The XL-7 is based on the previous-generation Grand Vitara and is a carryover vehicle for 2006, except for its new and updated audio system. The name comes from the fact that this is an "extra large" version of the Suzuki Grand Vitara, and it seats seven occupants. It also features three rows of seats.
Suzuki introduced its three-row SUV as a 2001 model. The XL-7 is based on a stretched version of the Grand Vitara compact SUV. Note, however, that while the Grand Vitara is all-new for 2006, the XL-7 carries over the previous platform, although it shares the 185-hp 2.7L V-6 engine that propels the new Grand Vitara.
Suzuki claims that the XL-7 is the "most affordable seven-passenger SUV" on sale in the United States. But while it does provide three rows of seats, this is still a fairly compact vehicle. The XL-7 is available in a two-row configuration in its basic trim level. Standard equipment for 2006 includes a new and upgraded audio system, anti-lock brakes, a five-speed automatic transmission, and a tire pressure-monitoring system. The XL-7 can tow a 3,000-lb. trailer. The standard model has front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available, and it is standard on uplevel versions.
The Suzuki XL-7 competes in the Compact Utility category, as do a handful of other small truck-based SUVs. The segment caters to an audience of budget-minded consumers who don't want to compromise when it comes to off-road ability.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Jeep Liberty leads this category in sales with 166,883 units sold in calendar year 2005. The Jeep Wrangler was second (79,017), and was closely followed by the Nissan Xterra (72,447). Suzuki sold 15,472 copies of its XL-7. Joining this category for the 2006 model year is the all-new Toyota FJ Cruiser.
|Base (A5)||5 speed automatic||$21,999||185-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||18/22|
|Premium w/3rd Row (A5)||5 speed automatic||$25,499||185-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||18/22|