2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
In Europe in particular, Suzuki wants to continue growing. But not with the XL-7 for the time being. It lacks something that Suzuki believes the old continent is waiting for. That is why it stays where it already is: in the USA.
By Stefan Grundhoff
On the streets of New York, the Suzuki XL-7 shows that it definitely has a chance in Europe too. But without a diesel engine, the Suzuki executives have so far not given the very affordable XL-7 a chance. A Suzuki XL-7 was formerly also available on the European market. The previous model of the Grand Vitara crowned the range with a top model called the XL-7. In the USA the XL-7 is an independent vehicle in the significantly higher positioned Suzuki range. "We could certainly imagine an XL-7 SUV with seven seats in Europe as well," said Minoru Amano, President of Suzuki International Europe GmbH, "not just because it is a growing segment. In 2007 we sold around 334,000 vehicles across Europe; a quarter of them were Grand Vitara.
No Europe ticket without diesel
But no European mission without a diesel engine. So Suzuki is going a different way than Nissan, noble brother Infiniti or Mazda. Suzuki's XL-7 is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Equinox, with which it is produced on a line in Canada. With a total length of five meters and a wheelbase of 2.85 meters, it is positioned well above the Grand Vitara and, at least in terms of dimensions, competes against vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Nissan Pathfinder. Apart from the almost avant-garde front lights and an upwardly drawn plastic apron, its design is hardly noticeable.
With a thirsty V6 engine
While its European brother is powered by a 1.9 liter common rail diesel from Renault and a meager 129 hp, the 1.8 ton XL-7 can draw on unlimited resources. Its 3.6 liter V6 engine develops 185 kW / 252 hp and 350 Nm at 2,300 rpm. The power is transferred to either one or two axles via a five-speed automatic transmission. The average consumption is twelve liters of super per 100 kilometers. On the crowded streets of Manhattan it gets a few liters more. But when it gets uncomfortable between Park Avenue and Grand Central Station, you quickly learn to appreciate the comfort of the XL-7. The automatic works just as discreetly in the background as the six-cylinder. Annoying, but just American, are the spongy steering and the noticeable pitching and rolling movements. A European Grand Vitara is much tighter.
The space inside is generous. It is easy to travel in the first and second rows. The controls are clearly laid out, some switches are too dimly lit and the rear headrests are too small. If necessary, two more seats can be folded out in the large trunk. Head and legroom are rather tight. Comfort and safety equipment are exemplary. Front, side and head airbags are also included in the standard package, as are ABS, ESP and front belt tensioners.
Next Grand Vitara 2011?
? Actually, arguments for an XL-7 in Europe, but without diesel ??, says Minoru Amano. ?? But let's take a look at the next generation of the Grand Vitara.”It should come in 2011 and should also develop significantly upwards from the dimensions. Until then, however, the XL-7 would also have a chance in our latitudes if it were offered at a similar price as in the USA. The base model Suzuki XL-7 costs just $ 21,300 as a five-seater with front-wheel drive. The XL-7 versions Luxury and Limited are seven-seater with all-wheel drive also still below the 30,000-dollar mark. It almost makes sense to import an XL-7.
Because the top model XL-7 Limited shines not only with multi-zone automatic air conditioning, level control and electric leather seats, but also 17-inch aluminum rims, Keyless Go and DVD entertainment as well as darkened windows. Optionally there is only DVD navigation and a sunroof. The fully equipped top model Suzuki XL7 3.6 AWD would hardly cost more than 20,000 euros.