’s seat has ample lower lumbar support for drives several hours in length.

    Heated front seats, standard  on the limited grade, keep the driver and front passenger warm on cold winter days. Two twelve-volt power points on the center stack recharge portable electronic devices on the go.

    A tilt steering wheel helps smaller drivers maintain a clear forward view. The navigation screen pops up at the top of the center stack. Since some drivers might find this distracting, it’s easy to fold the screen back into the dashboard.

    Redundant audio and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel minimize driver distraction. Audio and  temperature controls in the center stack are logically arranged, and easy to reach from both front seating positions.

    The front doors have bottle holders and map pockets. There are cupholders in the center console for front-row passengers, and behind the center console bin for passengers in the second row.

    Versatile cargo area

    Its low lift-over height makes the Grand Vitara ideal for smaller drivers who need to load large cargo in back. The tail gate opens to the side rather than being hinged at the top. A standard tonneau cover conceals items in back from prying eyes.

    Second-row seats fold flat in a 60/40 pattern to extend the second row: the Grand Vitara meets our bicycle-friendly standards.

    A third twelve-volt power point is located in the cargo area. An optional rubber cargo mat is easier to keep clean than carpeting.

    Standard roof rails make it easy to add a cargo rack up top.

    Standard safety

    All models come with front, side and side curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction control. Suzuki’s standard warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance and courtesy vehicles for warranty repairs.

    Suzuki builds the Grand Vitara at its Iwata, Japan assembly plant.

    Likes: An affordably priced sport-utility vehicle with true off-road capability. A high level of standard safety and convenience features simplifies the buying process.

    Dislike: Bluetooth interface is not standard equipment.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Suzuki
    Model: Grand Vitara
    Year: 2010
    Base price: $26,999
    As tested: $27,653
    Horsepower: 230 Hp @ 6200 rpm
    Torque: 213 lbs.-ft. @ 3500 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: Yes
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 17/23 mpg city highway
    Comments: The Grand Vitara’s 3000-pound towing capacity, while below our ALV minimum standards, may be adequate for some small trailers.


    4 responses to “2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited”

    1. I have Grand Vitara with Chasis number
      I want to know
      -where is it assambled (manufactued) and
      -whether it is being used for test driving and
      -what major repairs has been done on it.

      Is thee away where I can trace the life history of the wehicle?

      Aykut Toros

    2. You can get some information with a carfax report, which you can obtain for free using the VIN. You can also get some general information about the car on Suzuki’s web site, which is not password protected. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting our site and sending along your comments.

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