Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.7 Review: That Sweet Big Thing

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.7 Review: That Sweet Big Thing

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
30 Jan 2007

Andy’s Impressions

When I first got a good look at the Grand Vitara, it never really struck me as a vehicle that was able to establish itself solidly in its marketed sector. Its looks (nor numbers) also did not exactly hint of much off-road ruggedness.

After having spent some time with it driving around urban roads, the handling and power seemed lethargic. Its 250 Nm of torque was only available at 4,000 rpm. The car needed many a good hard jab of the accelerator to get it into a bit of a trot.

Cruising on the highway was no gallop in the wind either. No, wait, actually it was somewhat like that. It bounced about slightly and a tad clumsily, and the steering felt lifeless, with hardly any feedback.

I must admit that, somewhere at that point, I thought the car was not much of anything, in any aspect. It fumbled about like a baby elephant, had only adequate space to bring a family of five on a holiday, but it did have the looks to match its supposed image. Boy, you’d think this SUV is the prettiest thing ever in its luscious pearlescent white paint!

We decided to take it to the “scenic” side of Singapore for some decent photos. That was when we discovered a little dial on its console which read like some chemical formula, one of its compounds had “4L” labeled on it. And I rather like Chemistry, so I turned that on. And everything changed. It engaged its four-wheel low, locked differential setting, and allowed us to pummel through the terrain.

The baby elephant turned into a baby 4x4, or whatever you’d like to call it. It pounced on corners with surprising agility on the loose gravel. Potholes and bumps were instantly eased out and we felt, for a moment, like we were competitors in the Paris-Dakar Rally.

Ok, maybe that’s a little too much, but the car that I had earlier thought was rather comatose suddenly morphed into a different form. It felt so much more confident when brought off the civilized world of tarmac and into places you would think twice to take your Lexus RX, BMW X5 or Volvo XC90.

It also produced a spine-tingling, rally car like whine that tickles the ego, making you strain your ear to listen.

Unfortunately for us, there aren’t that many places in Singapore where you can practice that Alchemy. Then again, given its price, it does not mean those who crave adventure can just walk away from this without feeling the slightest sense of guilt.

Credits: Amery Reuben/Andy Hum

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