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TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara to bring you this hands-on review that covers styling, performance, safety, utility, and features from on-the-road observations. TheCarConnection.com's editors also researched reviews from other sources to give you a comprehensive range of opinions from around the Web-and to help you decide which ones to trust. High Gear Media drove a manufacturer-provided Suzuki Grand Vitara to produce this hands-on road test.
- Agile in-town maneuvers
- Upright seating position
- Serious off-road abilities
- Bouncy ride and suspension
- Tailgate-mounted spare tire
- Archaic four-speed automatic
- Not very fuel efficient for its size
The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara compact SUV holds five passengers, has civilized on-road handling, and brings more off-road capability than many of its competitors-including such features as a ladder frame and available four-wheel drive with a low range, more like a truck than a crossover. Redesigned for the 2009 model year, its unibody construction and fully independent suspension provide a kinder, gentler ride and better handling characteristics than previous truck-based Grand Vitara models could offer. Starting at a base price of $18,999 (plus $795 freight), the 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara faces off against stiff competition from the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, the Ford Escape, the Chevrolet Equinox, and the Hyundai Tucson.
The 2010 Grand Vitara has clean if forgettable lines that are square-cut without being domineering. It was extensively upgraded last year with a new front bumper and grille design, along with some thoughtful interior enhancements: illuminated controls on the steering wheel, visor extenders, a sliding front center armrest, and an upgraded audio system.
For the 2010 model year, the Suzuki Grand Vitara is available with two engines: a four and a V-6-as are many of its competitors. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 166 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. It delivers EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 highway with the five-speed manual, and 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway with the four-speed automatic. The larger 3.2-liter V-6 engine, offered in the 2010 Grand Vitara XSport and Luxury models, produces 230 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a more modern five-speed automatic transmission. It is rated by the EPA at 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway-the mileage for either engine is bested by others in the class.