This week we’re looking at the 2007 Suzuki XL7 midsize sport utility. Its sister, the Grand Vitara, is priced a few thousand less and has a very high consumer rating. I like the XL7 better and was really impressed with the product. I drove the base 3 row 2-wheel drive model and I have to tell you my comment comes after testing the new Audi Q7 with an MSRP of nearly $46,000. The Q7 is more luxuriously appointed but there are some annoying mechanical things that turned me off. Suzuki’s XL7 was faultless in every area save the fu fu – ness of the Audi. Know what I mean? At about half the money of the Audi I have to say this Suzuki is looking awfully good about now.
Cell phones. Ok I know we all have bitches and complaints about the use of cells in almost every venue known to man. But for those being used in the car there are many opinions. Well I have to say I would defend the use of cells on the grounds that they defeat road rage. I have found, sitting in traffic, what would otherwise chap my hide is forgotten while I find time to make all those calls I’ve been ignoring during my busy day. And then magically I awake at my destination without all the stress.
Handling & Performance:
This XL7 feels more like a full size rather than a mid size SUV. The 252 horsepower V6 is great and the overall performance is a 10 in my book. I’ve noticed as you may have that more and more SUV’s are dropping the 4-wheel drive option. Why, because they suck up a lot more gas and so few will ever need the all wheel performance the cost just can’t be justified.
Not only is this a Very Nice looking SUV it seats 7… count them – Seven. The seats fold down easily and they’ve done such a nice job with this XL7 in nearly every area you have to give the Emmy to Suzuki.
Fit and Finish:
Very good. Not the fine quality of the luxury brands but I think a trip to China for the entire family would be a better way to spend the extra money.
Way cool dude! Everyone except the bag lady can buy one of these. I won’t tell you who said that. But it is true that this is super affordable and proves you don’t have to break the bank to have a new SUV. It gets very high marks for cost to value.
Conveniences and comfort:
Very good in this area – just look at the standard equipment. It will however have a noticeably higher level of road noise than the more pricey brands. And aside from the more expensive interior appointments and gadgets, like Navigation and Sirius Radio, the XL7 is comfy, thanks.
Well, you noticed I compared this XL7 with a much more expensive brand. I suspect it is priced so well because it is a new entrant into the market. That’s a very good reason why I give it such high marks. It has to prove itself and if you’re in the market you’ll get the best deal in the class with this new Suzuki. The features that are standard are impressive as well with the likes of the stability and traction control systems and a host of other good stuff. Look real hard at this one. It’s a keeper.
Suzuki XL7 $23-32,000, Dodge Durango $29-38,000, Nissan Murano $28-32,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $21-28,000, Ford Explorer $25-35,000, Chevrolet TrailBlazer $25-37,000, Toyota Highlander $25-32,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $28-43,000, Mitsubishi Endeavor $27-31,000, Honda Pilot $27-35,000, Kia Sorento $20-26,000.
Well priced entrant into the class, decent fuel economy, new kid on the block has something to prove and nice styling is one.
Road noise may be a turnoff for some and sadly the lack of a popular brand badge will turn others away.
3.6 liter 252 hp V6 engine, 5-speed auto trans, ESP – Electronic Stability Program, traction control system, self leveling rear suspension, tire pressure monitoring system, anti lock braking system with EBD – Electronic Brake distribution, air conditioning, split folding 3rd row seats, driver info and trip computer, audio system with CD player, cruise control, fold flat front passenger seat, tilt steering wheel, under flow cargo storage, side curtain airbags all rows, 16 inch alloy wheels, intermittent wipers, auto headlights, remote keyless entry, power windows and locks, power mirrors, roof rails, privacy glass, security system with immobilizer,
$2.50/ Gal avg. Dec 06
18 City and 24 Highway MPG
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