NEW FOR 2008:

– No changes for 2008

Completely redesigned for 2007, the Suzuki XL7 is unchanged for 2008.

The XL7 uses a 3.6-litre V6, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. It is available as the JX or JLX; both models are available in front- or all-wheel drive, and all come with seven-passenger seating.

Features on the JX include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear heater/air conditioner, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack, cruise control, tilt wheel, floor mats, height-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding second row, 50/50 split-folding third row, automatic self-levelling halogen headlamps, power mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, rear wiper, black roof rails, and tire pressure monitoring system.

The JLX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, wheel-mounted audio controls, power sunroof, leather-wrapped wheel, compass, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated leather seats with power driver’s adjustment, fog lamps, and silver and black roof rails.

Built at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario alongside the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent, the XL7 shares about 20 per cent of its components with GM, most of them in the interior. Its engine is built in Japan but based on a Cadillac block.

The engine is strong, the brakes are good, and the vehicle feels very firmly planted. The third row of seats is roomier than in many competitors, although it’s still meant primarily for children or for adults on short trips, and it’s difficult to access. First- and second-row passengers get plenty of legroom and headroom, and everything folds flat for a sizable cargo floor.

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