By on January 19, 2007

new-image.jpgI’m 31, single and happy. So obviously my mother is constantly nagging me to get hitched and give her grandchildren. Even my sister’s impending marriage has failed to distract her; she’ll never be content until, presumably, I am not. Perhaps she’s right. I’m the only unmarried man at my weekly poker game. My best friend is expecting his first child this summer. If I were honest, I might admit I’m at the age when oat-sowing men settle down, produce offspring and molt. I can, however, offer at least one compelling reason for not introducing my spawn upon the world’s stage: I'd fit the Suzuki XL7's psychographic profile.

The best part of this car reviewing gig is the weekly Xmas gift in the driveway. Sadly, I’ve been busy thinking of excuses not to drive the XL7. Surely the battery on the WRX will drop dead if I don’t take it for a spin. There’s that one twisty bit on the 0.7 mile jaunt to the store; best not to waste it. Suzuki’s all new seven-seater has turned me into a child that hates his toys. If I could bottle boredom, I’d write “XL7” on the label and shove it up the tailpipe.

side.jpgThough you’d never guess the XL7 is a stodgy snore based on exterior appearances. The nose is an ADHD-derived pastiche of at least three separate design tongues, all of which fail fantastically. It has the jut-jawed, approach-angle killing bumper found on Toyota trucks. The three-bar chrome grill is quite literally stolen from Ford. And the sagging lower portions of the headlamps are lamely fashioned after the sharp bend in the Suzuki S. From the side, you’re looking at a fat Saturn Vue with the wheel arches squared off. All three windows have black plastic cheats that try to convince you the greenhouse is shapely. It’s not. The rear isn’t even worth mentioning.

Inside, Suzuki has gone to extraordinary lengths to hide the fact that their SUV is fashioned from the same materials used to make the brightly colored plastic eggs protecting kiddies’ trinkets. The XL7’s brittle gearshift not only sports Sebring-quality fake wood (as does much of the interior), but is quite literally hollow. As are the volume toggles on the wheel. The armrest feels like it melted and all the knobs seem distinctly second-hand. Serendipitously, I’ve discovered a new axiom: as bad as Suzuki seats. Speaking of which, there is a third-row, but I couldn’t imagine how one would get back there. So I didn’t.  At least the sat nav is cute.

int.jpgIf you want to know why Suzuki– or anyone– would put power window switches on either side of the gear selector, the po'boy cabin design owes its not-so- fundamentals to its platform partners: the Chevy Equinox/Pontiac Torrent twins. While this kind of matrix can create a groovy vibe, GM’s seven percent [ownership] solution blessed the ostensibly Japanese automaker with yet another inexpensive opportunity to broaden its lineup with, um, crap.  

front-moving.jpgAt this point, I’m supposed to describe the XL7’s driving dynamics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any. Yes, yes; it goes, it stops, it turns and when you run out of gas you can refuel. Other than that, I got nothing. Objectively, I put 400 miles on the odometer. Subjectively, I can’t remember one of them. Knowing this, with a deadline looming, I took the XL7 for a final spin around the block. This minivan on stilts goes, stops, turns and you can refuel it– though I'm hard-pressed to figure out why anyone would bother.

There is one caveat, one unexpected find. Ascending a hill I became trapped behind a particularly slow Toyota. I swung left and really buried the throttle. The XL7 simply erupted. The 3.6-liter, 24-valve, double-overhead cam, high-revving mill threw 252hp and 243lbs. ft. of torque at the incline. Imagine a funicular on NOS. Credit God-knows-what, but the XL7 goes much quicker than it should. Most impressive (and odd): it covers the 70 to 90mph sprint with a fury many sports cars can only dream of. I can best describe it as raging full on. Of course, if you were to change course at that speed, the body lean would scrape the rear-view on the pavement. Note to Suzuki: put this engine into a chassis that can exploit its banshee-like power.

back.jpgHang on. It took over four-days of puttering around Los Angeles and a Camry that rode its brakes uphill before I even considered giving this monotonous hippopotamus the cane. That's just dull. And unacceptable. I mean, the recent XL7's TV ads show a biker babe and a cool dude in an XL7 swapping keys, and asks, can you handle it? Yes, and no. My poor mother.

[JL and RF discuss the XL7 below.] 

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59 Comments on “Suzuki XL7 Review...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    Uh, the “wife” drives this while you keep the WRX (it has 4 doors, honey!). Duh!

    Obviously you aren’t buying the commercials – athletic guy races across the desert in his XL-7, trading places with his hot girlfriend/wife, and riding off into the sunset on his bike. Maybe she’s his sister…

    Didn’t Suzuki just escape GM’s clutches? This should be the last of the badge-engineered junkers from Suzuki.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    This sounds like the Mitsubishi Eclipse a great engine in search of a decent chassis – come to think of it why doesn’t GM replace its (Co-bullshit-ugh) ” cam in block’ engines with this mill then?

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    That C-pillar looks like it’s from the new CRV.
    Why are all the cars the same?
    The most offensive example to me are the droopy eyes headlights that are on the Chrysler 300, Dodge Ram, Eos, formerly on the Impreza, etc…
    Who thinks it’s a good idea to steal this crap from other companies?
    I wish they’d bring back 1996 Grand Am body cladding just to teach someone a lesson.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I was a closet fan of the previous XL-7 and Grand Vitara (btw, what’s the difference?) because they were functionally sleepers in the cute-ute category, and the only one with a third row. I see in the commercials that they’re now pitching this against the real midsize SUVs, which any reasonable person would shrug off after testing them side-by-side.

    While I admit a secret admiration for minivans for their road-trippability, I don’t see any need to seriously compromise your ride when you have children. My conclusion is that most people just don’t care about driving to begin with. There are plenty of great rides out there for families, provided you don’t mind bending over to load the child seat. Or just hold the kid in your lap. (I’m not advocating endangering children, since you would still work the clutch and throttle yourself. No heel-toe for junior until he’s out of Pull-Ups.)

  • avatar
    ash78

    NICK NICK
    Who ISN’T doing the droopy headlights these days? That’s the most ripped-off cue in the business right now. Usually the rounded droop that’s carved out of the front bumper. This one is worse than most, though, it’s got the pre-surgery Greta Van Susteren eyes.

  • avatar

    Brutal, but having driven previous Suzukis around…more than believable.

    Suzuki should be happy with you, though…I can’t remember a review of ANYTHING from them that didn’t mention inadequate brakes ’til now.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    So you are saying the XL is not exciting as a Suzuki motorcycle as the TV ad suggests ?

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    While I admit a secret admiration for minivans for their road-trippability, I don’t see any need to seriously compromise your ride when you have children. My conclusion is that most people just don’t care about driving to begin with.

    Secret’s out, oh well.

    When it came time to buy our minivan, safety features and seating flexibility took precedence over handling, so Sienna it is. Given the way we use our car seats, we would still make the same choice if we had to replace our van today.

    I get communicative handling that follows the ruts in the road with my daily driver. I’m not sure I would want that when toting the kids, enough distractions as is.

  • avatar

    I haven’t driven one of these yet because the Suzuki dealers near me closed up shop in 2006. But I’ve been wanting to, because I do have three kids and any vehicle that offers a third row in a relatively compact package intrigues me.

    So I wish there had been decent handling to report.

    I did sit in one, even the third row, at the auto show. The person on hand had to show me how to tip the second row forward–the release strap is buried beneath the rear part of the seatback. Adults will fit back there, if just barely.

    My site’s page for the XL7, with links to the most common price comparisons:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/XL7.php

  • avatar
    mdanda

    SUVs are no fun at all when carrying kids. The raised chassis makes loading and unloading a chore, the smallish door openings cause daily minor head injuries, and the bouncy ride induces car-sickness. Nope, with kids, SUVs generally suck.

    That is why I, too, bought a Sienna. Sliding doors and a low floor are a godsend for parents with small children. And the ability to buckle the kids while standing INSIDE the vehicle during the rain. That is PRICELESS. There is not substitute for the minivan.

  • avatar
    blautens

    Wow – I see one every day in the drop off line at school, and I was thinking it looked okay. Of course, it was black, with tinted windows, and sometimes cars look quite different when the window glass blends with the paint. Plus it seemed to have decent looking 18 inch wheels (OEM perhaps, not from the Fast-N-Furious collection at Tire Rack).

    Not surprised to hear the rest though – it’s hard to clean up totally once you’ve been swimming in the Equinox gene pool.

    So the engine isn’t shared with the Equinox/Torrent? It’s a real Suzuki mill (not one of the “high value” or “high feature” GM V6s)?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Jonny-

    This is one of the funniest pieces i’ve ever read on any subject. High points:

    Serendipitously, I’ve discovered a new axiom: as bad as Suzuki seats.

    to broaden its lineup with, um, crap.

    This minivan on stilts goes, stops, turns and you can refuel it– though I’m hard-pressed to figure out why anyone would bother

    this monotonous hippopotamus

    thanks for the giggles, good work. I hope that you have as much fun writing these pieces as I have reading them!

    Bravo!

  • avatar
    webebob

    Once upon a time Suzuki held the high ground, it’s little offroader was the cheapest, it’s cars were the cheapest on-road, and even GM said they’d have themselves some of that niche mania and bought a piece of the pie.

    Today Suzuki is neither the cheapest, the snazziest, nor can it’s reliability faults be ignored when Korean mfrs are giving 100,000 mile ten year warranties.

    A car company without a niche: with respect to the bike commerical, even in the glory days of bikes, Kawasaki 500 3cyls ate Suzuki’s lunch.

    Suzuki, the Charley Brown of car companys.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A quick clarification before people stat jumping on my head.

    In the podcast, RF says front-wheel drive and I start agreeing with him.

    What we both should have said is rear-wheel drive.

    The XL7 I tested was a rear-driver, not a an AWD or FWD-er.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I concur. Drove it at CCOTY – unfortunately, the ballot didn’t have an ewwwwwwww box to check off.
    Yeppers, though, it does git up n’ go.

    Ahhhh, at 31 you’re waaaay too young to give it up. :)

  • avatar
    NN

    I second jerseydevil…

    Jonny, the past few reviews of yours I have read have been fantastically written. There is only one other name in the auto-review biz that I feel writes pieces as entertaining as yours, and he’s, well, yes…he’s that sour British fellow.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Simon Cowell?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    sykerocket,

    I started hammering this car long before I realized it had a little bit of GM DNA in it.

    But seriously — the window controls are on either side of the shifter. Here’s how dumb that is. Let’s say you have both windows down and you want to get out of the car fast because… you need to pee. Or one of the five screaming brats in the back has to pee. You cannot put the windows up at the same time. Your hand can’t reach both controls at once.

    Bad design.

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer


    As soon as I read about your experience with the engine, my brain went: Tiburon.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Simon Cowell?

    TTAC: American Idle

  • avatar

    Window controls on either side of the shifter – just like my old E30 BMW 325i. And, if my memory is still clear, both my E36 M3’s.

    Didn’t seem dumb then – or at least people weren’t saying so.

  • avatar
    acx

    I myself am 32 umarried and enjoy doing burnouts in my diesel truck, playing video games and defending myself to Grandma. I elected to go with the turbo forester (magna cum lesbian) when I needed something in this class and would not hesitate to do so again on a pricepoint basis.

    As stated looks an awful lot like a CRV from some angles.

    The fact that the engine at least seemed to perform well is a plus for GM. A half assed v6 is years overdue.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Jonny: Now maybe we do things a little differently, but when I have to pee, I don’t do it through the window. I open the *door* and go OUTSIDE.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Saturns, Saabs, Bimmers, Jeeps, and probably some others have all had center console window switches at one time or another. I don’t like the inconvenience and weird ergonomics, but anything that gets electronics away from the door is fine by me. I’d much rather complain about why makers add “auto-down” but not “auto-up.” Pinch sensors are the norm now, this isn’t like the old Subie SVX that could cut a Coke can in half with it’s demi-windows.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    I think all my Toyotas (’00s, ’01s) have “auto-up” driver’s windows. I haven’t tested the pinch-sensor. I’m sure this feature is limited by fears of litigation. Too bad; it’s extremely convenient.

  • avatar
    blautens

    ash78 – I think the rub isn’t that the switches are on the console versus the door, it’s that they are split by the shifter. I personally liked the console mounted switches on a few cars I’ve owned, but they were always next to each other so I could raise or lower all windows with one hand at once.

    And yes, I agree, once you’ve had auto up AND auto down on ALL windows (not just the fronts) ala Toyota/Lexus, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Jonny: A RWD XL7??? Did you disconnect the front axle shafts of an AWD model? Unless I just woke up from a long coma, this is a FWD or AWD vehicle.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Paul,

    What’s the difference at this point?

  • avatar
    tms1999

    So the engine isn’t shared with the Equinox/Torrent? It’s a real Suzuki mill (not one of the “high value” or “high feature” GM V6s)?

    No, no. It’s the High Feature 3.6 that GM has started to put everywhere. Formerly restricted to Cadillac and Buick, it’s the same found in the Aura XR, will be dripped in the next Malibu, also outlook/acadia/another, and yes, the Equinox is getting it in “sport” trim.

    I believe this engine is built by Suzuki though. And in this application, it may not be mated to its 6 speed slushbox like in all GM products but I’m not sure.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The XL7 had a 5-speed.

    And, that is just an incredible engine, when you get it north of 4,500rpm.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    That 3.6L is awesome in the Saturn Aura. It makes the Aura better than the sum of its parts. Its a great motor that’s obviously not worthy of the XL7 underpinnings. Excellent review.

    But JL, the Ford doesn’t have pushrods, its just engineered for torque because its a real SUV/truck. :-)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    It’s a real fat truck — point is, it generates it’s mojo down-low in the rev range, while the Suzuki produces ponies up high.

  • avatar
    carguy

    “Sebring-quality fake wood”? Outch, that’s harsh!

    PS: Jonny, at 31 the singles game is just starting to get interesting – its way to early to give up now!

  • avatar
    MW

    Good Lord, just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to drive something like this. That’s just what the marketers want you to think — “Gee, what if I need to take my two kids, their friends and the grandparents up the side of a mountain in a snowstorm?”

    Small sedans and wagons work fine for taking kids to school or grandma’s. Plus you can actually get decent fuel economy and enjoy driving.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    Dude 31 is waaaay too young to get married. I mean, look at me, I’m 56 and still living in my mom’s basement playing video games and doing burnouts in her 84 plymouth station wagon. That’s right man, I’m living the dream!

  • avatar
    1984

    Would you really want real wood in your interior?

    Should Suzuki pay Indonesian children with a chisels and sandpaper to make 40 thousand of them a year for something that would just warp and crack anyway?

    Fake wood… I hope so.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    “Sebring-quality fake wood”? Ouch, that’s harsh!

    Not has harsh as the appearance of Sebring-quality fake aluminum!

  • avatar
    CliffG

    1. Yeah it is time to get married and have kids Jonny. Remember the fundamental fact of age and children: You must be young enough so that when divorced one with kids moves back in you are young enough to deal with it.’
    2. I raised 2 kids and never owned anything bigger than an Accord SW (the biggest car I have ever owned by far), so you really don’t have to have an SUV or mini-van. Seriously.
    3. How can a company that produces the Hayabusa and the SV650 do so poorly in their automotive end? Ok, they make HD clones so I guess even there they can be kind of silly. Still, where is Suzuki’s car equivalent to the Hayabusa?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    CliffG,

    It is coming in the form of an SX4 fitted with a turbo.

    http://tinyurl.com/ybc7ba

  • avatar
    Luther

    When you do finally loose your will to live and get married, you will discover, serendipitously, that the XL7 is a great boredom alleviator.

  • avatar

    >>>The nose is an ADHD-derived pastiche of at least three separate design tongues, all of which fail fantastically.

    Marvelous!

    >>>ash78 While I admit a secret admiration for minivans for their road-trippability, I don’t see any need to seriously compromise your ride when you have children. My conclusion is that most people just don’t care about driving to begin with. There are plenty of great rides out there for families, provided you don’t mind bending over to load the child seat. Or just hold the kid in your lap. (I’m not advocating endangering children, since you would still work the clutch and throttle yourself. No heel-toe for junior until he’s out of Pull-Ups.)

    When I was 13, my sister was 3, and my brother was almost 16, we spent two months driving around Europe in a Peugeot 404 wagon, a car which was maybe the same size as a Forester (do a google image search), albeit with a bit more room in the way-back, which was stuffed high. No, it wasn’t as luxurious as a minivan might have been, but I do’nt remember anyone complaining .

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    David,
    You may not remember 3 whiny kids complaining, but what about your folks?

    A question from a father of three who avoids road trips like the plague.

  • avatar
    airglow

    Mr. Lieberman. You lost any and all right to call ANY other vehicle ugly when you admitted to owning a WRX. I’d argue the two ugliest vehicles in production today are both from Subaru, the WRX and the B9 Tribeca.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    airglow,

    I have never, ever, ever said that my 2006 WRX is handsome.

    I believe in fact I referred to it as “ucking fugly.”

  • avatar

    Just say yes to real wood, ever hear of bamboo? I hear they are making it into floors now, so why not figure out how to make a good looking, feeling, wood for the dash and parts even if you have to dye it.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Fake wood is one thing.

    fake wood like the crud found in the Sebring and the XL7 is another.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    SexCPotatoes,
    I think you’re on to something. Automakers could go a step further, and offer a ‘green’ edition. Soy-based seat fabrics, plastics made from corn, bamboo trim, organic wool carpets.

    It could offer the eco-smugness of a hybrid, without all the engineering expense.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Jonny, walk away from the light!!!!

    I waited until I was 41 to get married…well worth it. Had all my toys by then….

    Of course, constantly being referred to as my kid’s grandfather at her school functions hurts occasionally…..

  • avatar
    bestertester

    i like to be an early, commenter; being late, i will be concise:

    this review literally made me laugh out loud.

    not only funny, but also well-written. thank you for making my morning coffee.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    Jonny,

    I’m stunned. I can think of some ugly cars, but the WRX is not one of them. It’s not exactly the car you’d expect a senior person to drive, but it’s a clean, simple design wrapped around an impressive power plant. Too fast for my liking, though. I’d be afraid I might drive it rhough the garage wall if I’m not paying attention.

  • avatar
    durailer

    “While this kind of matrix can create a groovy vibe”

    Nice line…thanks for the laughs Jonny.

  • avatar
    nino

    So the engine isn’t shared with the Equinox/Torrent? It’s a real Suzuki mill (not one of the “high value” or “high feature” GM V6s)?

    As has been stated by another poster, this is the GM “high value” 3.6 V6, but built in-house by Suzuki. This engine (not the Suzuki built version) will be installed in the XL-7 platform mates, Saturn Vue, Chevy Equinox SS, Pontiac Torrent GXP.

  • avatar
    itsme

    Looks like a Mitsubishi from the front.

  • avatar
    amazingchicken

    I had an ’02 LX model, which I loved; the dealer begged me to trade it in last March and I did, for an ’05 LX. LOVE IT!! Monday, dealer called me back and made an offer I could have refused (but didn’t) for an ’07 Luxury model, with all the bells/whistles my ’05 has. I’m going for it.

    A large driver for me is the AWD which starts out FWD (front, not four) since I want my wife to use the car more. She’s of the Windstar clan and getting her into my other XL7s’ drivers seats has been a bit of a chore. And I want someone else to drive home after I’ve spent the day skiing with our two girls, darn it.

    When I say an offer I couldn’t refuse, I mean it. Some folks are feeling pressure to get the new product out there. There’s also a sizeable market for pre-owned that has a very nice profit margin for them, thanks to the ability to transfer warrantees.

    I’ll write back after I spend a few months in the new ride. Thanks all for your input!

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    In driving one of these, I found the build quality good, not that far off from a Toyota RAV-4 I drove a few weeks back – seriously.

    The engine does indeed have plenty of torque in almost all ranges and responds well.

    The feel of this rig is much larger, almost like a cargo delivery van – which, configured without seats, it could be. I have to use it later this week to transfer the passenger window for a vintage Volvo back to a restoration shop, across town. That’s a good mission for this van.

  • avatar
    amazingchicken

    OK! I have two (2) responses on my new XL-7

    1) The Deal: When the dealer got ’round to finalizing the package it cost more than I wanted it to. While I really wanted the LX trim package and certain other indispensibles (ie we had ‘em and didn’t wanna lose ‘em) I really didn’t want a nav package or back-seat video. OTOH I HAD to have my sunroof. Suzuki, purveyor in the past of two trim models, has more, but not the configuration I wanted… so the dealer ‘found’ one with a simpler CD/radio (still has premium speaker set); no nav/DVD; and no fancy rear-view that adjusts itself when headlights come up behind you, which I was totally distrustful of anyway. Bottom line, I got the car at the price point I wanted. Yay, Port City Nissan/Suzuki! This is not chameless plugging, these guys have been good to me for three vehicles and five years.

    2) The Car: I’ve now put 2,000 miles on it, traveling through clear, rainy, and snowy/icy highways as well as through dirt back-roads in Maine during a thaw. It took a little getting used to the relative un-stiffness after the ’02 and ’05 models, which feel kinda like jeeps. But you know? I really like this car’s handling better. and I greatly respect that while the power is increased, the mileage is, too: In Winter when the heater (and 4WD) is on, I was getting 14.8 – 15.8 mpg shuttling kids to school, grocery shopping, etc. And that was with BOTH older cars, regular maintenance, etc. With the ’07, I averaged 18.2 in the Winter, and the past two weeks it’s crept up to the 20’s.

    I like what they did with the second and third row seats: Both are immobile forward/backward but they fold flat, and the middle row ‘tumbles’ once folded to access the third row. A huge plus is the front passenger seat folds forward flat as well, which has been VERY handy when I’ve had to carry a few large items around.

    The environmental controls work very well. On cold mornings, the system does not start blowing air around until it ‘knows’ it can heat that air a bit. The auto fan sensor seems to rev higher or lower relative to the difference between cabin temperature and thermostat setting – as it should. GOOD JOB GETTING A SIMPLE THING DONE CORRECTLY.

    One of my ‘gotta have’ items is the seat warmer. In the ’02, I had a ‘high’ and ‘medium’ option, in the ’05 this went to off/on. Both stayed on until you turned them off. The ’07 has high/medium AND auto-shutoff. Nice.

    Stash spaces are better, on the transmission column and in the glovey which can actually fit some stuff now. The rear stash is larger also, now with spaces to accomodate the third-row headrests (I’m told this is common in other SUVs now) No first-aid kit this time, but we always put a larger one in anyway (kids, you know?)

    Yes, there are things that were just plain stupid done to this model:

    – side-view windows don’t heat any more (if they do, the control is hidden)

    – The window controls in the gearshift. A GOOD thing they did here though is the window lock no longer disables the non-pilot windows in the front. I never could understand in the older lines why I had to unlock the windows so -I- could raise or lower them.

    – The roof rack equipment (rails, etc) are all incompatible with older models. This is petty but they got a pretty penny for those items and I was sad to have to purchase new ones. actually I haven’t yet.

    – Rear window wiper controls …. are right below the RIGHT HAND window controls on the console. This means, you have to reach AROUND the shifter to access them. Why they took them off the steering column is a mystery. But they oughta put them (and the window controls) back where they once was.

    – The pilot’s seat is now power-driven, with a groovy little up-down-forward-back servo on the left side of the seat. Too bad you have to OPEN THE DOOR to get at it. Petty? OK, but my wife is a lot smaller than me, and switching drivers in the rain is tiresome.

    – The slope of the rear windscreen is a DIRT MAGNET. Need a spoiler here, or just better design. This one’s worse than the older models, possibly due to it being a lift-back instead of a gate.

    Several people have asked if I would go back to the ’05 if I could. I think not. The wife likes the ride better, as do the kids who no longer get carsick in the third row. My adult friends are comfortable, sitting in either the middle or third row – that was not true in the older models! I didn’t care about the plastique interior parts before, and don’t now. They’re easiy cleaned and have held up reasonably in the past so I have no concerns about that changing.

    Oh, and Jonny? Next review put half the energy invested dissing the car in this review into actually DRIVING the thing and …USING it. This review could have ended up telling us a lot more about the car and less about how you thought it sucked.

    Of course, you could just get married and then have your opinion given to you, like some other of us! Just kidding.

  • avatar
    bellboy

    I bought the XL-7 AWD w/Navigation – the top-of-the-line model. My major disappointment has been the lack of a locking fuel door or even a locking gascap. That should be a Standard Feature on all redesigned models – especially with skyrocketing gas prices – INCREDIBLY BAD DESIGN DECISION!!! We’ve already had someone siphon gas from our tank and leave the gascap loose (which caused the ‘engine trouble’ light to come on for 5 days before it self-resets). I called Suzuki Customer Service 1-800-934-0934 and was told that Suzuki decided not to go with a locking gascap or locking fuel door because they didn’t like the manufacturer designs and were not getting many complaints about this design decision. As a result, no one was addressing this issue.

  • avatar
    cmitchell

    No offense to the author – but I love my XL7 – reminds me of my Integra from my youth!


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  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States