The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a backbencher among all the sport utility vehicles (SUVs) available in the market. However, that is not to say there is something dramatically wrong with the compact SUV. The vehicle is merely overshadowed by its more high profile, high performance counterparts.
The 2011 Grand Vitara, though outclassed in several segments, is driven by those who want a worthy alternative to many of the other compact SUVs available in the market. Customers on a strict budget are likely to opt for this vehicle, as it is economical as compared to some of the SUVs on the road.
The cabin of the vehicle is relatively quiet, but the existing noise can be an issue while cruising along a highway. In fact, the four-cylinder engine adds to the noise, as it struggles to haul the vehicle. The handling of the car isn’t as stable as that of its peers, and the overall quality of the ride isn’t what you’d expect from a car.
Body styles: compact SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed manual, five-speed manual
Models: Suzuki Grand Vitara, Suzuki Grand Vitara Premium, Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited
For 2011 Suzuki has added new features to the Grand Vitara’s navigation system as well as introducing Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility for the Premium trim level. The optional V-6 engine has been dropped.
The 2011 Grand Vitara’s exterior features accented fender flares, 16-inch wheels, standard front tow hooks, and a spare tire mounted on the tailgate.
The five-passenger interior of the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is attractive, but somewhat uninspiring at the same time. The controls and gauges are easy to read and are well positioned, with the exception of the detachable navigation system that requires a bit of stretching to reach.
Despite having decent legroom, the leather upholstery of the Limited version is not as comfortable as the cloth-covered seats of the Premium and Base models. Another significant shortcoming in the compact SUV is the lack of storage space for smaller items like portable MP3 players and mobile phones. Storing larger items may also be a problem for some, due to the 60/40 foldable rear seats, which means that the cargo space is, at most, 69 cubic feet. The rear door, hinged on the right side of the passenger seat, leads to the cumbersome loading and unloading of cargo.
Performance & Handling
In 2011, the Suzuki Grand Vitara did away with the V-6 engine. All models are now available with a four-cylinder 2.4-liter inline engine that generates 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed manual transmission system is standard to the base model, while all other variants comprise a four-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel drive is a standard feature. The Premium version, however, is also available with a four-wheel drive option, along with a low-ranged transfer case. The Limited edition is offered with the four-mode, four-wheel drive system that enables the vehicle to be flat-towed without adding any extra miles to the odometer.
Until now, no major problem has been reported with regard to the spares of the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara. At least one service is recommended every year, along with preventive maintenance. The alloy wheels of the vehicle have good grip and don’t require frequent changing. The engine is also sturdy, and, except for the noise every once in a while, no problem has been reported. The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara should be serviced at an authorized service center, rather than a general service station, when possible.
Safety features of the vehicle include stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags, and antilock disc brakes. The heavy SUV needs a mere 110 feet to stop at 60 mph, an undoubtedly extraordinary performance from such a car.
The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is yet to be tested. However, in government tests, the 2010 version earned four stars (out of a maximum of five) with regard to front-impact protection for both the passenger and the driver. The side-impact tests notched a perfect five stars for both the rear and front-seat occupants. The 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara was awarded the highest ?good? rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the frontal-offset test, and got the second-highest ?acceptable? rating for the side test from the same institute.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Grand Vitara: 19/26 mpg city/highway
- Generous array of standard features
- Extensive powertrain warranty
- Good capacity for cargo
You Won't Like
- Acceleration is pokey
- Interior lacks storage compartments
- Side-street loading is difficult because of right-hinged rear cargo door
- Uncomfortable over long distances
While the 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara is capable of a decent runabout for daily errands and commuting, the firm seats and the somewhat unrefined ride quality lead to longer trips being less pleasant.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Kia Sportage
- Subaru Forester
- Toyota RAV4