The XL7 has been redesigned for 2007. Unlike the previous design, which was based on the body-on-frame Grand Vitara, the new XL7 is built on a General Motors unibody platform. The new XL7 features a GM-designed but Suzuki-assembled 3.6-liter V-6 with 5-speed automatic transmission, front- or all-wheel drive (AWD), a 4-wheel independent suspension, and optional seating for 7 passengers.
When the XL-7 made its debut in 2001 as Suzuki's first 7-passenger sport utility vehicle (SUV), it was essentially a stretched version of Suzuki's capable Grand Vitara, using traditional truck-style body-on-frame construction and rear- or 4-wheel-drive. That made the XL-7 a capable off-road vehicle, but off-road ability is not a strong selling point in today's compact SUV market. So, for 2007, the all-new XL7 (the hyphen has officially been dropped) has gone totally crossover. It is now based on General Motors' Theta platform, which also serves as the underpinnings for the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent; in fact, the Equinox, Torrent, and XL7 are built at the joint GM-Suzuki plant in Ontario, Canada. Compared to the old XL-7, the new XL7 is larger, heavier, and has a significantly more powerful engine, yet EPA fuel economy ratings are unchanged in the city cycle and slightly higher in highway driving.
The XL7 is offered in three trim levels: 5-seat base and 7-seat Luxury and Limited. All models get a 3.6-liter V-6 with an output of 252 hp and 243 lb.-ft. of torque, backed by a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual-shifting mode. Front-wheel drive is standard; the optional AWD system is fully automatic, diverting power to the rear wheels as needed. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, and Suzuki claims a 0-60 mph time of less than 8 seconds. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, and side curtain air bags are standard in all models, as are automatic climate control, rear air conditioning, and a CD player. GPS navigation, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and remote starting are among the options. The XL7 is protected by 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties.
The Suzuki XL7 competes in the Midsize Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of 13 models. Buyers in this segment look for comfort, reliability, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Highlander (129,794 units sold), Nissan Murano (81,362), and Chrysler Pacifica (78,243). The previous-generation Suzuki XL-7 sold 10,948 units in 2006, a decrease of 29.2 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize CUV segment include the Ford Freestyle, Buick Rendezvous, Subaru B9 Tribeca , and Hyundai Santa Fe. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Ford Five Edge, GMC Acadia, Mazda CX-9, and Saturn Outlook.
|Base (A5)||5 speed automatic||$22,999||252-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/24|
|Luxury w/o 3rd Row (A5)||5 speed automatic||$24,599||252-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/24|
|Special (A5)||5 speed automatic||$25,749||252-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/24|
|Limited w/3rd Row (A5)||5 speed automatic||$27,949||252-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||18/24|