Having undergone a complete transformation in 2006, the Suzuki Grand Vitara enters 2007 with a few tweaks. Air conditioning has been added as standard equipment to the base JA model, instead of being an option, while the four-mode 4WD system previously available only on the JLX Leather package has been added to the JX and JLX models, which formerly used a full-time AWD system.

Inside, the smoker’s package of ashtray and lighter has been replaced with an additional 12-volt outlet; SmartPass keyless entry and start system is standard on JX models; heated cloth seats are standard on JLX; all audio systems receive speed-sensitive volume control; and the driver’s information display now shows average fuel consumption and estimated driving range.

On the outside, the Suzuki logo has been added to hard spare tire covers, and there is a new exterior shade, Graphite Grey Metallic, available on JX, JLX and JLX-Leather models.

The Grand Vitara uses a 2.7-litre V6, and is available in JA, JX, JLX and JLX Leather trim. JA and JX models use a five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic, while JLX models use the automatic only. The JA uses a full-time AWD system, while the rest use a four-mode, dual-range system with centre differential that can be locked into 4-High or 4-Low for off-road situations.

Features on the JA include 16-inch steel wheels, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, air conditioning, satellite-ready CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers and wheel-mounted controls, tilt wheel, floor mats, 60/40 split-back folding and reclining rear seats, automatic headlamps, power mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, fixed-intermittent rear wiper, hard half-case spare tire cover, and side and curtain airbags.

The JX adds 16-inch alloy wheels, SmartPass keyless entry and ignition, CD/MP3 stereo with six speakers and subwoofer, cruise control, privacy glass, heated mirrors, fog lamps, roof rails and full hard spare tire case.

The JLX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, six-CD stereo, power sunroof, leather-wrapped wheel, and heated front seats, while the JLX Leather adds leather interior and garage door opener.

The Grand Vitara is a well-priced specimen, offering a smooth and comfortable ride thanks to its unibody construction, but with an underlying ladder frame that makes it more off-road capable than many similar SUVs. Putting the four-mode 4WD system on the lower-priced models also makes the Grand Vitara more enticing to those who need to get to remote cottages or ski slopes, but without the need to move up to the top-of-the-line package.

Connect with Autos.ca