Review: Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014)


Good looking, on road handling much better than previous version, comparatively cheap, impressive off road.

A bit crude compared to the more expensive opposition. No spare wheel on back from July 2010 to December 2012. Production ended June 2014.

Recently Added To This Review

9 July 2016

2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara (no mention petrol or diesel) used 5 litres of oil between 79,000 miles and 84,000 miles. Reason could be failure of rear crankshaft main seal. Read more

1 December 2014

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2005-2014 shown to be the 3rd most reliable SUV in Warranty Direct's claims records. Read more

4 September 2014

Waterpump seized, shredding timing belt of 2010 Grand Vitara 1.9 diesel (Renault F9Q engine). Resultant damage to engine to cost £4,500 to fix. TMING BELT, TENSIONER AND WATERPUMP NEED CHANGING... Read more

Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014): At A Glance

Launched in 2005, the Grand Vitara had a mild facelift in 2008 (it wasn't showing any wrinkles). The front end is slightly different, door mirrors now incorporate side indicators, and there are some extra touches of ‘quality' inside, such as grey wood inlays to the dash.

The size (and price) of it makes it directly competitive to the Hyundai Tucson and KIA Sportage, something the old Grand Vitara wasn't because of its old-tech live-axle running gear. And, unlike its shorter sister, there is a petrol automatic version available.

Suzuki Grand Vitara LWB 2006 Road Test

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 2008 Road Test and Video


What does a Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014) cost?

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Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4035–4500 mm
Width 1810–1880 mm
Height 1695 mm
Wheelbase 2440–2640 mm

Full specifications

Biggest advantage over the SWB is that you can get an extra person in the back seat. Plus a lot more luggage. The rear seats are split 60:40 and as well as reclining slightly also tumble leaving a flat luggage floor, though tumbled they take up so much space you can't easily access it through the rear side doors.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014)

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What's the Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014) like to drive?

Start it and it sounds like a truck-load of gravel being emptied onto a wasp's nest. Smooth it isn't. It's quite low geared too, for a diesel. Just 25mph per 1,000rpm. But unlike the 3-door it comes with lockable centre diff and low range gears as standard. So you can go off-roading, if you can find an off-road. It also has a high-set air inlet, bolted to the bonnet shut plate, which means it's not likely to hydraulic fording a stream or a flood.

That extra length over the SWB gives it much better ride quality and sportier handling. You still don't want to cruise at much more than 75-80mph, but it's stable and positive at speed rather than a bit vague like the old solid-back-axle Vitaras.

I got on fine with it. enrolling it in a variety of duties including carrying heavy boxes of books to store. However, one day it rained between loadings and the disadvantage of the side opening rear door became apparent. Unprotected by the usual hatch suspended over the load area, a couple of boxes got wet.

I really appreciated the big, chunky 225/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueller tyres over speed cushions, and school run mums should note you can bounce them over kerbs with impunity. But, towards the end of the week, engine and road noise on the motorway became a bit wearing.

However, with that proviso, it's a useful vehicle, not too big, not too small and easy to get on with in day-to-day life. It's cheap enough, costing no more than a high spec family Ford (before discount). Though I didn't check accurately, it probably will do around 37mpg. And it is capable of the serious off-roading no more than 20% of customers will actually use it for.

The main thing is, it's hugely better than the old Grand Vitara, and for that reason puts itself on shopping lists along with the other sensibly priced SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson and KIA Sportage.


You can actually get this new engine in both sizes of Vitara. And with a 4-speed automatic transmission that still keeps the CO2 under punitive tax bands. Emissions are actually slightly lower than the old 2.0 litre petrol engine.Gearing of the 5-speed manual worked out at about 23.5mph per 1,000rpm giving a 3,000 70mph cruise. It will tow 1,850kg.

From memory, ride quality and handling both seemed to be improved and the car is as comfortable on the motorway as it is going to the shops. Reclining rear seats in the LWB help here. So does cruise control that is very easy and intuitive to operate from buttons on the steering wheel.

Over around 300 miles I averaged 29.1mpg. With so much competition in a niche market that has grown into a canyon, the Grand Vitara won't sell in large numbers so has exclusivity on its side. And the fact it remains a proper off-roader for situations where a centre diff lock and low range are needed. Buy one and you could find yourself hauled into towing the neighbour's Tiguan out of a snowdrift this winter.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 35 mpg 14.4 s 189 g/km
1.9 DDiS 38–43 mpg 13.2 s 174–191 g/km
2.4 31–33 mpg 11.2–11.7 s 201–208 g/km
2.4 Automatic 29–31 mpg 11.5–12.0 s 213–221 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

20–40 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Suzuki Grand Vitara 5dr (2005 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Buying a used Suzuki Grand Vitara - which model would you recommend?

I'm looking to buy a mid-size 4x4 which I will mostly drive in town. I like the look of the Suzuki Grand Vitara and have a budget of £5k-£10k. I would like to change the wheels, add spoilers and other cosmetics, so that needs to be included within the budget. It must also must have a spare wheel on the door. Can you tell me: 1. Is 1.6 engine too weak for this car? 2. Is 2.0 engine good enough - any know faults with it ? 3. Can a spare wheel be retrofitted?
All in here: We don't have anything more than that, because it's where we store everything we know. To fit a spare wheel to a non spare wheel version would require a completely different door and hinges. Suzuki later reverted to a door mounted spare, but this was a space saver, not full size.
Answered by Honest John
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