Suzuki XL-7 - any good...?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 20:02
ThreadID: 3312 Views:4990 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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I currently have a 1995 LWB Pajero (3.0L v6). I am considering my options and wonder if anyone has a Suzuki XL-7. I haven't heard anything much about them, but looking at the stat's, the motor puts out more power than my Pajero, and it has roughly the same amount of ground clearance.

Obviously, I know I won't be competing with Cruisers and Patrols for off-road glory, but require a car to be competent off road for day and short trips. Would use it for beach driving, Flinders Ranges etc, up to a little more adventurous trips in the future. Would not need to tow large weights, so it's towing ability is not too important.

I have read many positive posts about Sierras and Vitaras, especially those with a little bit of after-market work done, and wondered if the XL7 has the same abilities in its "stock" form, and also the same possibilities with after-market help.

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Reply By: AK - Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 21:29

Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 21:29
I can't comment on the XL7 as I own a V6 grand vitara. The only diff that I know between the XL7 and the GV is the XL7 is about 300mm longer +2 more seats and the motor is 2700cc v 2500cc all other runing gear etc should be the same. Some of the things I have noticed with the GV are poor ground clearance ( spring lift fixed that to some point)Poor selection of tyres available due to the odd size , most 4x4 tyres start around 30' and go up from memory 235/60/16 is around 27'.Not alot of room ( XL7 fixes that )

Enough of the negatives, our car is good for what we want it to do, great for the beach and easy - medium off road tracks. It will not do what a patrol or cruiser can do but we keep surprising ourselves where it can go. The added benefit is our car is quick off the mark, easy to park and doen't use heaps of fuel
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 12837

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 23:06

Monday, Feb 10, 2003 at 23:06
I have a short wheelbase Vitara. For the sort of use you're talking about then the XL7 should be fine with minor modifications. I don't recommend too much four wheel drive use without at least minor modification, since that usually means at some point you have to follow a path where bigger 4wd's have been if the surface is anything but sand - and then you wioll start bottoming out and damaging things.

Rest assured that if you buy the Suzuki and throw a grand or so at it it will be up for the task - the money spend on minor modifcations can be considered as insurance against underbody damage.

With a few minor mods they are quite capable - probably on par with a stock Cruiser or Patrol with the benefits of lower purchase price and far cheaper running costs.

Even if you bought a Patrol or Cruiser you'd want to spend a similar money anyway in "customising" it - particularly on the all important lift...


AnswerID: 12850

Reply By: Mike - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 00:13

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 00:13
Thanks for your thoughts, AK & SV. As you've said, I was thinking that an XL-7 is cheaper to get into than a larger car, which makes it not so expensive overall then to spend a bit more on some modifications to make it more capable.

Any other posters' thoughts appreciated.

AnswerID: 12857

Reply By: muppo - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 17:47

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2003 at 17:47
Great car I've had one for 6 months now and could'nt be happier. It tow my 16ft aluminium boat, loves low range off road work, only cost me $39000 on road for a limited edition model which blew everything else on the market away. Motor has heaps of grunt and is only getting better with age (8300klms) constantly returns 10l/100 or better at the pump and is a dream to drive compared to my old 98 Jackaroo which we traded in on the Suzuki. As stated by other readers you do have to spend between $500 & $800 on 35mm lift springs and new rear shocks which improves the very soft factory ride. Test drive one, you wont be thinking Toyota or Nissan again, it's like having a sports car and a 4WD in one. Goodluck with whatever you choose.
AnswerID: 12909

Follow Up By: Mike - Wednesday, Feb 12, 2003 at 09:15

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2003 at 09:15
Thanks for the opinion, Muppo. Do they have a centre dif lock? The Suzuki web-site doesn't mention this. Also, do you happen to know if after-market stuff from ARB etc made for the Vitara fits the XL-7, or are they yet to bring out stuff for them yet?
FollowupID: 7580

Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 14:31

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 14:31
I'm somewhat anti-ARB anyway - while their stuff is very good they should include the rubber gloves and vaseline you need to lube your a*** up with to pay for their prices. It's a violation of the highest order.....

The current ARB accessory list makes no mention anywhere of the XL7 - but most of the parts are the same for SWB, LWB and Grand Vitara models - although the diff locks need to be modified for the GV and probably would also need to be modified for the XL7.

ARB Lists no V6 snorkels - but then I wouldn't be playing in Bonnet deep mud in a $39,000 electric everything toy anyway......

GV's have different springs and front struts to standard SWB and LWB Vitaras - you'd probably find the V6 GV is the same part as the XL7. While it's possible the spring rates are different for the heavier weight and longer wheelbase - they arent for the Vitara SWB/LWB so I'd guess the GV/XL7 would likewise share components.

Then again this is Suzuki - they redesigned the air filter, levers, oil filters etc almost EVERY year on their sports motorbikes so that they could prevent aftermarket manufacturers from making cheaper competing parts.....
FollowupID: 7631

Follow Up By: Damien - Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003 at 11:26

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003 at 11:26
LOL, might be fine on road Muppo, but get it off road & the Jack will blow it away - there is no comparison.
FollowupID: 8317

Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003 at 12:07

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003 at 12:07
Damien, the problems with the Vitara's are limited to suspension travel issues and maximum tyre size (even 31's are damned hard to fit).

For those who do distance highway work, gravel or dirt roads, sand and mud the Vitara will kill the Jackaroo. It's more comfortable, cheaper to run being smaller and lighter and much more pleasant to drive.

While the turbo diesel jackaroo may match the fuel economy of the petrol Suzuki it will cost far more when maintainance is required - go check prices for your diesel injectors or diesel servicing costs.....

If you mainly do heavy trail work then the Jackeroo will be better - it can take bigger wheels and other lifting mods a little bit easier.

You also rubbished someone else who had issues with their Jackaroo on thread "35k for a 4x4 - (PostID: 3349)"

Maybe he's been unlucky and had a problem you didn't.
FollowupID: 8320

Reply By: muppo - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 16:41

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 16:41
It doesn't have a centre lock it's got shift on the fly up to 100klms hr.Part time 4WD. ARB has suspension bits, long range tanks, tow bars etc but no bullbars.TJM and ECB have bullbars to suit. Gee Suzuki viagra has a problem! maybe he doesn't know how plesant to is to go 4Wdriving in a $39000 rig and it's even more fun going through mud in one.
AnswerID: 13051

Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 07:34

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 07:34
I'm just advising caution - after all all I'd need to do is get some WD40 out. The worst case scenario would mean I need a secondhand engine, diff, or gearbox - all of which are cheap for the old Vitara.

With something new - what's the price of a replacement engine, auto and computer for an XL7 or a V8 Landcruiser? Even if you can afford to take the $40k car bush it's still gonna hurt and there's no chance in hell of a warranty claim - you'd have to be able to prove that you didn't go deeper than wading depth.

I'm sure that a few people here have heard of late model cars getting stuck for a few hours in water and being virtually written off due to fried electrics or destroyed motors.

A mate of mine has a 99 Patrol and he uses it very hard - but the only thing he won't do with it is stick it neck deep in mud. His wife would kill him if he did and blew it up. She only yells at him when he scratches it....
FollowupID: 7659

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