2003 Suzuki XL-7

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2003 Suzuki XL-7 Review

Great vehicle from the Suzuki that can go side by side with the big names of the segment.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2003 Suzuki XL-7 was first released in 2001 under guise of the Grand Vitara XL-7. For 2003, it proudly dons the XL7 badging to distinguish itself from the smaller Grand Vitara. Its name denotes its capacity to accommodate seven passengers, but can only carry five individuals. The standard version actually just seats five persons, but its upper-scale version can hold seven. Aside from the good styling and the good value it offers, it can deliver what it promises. It depends on a 2.7-liter, V-6 engine that can either be paired with a manual or automatic gearbox.

The Range

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

What's New

The designers and engineers of the 2003 Suzuki XL7 improved on the console and dash of the Grand Vitara XL-7. It boasts of wood trim, chrome accents, and adds an accessory outlet. The occupants will also be able to appreciate good music with the seven-speaker system. Other notable changes are integrated cruise control and audio control buttons on the steering wheel, and a center armrest with CD compartment. The headrests on the rear are also smaller to improve rearward visibility.

Exterior

The 2003 Suzuki XL-7 has a wheelbase of 110.2 inches, which is a foot longer than the Grand Vitara. It's also longer at 183.6 inches or about 19 inches more. Both vehicles are almost of the same height. It makes use of Suzuki's truck chassis just like the other SUVs of the brand. The tailgate is side-hinged and can be swung open towards the right. It is available in seven exterior color finishes, while the consumers have the basic beige and gray interior colors. All models come with a roof rack as standard.

Interior

The 2003 Suzuki XL-7 has two-three-two layout in the higher-end seven-seater. The driver and front passenger get comfortable bucket seats. The center passengers share a three-place bench. At the rear is a rear seat that can hold two and can be folded when more storage capacity is desired. The standard interior comes with cloth upholstery, while the Limited version receives leather treatment. It comes standard with air-conditioning, CD player, spare tire, keyless entry, power windows, locks, and mirrors. The Plus version has third row seats and air-conditioning in the rear cabin. The Touring version comes with a sunroof, spoiler, and a CD player. The Limited model comes with an leather interior trim, wood-grain treatment for the dashboard, and running boards.

Performance & Handling

Under the 2003 Suzuki XL-7's hood is a 2.7-liter, Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) V-6 with 24 valves. This power plant gives out 183 horses while revving at 6000 rpm and produces a torque of 180 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The engine is linked either to a four-speed automatic gearbox or a five-speed manual transmission. It also comes either as a rear drive or a four-wheel drive. The performance delivers a good driving experience with the automatic gearbox shifting quickly and crisply, and it can easily manage curves and corners. The driver might feel some body roll but it is not that significant. It is very stable and easy to drive requiring only minor corrections while cruising on the highway. The ride quality is a bit rough and imperfections on the road can be felt. The occupants in front have a lot of space but those on the second row will not enjoy the same legroom. The cargo shelf is also very limited in the rear especially when the foldable seat is occupied.

Safety

The 2003 Suzuki XL-7 Limited and Touring come standard with an Anti-lock Brake System, while it's optional for the other trims using 4WD. There are no side-impact airbags available.

EPA Fuel Economy

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

You'll Like

  • Good value for money
  • Great performance on and off the paved road
  • Option for seven-passenger capacity
  • Stylish design lines

You Won't Like

  • Cramped middle and third row seats
  • No side airbags

Sum Up

Great vehicle from the Suzuki that can go side by side with the big names of the segment.

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