1999 Grand Vitara New Car Test Drive
Suzuki's Grand Vitara is a standout among the new mini-SUVs. Totally new for 1999, the Grand Vitara is one of the few SUVs in this class that's built on truck-based principles -- live axles and two-speed transfer cases. It's also the only mini-utility to offer a V6 engine -- and it's a slick powerplant at that.
With 155 horsepower from its new V6, the Grand Vitara JLX+ has power that the 4-cylinder Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V simply can't match. Mate that V6 to a five-speed transmission, and the Grand Vitara turns as racy as a tall wagon can get. On-demand four-wheel drive and a five-link rear suspension with coil springs make it better prepared to rumble over rocks and rutted trails than the its car-based competition.
Aside from the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler, no other mini-utilities offer the same levels of gravel-ready power and capability as this new Suzuki. On the road or off the beaten trail, the Grand Vitara makes a convincing argument for being the best mini-utility.