When we talk about Suzuki, the first thing that comes to mind is the company’s decision in 2012 to pull its automobile division out of the United States market. Still, some of their lineup offers desirable features, and the Grand Vitara is OK as far as affordable crossovers go.
Sometimes it’s the little things, and while automated climate control and a navigation system are usually premiums in other SUVs (meaning, you’ll pay extra for them) both come standard in the GV. Keyless entry and large dials on the console controls make for added convenience.
Changes for 2012
For 2012 the Grand Vitara got a minor tailgate restyle, as well as a boost to the navigation system with the addition of voice recognition and bonus features like weather and traffic.
What We Like
The cargo room is generous – with 69 cubic feet of space when the fold-n-tumble seats are down, you’ll have little trouble transporting equipment for nearly any activity (or a whole lot of groceries). The GV seats five and the interior is unrefined yet functional and reasonably comfortable.
What Concerns Us
The modest 4-cylinder struggles to power the weight of the Grand Vitara and the ride is less than luxuriously smooth. At high speeds road noise can become an annoyance and the side-opening tailgate is a throwback to the old days of the woody station wagon. Plus, there’s the issue of Suzuki closing up shop on American car sales. Service can still be obtained for the brand but you’ll want to check your local area.
There is only one engine option in the 2012 Grand Vitara – a 2.4L inline 4 that has 162 lb.-ft. torque and 166 HP, garnering a reasonable 19/26 mpg fuel efficiency in the base manual 5-speed, 19/25 in the automatic, and 19/23 in the versions with 4-wheel drive.
The Premium trim offers an upgrade to 4-wheel drive while the Limited version is the only way to get 4-mode 4-wheel drive (useful on steep and rugged terrain because it allows low-range gearing).
There are no major recalls on the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Most Common Issues
There are not many reported issues with this vehicle and consumer reviews are overall positive. There has been one report of a GV that was less than two months old bursting into flames under the hood.
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