2002 Suzuki XL-7 2.7 gas engine from North America
Good truck, tough interior and ride. Decent value for the money
Timing chain tensioners (probably one maybe more) - rattling noise on startup usually tips you off that they are worn. $1200 repair. Unusual for this sort of design. It happened at just over 80,000 km.
Intermittent Service Engine Soon (SES) light is an on/off situation right now. Trying to track it down before it has to go to a shop to get the code or codes read. Could be an O2 sensor or just a loose wire to the computer. Performance doesn't seem to be affected yet.
Rear suspension thump at low speeds over curbs and bumps, like when you pull into your driveway from the street onto your parking area. I'm guessing worn rear shocks, because that's where I think the noise is coming from.
This is actually a pretty tough little truck. And that is what you can expect if you are buying one of these. It is not a CUV, Cute-Ute or crossover. This is a fully framed box with a body over suspension design.
The problem I see is that it is neither as big as a mid to full sized SUV that is capable of doing the same things as this vehicle - and yet it doesn't offer any performance advantages for being a smaller, narrower SUV.
The 2.7 engine is just not enough for a two ton beast like this one. You really have to dip into the throttle to get going, and it is not easy to get those meager 183 ponies and skimpy 180 lb/feet of torque awake to answer your call.
That means bad gas mileage in the 18 - 22 mpg range. Not really great for a smallish people carrier with limited cargo room.
But despite its hefty weight and hard seats, and that pokey 2.7 V-6, there is an endearing quality to the toughness factor. It has a low range gearset for 4x4 mode. None of those sissy CUV's can do that. It has a cool "UN, NATO" officiousness to it. This would be right at home in the Green Zone in Iraq. You get the feeling this thing won't/can't/will not ever quit on you.
But before you buy one: look to the Toyota 4Runner - also a full frame SUV with similar abilities and cargo room... but a MUCH MUCH better ride and handling compromise, and a far more refined feel and drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd August, 2010
4th Oct 2010, 16:48
Of course the XL7 doesn't ride as well as the Toyota. You can buy one of these tough vehicles for half of what you pay for the Toyota. I personally love my Suzuki SUV (99 Grand Vitara) and appreciate the value that it is.
10th Oct 2010, 13:02
Well that is my point. If you are willing to compromise on ride and interior room, as well slightly cheaper build quality and materials - the Suzuki is a good choice.
But if you have a few thousand dollars more to spend anyway, go look at the 4Runner, especially from 2003 forward. They were redesigned quite a bit. You can even get a V8 that won't get gas mileage any worse than a large V6.