2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara Key Features:
* New powerful and efficient four-cylinder engine rated at up to 26 mpg
* More user conveniences such as sliding armrest and visors, illuminated steering wheel gages and improved HVAC cluster and radio design
* Available Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control inspire discovery and engage senses
* Stronger structure, 50-50 weight distribution, revised front styling and increased off-road performance with two four-wheel-drive systems
* The Grand Vitara's 3.2-liter, V6, 24-valve DOHC engine with 230 horsepower delivers superior performance and driving excitement
* Rugged unibody chassis reinforced with a built-in ladder frame, four-wheel independent suspension deliver both off-road capability and on-road comfort and feel
* Available Four-Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system with low range provides credible off-road performance, increasingly unique among the competition
* Four-Mode system offers a neutral setting to allow flat towing behind recreational vehicles without mileage accumulation
* Award-winning SUV offers sophisticated styling and an extensive list of safety features
* The interior of the Grand Vitara is unexpectedly refined for such a capable SUV
* Backed by America's #1 Warranty: 100,000-miles/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty
Recognized by AutoPacific as the ideal compact SUV/off-road vehicle, Grand Vitara surpasses other SUVs in its size and price category in balancing off-road capability with the very real needs of a daily commute. For 2009, the rugged and award-winning Suzuki Grand Vitara, a true SUV in a segment of soft-roaders, offers brute-ute owners the opportunity to resize for better fuel economy without settling for a cute-ute lacking full SUV capability. A standard, all-new four-cylinder engine provides drivers with better mileage, and a new, more powerful V6 delivers fuel economy better than the V6 it replaces.
A new grille and front bumper design accent the Grand Vitaraâ„˘s distinctive, chiseled-yet-elegant lines, with additional interior enhancements, including illuminated steering wheel controls, a sliding front center armrest, visor extenders, HVAC controls, upgraded audio system and updated cloth upholstery. As with all retail 2009 Suzuki automobiles and light trucks, the Grand Vitara is backed by Americaâ„˘s #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
Performance and Functionality
The new Suzuki-developed 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 166 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of peak torque, delivering EPA fuel economy estimates of up to 19 mpg/city and 26 mpg/highway. Available for Grand Vitara XSport and Luxury models is a new 3.2-liter V6 engine with 230 horsepower and 213 lb.-ft. of torque, replacing the 2.7-liter V6 engine in last yearâ„˘s Grand Vitara that produced 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite an increase of 45 horsepower, the new V6 betters the old motor in fuel economy ratings. The new engine is also 20 percent cleaner than the 2008 model as measured by the State of Californiaâ„˘s smog index rating. The new V6 also features variable valve timing for both the intake and exhaust camshafts, and both Grand Vitara engines use a zero-maintenance timing chain in place of a belt.
The Grand Vitaraâ„˘s new four-cylinder engine can be teamed to a standard five-speed manual transmission or a new four-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 is matched to a standard five-speed automatic transmission. To help fulfill their sense of adventure, customers can choose among RWD models, Single-Mode four-wheel drive or Four-Mode full-time four-wheel drive, a traction system unlike anything else offered in the segment. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is standard for all Grand Vitara models, along with a new rollover sensor for the standard side curtain airbags . Enhancing performance on any road is a strengthened structure for 2009, plus rear disc brakes that replace the previous drums.
Suzuki Four-Mode four-wheel drive offers the best of both worlds: further aided by a completely retuned suspension, it is exceptionally capable off-road but is civilized on the asphalt. On pavement, drivers can leave the dash-mounted transfer case switch in 4H and the electronically controlled on-demand four-wheel-drive system will apply traction to the front wheels only as needed, optimizing economy. When traveling off-road, or for low-speed power and traction, drivers can turn the switch to high-range 4H Lock or low-range 4L Lock to engage the center differential lock. The V6 models with Four-Mode full-time four-wheel drive also feature Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control, which can enhance driving safety on steep slopes.
For RV owners, a Grand Vitara equipped with an automatic transmission or with the Four-Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system can also be flat-towed. Switching the transfer case control into the neutral position helps minimize driveline wear and prevent non-driving miles from accumulating on the odometer.
Built Like a Brute
The Suzuki Grand Vitara continues Suzukiâ„˘s 40-year heritage of building compact but rugged SUV-type vehicles, including a model named Brute. The current Grand Vitara has proven its durability in some of the toughest global markets. Key to the Grand Vitaraâ„˘s go-anywhere capability is its unibody construction with integrated ladder frame, rear-drive-based driveline and four-wheel independent suspension. Typically, only luxury SUVs offer this premium architecture. This type of construction yields the strength and capability sought in large SUVs, while providing the on-road agility and ride quality expected in a modern compact SUV.
Also separating the Grand Vitara from the high wagons in the segment is the availability of a Four-Mode full time four-wheel-drive system with two-speed transfer case. This hardware, combined with its rugged body construction, steep approach and departure angles, and 7.9 inches of ground clearance (4WD models), enables the Grand Vitara to keep going when the pavement turns to trail. In addition, the Grand Vitaraâ„˘s 3,000-lb. towing capacity (with V6) is double that of many car-based models and enough to haul light recreational boats, ATVs or motorcycles.
Beyond offering a strong-yet-weight-optimized structure, the unibody with built-in ladder frame contributes to collision protection in the Grand Vitara. The reinforced cabin has the added safety of head-impact protection pad and front and rear side-impact door beams.
Active safety (the ability to help avoid an accident) technology in every Grand Vitara model includes anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, tire pressure monitoring system and ESP with traction control. ESP helps ensure vehicle stability when cornering, under acceleration, during emergency maneuvers and when driving on slippery road surfaces. Taking input from a variety of sensors, ESP has the ability to apply individual brakes and reduce engine torque to help the driver maintain the desired line of travel.
Standard passive safety features in every Grand Vitara model include driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbag supplemental restraint systems (SRS), advanced dual-stage front airbag SRS, advanced weight-sensing front passenger airbag SRS and front and rear side-curtain airbags networked with a rollover sensor. The three-point driver and front passenger seat belts feature pretensioners and shoulder height adjustment. Each rear seating position is equipped with a three-point seatbelt and a headrest. Also provided is a rear child-seat LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children).
The Grand Vitaraâ„˘s safety engineering also reflects Suzukiâ„˘s attention to pedestrian impacts demanded in many global markets. The front end and the bumper integrate energy-absorbing materials to help reduce the possibility of serious leg injuries. The hood is designed to absorb some of the impact and help protect against serious head injuries. These factors helped the 2009 Grand Vitara earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetyâ„˘s highest rating of good in its most recent frontal crash protection test. In combination, these active and passive safety features make Grand Vitara one of the best-equipped compact SUVs with respect to safety.
The Look and Function of a Suzuki
To simplify and improve the driver experience, Suzuki offers easy-to-use features that add useful, real-world functionality to each vehicle. The Grand Vitara shows its Suzuki sensibilities in the simple, uncluttered design. Form follows function, with styling that does not compromise visibility, as it does in many crossover-type SUVs. Handsome good looks are part of the mix, too, along with SUV necessities, including short overhangs and roof rails. Exterior mirrors, door handles and bumpers are all color keyed.
The compact exterior footprint contains a roomy, comfortable and versatile cabin to take people and cargo on daily trips or extraordinary voyages. The Grand Vitara offers comfortable seating for five, including reclining rear seats, and 24.4 cu.-ft. of storage space with the rear seats up. Cargo space expands to 68.9 cu.-ft. with the 60/40 split-folding seatbacks folded. High-quality materials and attention to fit and finish should help make a driver accustomed to a large luxury SUV feel at home. Controls are easy to access and use, which anyone used to driving a large luxury SUV might find refreshing.
Four Trim Lines, Two Engines, Three Drivelines
The 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara four-cylinder model is offered in four trim levels: Base, Premium, XSport and Luxury. The base model is RWD only, but its list of standard equipment is far from basic and includes: air conditioning with automatic climate control and micron air filtration system, trip computer, power windows, mirrors and door locks, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, automatic on/off headlamps, four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM Satellite Radio-capable audio system and 16-inch wheels.
The Premium model (four-cylinder only) adds an available four-speed automatic transmission, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with illuminated audio controls, cruise control, privacy glass, full-size spare tire cover, cargo cover, and, when equipped with the optional Single-Mode four-wheel drive, heated exterior mirrors.
The XSport, available with RWD or Four-Mode four-wheel drive, adds function and luxury features, including power tilt-and-slide sunroof, the SmartPass keyless entry and start system, six-disc CD changer, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, roof rack rails and fog lamps. With the V6, XSport 4WD also gains Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, eight-speaker audio system with subwoofer and center channel speaker and door-mounted courtesy lights. In addition, the XSport deletes the full-size spare tire cover and replaces the standard steel spare wheel with a handsome matching alloy for a strong SUV image.
The top-of-the-line Luxury builds on the XSport equipment and adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, eight-speaker audio with subwoofer and center channel speaker black wood grain trim accents and full-size spare tire cover (with steel spare). With the V6, the Grand Vitara Luxury trim line also receives 18-inch alloy wheels and a HomeLink wireless control system. In all Grand Vitara models, standard and optional audio systems are XM Satellite Radio-capable, and an accessory iPod interface is available. A connected iPod works seamlessly through the radio or the steering-wheel-integrated controls, with playlists and track information appearing on the audio display.
The Brea, Calif.,-based Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) was founded in 1963 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 500 automotive dealerships and numerous other motorcycle, ATV and marine distributors in 49 states. With global headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle, and outboard motor manufacturer. In 2007, SMC sold more than two million new cars and trucks and more than three million motorcycles and ATVs. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 193 countries and regions.