Suzuki Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone how are you? fab here.I just wanted to get your opinions on the newer vitara's, are they good suv's? sturdy? reliable? I've been thinking of changing my car and the idea of an suv is kinda cool. I did have an esteem a few years bad. Was a reliable car, but on the highway over 100km/hour if felt "light". hahaha i hope the vitara's are more stable on the highway?
My other question is..seeing as suzuki has stopped selling cars in the u.s. and canada (where i am), would it be a bad idea to get one of these? are parts expensive/hard to come by?
I can do some basic repairs (oil/fluid changes), brakes...small stuff.
Are there better model years?
thanks
fab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
We've had our '06 since it was bought new. It is the most reliable car I've ever owned. This also means you seldom need parts for it. The parts you will need are generic, like tires, filters, brakes. Should you ever need a Suzuki-only part, like a fender, Suzuki is supposed to be providing parts for some years longer, and you can always get parts from wrecks.

I'd say the '09 and later is more desirable. They have better crash structures in front, better rear suspension, they're more quiet, and they come with the more efficient 4-cylinder engine. If you want one with the low range, make sure it has that feature. There are some without the low range, and even some rear wheel drive-only models were sold in the US.

The Grand Vitara has "quick steering", but the worse the conditions get, such as in the winter, the more surefooted they become. They do have a stiffer ride than the other small suv's. And some people don't like the side-opening rear door. They're not much good for carrying large cargo items.

If the price is right, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a last generation Grand Vitara.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Geevee..thanks for the reply, my fellow Kanuck..hahaah. We do get good snow dumps here in QC, and i think an awd suv would be good. My wife and i both have saab 9-3's and really like them. They have been quite reliable till now. We bought them used and i guess, like the vitara, parts haven't been that bad to get. At lease suzuki will still have/make parts...saab went belly up.
The only thing that kinda gets me, is that side opening hatch, not too sure about that, as it'll take up more room to open in the back, i don't know why they did it that way and not up like most suv's???
i know it has a harsher ride. I think i'll be okay with that.
How is the engine in terms of performance and "get-up-and-go"? is the engine traverse or longitudinal AND does it have a timing belt or chain? if it's a chain, we're good to go?
the other car option is maybe the mitsu outlander...i don't know why but i keep looking at companies that are or will be ON THE WAY OUT! hahaahaha
Don't worry though, i've scratched off the lada niva..haha
ciao
fab
 

·
Registered
99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
Joined
·
10,255 Posts
I understand QC wants out, so you may not be a Kanuk too much longer.. :eek:

Maybe the weather will improve, LOL

I have a 99, it is sure footed and has more pickup and go than the ford explorer (rescue) that I drive... I have the 2L 4L longitudinal, 4x4 5 door....

In 6 yrs of ownership have only replaced service items, battery, serpentine belt, front disk pads. I use 5W20 full synth with a Wix filter.

..... Philip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,054 Posts
My wife and i both have saab 9-3's and really like them. ..
The only thing that kinda gets me, is that side opening hatch, not too sure about that, as it'll take up more room to open in the back, i don't know why they did it that way
...
Don't worry though, i've scratched off the lada niva..haha
You might want to start here: Suzuki Escudo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think the hatch opens sideways because it's situated too low to open upwards. Perhaps a consequence of putting the spare on the rear door instead of under the rear cargo bay.

If you understand Saabs (I've owned two, 900S and T) you are perfect for a GV.

My parents once owned a Niva, yes it's terrible but never broke down.

As mentioned, the GV you want is no older than late 2008, easily identified with the rear disk brakes. The 4WD system is "full time," not generally called "AWD." The latter is a common system on FWD-based SUVs and doesn't do anything until the front wheels slip. The GV system pushes all the time with all four wheels, nice to have.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
61 Posts
I bought a 2010 GV V6 last october as it was a very good deal, full equiped, I believe they are reliable vehicules as long as they are well maintained (like any other car/suv). I do have a couple of things to fix but nothing major. in the winter, it IS AMAZING!!!!, much better than my old grand cherokee and f150. its quiet, fast and looks good!!!.

I only wish for a bit more clearance but besides that go for it :)
Marcos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
AQUANAUT....hey, that's not nice:mad:...hahahah I will always be a canadian dude! i would assume that the GV is also a "body-on-frame" construction?

Kiwi...yes the saabs ('07 and '08) are pretty easy and straight-forward in terms of repairs....these ecotec engines are pretty simple, yet tought little engines.
does the engine bay of the GV seem easy to work in?

Marcofish...nice to see a fellow montrealer on the site:)...where abouts are you? The GV handles well in our winter? how does it drive on our crappy roads? do you get shaken around alot? have you had issues with getting it fixed? are parts hard to come by?
take care....
fab
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
61 Posts
Winter with the GV is great, just leave it on 4H and let the electronic systems do the rest, amazing in winter with good winter tires. For the potholes, since its a small SUV, you can dodge most of them. There are 2 dealers here in montreal, one in Lasalle and one in the east end. What i am afraid of in the long run is having to wait for repairs to be done as parts need to be ordered but since these are reliable suv's it kind of balances out i hope.

Wish list: as mentioned a little more clearance and under body protection would have been nice from Suzuki but these can be added later on i guess.

When you find one that you are interested on, make sure to get the vin number and ask a dealer for a repair list of things that were replaced under warranty. The one that i keep track of is the front lower suspension arms (if called that). the rear bushing design creates problems but suzuki is not the only one that is using this design.... so if this was changed recently by the previous owner, you should be good for some time.

Until now, very satisfied :)

Marcos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Dealer support is still quite good in Quebec, you shouldn't have to drive far for one unless you're really out far in the regions...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,054 Posts
Conventional made by Aisin, Toyota's supplier. Re: engine bay, mostly good access although the oil filter is a hard to reach, worst on the V6.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
"The 4WD system is "full time," not generally called "AWD." The latter is a common system on FWD-based SUVs and doesn't do anything until the front wheels slip. The GV system pushes all the time with all four wheels, nice to have.
Typical small suv's have a "slip&grip" system. What makes an awd different from a 4wd/4x4 is that the transfer case has enough slippage so there's no binding when cornering on dry roads. The GV is an awd in 4High mode, and like a 4wd/4x4 in 4 High Locked and 4 Low Locked. Be aware that some of them lacked the low range. Not a problem unless you need to do rockcrawling or slowly descend very steep and slippery hills.

"AQUANAUT....hey, that's not nice...hahahah I will always be a canadian dude! i would assume that the GV is also a "body-on-frame" construction?
The GV is regarded as a body-on-frame, like the earlier generations. But it's more like a hybrid construction, like a Range Rover, with frame-like channels welded to the bottom of the unibody. It does not have a separate frame.

"The only thing that kinda gets me, is that side opening hatch, not too sure about that, as it'll take up more room to open in the back, i don't know why they did it that way and not up like most suv's???.
Two things bug me about the hatch. Actually three. You can't open the hatch glass. The hatch does not form a rain shelter when open, and in fact the flat top drains into the cargo area when open. And unlike a regular hatch you shouldn't have it partway open to carry large objects.

Things I like about it: It's easy to open and close. From the driver's position and movements, it's very "natural" and convenient. It is not so big that there isn't room to open it. Any more so than a regular hatch. You can put a bike rack on it, and still get into the cargo area by swinging the whole thing out of the way. The spare is easier to get at than storing it underneath. The cargo area is bigger without the spare inside or underneath. You can swing it open even if you have something long on the roof, like a canoe.

"the other car option is maybe the mitsu outlander..
The Outlander is a good alternative. It's bigger though, with third row seating.

""How is the engine in terms of performance and "get-up-and-go"? is the engine traverse or longitudinal AND does it have a timing belt or chain? if it's a chain, we're good to go? .
The engine is longitudinal, and certainly has enough power for sane people. There is a maintenance-free timing chain:) However there is a requirement to check the valve clearance about every 100,000km, and, depending on who does it, this can be expensive. Actual charges for this have varied wildly. It's good not to skip it. If buying used, be sure to establish whether this has been done.

Also, some earlier GV's suffered from bad alignment, which resulted in poor mileage, very rapid tire wear and unstable handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Geevee..thanks for the great reply!!! i think all my questions have been answered. all in all i think it's a good choice. I was really impressed with the little esteem we had, super reliable. Although on cold days my legs would get cold (insulation i guess)..i'm sure the newer model suzuki's have been a bit more refined since then.

What you said about the oil filter....how bad is it to get at? is it underneath or at the rear of the engine??? That;s one thing i love about the saab, drain easy to get at and filter is on top of engine, no jacking required:)

As for the 4x4...i do most driving in city and sometimes up to the cottage...the worst i'll see is snow...no off-roading for me.

As for the valve thing...can any independent garage do this work or does it have to be at a suzuki dealership?
thanks
fab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Geevee.thanks for the reply, just to know:
where abouts is the oil filter?

as for the awd, i probably won't be doing off-loading, so i guess the standard awd will work well.

I didn't think of the "pros" on having the hatch door that way, interesting.

The outlander is cool too, but i think it's more of a regular suv whereas the GV is a bit more robust, and unique in its' own right.
thanks
fab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The aisen transmission... How do you find it works?
I had this tranny on my volvo and i think on the saab as well. I find that on both cars (which also have electric throttle bodies), there always seems to be s lag or hesitation between the TB and the tranny. Is it smoother on the Gv? Good response?
Fab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Different GV's use different transmissions. The 5-spd automatic that came with the 2.7L V6 in North America ('06-'08) does the job, but I don't think it's good enough at figuring out what gear it should be in. Not because of lags during shifts, but just being in what often seems to me to be the wrong gear. It's dumb enough that it can get into shifting up and down during a long climb, and you end up using the gas pedal to deal with the changes in speed that result. Unless you downshift to force it to stay in 4th.

If you're not doing "offroading", this won't matter to you, but the gear selector for this transmission has no "notch" for putting it in 2nd gear. I find this omission a pain in the ...

The oil filter is awkward to get at. If you have a hoist and wait for things to cool off before changing it, I'm told it's ok then. But there have been plenty of complaints. I've never changed ours, so I have only hearsay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Geevee, thanks again. I know what you mean about the wierd shifting, obe ofmy gripes on the saab.

So where is this famous oil filter?fab
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
chef, While the GV is a great vehicle that has served me very well for the last 7 years, I would recommend that you don't buy one. It's an orphan since Suzuki pulled out of the North American market. I know Suzuki Canada has promised to continue a parts supply and warranty coverage, but for how long?

While the GV seems to be very reliable and basic maintenance can probably be handled by any competent mechanic, modern vehicles require very specialized diagnostic support and equally specialized parts in the event of any serious problems. How long the old Suzuki dealers will continue to support the vehicles is anybody's guess. My local dealer has dropped the Suzuki name and moved on to other brands, he has to in order to survive.

All you have to do is look at the values of a used GV to give you a insight into the coming problems. Here in Alberta the value of my 2006 has dropped from $8-10K last year to just over $4K today. There are many vehicles for sale here (at ridiculously high prices), obviously the owners are trying to get out of them anyway they can. Nothing is selling, the potential buyers have disappeared.

If you really want a GV, I'd be happy to sell you mine, maybe wait until next year, it should be almost worthless by then. I wouldn't own a GV today even if it was free, its just not worth the hassle that's bound to develop. I expect to continue driving mine until something serious, and unfixable happens and then junk it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Annfan... I know what you mean about pricing. We have 2 saab's in the house, great cars i must say, but same thing about selling price. At least suzuki still makes the parts! This can be tricky with the saab. I think it depends what you wanna do.. If you buy it and drive it into the ground, than it'll be ok.

Have you been happy with yours? And issues?
I'm sure it hAndles well in our crazy winter storms?
Fab
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top