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2009 Suzuki XL7

Posted: 05/01/2009 - 4:50 PM ET

The 2009 Suzuki XL7 is a midsized crossover that's sportin' a new transmission. It comfortably transports you and 6 of your favorite people in its three rows of seating. For 2009, the Base trim and all models that accommodated only 5 passengers have been discontinued. There are currently three trims to choose from: the Premium, Luxury and the Limited. All available trims now come with a stock 3.6L 252hp V6 engine that provides ample power for all scenarios. The 5-speed automatic transmission has been upgraded to a fuel-saving 6-speed auto.

Available features for safety include ABS braking, front/side/side curtain airbags, anti-skid system, electronic traction control and more. There's also an innovative load-leveling electronic system standard on all trims. Towing capacity is capped at 3500 pounds and all trims offer either front-wheel or all-wheel drive systems. Limited trims feature genuine leather upholstery, NAV systems, DVD entertainment and sunroofs.

Competition for the 2009 XL7 from Suzuki comes from the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Ford Flex, Dodge Journey, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander to name a few. MSRPs for the XL7 range from $25,595 up to $29,980.

The Suzuki XL7 grants you plenty of power from any speed traveled. Power-wise, there is little difference between front-wheel and all-wheel driven models. Although test speeds for the new transmission models have not been reported yet, the previous transmission models achieved zero to sixty times in less than 8 seconds. From starting out strong to passing with fervor, the XL7 delivers loads of pep and gumption.

City/highway gas mileage averages 16.6 mpg for the 2009 XL7. Because these crossovers are fitted with a suspension system that is based for smoothness and comfort, there is some degree of lean when entering corners with any substantial speed. Steering is said to feel a bit artificial and distant. And, it's a bit difficult to maneuver an XL7 in tight circumstances due to its wide turning radius. Although the brake pedal seems a bit loose, the braking is quite adequate.

Easily-read gauges and a well-designed dash make the 2009 XL7 simplistic to navigate and understand. All knobs and other controls are located in a handy fashion and never make the driver reach far for them. The navigation system is optional and has a screen that could stand to be larger. Also, it lacks any audio instructions and/or real time weather reporting.

There's plenty of room for all passengers to enjoy quiet, comfortable trips in the XL7. Cargo room is likewise spacious. Overall, the 2009 Suzuki XL7 presents solid value and above average dependability. Owners enjoy the peppy power and the convenient interior design standards. Certainly worth a short list classification, the 2009 XL7 may just be the crossover you've been looking for.

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