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Old 1st August 2009, 16:29   #1
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Default New 2.4L Grand Vitara Review

Guys. I finally managed to see the new Grand Vitara, White one in Blore. However, the test drive vehicle is yet to come and is expected by monday. The dealer promised to bring the TD vehicle to my home once it comes from the RTO. A few snaps also attached. Sorry for the poor quality as the same were taken from my mobile (Was the best way to take the snaps avoiding the salesman

My initial views:

Exterior: The vehicle looks stunning from the outside with a distinctively SUVish stance. I feel it is one of the more conservative and conventional looking SUVs. I really like it from all angles. The white colour gives it some majesty on the road. The Spare wheel on the rear door (Tail gate) gives it an aggressive look

Interiors: The new interiors seem refreshing. The interior colour was not exactly beige, but had a brownish shade to it. I personally did not like the interior colour, but the fit and finish are very good. The controls fall in place easily and ergonomics is great. I also came to understand from the dealer that different exterior colours would have different interior colours apart from the one shown. While he was not sure on this point as well

Interior comfort and space: This SUV has a lot of space. The front seats were really comfortable with good leg space. I am nearly 6 foot and by adjusting the seat position to my liking, there was enough space for me at the rear. Cup holders in the front and the rear make it even better. However, lack of rear ac vents was disappointing.
Boot space is significant. Lots of volume to put in things one would like to carry on a camp. The 60:40 rear seat split makes it even more convenient when you have a lot of stuff to carry.

Overall it looks awesome and is quite comfortable inside. I wish I could have TDen as well but hoping to post more views once I manage to do that. In Summary;

What I liked:

1.Great road presence
2.Good interior space and comfort levels
3.A new dash with integrated stereo with 6 CD changer and MID system

What could have been better:

1.Interior plastic colour. (The light brown gave it a cheap look). Hoping other shades may look better. I like black and hope there is an option of Black interiors
2.The rear door (Dicky door) seemed to make a lot of noise while closing. Seemed like there was something loose and the sound was not great
3.Price: On road in Blore is just above 20.6 L for the MT. Wish it was something close to 17-18 L. Would have been great
4.Lack of a Diesel option
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Old 5th August 2009, 15:59   #2
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Default Test drive

Just finished a drive on the new GV. Couldn't "test", had to be satisfied with whatever I could figure out driving the busy bylanes of Jayanagar. No real revelations, other than the fact that I really liked driving it. It felt peppier than what I had expected, and I think I could have fun driving it in the city. Though, my friend who was driving with me (and who probably is more perceptive than me when it comes to fast cars) thought it was not torquey enough at low RPMs. Ride did feel very car like, but there was no opportunity to take fast corners or go over bad roads.

I don't care about plush interiors, but the lack of space inside was surprising. Especially, the front passenger seat seemed cramped (I am 6'2"). Rear seats were comfortable with ample leg space though. Boot space is small for an SUV, but it's not high on my priority list.

One thing I noticed with the stick shift: I'm not technical enough to explain it, but let me try. When I slotted the gear into 2nd, stick seemed a little loose (still could move it around a very little bit), but once the clutch was fully released the stick slotted properly and became taut. I had seen this problem on my Palio 1.6 at around 85k km. It was a major irritant then, but after couple of years, I've learnt to ignore it.

Stereo sucks - no USB port, no Aux In. All of GV's defects I can live with, except for this. Not able to replace the stock stereo with my current receiver (a single DIN MP3 player) is going to be a deal breaker. (Don't know about this yet, need to validate with my ICE expert)

Now for the background story: I have a budget of 25L, am looking for a not so big 4 x 4 which can handle the way I drive (fast, reasonably aggressive), can be used as a daily car in Bangalore, can be taken out on the highways frequently (expect to average 30k km a year), and looks good (to me!). This was my elimination process:

Safari, Endeavour - too bulky
Captiva - too curvy
CRV - doesn't look good from behind
Outlander - looks like a minivan from behind
Fortuner - looks bulky, and looks like the Innova from behind
Tucson - doesn't seem to be in production
X-Trail - bad service network

GV and Pajero (though bulky, I like the boxy look) were the only contenders.

Next couple of days - drive a Pajero on the NICE road and see how easily it can handle 140+ kmph. Also see if I like driving it in traffic. If not, GV is going to be it.
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Old 5th August 2009, 17:30   #3
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Even i visited apra motors gurgaon for a test drive but they did not have a test drive vehicle with them.

Last year i testdrove the 2.0 GV,i liked the car the only thing lacking was power.
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Old 5th August 2009, 22:35   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmonk View Post
I don't care about plush interiors, but the lack of space inside was surprising. Especially, the front passenger seat seemed cramped (I am 6'2"). Rear seats were comfortable with ample leg space though. Boot space is small for an SUV, but it's not high on my priority list.
The front passenger seat has some protrusion from the glove box making the space a little less. However, when I moved it fully back, there was ample space in the front as well as decent leg room at the back.
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Old 6th August 2009, 12:12   #5
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Great review from the end user's perspective, Nurni & Old Monk. The additional punch from the 2.4 is welcome, but that still doesn't take away from the GV's lack of premium feel & badge, not to mention the price has only gone skyward with the latest engine.

If the GV is to have any chance of cutting it in the Indian market, only a diesel can help its cause. In India, MUV & SUV = diesel. With reason too......twice the fuel economy, torque, longer tank range on the highway and robustness. The GV is sold with the Fiat 1.9 liter diesel (300 NM of torque!) in some int'l markets. Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?
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Old 6th August 2009, 17:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?
Yes, I completely agree and I have mentioned this as a sore point in my review. The only reason I can think of why they have not launched diesel in India is price, may be with a diesel they would have had to price it close to 20L ex showroom which means an on road price of 25L in Blore.
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Old 7th August 2009, 22:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If the GV is to have any chance of cutting it in the Indian market, only a diesel can help its cause. In India, MUV & SUV = diesel. With reason too......twice the fuel economy, torque, longer tank range on the highway and robustness. The GV is sold with the Fiat 1.9 liter diesel (300 NM of torque!) in some int'l markets. Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?


IMHO only an oil burner under the hood makes a true SUV.

Low torque, low tank range,etc. makes GV useless at times.
Isn't Maruti Suzuki happy with DDIS sales that they dont consider plonking
one to this capable SUV.
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Old 8th August 2009, 02:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?
umm err.. GTO, i think that they are gonna use this engine for the upcoming suzuki's kizashi. which also uses the 2.4 petrol. it was just revealed for the us market and it gonna launch in few months there. it will compete with the accord and has dimensions close to a passat and it may end up coming next here year or so!! but thats deep into future!!

Last edited by Caramelo : 8th August 2009 at 02:32.
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Old 8th August 2009, 02:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmonk View Post
Safari, Endeavour - too bulky
Captiva - too curvy
CRV - doesn't look good from behind
Outlander - looks like a minivan from behind
Fortuner - looks bulky, and looks like the Innova from behind
Tucson - doesn't seem to be in production
X-Trail - bad service network

GV and Pajero (though bulky, I like the boxy look) were the only contenders.
i have a feeling that you are being too focused on just the looks. i get the point that SUVs have road presence and looks matter. but you know when you eliminate some SUVs for just being cury or bulky. its gets a bit dodgy. i think if i were in your shoes i would be a little bit neutral about the looks and focus on parameters like engine,performance, comfort, A S S,

i mean take for example the outlander. yeah it may look like a minivan if you think it looks like one from behind! but the way i see it. i look at it as an urban crossover and not a minivan its very capable offroad too. have you even tried the Rockford fosgate sound system!!! you mentioned gv does not have the usb and aux in. just take a test ride of the outlander. it looks cool with the led tail lamps( no car in this category offers them!) this is just one of them. it has other unique features which you won't find in the above SUVs!!

pajero is good my friend has one but it looks outdated and old (6 months old only) and frankly overpriced!! to make it short what i mean to say is that don't be in a hurry.
take a TD at least and compare pro's and con's!

Last edited by Caramelo : 8th August 2009 at 02:36.
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Old 8th August 2009, 06:41   #10
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I think that all the Rs 20 lakh plus SUVs are overpriced, but having said that in the Pajero there is the consolation of getting a lot more and robust auto engineering for the money than what any of the newer SUVs mentioned provide, plus it is a car that will do all that you are looking for, except the 140 plus. Its zone of comfort runs out at 125, which is actually a good thing given the combination of Indian road conditions and inherent lack of safety in all SUVs at those speeds. On the other hand, it will do the off/rough roading a lot better than any of new cars mentioned, GV included. Which does not seem to be a need!
If I see your needs list, I am not sure why you want an SUV in the first place, truth be told. Your stated needs are best met by a sedan. Lots of great ones available in that budget. Also remember that ordinary 4x4 of the type these SUVs have does zilch for highway handling/safety. Just reduces FE.

Last edited by Sawyer : 8th August 2009 at 06:52.
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Old 8th August 2009, 08:05   #11
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Old monk ji,

I have a friend's boss whose bought the Nissan X-Trail. They have similar requirements, and after lots of deliberation they went in for a X-Trail.

Let's face it - even Tata safaris limp back home. You almost never see these behemoths stranded. And unlike them, you have 3 dealerships in a 500km radius!

And its a diesel - 30k km would possibly mean a nano in savings annually!
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Old 8th August 2009, 13:55   #12
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I like the Outlander. However it is petrol too. The x-trail is good, very robust, heard good things from the owners, however the dealership network remains an issue. I hear the Ichhiban ( the guys who had a honda dealership in mumbai ) will be opening one for Nissan soon. Hope that happens, the Nissan machines are good but highly underrated in India.
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Old 8th August 2009, 14:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The GV is sold with the Fiat 1.9 liter diesel (300 NM of torque!) in some int'l markets. Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurni76 View Post
Yes, I completely agree and I have mentioned this as a sore point in my review. The only reason I can think of why they have not launched diesel in India is price,
Actually their deal with Fiat doesn't let them use the Fiat 1.9L engine outside of certain European countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAG9 View Post
Low torque, low tank range,etc. makes GV useless at times.
It is not a city car, that I will agree. But in rural areas with bad to horrible roads, you will love it. My views are based on 2.0L engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmonk View Post
I don't care about plush interiors, but the lack of space inside was surprising. Especially, the front passenger seat seemed cramped (I am 6'2"). Rear seats were comfortable with ample leg space though. Boot space is small for an SUV, but it's not high on my priority list.
Did you try pushing the seat back, it can go back a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmonk View Post
Stereo sucks - no USB port, no Aux In. All of GV's defects I can live with, except for this. Not able to replace the stock stereo with my current receiver (a single DIN MP3 player) is going to be a deal breaker. (Don't know about this yet, need to validate with my ICE expert)
Ice lovers should stay away from this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmonk View Post
Now for the background story: I have a budget of 25L, am looking for a not so big 4 x 4 which can handle the way I drive (fast, reasonably aggressive), can be used as a daily car in Bangalore, can be taken out on the highways frequently (expect to average 30k km a year), and looks good (to me!).
If you are going to drive it mostly in good roads (city & highway), then you are barely using its most valuable trait, bad road driving.
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Old 8th August 2009, 15:15   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redeff View Post
I like the Outlander. However it is petrol too. The x-trail is good, very robust, heard good things from the owners, however the dealership network remains an issue. I hear the Ichhiban ( the guys who had a honda dealership in mumbai ) will be opening one for Nissan soon. Hope that happens, the Nissan machines are good but highly underrated in India.
I've driven the X-Trail quite extensively. The biggest issue with that vehicle is the severe turbo lag. It does have decent grunt once the turbo kicks in, however until then its slow as a tortoise. Plus the clutch is super heavy and horrible. The interiors are nothing to write home about either. Though the materials are okay, the design seems as though it has come from the 80's. Plus the speedo in the middle is very very painful.

If one is not particular about only a diesel, the Outlander beats the rest by a country mile in everything other than price.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 8th August 2009 at 15:16.
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Old 8th August 2009, 15:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Maruti isn't using this 2.4 petrol in any other car. So if they had to import an engine exclusively for the GV, why not the 1.9L diesel?
The GV is a CBU. So, the engine is fitted in Japan.
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