Though a 2006 redesign made the five-passenger Grand Vitara compact SUV more civilized on-road, it still has the goods to perform decently off-road as well — with features like a built-in ladder frame and truck-style four-wheel-drive with low range gearing. But the redesigned Vitara’s unibody construction, along with a fully independent suspension, makes for kinder, gentler ride and handling characteristics than the previous truck-based generation could muster. Power comes from a 2.7-liter V-6 engine that generates 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, with a choice of a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. An available, dual-range, Four Mode four-wheel-drive system includes a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing for off-road use — along with a fully automatic single-mode version. Front-side and side-curtain airbags are offered, along with anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and stability and traction control systems. The Grand Vitara is offered in one trim level with three optional equipment packages offered.
2006 Suzuki Grand VitaraEnlarge Photo