In its second model year, Suzuki's XL7 has dramatically broadened the audience for what remains Suzuki's largest SUV. With a powerful 3.6-liter V6, available seating for seven and more convenience and luxury features than its predecessor, the XL7 hits the sweet spot in the ultra-competitive, midsize SUV segment. It does so with four (4) five-star safety ratings for driver and front passenger frontal impact, and front and rear outboard passengers side impact.
For 2008, a new, more affordable base model is offered while the list of standard equipment on the Luxury and Limited models has been improved, so much so that a fully equipped XL7 Limited is a bargain compared to the key competitors' base models.
As with all 2008 Suzuki automobiles, the XL7 is backed by America's #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/ seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
Performance and Powertrain
Under the hood, the Suzuki XL7 has a 3.6-liter, 24-valve V6. With variable valve timing, it delivers 252 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. Assembled by Suzuki in Japan, this modern V6 applies many advanced engine technologies, from state-of-the-art casting processes to full four-cam phasing to ultra-fast data processing and torque-based engine management to provide maximum durability with minimal maintenance.
Power is transmitted to the road via a five-speed automatic and either front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg/city and 22 mpg/highway for front-wheel-drive variants and 15 mpg/city and 22 mpg/highway for all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds, making it an ideal vehicle for active buyers seeking to tow their ATVs, motorcycles or personal watercraft.
The engine is mounted in a double-isolated engine cradle system: the engine mounts to the cradle at four points, and the cradle mounts to the rails at four points, providing double isolation from the body. The cradle system features two side load-bearing mounts and front and rear torque reaction mounts. There also is a friction snubber mounted on the passenger side of the engine to help control engine movement sometimes experienced during shifting.
New for 2008, the XL7 also offers a remote start system as a standard feature on top-of-the-line XL7 Limited models (formerly part of the Platinum Touring edition only). This system - which operates from as far as 60 meters (nearly 200 feet) - not only starts the vehicle via fob activation, but starts the climate control system - and, if temperatures are below 41F - turns on the driver's seat heater.
The available on-demand all-wheel-drive system uses an active, electronically controlled rear differential module to deliver power to the front wheels during normal driving on dry road surfaces; should the front wheels slip due to adverse traction caused by rain, snow, or a muddy driveway, power is automatically delivered to the rear wheels - up to 50 percent.
The system works automatically and seamlessly with no action needed from the driver. While engineered primarily for on-road use, the single-range design of this AWD system also provides excellent traction and mobility for minor off-road use. The added weight for the whole system is only 55 kg, including rear halfshafts.
Unlike many on-demand all-wheel-drive systems, the XL7 system is engineered to sustain a measured amount of slippage. The system was carefully engineered to suit customer needs and expectations with smooth and quiet operation.