One big question is whether this SUV is built off of Theta or not. We already know that by 2007, Suzuki will have atleast one Theta-based SUV in their lineup. Rumors have been circulating that the new Grand Vitara is based off of Theta, but there are also rumors that it is truck-based.
Another thing is that Suzuki's Theta SUV will be their first crossover vehicle. That crossover vehicle is supposedly the next XL7 with 3 rows of seats. Another thing is that the next-generation XL7 is supposedly not an enlarged Grand Vitara.
As for engines, many believe that the new Grand Vitara will use the XL7's current 2.7L V6. Word is that it will be upgraded to around 190-200HP and whether that it thanks to VVT we are yet to find out.
But considering that GM and Suzuki have already signed a contract stating that Suzuki can use GM's High-Feature 2.8L and 3.6L V6s, there maybe a good chance that the Grand Vitara will be the first to use one. If not, we can bet that the next XL7 will use one of those.
Here's what I think:
The GV is Theta-based with a 2.8L HF.
The GV is truck-based with a 2.8L HF.
The GV is Theta-based with a 2.7L
The GV is truck-based with a 2.7L
Hehe Ming, you asked a question which I can answer directly! I chose the XL7 for both those reasons. I like the fact that I can go off-roading that isn't as harsh as a Jeep or Hummer, but not as weak as a Pilot or Highlander. I was also considering a TrailBlazer EXT, but the wife and I decided that was a little too big for us - just barely.
I also got it for the 3rd row, which is actually pretty "spacious" for an SUV this size. Compared to the Highlander and Pilot, the XL7's 3rd row sacrifices cargo room for leg room and overall comfort - and I don't mind.