By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Day 1:

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX-L
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Public relations people can be quite the bunch. They are typically very nice, can help get you any information you require on a product or get you in contact with someone who can — but I wasn’t expecting this. Suzuki somehow has enough pull in their PR department to ensure I am able to test the new 2009 Grand Vitara’s four wheel drive capabilities by dumping 15cm of snow on the city!

Okay, obviously I am joking (about the PR pull, not the snow), but I am glad that I do have a capable four-wheel drive machine this week with the weather turning for the worst, and me with my fingers crossed that we do not get another winter like last year.

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara JLX-L
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This week, I am once again behind the wheel of a Suzuki Grand Vitara. I say once again because it was but a few months ago that I drove the outgoing, 2008 edition. This is both good and not-so-good as I see it — it is great because I still vaguely remember the 2008 Vitara and its driving characteristics, and not-so-great because it is difficult to review the same vehicle again so soon.

The last Grand Vitara I reviewed (2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara) was also a JLX model with automatic transmission. This tester, though, is the JLX-L model, with that extra “L” designating that leather is included.

Not a great deal has changed from 2008 to 2009, but there is one very significant difference, with a move away from the standard 2.7-litre V6 engine across the board to 2.4-litre I4 or 3.2L V6 engine choices. With this comes a new pricing structure as well, leaving me with a tester only $400 more than the 2008 model I tested but adding leather seating and door panels to spice it up.

2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara I4 JLX-L
MSRP as tested (including destination): $31,545

For more information on Suzuki and the Grand Vitara visit Suzuki Canada

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