A traditional sport-utility vehicle, the compact Suzuki Grand Vitara attempts to deliver the often mutually exclusive attributes of off-road capability and on-road comfort. First-generation Grand Vitaras (1999-2005) have a trucklike chassis, V6 power and a four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing. Offered from 2006-'13, the second-generation model is similar, but features a body structure that blends car and truck chassis designs.
In reviews, this Suzuki SUV earns favorable commentary for its long list of standard features (compared with small SUVs of a similar vintage) and above-average abilities when taken on dirt trails. Downsides include slow acceleration, unimpressive fuel economy and a general lack of refinement. Although most consumers will be happier with one of the mainstream crossover SUVs, a well-kept Suzuki Grand Vitara could make sense if you're seeking basic transportation and regularly drive on unpaved roads.