The Suzuki XL-7 is this manufacturer's take on what a mid-size SUV should be. It was first put on the market in 2001. Early versions of this model were similar in design to a Grand Vitara. Buyers were getting a V-6 engine designed by Suzuki mounted on a rear-wheel drive based platform. Four-wheel drive was optional. At that point, it was the most economical SUV that offered a third row of passenger seating.
More than 20,000 units were sold each year, and the Suzuki XL-7 has received kudos from Consumers' Digest, who declared it to be a "Best Buy." The XL-7's competitors caught up by offering models with more horse power, and improved features at a lower price. Suzuki found that it was losing its market share to the Honda CR-V, the Honda Pilot, and the Toyota Highlander. Of course, that realization inspired changes designed to get sales back on track.
Suzuki then launched a second version of the XL-7 in an effort to regain its position in the North American marketplace. In late 2006, a new version of the XL7 was unveiled. (This new model didn't have a hyphenated title.) This latest offering is an able competitor to the Subaru Forester and came as a result of a partnership between the company and General Motors.
Second-generation XL7's are similar in design to the Pontiac Torrent, the Saturn Vue, and the Chevy Equinox. This type of vehicle is equipped with its own version of the GM High Feature engine, which is shipped to the Cami Automotive plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. This is the same location where the Torrent and the Equinox are assembled.
The latest version of the XL7 can seat between five and seven people comfortably, depending on the model the buyer chooses. The premium package has an MSRP of $25,499 for front wheel drive; if you want to buy a four-wheel drive version, you will need to pay a bit more. The price for 4WD goes up to $26,699.
A 2.7 liter, V6 engine powers the Suzuki XL7 and the person who gets behind the wheel will appreciate this vehicle's power windows and doors. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are heated rear view mirrors. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System is a wonderful feature that makes it easier for the owner to keep a good handle on this important safety consideration. The second generation XL7 certainly has evolved in response to market demands and customer preferences.