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2008 Suzuki XL7

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2008 Suzuki XL7 Review

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 may have poor driving dynamics, but the long list of standard features may draw you to it anyway.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 is a midsize crossover SUV that will impress any car buyer looking for a good family vehicle. While it isn’t exactly a powerhouse, nor does it boast the best driving experience in the crowded SUV market, it does offer an array of standard features and safety equipment that will appeal greatly to those searching for a vehicle that the whole family will love.

The price is the big kicker. All the extra features easily make up for the XL7’s various mechanical issues, and the low price offers serious competition for some of the larger SUVs on the market.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize crossover SUV
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control
Models: Suzuki XL7, Suzuki XL7 Premium, Suzuki XL7 Premium 7-passenger, Suzuki XL7 Luxury, Suzuki XL7 Luxury 7-passenger, Suzuki XL7 Limited 7-passenger

What's New

Suzuki completely redesigned the XL7 in 2006, so hardly any changes were implemented for the 2008 model year. Trim levels were simplified, and the base model was made available only as a five-passenger vehicle.

Exterior

The 2008 Suzuki XL7’s base trim line comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, and automatic on/off headlamps. The Premium trim line adds 17-inch wheels, and the Luxury trim includes the 17-inch wheels and a sunroof. The Limited model is the top of the line, featuring all of the above features, with 17-inch chrome wheels and fog lamps.

Interior

The interior of the 2008 Suzuki XL7 is large and comfortable, and is arguably the best of the entire Suzuki line. Most of the design and materials are good, although there is some cheap plastic that lowers the interior quality. Also, window switches are mounted on the center console, which is a bit ugly and inconvenient.

Legroom is more than spacious, but shoulder room is a bit cramped – especially for passengers in the second and optional third row seats. The middle row has a 60/40 split and can be stowed away in the floor, and the optional third row seat has a 50/50 split that stows in the same fashion. The front passenger seat will also fold flat, providing an unprecedented amount of extra space. With the seats in the lowered position, the interior will hold a whopping 95.2 cubic square feet.

Standard features on the base model include full power accessories, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, automatic climate control, a trip computer, and a six-speaker stereo system. The Premium model adds floor mats and a faux wood trim, and the Luxury trim line includes leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an in-dash six-CD changer. The Limited trim has all of the aforementioned features, and adds a remote engine start option, a satellite radio, and a premium Pioneer sound system.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 comes equipped with a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 252 horsepower with 243 lb-ft of torque. The engine is wed to a five-speed automatic with manual controls. All the trim lines are equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) except the base model, which has standard, front-wheel drive. Fuel economy on all the trim lines is about average, measuring up with most of the competition.

The 2008 Suzuki XL7’s engine is powerful and handles itself well, placing it in the same league as some of the larger SUVs on the market. The car drives nicely on the freeway, the cabin is quiet, and the ride quality is comfortable. The suspension is a bit too soft, and makes cornering difficult when moving at high speeds. If you’re looking for a sporty SUV, this isn’t it.

Safety

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 comes with full-length side curtain airbags, stability control, and traction control. It was given five out of five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for front-impact and side-impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the XL7 its highest rating of ""good"" for frontal-offset crash tests, although it gave its second-highest rating of ""acceptable"" for side-impact crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Suzuki XL7 Base: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL7 Premium: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL7 Premium 7-passenger: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL7 Luxury: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL7 Luxury 7-passenger: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Suzuki XL7 Limited 7-passenger: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordable price
  • Lots of standard features
  • Lengthy optional feature list
  • Great crash test scores
  • Long warranty coverage

You Won't Like

  • Some cheap interior plastics
  • Underwhelming driving dynamics
  • Tight shoulder space

Sum Up

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 may have poor driving dynamics, but the long list of standard features may draw you to it anyway.

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