2007 XL7 New Car Test Drive
Suzuki forsakes its image as a small car manufacturer with the introduction of the XL7 crossover SUV. The 2007 Suzuki XL7 is all-new. Save for elimination of the hyphen the 2007 XL7 only shares its name with the old XL-7.
The new XL7 is longer, wider and more powerful than the outgoing model. If its look seems faintly familiar that's because it's based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent models from GM, though it shares no sheetmetal with them. The XL7 is assembled in Canada alongside the Equinox and Torrent. The XL7's V6 engine is built in Japan, however.
The XL7 is a large mid-size SUV that offers even more space for three rows of seats with sufficient room for adults to sit in reasonable comfort in the third row. The name XL7 denotes that this Suzuki can be equipped to carry up to seven passengers. Fold all the passenger seats down, including the front one, and there's a generous amount of cargo space.
As with other crossover utilities, the XL7 offers a much smoother ride on the highway than truck-based SUVs. All-wheel drive is available, improving traction and stability in foul weather traction and on dirt or gravel roads. With one of the most powerful engines in its class, the XL7 offers decent acceleration performance yet it delivers reasonable fuel economy. It's aided by its smooth-shifting five-speed automatic.
Suzuki is offering the XL7 in three trim levels: XL7 ($22,899), Luxury ($24,599) and Limited ($27,949). The XL7 and XL7 Luxury are available in both five-passenger and seven-passenger configuration ($1350). The top-of-the-line XL7 Limited features standard seven-passenger seating. All-wheel drive ($1600) is optional on each trim level.
The base XL7 includes a five-speed automatic transmission with manumatic shift. Standard features also include remote keyless entry, power windows, door locks and mirrors, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, trip computer with driver information center, auto on/off headlamps, black roof rails, 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, satin silver interior trim, overhead storage compartment, air conditioning with automatic climate control and an AM/FM/CD stereo system with six speakers.
The three-row, seven-passenger models feature Nivomat load-leveling rear suspension, rear cargo under floor storage and rear air conditioning with separate controls.
The XL7 Luxury adds leather seating surfaces, power driver seat, heated front seats and wood trim accents. The Luxury model with three-row, seven-passenger configuration offers an optional sunroof ($800) or an optional DVD entertainment package ($1100) with wireless headphones and a remote start feature.
The XL7 Limited adds fog lamps, rear spoiler, upgraded roof racks with silver-colored rails and cross bars, aluminum lower bumper valances, 17-inch wheels and tires, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 with seven speakers (including subwoofer), DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones and auto-dimming antiglare rearview mirror with compass. (XM Satellite Radio requires a subscription.) The optional Platinum Touring package ($2200) for the Limited adds a navigation system, sunroof and unique, plated 17-inch alloy wheels.
Safety features that come standard on all XL7 models include driver and passenger front airbags, side-curtain airbags for all rows of passengers, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESP) with traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.