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Old 12th April 2008, 14:04   #1
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Default Grand Vitara: are the official specs understated?

I have enjoyed reading about the GV here, and am thinking about buying one.

Recently I went for a test drive, and heard something interesting. The sales guy told me that the actual performance figures for Vitara are higher than what is officially stated. Reason - to cut down on road tax, and/or to comply with certain regulations. He gave me the ‘example’ of the Baleno which was apparently 110 BHP even though the official figure was 96 BHP. Any chance that there is some truth to this, or is this a standard sales pitch? Wouldn't the government be wise to tactics like this?

I haven't had much experience of driving high performance or expensive cars/ SUVs, so can't really make out whether Vitara performance is ok as per the specs, or better. Can the owners/ experts help out? Btw, thanks to all who responded to my query regarding whether the GV boot space is large enough for a frisky Irish Setter. It seemed roomy enough.

The sales guy also said that he had driven the Vitara at 185 kmph on a test track. Is that possible with the Vitara? I remember Sudev saying that he drove it at 175 kmph…

Regarding the test drive:
  • Felt stable and solid at moderately high speeds
  • Bumps/ potholes can be felt at lower speeds; pleasure to drive over bad roads though (without worrying about car capabilities)
  • Lacks pick up; overtaking needs to be planned
  • AC is nice; sound system is ok...my old Blaupunkt (in my Indica) sounds better though
  • Gave the feeling of safety and confidence – important when one is traveling with family on the roads less traveled, or on the highway; I had some bad experiences with my Indica when I ventured out on forest tracks (e.g. to go to a FRH) or on unmetalled ghat roads. That’s when I decided that someday I will go for a real off-roader.
  • Cruising feels nice (but speaking in absolute terms – and not comparing to better cruisers)
  • Overall feeling: niche vehicle, but perhaps the right one for some people. I come from a strategic marketing background, and (after researching at Team-BHP and actually driving the vehicle) feel that the positioning and the messaging (on the website and the brochure) could have been much better.
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Old 12th April 2008, 14:48   #2
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Any chance that there is some truth to this, or is this a standard sales pitch? Wouldn't the government be wise to tactics like this?
Don't believe it, sales guys know very little about GV, in my TD the sales guys went back with much better understanding of a 4x4 than when they came, and they didn't try to hide it. Besides, the actual performance of GV is well documented in international sites, the one we are getting is the same international model, it is not detuned for India. The advertised values are correct.

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
I haven't had much experience of driving high performance or expensive cars/ SUVs, so can't really make out whether Vitara performance is ok as per the specs, or better.
I have driven high performance beasts (I had a 225HP Acura for 3.5 years), so I can tell you GV is not a high performance SUV in either horsepower or torque.

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The sales guy also said that he had driven the Vitara at 185 kmph on a test track. Is that possible with the Vitara? I remember Sudev saying that he drove it at 175 kmph…
If you are worried about the difference between 175 and 185, then GV is not the vehicle for you. It is for a sedate driver who loves to drive on or off the road. It soaks up bad road like nobody's business. Yesterday I was leading a fiesta 1.6 driven by a spirited driver towards our family farm and it kept falling back to avoid the bumps and holes, which I have totally stopped noticing. I couldn't help smiling in glee.

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[*]Bumps/ potholes can be felt at lower speeds;
Felt, yes. But it smoothens the bounce very well.

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
[*]Overall feeling: niche vehicle, but perhaps the right one for some people. I come from a strategic marketing background, and (after researching at Team-BHP and actually driving the vehicle) feel that the positioning and the messaging (on the website and the brochure) could have been much better.
Yes, it is a thoroughly undersold, underestimated, and misunderstood vehicle.
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Old 12th April 2008, 15:14   #3
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Quote:

Recently I went for a test drive, and heard something interesting. The sales guy told me that the actual performance figures for Vitara are higher than what is officially stated. Reason - to cut down on road tax, and/or to comply with certain regulations. He gave me the ‘example’ of the Baleno which was apparently 110 BHP even though the official figure was 96 BHP. Any chance that there is some truth to this, or is this a standard sales pitch? Wouldn't the government be wise to tactics like this?
Oh boy, you have been the victim of car salesman nonsense. BHP ratings have no effect on taxes!
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Old 12th April 2008, 16:17   #4
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Doesn't ARAI test a vehicle for it's ratings & specs ?
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Old 12th April 2008, 17:16   #5
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the sales guy is talking crap. dont we wish the baleno wouldve been 110bhp.
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Old 12th April 2008, 17:31   #6
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QUOTE:"If you are worried about the difference between 175 and 185, then GV is not the vehicle for you."

175 or 186 doesn't matter at all - if it did, I would look at a sedan or even the CRV :-). My reason for asking was to check to what extent the sales guy had been bull****ting (which I suspected). When I talk to him next, I will deal with him negotiate accordingly.

I once went up till the Chinese border in North Sikkim (through Lachen valley) - staying with the Army folks. The rented Sumo (!) took my wife and me till 16,500. It couldn't handle the last, steep climb to 18,000+ (the last bunker in that sector) - the Army Gypsy could though. Want to make many such trips, me driving this time - and the GV would be perfect for this since I don't want a Gypsy or a Jeep, and can't afford a Pajero. Besides, the GV would be great for the drive from Bangalore to Kolkata as well.

Thanks all for clarifying. Doesn't change my decision in anyway though - 80% sure now that would be going for it.

Any rumor of a diesel version coming out in the next few months? I Googled, but couldn't find anything. I did see a Financial Express article saying how the GV sales have gone down after the launch of 'more impressive looking' vehicles such as the Captiva and the Thunder+. Thought that Maruti might be planning to do something (like launch a diesel version) to pick up sales which has apparently come down to around 50 per month).

Last edited by Technocrat : 14th April 2008 at 14:38. Reason: Please used edit if posting within 15 minutes of first post
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Old 14th April 2008, 14:09   #7
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Thanks all for clarifying. Doesn't change my decision in anyway though - 80% sure now that would be going for it.

Any rumor of a diesel version coming out in the next few months? I Googled, but couldn't find anything. I did see a Financial Express article saying how the GV sales have gone down after the launch of 'more impressive looking' vehicles such as the Captiva and the Thunder+. Thought that Maruti might be planning to do something (like launch a diesel version) to pick up sales which has apparently come down to around 50 per month).
Hi Nilanjan ... What is the approx price range for a GV? where can i see the detaield specs for this?
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Old 14th April 2008, 23:55   #8
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Default GV Pricing & Specs

Price: On road is around 16.8L in Bangalore for the manual version. AT is appx. 1 L extra.

Specs: - check out Carwale, Driveinside, or Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.
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Old 19th April 2008, 15:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
I once went up till the Chinese border in North Sikkim (through Lachen valley) - staying with the Army folks. The rented Sumo (!) took my wife and me till 16,500. It couldn't handle the last, steep climb to 18,000+ (the last bunker in that sector) - the Army Gypsy could though. Want to make many such trips, me driving this time - and the GV would be perfect for this since I don't want a Gypsy or a Jeep, and can't afford a Pajero. Besides, the GV would be great for the drive from Bangalore to Kolkata as well
For comparison when I went in a Qualis it struggled up the Tanglang La going on the Manali - Leh route at height of ~17500ft. Few times I had to shove it in to first even on small straights. GV climbed mostly in second / third gear as do Gypsy's.

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Any rumor of a diesel version coming out in the next few months?
AFAIK the rumor us that there are some restrictions on Suzuki to use diesels from the FIAT/GM stable in India, some convulted agreements in the past. So I do not see the current GV engine, as sold in Europe, finding its way here.
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Old 19th April 2008, 23:04   #10
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For comparison when I went in a Qualis it struggled up the Tanglang La going on the Manali - Leh route at height of ~17500ft. Few times I had to shove it in to first even on small straights. GV climbed mostly in second / third gear as do Gypsy's.
Thanks Sudev. You have driven 30,000+ KMs in your Girand Vitara - have you faced any issues yet? E.g. rattling noises, parts changes etc.? Or is it still as smooth and tough as new?

Do you have the Graphite Grey GV?
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Old 20th April 2008, 09:28   #11
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You have driven 30,000+ KMs in your Girand Vitara - have you faced any issues yet? E.g. rattling noises, parts changes etc.? Or is it still as smooth and tough as new?
It is now almost half as much again on the odo now. No issues yet. Posted details on some other thread too.

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Do you have the Graphite Grey GV?
Yes.
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Old 21st April 2008, 17:19   #12
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Price: On road is around 16.8L in Bangalore for the manual version. AT is appx. 1 L extra.

Specs: - check out Carwale, Driveinside, or Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Thanks for the info ..will checkout.
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Old 6th January 2014, 18:15   #13
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Default Re: Grand Vitara: are the official specs understated?

Bumping up this old thread. Any idea if this diesel/facelifted version is making it to India? Looks more handsome than the current one and with an oil burner heart, I am sure it can sell well provided it is priced wisely.
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Old 1st February 2014, 00:31   #14
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Default Re: Grand Vitara: are the official specs understated?

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Bumping up this old thread. Any idea if this diesel/facelifted version is making it to India? Looks more handsome than the current one and with an oil burner heart, I am sure it can sell well provided it is priced wisely.
There have been rumors of a diesel GV as well as a diesel Jimny for the past 3 years, so even if the rumors do start again, it's unlikely that anyone here on TeamBHP would believe them, unless the news comes straight from the horse's mouth.

The GV is totally worth it though, even with the petrol engine, if you have to make off-road trips and want to have the reliability associated with the Suzuki brand (no peeping under the hood, except when going to the service stations - Toyota and Honda would give you the same ownership experience).

BTW, the GV in the link looks almost the same except for a slight change in the shape of the front grille.

Last edited by k_nitin_r : 1st February 2014 at 00:32.
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