Suzuki's given its 2009 Grand Vitara a minor update in style and a major update under the hood. The V-6 model has been upgraded to a 3.2-liter version of the "high-feature" V-6 found as a 3.6 in Cadillac's CTS and Suzuki's XL7 crossover or as a turbocharged 2.8 in Saab's 9-3. The Japan-built, longitudinal V-6 is rated at 230 horsepower/213 pound-feet and paired exclusively to a five-speed automatic.

A four-cylinder has also joined the lineup, a Suzuki 2.4-liter with 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are available with rear or low-range four-wheel drive, and the 2.4 also is available with a part-time 4WD system. The V-6s include hill descent and hill hold control. Stability control and rear discs are now standard on all models, which benefit from a stiffened structure with 50/50 weight distribution.