It has a completely revised 2.5 litre V6 engine and a generously uprated specification, so it is appropriate that Suzuki has named the latest addition to its wide and popular SUV range the Grand Vitara 2.5 V6 X-EC.
Slotting neatly between the Grand Vitara 2.0 litre 5-door estate and the larger XL-7 2.7 V6, this new special edition will be available only in limited numbers, so exclusivity will be an important part of its appeal.
And, with a price of £16,999 on-the-road for the manual transmission model and £17,949 for the automatic – in line with Suzuki’s usual policy – it is exceptional value for money.
On top of the already generously-equipped Grand Vitara 5-door specification comes climate control air conditioning, multi-spoke alloy wheels, and front fog lamps.
The interior also takes on an added air of sophistication with a stylish two-tone grey colour scheme and leather upholstery which is complemented by wood-effect trim on the fascia, centre console and chrome interior door handles.
On the outside the stylish X-EC is distinguished by a unique body colour – Azure Grey pearl metallic – while a tailgate spoiler, silver painted roof rails, chrome-plated door handles and grille, and body-coloured spare wheel cover further single out Suzuki’s new model from its extensive range of sister Grand Vitara models which include 3 and 5-door petrol and diesel variants. A special ‘X-EC’ badge naturally rounds off the whole package.
Advanced design, all-aluminium V6
At the heart of the X-EC model is an advanced, all-aluminium V6 engine closely related to the 2.7 litre unit powering Suzuki’s larger Grand Vitara XL-7.
Lightweight and compact, the 2,493 cc DOHC V6 24-valve unit delivers an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, with peak output of 158 PS (116 kW) arriving at 6,200 rpm. The engine is supremely flexible, and 153 lb ft (208 Nm) developed at 3,500 rpm ensures plenty of low speed pulling power.
Those figures are reflected in a competitive Combined fuel consumption of 27.7 mpg, and a top speed of 109 mph (automatic 106 mph), while the X-EC has a maximum braked trailer towing capacity of 1,850 kg in common with other 5-door models.
The engine’s advanced specification features Direct Drive Valvetrain with the cams directly operating the valves, realising more power and quicker response throughout the rev range as well as contributing to lower fuel consumption. Noise and vibration are minimised through measures such as a front hydraulic engine mount, oil-pressure-type timing chain adjuster and new micro-grooved bearings.
Highly capable and a refined manner
The X-EC package comes as standard of course with the Grand Vitara’s rugged good looks and a go-anywhere capability to match. A Drive Select 4x4 system which can be brought into play when driving in a straight line at speeds up to 62 mph, a tough ladder frame chassis and long travel suspension combine with the new high torque engine to provide effortless off-road performance.
The Grand Vitara philosophy however is also about refined travelling, and spacious accommodation and a comfortable, well-equipped cabin deliver a pleasant environment for everyday driving.
A spacious luggage area, numerous storage areas throughout the cabin, power steering, electric windows and mirrors, radio/CD player, separate folding/reclining rear seats, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and remote central locking are all included as part of the Grand Vitara experience.
The 2.5 V6 X-EC qualifies for an insurance group rating of 14D and is on sale now.Published 7 August 2004