2002 Suzuki XL-7

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2002 Suzuki XL-7 Review

Answers a need in a limited class with a compact SUV that seats seven.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Suzuki XL-7 made its debut in 2001 as the Grand Vitara XL-7; however in 2002 the XL-7 is a separate entity from the Grand and is badged independently as the 2002 Suzuki XL-7. The XL-7 indicates its ability to seat seven with bucket seats in front, a three-seat bench in the middle, and a folding rear seat for two. By comparison, the Grand Vitara only seats five.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Suzuki XL-7, Suzuki XL-7 Plus, Suzuki XL-7 Touring, Suzuki XL-7 Limited

What's New

The 2002 Suzuki XL-7 gets independent badging and an upgraded V-6 engine. Inside, it gets the LATCH child seat system, new upholstery, and an improved cargo floor design. Anti-lock brakes are offered as an option. The top-of-the-line Limited gets wood grain trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Suzuki is now offering its customers 24-hour emergency roadside assistance and towing for the length of the vehicle warranty in an effort to increase customer satisfaction.

Exterior

The 2002 Suzuki XL-7 is based on the Grand Vitara but has a 12.6-inch longer wheelbase, which allows the third-row split-folding seat. Its overall length is 183.7 inches making it 19 inches longer overall. Like all of Suzuki's SUVs, it's built on a truck chassis. The side-hinged tailgate opens to the right.

Interior

The 2002 Suzuki XL-7 offers plenty of luggage space with the rearmost seat folded. Legroom is also in short supply in the second- and third-row seating, although second row is better than third and front row is agreeable. The good news is the longer wheelbase absorbs rough patches well and the ride is fairly comfortable.

The 2002 Suzuki XL-7's convenience features include cruise control, front and rear cup holders, front and rear door pockets, and front seatback storage. Drivers will appreciate the tilt-adjustable steering wheel and the 12-volt front and cargo area power outlets are handy features. Interior air filtration and air-conditioning make the ride more enjoyable as well. There are front reading lights and dual vanity mirrors up front and a cargo area light in the rear.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Suzuki XL-7 gives an eager enough performance. Its automatic transmission responds with quick, crisp shifts. Around town it maneuvers easily through corners and curves. It can be equipped with either rear or four-wheel drive and is powered by a 2.7-liter V-6 engine. It cranks outs 183 horsepower versus 170 hp in previous models. It also gives 10 more lb-ft of torque with 180 lb-ft of torque in this configuration. It is equipped with the five-speed manual transmission standard but a four-speed automatic is also available.

Safety

In the 2002 Suzuki XL-7, consumers can find such safety features as the LATCH child safety seat system and rear door child safety locks. There are also daytime running lights and dusk sensing headlights, front seatbelt pretensioners, and adjustable headrests. Brakes are ventilated front disc and rear drum with electronic brake force distribution.

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki XL-7: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL-7 Plus: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL-7 Touring: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL-7 Limited: 15/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordable base price
  • Good on- and off-road handling
  • Stylish good looks

You Won't Like

  • Second- and third-row seating is tight
  • Interior materials don't measure up to the rest of the package
  • No side airbags available

Sum Up

Answers a need in a limited class with a compact SUV that seats seven.

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