2008 Suzuki XL7

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Midsize Crossover SUV delivers style, safety, spirited performance and savings

In its second model year, Suzuki’s XL7 has dramatically broadened the audience for what remains Suzuki’s largest SUV. With a powerful 3.6-liter V6, available seating for seven and more convenience and luxury features than its predecessor, the XL7 hits the sweet spot in the ultra-competitive, midsize SUV segment. It does so with four (4) five-star safety ratings for driver and front passenger frontal impact, and front and rear outboard passengers side impact.

2008 Suzuki XL72008 Suzuki XL7

For 2008, a new, more affordable base model is offered while the list of standard equipment on the Luxury and Limited models has been improved, so much so that a fully equipped XL7 Limited is a bargain compared to the key competitors’ base models.

As with all 2008 Suzuki automobiles, the XL7 is backed by America’s #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/ seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.

Performance and Powertrain

Under the hood, the Suzuki XL7 has a 3.6-liter, 24-valve V6. With variable valve timing, it delivers 252 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. Assembled by Suzuki in Japan, this modern V6 applies many advanced engine technologies, from state-of-the-art casting processes to full four-cam phasing to ultra-fast data processing and torque-based engine management to provide maximum durability with minimal maintenance.

Power is transmitted to the road via a five-speed automatic and either front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg/city and 22 mpg/highway for front-wheel-drive variants and 15 mpg/city and 22 mpg/highway for all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds, making it an ideal vehicle for active buyers seeking to tow their ATVs, motorcycles or personal watercraft.

The engine is mounted in a double-isolated engine cradle system: the engine mounts to the cradle at four points, and the cradle mounts to the rails at four points, providing double isolation from the body. The cradle system features two side load-bearing mounts and front and rear torque reaction mounts. There also is a friction snubber mounted on the passenger side of the engine to help control engine movement sometimes experienced during shifting.

New for 2008, the XL7 also offers a remote start system as a standard feature on top-of-the-line XL7 Limited models (formerly part of the Platinum Touring edition only). This system – which operates from as far as 60 meters (nearly 200 feet) – not only starts the vehicle via fob activation, but starts the climate control system – and, if temperatures are below 41°F – turns on the driver’s seat heater.

All-Wheel Drive
The available on-demand all-wheel-drive system uses an active, electronically controlled rear differential module to deliver power to the front wheels during normal driving on dry road surfaces; should the front wheels slip due to adverse traction caused by rain, snow, or a muddy driveway, power is automatically delivered to the rear wheels – up to 50 percent.

The system works automatically and seamlessly with no action needed from the driver. While engineered primarily for on-road use, the single-range design of this AWD system also provides excellent traction and mobility for minor off-road use. The added weight for the whole system is only 55 kg, including rear halfshafts.

Unlike many on-demand all-wheel-drive systems, the XL7 system is engineered to sustain a measured amount of slippage. The system was carefully engineered to suit customer needs and expectations with smooth and quiet operation.

Advanced Chassis Design

Composed ride and handling is delivered via an all-independent suspension. Bringing the XL7 to a stop are four-wheel discs, with standard ABS enhanced by electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Drivers and passengers also benefit from both a traction control system (TCS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP)1. Safety is further enhanced by a standard tire pressure monitoring system that reports the status of each tire individually.

Small details add up to provide a car-like ride. The MacPherson strut-type front suspension is designed with long wheel travel, and the design of the struts compensates for coil spring side loads.
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The bottom of the coil spring is anchored more outboard in the spring perch to relieve the bending load on the strut caused when located further outboard.

The independent rear suspension is fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers in the five-passenger configuration and Nivomat load-leveling rear shock absorbers for the available seven-passenger design. The multi-link rear suspension design features a trailing arm plus three additional locating links to allow a low, wide load floor and maximum rear-passenger space. The vertical design of the rear-trailing arm provides flexibility in the twisting direction so the wheel can maintain camber as it moves vertically. The three locating links are designed to manage lateral loads and control the dynamic toe-in of the rear wheel.

The Nivomat suspension makes a substantial contribution to driving safety and comfort under changing load conditions. The front wheels remain properly loaded, so the handling remains comfortable, precise and safe for the driver, passengers and cargo.

The Nivomat suspension is compact – all elements are completely integrated into the damper. It automatically sets the optimum ride height based on load conditions and the relative movements of the axle and vehicle body. Depending on road conditions, the vehicle attains its ideal height within a few hundred meters. The vehicle’s suspension performance remains constant over virtually the entire rated load spectrum for consistent driving characteristics.

The fixed-ratio rack-and-pinion steering is tuned for responsiveness and good on-center feel. In addition, the steering column can be adjusted up and down to provide added driver comfort.

Stainless Steel Dual Exhaust System

The XL7 is fitted with a true dual exhaust system, constructed of durable, long-lasting stainless steel. The system was designed to supply subdued, refined exhaust tones; the goal – to achieve the best balance of quietness and tonal quality. The exhaust system features two downpipes, two catalytic converters, a center muffler, two side mufflers and two 3.5-inch diameter exhaust tips.

Safety Features

In 2008, the XL7 offers an available rear-vision camera on all XL7 Limited models. The rear-vision display in the 2008 Suzuki XL7 uses a new technology that enables the driver to back up while looking where it’s natural: the rear view mirror. When the vehicle is in Reverse, an otherwise-invisible display screen on the left side of the mirror shows the view behind the vehicle.

This enables the driver to keep his or her eyes on the natural high points he or she needs to be looking at: the rear view mirror, the front windshield and over the shoulder rather than down at rear view screen on the center console. When the car is in Park or Drive, the rearview display disappears and the rearview mirror looks normal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded its highest safety ratings to the 2008 XL7 for protection of the driver and passenger in case of a front impact, and of all outboards passengers during side impacts: five-star ratings in all cases. The XL7’s safety features are built upon the foundation of the body structure itself. The unibody construction is a high-strength steel structure, incorporating full-length frame rails and a safety cage in the middle in a single, welded unit. It also is designed with front and rear crumple zones engineered to collapse in a controlled manner, helping to absorb crash energy while protecting the integrity of the occupant safety cage. The safety cage is reinforced with welded, tubular-section members that frame the door openings and support the roof, and steel members in the doors. The combination of a single-piece door aperture and door beam reinforcements helps resist side-impact intrusion.

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 is fitted with standard four-wheel ABS with EDB and ESP (including traction control), all working together to provide a sophisticated technical safety net for the driver. The system uses a yaw sensor, lateral accelerometer and steering angle sensor to monitor vehicle and driver inputs.

Working with the standard ABS with EBD and TCS, the system can apply individual brakes selectively to control oversteer and understeer as needed to help the driver maintain control on slippery surfaces or during emergency maneuvers. Being able to control any or all of the brakes allows the ESP system to provide maximum responsiveness, control and enhanced accident avoidance capabilities, although ESP is not a substitute for safe driving practices.

The TCS uses brake and engine torque intervention to enhance traction during launch and acceleration on all road surfaces. If the ABS system detects impending wheel slip, it signals the powertrain engine control unit to adjust engine torque output accordingly. TCS also senses when one or more wheels spin faster than the vehicle’s speed and applies the brakes at that wheel or wheels. Working together, the two systems limit wheel spin and help maintain control and provide forward progress quickly and efficiently.

In addition, rollover sensing is standard on all XL7’s. The technology uses sensors to proactively monitor the vehicle’s angle and rate of roll on a flat road surface and applies brake force to the outside front and rear wheels in order to reduce lateral force in the vehicle.

Additional standard safety features include driver and front-passenger advanced airbags and side-curtain airbags, three-point seatbelts with load limiters in all (five or seven) passenger seating positions, front seat belt pretensioners, child-seat lower anchor and tethers for children (LATCH), low front bumpers for optimum safety in the event of a collision with an automobile, and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that provides the status of each wheel individually.

Sleek Design

The XL7’s unique front fascia speaks to Suzuki’s design mantra. A penetrating, three-bar grille is framed by multi-reflector, jewel-type headlamps, and Suzuki’s ‘S’ badge serves as the grille’s centerpiece. An aggressively raked windscreen adds a feeling of spaciousness to the cabin, along with enhanced aerodynamics at highway speeds. Flared wheel wells, similar to those fitted on the more off-road-oriented Grand Vitara, give an aggressive look to the XL7’s side view, while standard roof rails add visual ‘sport’ and functional ‘utility.’

Plush Interior

The 2008 Suzuki XL7 is the largest, most comfortable Suzuki SUV ever built. It offers the driver and passengers a spacious, functional interior that provides upscale sophistication and refinement. The third-row seat delivers seven-passenger capability and real comfort. With its six-inch deep footwell, the platform delivers comfortable first- and second- and ample third-row seating, offering 41.2, 38.8 and 30.8 inches of legroom and 41.3, 40 and 38.8 inches of headroom, respectively.

The reclining 60/40 split-folding second-row seat tumbles and folds, and the 50/50 split-folding third-row seat can be folded flat into the floor for additional cargo carrying room. The fold-flat front-passenger seat allows room for longer items such as ladders, surfboards or even a small kayak.

In addition to the convenience of touch-screen navigation, DVD entertainment and ample storage consoles, the interior of the 2008 Suzuki XL7 features upscale wood (beige interiors) or satin nickel (gray interiors) appliqués on the instrument panel and doors, chrome accents throughout and matte black, low-gloss dash and door upper surfaces. Leather seating surfaces and leather-wrapped steering wheel are standard on Luxury and Limited models.

Trim Levels and Packages

Four trim levels are offered: XL7 base, Premium, Luxury and Limited. The XL7 base offers five-passenger seating exclusively, the XL7 Premium and Luxury are available in both five-passenger and seven-passenger configuration and the top-of-the-line XL7 Limited features standard seven-passenger seating. All trim levels except the XL7 base will be offered with available all-wheel drive.

The XL7 offers a long list of standard features, including five-speed automatic transmission with manumatic shift, remote keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, trip computer with driver information center, auto on/off headlamps, black roof rails, 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, overhead storage compartment, air conditioning with automatic climate control and AM/FM/CD stereo system with six speakers. Standard safety features include an alarm with engine immobilizer, driver and passenger front airbags, side-curtain airbags for all rows of passengers, ABS with EBD, ESP with TCS, and TPMS. In addition, three-row, seven-passenger models feature rear cargo underfloor storage and auxiliary rear air conditioning with separate HVAC controls. The 16-inch spare tire is carried in an outside-the-cabin underfloor area equipped with a hoist system. The tire storage area is designed to accommodate up to a 17-inch wheel and tire should it be required. For 2008, the starting MSRP for the XL7 is only $21,349 plus $650 destination and handling.

The Premium models add standard floor mats, available wood trim appliqué interior and 17-inch alloy wheels for an MSRP of $23,249.

The XL7 Luxury adds a leather appointed interior, power driver seat, heated front seats, and brushed aluminum-look lower front and rear bumper valances. It also offers a standard sunroof, six-disc in-dash CD player, and leather steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The starting MSRP for the XL7 Luxury is $24,949.

The XL7 Limited adds a touch screen navigation system, 17-inch chrome wheels, Pioneer premium XM Satellite Radio-ready audio system with seven speakers (including subwoofer), fog lamps, upgraded roof racks with silver-colored rails, rear spoiler and remote engine start. A DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones is a no-cost option in lieu of the sunroof and navigation system. With all of this equipment, the starting MSRP for the XL7 Limited is only $27,299.

More photos: 2008 Suzuki XL7 Photo Gallery

Source: Suzuki

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