2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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Winner of AutoPacific’s 2007 Ideal Vehicle Award in the compact SUV/off-road vehicle category

In a segment dominated by car-based crossovers with only the pretense of off-road capability, Suzuki’s Grand Vitara combines unexpected on-road refinement with an aggressive dose of off-road capability. With its powerful go-anywhere standard V6 engine, available Four-Mode full time four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case, reinforced unibody chassis with built-in ladder frame and 3,000 lbs towing capacity, it’s clear the Grand Vitara was built for the life enthusiast’s “Way of Life.”

2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara

In its inaugural year, the new Grand Vitara collected numerous top honors, including Sport Truck Connection Television’s “Annual Light Truck and SUV” award, the “Best Kept Secret of 2006” editors’ choice award by Autobytel and AutoPacific’s “Vehicle Satisfaction” Award for best compact SUV. The Grand Vitara also was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year and Four Wheeler magazine’s Four Wheeler of the Year. The 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara received the prestigious Consumer Guide1 Automotive Best Buy award, out-ranking nearly 20 other vehicles in the compact sport-utility vehicle category, and the AutoPacific 2007 Ideal Vehicle Award in the Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle category.

For 2008, the Grand Vitara builds on a variety of enhancements introduced in 2007. This year, Suzuki adds a remote fuel door release, upgraded sound deadening materials and a newly designed climate control head unit. The sunroof becomes a standard feature starting on the XSport Package.

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

Standard DOHC V6 Power

The standard 2.7-liter, V6, 24-valve DOHC engine delivers 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. This engine gives the Grand Vitara a tow rating of 3,000 pounds – enough to haul light recreational boats, personal watercraft or Suzuki motorcycles, and double that of several competitors.

Advanced technology also reduces maintenance requirements, building on the vehicle’s affordable price point with economy of operation. The dual overhead camshafts are driven by a self-adjusting, self-lubricating timing chain that requires no maintenance in normal service. In addition, a specially tuned variable induction system (VIS) improves throttle response and increases overall engine efficiency. As part of the overall refinement, the engine now sits on hydraulic engine mounts to further reduce vibration and noise.

The Grand Vitara is fitted with a smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. It also offers an available electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission.

Four-Wheel-Drive Traction

The Grand Vitara equipped with the Four-Mode full time four-wheel-drive system offers the best of both worlds: it is exceptionally capable off-road, but behaves perfectly on the asphalt. With excellent approach, break-over and departure angles, and 7.9 inches of ground clearance (4WD models), the Grand Vitara means business. Adding to that credible off-road capability is a sophisticated available Four-Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system with two-speed transfer case. On the road, drivers can leave the interior-mounted transfer case switch in 4H and the electronically controlled on-demand all-wheel-drive system will apply traction to the front wheels as needed, making city driving smooth and precise. When traveling off-road or for low-speed power and traction, drivers can turn the switch to high-range 4H Lock or low-range 4L Lock to engage the center differential lock.

RV prospects should note: the Grand Vitara equipped with the Four-Mode full-time 4WD system can also be towed with four wheels on the ground – with the transfer case switch in the neutral position – to reduce driveline wear and prevent non-driving miles from accumulating on the odometer.

The Grand Vitara delivers EPA fuel economy estimates of 17 mpg/city and 22 mpg/highway with the automatic transmission and two-wheel drive.

Advanced Structural Engineering and Chassis Design

All Grand Vitara models feature lightweight-yet-rigid unibody construction enhanced with a built-in ladder frame to offer the best of both worlds – a refined on-road ride and the rugged off-road performance expected from Suzuki SUVs. The structure is teamed with four-wheel independent suspension – MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link design in the rear – to provide precise handling both on-road and off-road. The Grand Vitara also features large, vented front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and an available 225/65R17 tire package.

Uncompromised Safety Features

Every Grand Vitara is fitted with numerous active safety features, including ABS with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP)2 including traction control. The ESP system uses a variety of electronic sensors to measure vehicle speed, steering wheel angle and yaw faster than a typical driver might. This information is sent to a central controller that can intervene as needed. Under certain conditions, such as when unintended oversteer or understeer is detected, the system can apply individual brakes and reduce engine torque to help the driver maintain the proper cornering line.

Together with the traction control system (TCS), ESP helps the driver maintain control when cornering, under acceleration, during emergency maneuvers and/or when driving on slippery road surfaces.

The Grand Vitara comes equipped with six airbags as standard equipment – driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbag supplemental restraint systems (SRS), advanced dual-stage front airbag SRS, advanced weight-sensing front passenger airbag SRS and front and rear side-curtain airbags. Notably, rollover sensing also is standard equipment.

The three-point driver and front passenger seat belts feature pretensioners and shoulder height adjustment. In the rear seat, each passenger is provided with a three-point seat belt system and a headrest. A rear child-seat LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), along with rear-door child safety locks, is designed to help protect young rear-seat passengers.

Beyond offering a strong-yet-lightweight structure, the innovative stamped steel unibody with built-in ladder frame provides comprehensive protection.

Features such as a reinforced cabin with the added safety of head-impact protection padding and front and rear side-impact door beams are designed to help maintain the integrity of the cabin. In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the hood is designed to absorb some of the impact and help protect against serious head injuries. The front end and the bumper also use energy-absorbing materials to help reduce the possibility of serious leg injuries. In addition, the 2008 Grand Vitara is fitted with a standard tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Sleek & Dynamic Meets Versatile Functionality

In too many compact sport-utes, the “sport”’ is compromised by the “utility”, or the utility is marginalized by the vehicle’s sporting intentions. The sporty Grand Vitara virtually eliminates the compromise, offering ample interior space for driver and passenger comfort. There is 24.4 cubic feet of storage space with the seats up and 68.9 cubic feet of storage space when the convenient 60/40 split-folding seatbacks are folded forward.

With a carefully engineered control layout and close attention to materials and fit-and-finish, the interior of the Suzuki Grand Vitara is both functional and attractive. From the outside, the Grand Vitara offers unmatched style. Short overhangs, roof rails and a rear-mounted spare tire are some of the attributes of this serious off-roader. Mirrors, door handles and bumpers are all color matched, and the sleek lines of this off-road warrior lend it a sharp, refined look for the life enthusiast’s more urban adventures.

Trim Levels and Packages

The 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara is offered in three trim levels: Grand Vitara, XSport and Luxury. Buyers also can choose between rear-wheel drive and a sophisticated Four-Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system, both available in all trim levels. Four-wheel-drive models come with standard heated outside mirrors.

The base Grand Vitara is fitted with a five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic transmission. The extensive standard equipment list includes a wide array of safety equipment: ABS with EBD, ESP, TCS, TPMS, six airbags (including front and rear side-curtain airbags); and a long list of interior and comfort amenities such as air conditioning with automatic climate control, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM Radio-capable audio system, steering-wheel-integrated audio controls, remote keyless entry, 16-inch wheels and power mirrors. The starting MSRP for the base Grand Vitara is $19,349 plus $650 destination and handling.

The Grand Vitara XSport adds the following to the list of standard features: electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, SmartPass keyless entry and start system, six-disc in-dash CD changer with seven speakers, including two tweeters and a subwoofer, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lamps, privacy glass, cargo cover, hard spare tire cover, roof rails and power tilt-and-slide sunroof. The starting MSRP for the Grand Vitara XSport is $22,349.

The top-of-the-line Grand Vitara Luxury includes all of the equipment featured in the Grand Vitara XSport and adds leather seating surfaces and steering wheel, heated front seats, woodgrain trim accents, standard power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, HomeLink3 wireless control system and heated outside mirrors. The starting MSRP for the Grand Vitara Luxury is $23,749.

Customers who want the convenience of a fully integrated iPod4 system can purchase an iPod interface from their Suzuki dealer. Once the device is plugged in, it works seamlessly through the radio – or the steering wheel-mounted controls – and playlists and each song’s information appear on the radio display.

All Grand Vitara models reflect Suzuki’s commitment to meeting modern consumer needs with contemporary design, modern functionality and a traditional commitment to quality, reliability and durability. Whether Suzuki’s Grand Vitara combats urban congestion or rugged paths it can easily serve as the multi-purpose tool for one’s life adventures.

More photos: 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara Photo Gallery

Source: Suzuki

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