Completely redesigned for 2006, the only thing the Grand Vitara shares with the outgoing model is the name.

Available in four trim levels – the JA, JX, JLX and JLX Leather – the Grand Vitara is powered by a 2.7-litre V6, mated to a five-speed manual that can be optioned up to a five-speed automatic. The automatic is the only transmission offered on the JLX models. There are two four-wheel-drive systems: a full-time FWD on the three lower levels, and on the JLX Leather, a four-mode, dual-range system with a centre differential that can be locked into 4-High or 4-Low for off-road situations.

Unlike the body-on-frame construction of the 2005 model, the 2006 Grand Vitara uses a lightweight, stiff unibody construction with a built-in ladder frame. The suspension is fully independent, with MacPherson struts in front and a rear multi-link system. Anti-lock brakes and an electronic stability program are standard equipment.

The JA includes power windows, power locks with keyless entry, satellite-radio-ready-CD/MP3 player with four speakers and wheel-mounted controls, tilt wheel, 60/40 folding rear seat, cargo cover, power mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, rear wiper/washer, limited-slip differential, hard half-case spare tire cover, and side and curtain airbags. Air conditioning can be added as an option.

The JX adds climate control air conditioning, six speakers with subwoofer, cruise control, privacy glass, heated mirrors, fog lamps, roof rails, full spare tire cover, and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

The JLX adds SmartPass keyless entry and start system, six-CD/MP3 player, power sunroof, leather-wrapped wheel, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

The JLX Leather adds heated leather seats, Homelink garage door opener, and four-mode four-wheel-drive.

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