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2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

A compact SUV with a generous list of standard features.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara classifies as a compact SUV that sells as either a two-door convertible or a larger four-door wagon. Both the wagon and the convertible offer two-wheel or four-wheel drive.

The Grand Vitara shares a lot in common with the Chevrolet Tracker. This mainly results from the fact that both models come from a Canadian plant that’s co-operated by Suzuki and General Motors.

One of the best things about the Grand Vitara and the Tracker is that unlike most small SUVs, Suzuki’s and GM’s compacts use a truck chassis, as opposed to the car-based chasses utilized by many similar models.

For 2001 Suzuki offers the Grand Vitara in three trim levels: the JLS, JLS+, and Limited.

The Grand Vitara lacks cargo and passenger space, but it performs reasonably well on the road and boasts a generous list of standard features. While it may not be the best vehicle available in its class, the 2001 Grand Vitara deserves consideration if you seek a well-equipped, well-rounded compact SUV.

The Range

Body styles: four-door wagon, two-door convertible
Engines: 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Suzuki Grand Vitara JLS, Suzuki Grand Vitara JLS+, Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited

What's New

Suzuki makes a number of changes to the Grand Vitara for 2001. These include the introduction of new front and rear bumpers, as well as a restyled grille. Changes made to the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara’s interior include a bigger double-DIN AM/FM stereo with a dash-mounted CD player, adjustable front-seat armrests, new head restraints, child-seat tether hooks, and new fabric for the seats. The line-topping Limited offers a better stereo, a tilt-and-slide power sunroof, and aluminum wheels.


The four-door 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara measures 165 inches long while the convertible remains eleven inches shorter. However both models measure equally wide and tall. The convertible Grand Vitara comes equipped with a canvas top that folds down manually. Both body styles feature a tailgate-mounted spare tire. For 2001 changes to the Grand Vitara include the introduction of new front and rear bumpers as well as a new grille. The JLS+ features 16-inch alloy wheels as well, and the Limited adds tinted glass and a monochromatic paint scheme.


The 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara convertible seats four, while the wagon version accommodates five. Unfortunately both models offer limited rear-seat legroom. Cargo space also remains limited in both models, although it expands to as much as 45 cubic feet by folding down the split rear seats.

The base JLS comes equipped with air-conditioning, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, a premium AM/FM stereo, and front bucket seats. The midrange JLS+ includes additional features like a dash-mounted CD player. The line-topping Limited contains all of these features along with standard leather seats.

Performance & Handling

All three versions of the 2001 Grand Vitara come equipped with the same 2.5-liter V-6 engine. Rated at 155 horsepower, the Grand Vitara’s V-6 also produces 160 lb-ft of torque. The 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara’s suspension features an advanced MacPherson strut design in front and a five-link coil-spring design in the rear. The Grand Vitara feels composed and controlled in off-road situations but perhaps a little rougher than it might be on the highway. Also the Grand Vitara’s V-6, while adequate, pales when compared to the power plants found in competing compact models; most notably those belonging to the Nissan Xterra and the Ford Escape.


Standard safety features for the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara include child seat anchors, a remote anti-theft alarm system, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, daytime running lights, and electronic brake force distribution. In passenger and driver impact tests conducted by the NHTSA the Grand Vitara receives four out of five stars while in rollover tests it earns three stars. The Grand Vitara also receives second-best ratings of ""Acceptable"" in frontal-offset and rear crash protection tests conducted by the IIHS. However in IIHS side-impact tests, it gets the lowest rating of ""Poor.""

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki Grand Vitara: 17/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good standard V-6 engine
  • Distinctive appearance
  • 4x4 boasts low-range transfer case

You Won't Like

  • Harsh suspension
  • Poor braking distance
  • Cramped rear seating area
  • Limited amount of cargo space

Sum Up

A compact SUV with a generous list of standard features.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Nissan Xterra
  • Ford Escape
  • Mazda Tribute

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