NEW FOR 2009:

– New four-cylinder and V6 engines
– Revised interior and exterior styling

For 2009, the Suzuki Grand Vitara expands its engine choices, adding a four-cylinder engine to a model that was previously restricted to a single V6. The six-cylinder has also been updated, with a 3.2-litre in place of the 2008 model’s 2.7-litre, with a resulting increase in power and torque. The model also undergoes some styling changes, including a larger front grille and bumper, available 18-inch alloy wheels, and new interior features, including upgraded stereos, redesigned centre stack, vehicle information display, chrome-plated inside door handles, sliding centre armrest and extendable sun visors.

Engines choices are now a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, and 3.2-litre V6 with five-speed automatic. The four-cylinder comes as the JA with manual transmission; JX, with automatic; and the automatic-equipped JLX and JLX-L; the V6 comes as the JLX or JLX-L. The JA uses a full-time four-wheel drive system, while all other models use a driver-selectable part-time four-wheel drive system that can be locked into 4High or 4Low for off-road situations. The Neutral setting also allows it to be flat-towed.

Features on the JA include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control, power windows with driver’s express down, power locks with keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo with wheel-mounted audio controls and XM satellite radio pre-wiring, floor mats, cloth seats, manual height-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split fold-and-tumble rear seats, sliding front centre armrest with storage compartment, cargo cover, automatic headlamps, variable intermittent wipers, fixed intermittent rear wiper, and half hard spare tire case.

The JX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless start, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rails, and full hard spare tire case.

The JLX models add six-CD/MP3 stereo, power sunroof, front door courtesy lights, heated seats, and fog lamps. The V6 model adds 18-inch alloy wheels.

The JLX-L models add heated leather seats.

The revised Grand Vitara offers new comfort levels, with soundproofing that gives it a much quieter ride over the previous 2008 model. The four-cylinder is a perky performer and should prove very popular with buyers, being well-suited to the size of the vehicle; the 3,000-lb towing capacity, the same with either engine, also increases its practicality and is class-leading with the four-cylinder. The four-wheel drive system is very capable; the Grand Vitara can tackle rugged roads that would overwhelm many of its all-wheel competitors, while satisfying buyers who want more on-road manners and don’t need to move up to a purpose-built off-roader such as the Jeep Wrangler or Hummer H3.

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