I purchased my 2002 Suzuki XL7 base model in August of 2001. This is my first foreign car, and I have to say, it has been very good to me. It has 90,000, and up until a month ago, all I ever had to do was replace the front brakes and discs (way too often), change the oil, and replace the tires and battery.
Unfortunately, my AC compressor seized on me also. Who has 1,500 these days to replace this? Of course, it is the hottest summer we have had in North Carolina in a long time. I was sure hoping there was a recall on this part with all of the problems I am reading about.
My 2002 XL7 Limited bought in 2003 only has 76,000 miles (mostly city and long trips).
Main repairs after 60K+ miles include radiator ($250), and rack/pinion assembly ($250 refurb + $200 intall).
Keyless quit working.
Belts squeaked badly until power steering belt replaced ($140).
A/C quit cooling, but each Spring, I refill the coolant ($20) and it works great until the next spring. Getting to the low side is a real pain though the first time; have to remove the front fender.
Otherwise we love the vehicle.
Update: In June of 2008 we finally got enough money put aside to replace the A/C compressor (and drier, condensor, and front and rear valves as per general suggestions). AC Parts Guys provided a new Denso compressor and all the necessary parts in a nice kit for a hair under $700 (about $800 less than the local Suzuki dealer wanted). Anyhow, the vehicle and parts were delivered to the local Suzuki deal with strict instructions to completely flush the system, as we had learned in the mean time from a note on the 'net that many early failures were due to aluminum chips left behind in the original assembly at the factory. As it was they charged us $800 for the installation. But it was still better than the $2,600 we were quoted originally! That was at about 76,000 miles.
Forward about 20,000 miles. The NEW DENSO compressor has failed again. Either this Denso compressor design is junk, or the Suzuki tech didn't flush / install the system properly. We have owned and driven dozens of cars over 40+ years. We have NEVER had an A/C compressor failure of any sort EXCEPT for this Suzuki! And now we will do it again. Sigh.
Do we still love this vehicle? Yes. I'm a sports car lover and yet, I love to drive this XL-7. The suspension settings and tire/wheel combination are ideal and I can throw this thing into corners just like my Miata without any fear whatsoever. Okay, not quite so fast as the Miata, but nearly so, and it is as stable as a rock all the way through the turn. I rented a GMC Jimmy once and I thought it was going to flip over on bends in the highway (much less driving through Rochester). The Jimmy was scary. The XL-7 reeks of confidence. It's like a four-wheel-drive sports car.
It is approaching sinful that Suzuki did not stand behind this marvelous series with better service and A/C system engineering. And moving the 3rd seat back 6 inches wouldn't have hurt either! LoL. But they caved and eventually bought Chevy trucks and re-badged them as XL-7s, and that was pretty much the end of the XL-7 line. R.I.P. Beautiful XL-7.
Alignment. Make sure they get the toe-in correct. The younger alignment guys always swear there's no problem there, but when forced to check and correct, the problem (assuming it was there) goes away, and they tell you they never saw that before! :-)
We love our 2001 XL-7. It has the oversize tire/cast aluminum wheels. It drives just like my Miata! Very agile and not nearly as tip-prone as my son's GMC Jimmy (which leans over just looking at a corner). LoL.
Anyhow, it's a great vehicle, BUT set aside about $1,000 a year for repairs. Fun costs, and this model is no exception.
These early XL-7s were designed with a really poor excuse for the A/C Compressor. It lasts about three years on the average (less if someone tries to "recharge it" with stuff from Walmart). Depending on the "gouge quotient" of your local dealer, replacing it (and the condenser/filter, dryer and front and rear valves) will run anywhere from $2,200 to $3,000. Our local dealer has a high "gouge quotient", and charged $2,875 last time.
At about 8-9 years, you will note the Check Engine light comes on regularly as emission components in the gas tank area begin to rust through and fail. It doesn't hurt the drive-ability much, but (at least in New York) has to be fixed before the annual inspection (because the computer reports the problem to Albany).
Other than that, we haven't had too many other issues with our 2001. We're on our second set of Michelin X-One tires (top of the line always - tires are your daughter's ONLY connection to the pavement - never forget that) at the 105,000 mile mark.
I recommend you take some WD-40 and spray the moving hinge inside the fuel door cover. The way it was designed is such that once it gets crud in it and begins to stick, every time the fuel door opens and closes, you end up actually twisting the metal pin that holds the door on. After doing this for a while, the pin breaks off, and away flies your fuel door!
Just lost mine today. Luckily, I was able to retrieve it and examine the issue. Just an incredibly poor design really. The fuel door hinge must be lubricated regularly for it to not fail.