2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features
  • Inexpensive compared to similar vehicles
  • Good off-road capability
  • On-road performance isn't as smooth as its competitors
  • Some cheap-looking interior materials

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Suzuki Grand Vitara has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 73 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

The Suzuki Grand Vitara is designed to excel at off-road driving, and it ranks well when compared to other off-road SUVs. However, it can't match the on-road performance, comfort, or family-friendly options available with top crossover SUVs. Regardless, Suzuki gives the Grand Vitara an edge on price, with the base model starting at less than $20,000, and with a category-leading warranty. "The 2008 Grand Vitara -- which has seats for five, a standard V-6 and a limited powertrain warranty that lasts for 100,000 miles or seven years, whichever comes first -- has the lowest starting retail price of all 2008 V-6-powered SUVs with four doors," says the Associated Press.

If you want both on- and off-road performance in a small package, reviews show that the Grand Vitara is a good option. However, some reviewers are still unsure about the Grand Vitara's overall value, especially given its poor gas mileage for the class.

The Grand Vitara places near the bottom of the small SUV class for fuel efficiency.  With gas prices stretching to record highs in 2008, that has driven many buyers away from the market, and the Grand Vitara is now listed among the slowest-selling SUVs in America.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara introduces its 2008 model with no major changes, but a redesign is expected for 2009. The four-door SUV seats five and is available in several trims -- base, X Sport, and Luxury -- with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive.

  • "The Vitara has good overall vision, a spacious cabin, and straightforward controls. Its side-hinged, rear cargo door provides quick and efficient access and the Suzuki has the feel of a multi-use ranch vehicle. Beyond its appealing price, it may not do anything as the best in its class. But it does most things well." -- The Weekly Driver
  • "Suzuki's Grand Vitara wasn't thrilling to drive, but it's pleasant enough -- and pleasure becomes relative when price enters the mix. If you're part of a family of four that's looking for functionality AND great value, this SUV might just have you shouting for joy." -- Mother Proof
  • "For a small ute, this one is not all that bad, although we wonder just how many folks have Suzuki on their radar screen." -- AutoWeek
  • "The latest version of this small SUV is not all that small and is far more contemporary than the fundamental truck it replaced. It has a much cleaner look, and a new unibody chassis improves on-road ride and handling substantially. One carry-over: the 100,000-mile warranty." -- Car and Driver

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