1 Jul 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
The basic idea behind the JA627-series XL-7 was to stretch the Grand Vitara wheelbase to get a third row in, eke out more power from the baby Grand's V6 engine and throw in a vast amount of standard equipment – all for a value price.
Sadly for Suzuki, the Vitara heritage means its fine off-road prowess comes at the expense of limited on-road ability compared to car-based SUVs.
A shortage of seating cleverness also restricts available space, spoiling an otherwise spacious and comfortable cabin. Power came courtesy of a 130kW/231Nm 2.7-litre DOHC 24V V6 engine mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed auto gearbox.
From March ’02 the XL-7 Limited added leather trim and a sunroof to the package. A new classier dash and cabin were implemented early in ’03.