Six Interesting Facts about the Suzuki XL-7
- A mid-sized SUV, the Suzuki XL-7 is slotted above the Grand Vitara in the company's line up. Though the Japanese manufacturer has made a name for itself making SUVs and trucks of differing sizes and configurations, it's really hard to tell one from the other. The one thing that makes the XL-7 stand out is that it is the last Suzuki to sport three rows of seating on the inside.
- When it first came out in 2001, the Suzuki XL-7 held the distinction for being the most affordable SUV-with three-row seating available-in North America. That led to over 20,000 units sold in that same year. Those two facts led to it bagging Consumer's Digest's Best Buy award-which in turn pushed rival manufacturers to step up their game!
- Another trait of the American-market Suzuki XL-7s was that it was available with 5-speed manual transmission-in both 5-person and 7-person variants. Normally, in markets outside the US, Suzuki shifts-no pun intended-to full automatic.
- Around 2006, Suzuki released a reinvention of the XL-7. It did so in conjunction with General Motors. The big changes include dropping the hyphen in the name, incorporating design features of American-made SUVs, and adding the GM High Feature engine. This overhaul meant that it had a lof of things in common with many of GM's SUVs-built on the Theta platform-than its Japanese contemporaries.
- The Suzuki XL-7 was the ride of choice of Japanese racer Nobuhiro Tajima at the 2007 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This tough and dangerous race along Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado normally features heavily modified cars. Remember that the XL-7 is an SUV; but it still was given modifications like most racing cars would have. Therefore it sported a huge and awkward-looking spoiler in the back.
- In the last years of every vehicle's run, one can expect a dip in the production numbers-after all, the models are likely to be replaced the next year. The dip for the last year of the Suzuki XL-7 is noteworthy though. The year before it was discontinued, over 12,000 units were still rolling off the line. In 2009, when the 8-year production run came to an end, Suzuki produced only a total of-wait for it-four units.