A Proper Replacement for the venerable Suzuki Vitara
Looking at the New Suzuki XL7, you will notice that it has more similarities with its Ertiga sibling. Although sharing the overall shape and dimensions, the XL7 actually is a more hopped up version.
The XL7 is differentiated by more features like a more sporty fascia, roof racks and rear gate spoiler. It also has a taller road clearance as well as bigger rims. The body is also equipped with claddings and faux skid plates, and accented by black fender extensions and silver rocker panels.
The grille is accentuated by a bold chrome spear that gives out an aggressive but stylish look, with Quad Chamber LED reflector headlamps, integrated with LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, the XL7 comes with 3D tail lamps with a light guide.
Inside the cabin
The upholstery is composed mainly of black leatherette with gray textured cloth.The side panels have aluminum accents to give a elegant appearance. The manually-adjusted front seats offer good back and lumbar support, while the second row passenger seats is mounted high enough to give the legs some breathing space. The third row is a tighter in width, and will realistically seat two averaged sized persons. The seat back is shorter also, relying on the long headrest for additional back support.
Other features are carried on from the Ertiga, such as the big 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with big letter and number display that is readable even from the third row (a boon for senior citizens). There’s also AC vents for the center cupholders to keep your drinks cold. The steering wheel also has the volume control for the radio and bluetooth phone buttons.
The two analog gauges flank the much-appreciated LED multi purpose display, that shows fuel consumption, odometer and fuel range among others.
The rear passengers have a second AC vent on the ceiling, and have dedicated charger ports for each row. Ingress and egress is a bit of a chore because of the limited adjustment space for the second row, but the high roof clearance make up for that.
The cargo capacity is multiplied when the third row seats are folded. Also, additional boot space is available by removing the floor panels, giving at least another 6in. depth of usable space.
Other standard features are the start/stop button, traction control and digital AC controls.
The XL7 is powered by the popular Suzuki K15B 1.5-liter gasoline engine, the same that propels the Jimny and Ertiga. It is rated at a respectable 103 hp and 138 Nm of torque. Mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a traditional 4-speed automatic, sending propulsion exclusively to the front wheels. Bigger 16in rim/tire combo is standard.
The XL7 comes with dual front driver and passenger airbags as standard, ABS with electronic brake distribution for the front discs and rear drums. It also has side-impact door beams, engine immobilizer, electronic stability control, traction control, reverse sensor and ISOFIX tethers.
The Suzuki XL7 is a worthy replacement to the Vitara. Although its shares a lot with the Ertiga, the XL7 has a lot more pizzaz. As a crossover/MPV, it also has some mini SUV features that quite frankly, gives more value to this people mover. Add the fact that performance is quite peppy, but also does it frugally.
Price as Tested: PHP1,068,000
For more info, go to your nearest Suzuki dealer, or visit www.suzuki.com.ph
Text/Images by Earl Manalansan