7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.5
Reliability:
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2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara Review

The 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara has good off-road performance and a comfortable interior, but its on-road performance and low safety ratings leave a lot to be desired.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine options
  • Good off-road capability
  • Comfortable interior with easy-to-use controls
  • Low safety ratings
  • On-road performance is not as smooth as competitors’

New for 2009

  • Improved four-cylinder engine and available V6 engine
  • Redesigned controls, front grille and bumper design

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara Overview

Though it excels off-road, reviewers thought the 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara just isn’t suited for daily driving. Like most 2009 compact SUVs, the Grand Vitara offers the choice of a four-cylinder or V6 engine, and auto critics agreed that the Grand Vitara has an adequate amount of power. Test drivers felt that the Grand Vitara’s on-road handling was bouncy and that the steering was vague.

Like most off-road SUVs, the Grand Vitara also uses more fuel than competing crossovers. With up to 19/26 mpg city/highway, the Grand Vitara has slightly below-average ratings for the class. The Grand Vitara also carries low safety ratings 

Reviewers generally liked the Grand Vitara’s cabin quality, as well as its straightforward controls, which they thought were easy to use. Test drivers also liked the Grand Vitara’s comfortable and supportive seats, noting that the back seats recline for added comfort. Most reviewers agreed that the Grand Vitara has disappointing cargo space with all seats in use, but if you fold the rear seats, the Grand Vitara offers a competitive 67.3 cubic feet of space.

The Grand Vitara’s standard features include automatic climate control, keyless entry, automatic headlights, cruise control and a stereo with steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, push-button start and Bluetooth were available as options or on higher trim levels when the Grand Vitara was new.

See the full 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for a small SUV that strikes a balance between off-road ability and the practicality of a daily driver, consider the 2009 Jeep Patriot. Like the Grand Vitara, the Patriot can’t match the car-like ride of competing small crossovers, but reviewers appreciated its good cargo space and versatile interior when the Patriot was new. The Patriot also offers slightly better safety ratings, which the Grand Vitara can’t match.

The redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester combines strong safety scores with good performance. When it was new, reviewers praised the Forester’s on- and off-road performance. The Forester comes with standard all-wheel drive, but still manages to get better fuel economy and is more powerful than the Grand Vitara. You’ll also gain better performance and better interior quality with the Forester.

Compare the Grand Vitara to the Patriot and Forester »

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