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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.
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