Noise, ride, acceleration, fuel economy, side-hinged tailgate requires lots of room to open.
Our tested Grand Vitara, with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, was noisy and sluggish and yielded just 19 mpg overall, worse than some V6 competitors. The optional V6 has been dropped. Steering is somewhat vague, and handling is reluctant though ultimately very secure. The ride is stiff and jittery. We found the rear seat fairly roomy. Unlike its direct competitors, the two-wheel-drive versions power the rear wheels. The side-hinged rear hatch requires lots of room to open. Side and curtain air bags are standard.
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