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2003 Suzuki Vitara

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2003 Suzuki Vitara Review

Comfortable space, good handling, and good for short day or weekend trips.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara is a small SUV that is being squeezed out of its market share. Having off-road capability and being a convertible isn't a strong enough draw for buyers; however, in the world of urban SUVs, it offers real off-road capability. It’s equipped with a two-speed transfer case, body-on-frame construction, and a suspension designed for dirty off-roading. Most of the other utilities in this class do not offer the same type of off-pavement equipment needed.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: Suzuki Vitara, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Suzuki Aerio

What's New

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara merges the JLS and JLX trim levels.

Exterior

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara gives its driver a choice of four colors: ivy green metallic, platinum silver metallic, satin black and victory red. Standard exterior features on the base model include steel wheels, 16-inch wheels, a steel spare wheel, all-season tires, and outside rear mounted spare tire, and a full-size matching spare tire. There is a rear side-hinged door and manual convertible roof. Towing and hauling features include cargo tie downs with a maximum towing capacity of 1000 pounds when adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades. Maximum cargo capacity is 37.7 cubic feet. Curbside loading may be complicated in both body types by cargo doors that swing right instead of left. The four-door model is 10 inches longer (163 inches) and is built on a longer wheelbase (97.6 inches). Furthermore, it has a wagon-style body with a permanent steel top and are available with a JLS trim level and a 4WD JLX. Horsepower is the same in both models.

Interior

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara offers only color option, which is gray, and the standard seat covering is cloth. Front head room measures at 40.9 inches, front hip room is 50.6 inches, front leg room is 41.4 inches, and front shoulder room is 53 inches. The rear seats are split folding, and power features include remote power door locks, power mirrors, and one-touch power windows. Back seats are hard and upright in all models. It offers convenience such as cruise control, a front console with storage, front cup holders, front door pockets, front seatback storage, power steering, 12-volt front power outlets, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. Interior air filtration, air-conditioning, a cargo area light, front reading lights, and dual vanity mirrors add to interior comforts. Four speakers add to the in-car entertainment, which consists of a AM/FM in-dash single CD player stereo system.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara features a MacPherson strut front suspension, solid live axle rear suspension, and front independent suspension. The four-wheel drive is less convenient than rival systems on-road and is somewhat more capable off road.

Safety

The 2003 Suzuki Vitara Safety and security base features include child seat anchors, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, two front and two rear headrests, key fob (remote keyless entry), electronic brake force distribution, and front and rear height adjustable headrests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki Vitara: 20/24 mpg city/ highway

You'll Like

  • Available two-door soft-top body style
  • Truck-based body-on-frame construction
  • Off-road capability
  • Maneuverability

You Won't Like

  • Small cargo space
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Lacks refinement
  • manual convertible roof
  • manual transmission on SUV

Sum Up

Comfortable space, good handling, and good for short day or weekend trips.

If You Like This Vehicle

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