Suzuki XL-7 Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.43/5 Average
310 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The original Suzuki XL-7 was designed to appeal to people who liked the idea of having seven-passenger seating in an SUV but didn't want the hassles and expense of owning a full-size sport utility. By taking an extended-wheelbase version of its Grand Vitara small SUV and installing a third-row seat, Suzuki pioneered a concept, and indeed many other manufacturers have been doing the same with their smaller SUVs. Unfortunately, the first XL-7 was neat in theory but flawed in execution. Its third-row seat was too small to be of any real use and its aging truck-based design, claustrophobic cabin and poor-quality interior pieces relegated it to bit-player status among a growing and increasingly refined field of midsize contenders.

Fortunately, Suzuki made amends with a completely redesigned second-generation midsize XL7. (Note the name XL7; it was changed from XL-7 starting in 2007.) The largest Suzuki ever, the new model was 10 inches longer and 2 inches wider than before. Designed for the North American market, the most recent Suzuki XL7 was based on partner GM's midsize crossover SUV platform, which meant it bore some mechanical resemblance to vehicles like the Chevy Equinox.

Compared to the old model, this XL7 certainly looked and worked much better overall, with improved ride and agility, a smoother, more powerful Suzuki-built V6 engine and roomier, more comfortable passenger accommodations. The third row, however, was still obviously meant for children only, like others in this class. All seemed for naught, however, as the XL7 was discontinued after the 2009 model year, resulting from a lack of demand.

Most Recent Suzuki XL7

The second-generation Suzuki XL7 debuted for 2007. Notably, the XL7 was sold with a five-speed automatic and optional third-row seat through the 2008 model year. The Suzuki XL7 was a well-equipped, seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV available in three trim levels: Premium, Luxury and Limited. All models were available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Motivation was provided by a Suzuki-built 3.6-liter V6 providing 252 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. Standard on all models was a six-speed automatic transmission.

The last Suzuki XL7 was the largest, most comfortable Suzuki SUV ever built, with a spacious, functional and refined interior. The second-row 60/40-split seats tumbled forward for easy access to the third row, or folded completely flat. The 50/50-split-folding third-row seat could also be folded flat as well for additional cargo-carrying room.

Included was a long list of standard features, including alloy wheels, security alarm, automatic climate control, privacy glass, rear air-conditioning and a six-speaker CD stereo. The loaded Luxury trim level added leather, wood accents and heated front seats. To this, the Limited piled on foglamps, a rear spoiler, a standard third-row seat and satellite-radio-ready audio with navigation and DVD entertainment. These electronic features and controls were sourced from Suzuki's then-partner General Motors.

In reviews, we found that the XL7's unibody chassis provided a carlike ride and good reflexes on the pavement. The engine was powerful, handling was secure and maneuverability was good enough to ply the crowded streets for weekend errands. The model's main weakness was that it didn't feel as refined in terms of ride quality, steering precision and engine smoothness as some other midsize crossover SUVs. If you're looking for a spacious family crossover for a bargain price, a used XL7 may be a good choice.

Past Suzuki XL-7 Models

Suzuki introduced the first-generation XL-7 in 2001. At the time, it was the first SUV in its class to offer a third-row seat for a price starting under $20,000. Based on the Grand Vitara, this XL-7 had a trucklike, body-on-frame construction and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case. These rugged underpinnings made the XL-7 fairly competent for off-road use.

The model's optional third-row seat was of dubious value. There was plenty of luggage room with the rearmost seat folded down, but when the third row was in use, cargo capacity was very limited. Also, the mechanism to drop the third-row seating was fussy and awkward. The third row didn't fold completely flat and created "canyons" into which items could fall.

All models of the Suzuki XL-7 were equipped with a 170-hp, 2.7-liter engine matched to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. In reviews of the time, we noted that we liked the availability of a third-row seat and the vehicle's reasonable price. However, we felt that it didn't match up well to the competition in terms of refinement or maximum off-road ability.

Changes to the first-generation Suzuki XL-7 were minimal. In 2002, power was increased to 183 hp and antilock brakes became optional.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 310.00
  • Solid Vehicle AND Value - 2005 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    2003 LX_7 Limited 4x4. Well constructed with thoughtfulness and care in detail execution. Solid in feel, construction, handling and performance. Well appointed and laid out interior. No gizmos: everything you need is there where you need it ... and it all works! Very smooth engine provides steady push rather than neck-snapping, wheel-spinning antics. Smoothest automatic transmission I've ever experienced in a moderately priced vehicle. 2 to 4 wheel drive shift on the fly works impecibly. Best truck-based mid-size SUV road handling in its class. Great road handler as well as city parker. Tremedous cargo and people volume, though more of one means you trade-off on one for the other.

  • liked it - 2001 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    I have had this truck through all kinds of weather, on the beach & road. I can tell you the 4 wheel drive system is excellent. Its a nice smooth truck with decent power & good handling. Enjoy!

  • You can't find any other car for this price and performance during 2001. - 2001 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    Had the car from dealer's lot brand new. Few facts about this car: 1) the engine bay has a flex bar across it 2) the frame is liquid filled to reduce vibration 3) came with direct electronic ignition as opposed to plugs and wires. 4) has third row of seat. 5) OEM tires are exact same as Lexus RX300, Dueler HT. The front brake wears out lot quicker than what I'm used to. Amazingly, the rear drum brake has never been changed and it always passes the inspection. It's on 170,000 mile now. Comes with lot of upgrade if you really into it. I installed rear catch net, rear door net storage, window rain deflector. Overall, you can not find any other car like this even today 2013 that is true 4x4

  • the best - 2004 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    excellent and all encompassing

  • country boys limosine - 2003 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    this old country boy has never ridden ion a more comfortable vehicle. i am handicapped and find this vehicle to be the easiest i have ever been able to get into.

  • Another stop to fill up - 2003 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    I like this small SUV for the price. I had to look a long time to find one without the 3rd seat. The 3rd seat doesn't fold flat.

  • The Bigger, Small SUV - 2002 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    It handles very well for it's size and weight. It is very easy to park especially with the bigger side mirrors. Roomy enough for our 4 kids and they can handle flipping down a middle seat to get into the rear. Exceptional sound from the 4 speaker/1 subwoofer CD player. We added chrome nerfbars to help with the kids getting in and out and helps prevent door dings. The driving lights really help in rain and foggy conditions and help shine where the headlights (very bright) can't. Heated side-mirrors are a must. With the rear air/heat vents, warming up and cooling down is done quickly. Uses 5.8 quarts of oil.

  • Super SUV - 2004 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    This is my first Suzuki, I previously owned '97 Mercury Mountaineer and was looking for a newer Mountaineer when I saw a Red '04 XL-7 in the mall concourse. I had to walk around it several times, it was so sharp looking. Several months later my husband saw the "Route 66" commercial & suggested I look at the Suzuki's. It was like he was reading my mind. Drove one the next day and picked mine up the folling day. I love it!!

  • Great SUV For The Price - 2004 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    I bought my 2004 Suzuki XL-7 a year ago and absolutely love it. Like others I looked at Toyotas but couldn't afford to get into the $30,000 range. This XL-7 has a car type ride and you can feel the road very well. I must also say there is not much road or wind noise. Its interior is designed very well, although it could be a tad bigger, as sometimes you can feel squashed. I have had 3 SUV's, including a Toyota 4-Runner, and I would take the XL-7 over them any day. I paid $19,200 for this vehicle with automatic climate control, heated mirrors, cruise, tilt, etc. I suggest you drive one before settling on any other SUV.

  • Suzuki - 2004 Suzuki XL-7
    By -

    Excellant SUV in every respect

Suzuki XL-7 Reviews By Year:
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