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Automotive Section


Suzuki Grand Vitara 2009

Suzuki's new Grand Vitara could be the perfect SUV for many consumers looking for a vehicle in the "cute ute" class.

In fact, after spending about a week with it, I could find very little not to like about it, my chief beef being that the hatch opens to the passenger's side, which makes it difficult to access the hauling area if you're parallel parked or on a road side. That's annoyance for sure, but in the grand scheme of things it's pretty minor and, since it's also a flaw in such competitors as the Toyota Rav4, you can't blame Suzuki solely for this oversight. more...

Suzuki SX4

It may not be particularly Swift, but Suzuki's new SX4 is a cute little box that's cheap on gas, offers four wheel drive and is a pleasant, well decked out little car that would undoubtedly be easy to live with.

Supposedly designed to replace the roly-poly Aerio five door hatchback, the SX4 is (not surprisingly) a five door hatchback. It competes with such vehicles as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Dodge Caliber and the Nissan Versa, to name just a few.

Suzuki describes the SX4 as featuring a "bold attitude with performance." Perhaps, though that strikes me as a more apt description of a BMW 3 series or Lexus IS than what is for all intents and purposes an econobox. But the SX4 does feature sleek lines and smooth curves that are easy on the eyes if not exactly exuding boldness, and when I finished my week behind the wheel I was impressed with almost everything about it. more...

Suzuki Grand Vitara

Suzuki’s popular Grand Vitara has received a complete makeover for 2006, and the resulting SUV is a nice unit that offers good value for the dollar.

The new model not only features a new, unit body and a fresh exterior, it also includes such interesting and useful features as a V6 engine, power practically everything, satellite-ready AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with 4-speakers, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, tilt steering and a one touch open/close sunroof.

I never had the chance to drive the last version of the Grand Vitara, but my neighbor had one and liked it a lot. With the new model upping the performance, technology and comfort/convenience ante over the old one, he should be even more enamored. more...

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Jim Bray is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. His columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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