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2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review
SUV with all the bells and whistles.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara is an aging compact SUV that's increasingly outdistanced by the competition. It's similar in size and appearance to the Suzuki Vitara SUV, but the larger model has a selection of additional features and a V-6 engine instead of a four-cylinder. A four-door hardtop is the sole body style, unlike the regular Vitara, which also comes as a two-door convertible. It comes in three trim levels: JLS, midrange JLX, and top-of-the-line Limited.
Engines: 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed manual
Models: Suzuki Vitara, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Suzuki Aerio
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara updated the dashboard and console for a higher quality look. Other additions this year include aluminum wheels, a seven-speaker stereo system with a CD player, adjustable center armrest with CD storage, an overhead console with reading lamps and storage compartments, and a smaller rear headrest design for better reward visibility. The Limited has been dropped this year and last year's JLS and JLX models have been merged, leaving only one trim level for 2003.
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara gives its driver a choice of two base colors: black onyx and silky silver metallic. Four two-tone colors are available: cassis red pearl/cool beige metallic, cats eye blue metallic/silky silver metallic, grove green metallic/cool beige metallic, and pearl white/silky silver metallic. Standard exterior features on the base tires and wheels series include steel wheels, 10-inch wheels, a steel spare wheel mounted on the tailgate, P235/60R S tires, all-season tires, outside rear mounted spare tire, and a full-size matching spare tire. Roof and glass features include intermittent wipers, privacy glass, a rear defogger, a rear window wiper, and a roof rack. There is a rear side-hinged door. Fog lamps and a power sunroof are included on the Limited model.
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara is 70.1 inches wide, 67.3 inches tall, and 164.5 inches wide. Ground clearance is seven inches, front track is 59.1 inches, rear track is 59.1 inches, and the wheelbase is 97.6 inches. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 23.5 cubic feet. Maximum cargo capacity is 50.2 cubic feet, and maximum towing capacity is 1500 pounds when adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades. Gross weight is 3990 pounds and curb weight is 3075 pounds.
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara offer beige and gray as its interior color options. Front head room measures at 39.9 inches, front hip room measures at 50.7 inches, front leg room measures at 41.4 inches, and front shoulder room measures at 52.8 inches. The rear seatback is split folding, and base seat covering is cloth. Power features include remote (key fob) power door locks, power mirrors, and one-touch power windows.
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara offers convenience features such as cruise control, front cup holders, front and rear door pockets, an overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, power steering, 12-volt front and 12-volt cargo area power outlets, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel. Standard interior comforts extend to interior air-filtration, air-conditioning, a cargo area light, front reading lights, and dual vanity mirrors. A standard clock, tachometer, external temperature display, and a low fuel level warning are included. The entertainment package comes equipped with one subwoofer, a mast antenna, seven speakers, and an AM/FM in-dash single CD player stereo.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara features a MacPherson strut front suspension, solid live axle rear suspension, and front independent suspension. The V-6 standard engine has a torque of 162 lb-ft at 4000 rpm and 165 horsepower at 6500 rpm.
The 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara provide safety and security base features that include child seat anchors, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, two front headrests, two rear headrests, a rear center lap belt, electronic brake force distribution, front height adjustable headrests, and rear height adjustable headrests. IIHS crash frontal offset test rated acceptable. The side impact test rated poor with the rear crash protection/head restraint safety test, which also rated poor.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Standard V-6
- Distinctive looks
- Impressive list of standard features
- Low-range transfer case with four-wheel drive option
- Wheel audio and cruise controls
You Won't Like
- Harsh suspension
- Unimpressive brakes
- Cramped rear seats
- Lack of cargo space
- Mediocre gas mileage
SUV with all the bells and whistles.
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