The Suzuki XL-7 is Suzuki's mid-sized SUV, launched in 1998.The first-generation XL-7 was a Suzuki design and was essentially a stretched Grand Vitara. It had a Suzuki-designed 2.7 liter V6 on a rear wheel drive-based platform with optional four wheel drive. When introduced, the XL-7 was the least expensive SUV available with 3-row seating in North America. The Suzuki XL-7 sold over 20,000 a year, and was awarded the Consumer's Digest Best Buy award. However, sales slowed as competitors came out with SUVs with more features, lower prices, better fuel efficiency and more powerful engines, such as the Toyota Highlander, the Honda Pilot, and the Honda CR-V.A unique trait in the U.S. market in this segment, the XL-7 was available with 5-speed manual transmission, in both 5-person and 7-person variants. Introduced in the fourth quarter of 2006, Suzuki partnered with General Motors to build the 2007 model, now called XL7 (without the hyphen). It uses the same unibody platform and many of the same components as the Chevy Equinox, Pontiac Torrent and Saturn Vue, but incorporates third row seating exclusive to the Suzuki. The second generation model uses a version of the GM High Feature engine, built in Japan and shipped to CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, where the XL7 is assembled with the Equinox and Torrent, and also the second-generation Suzuki XL7 is Suzuki's first entry in the crossover SUV segment. Styling cues on the 2007 include a chrome slotted grille and trapezoidal headlights.In May 2009, Suzuki halted production of the XL7 indefinitely due to low demand. Through May 10, 2009, CAMI Automotive Inc. had only produced four XL7s for Suzuki after producing more than 12,000 units last year.
The all-new XL7 was designed to blend SUV versatility and safety with increased driver and passenger comfort," said Koji Yamada, chief engineer, XL7. "The XL7 not only offers the cargo and seating flexibility for all aspects of a consumer's active lifestyle, but performance capabilities and safety features that give them the confidence of being in control. The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 evolves from a rear-wheel-drive, truck chassis SUV into a crossover SUV based on the sophisticated GM Theta platform with full-length underbody rails for added strength. The XL7 is now a front-wheel-drive vehicle that features four-wheel independent suspension and available all-wheel drive. The standard powertrain for the Suzuki XL7 is a GM-designed, Suzuki-built 3.6-liter, V6 DOHC engine rated at an estimated 250 hp with 243 lb-ft of torque. The XL7's 3.6-liter, High Feature (HF) engine with variable valve timing will be built under license by Suzuki in Japan using Suzuki engine-building technology at the Sagara engine plant. The XL7 engine was developed as a joint effort between Suzuki and GM engineering and features unique Engine Control Unit (ECU) calibration. The use of the existing platform architecture accelerated the completion of the vehicle, which has been in development for three years. The 3.6-liter, six-cylinder, DOHC engine is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission that features a manual-shifting (manumatic) mode. Although the new engine is nearly one liter larger than the 2.7-liter engine used in the previous XL-7, the new, larger XL7 was designed to deliver fuel economy equal to or better than its predecessor. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg/city and 24 mpg/highway for front-wheel-drive variants and 17 mpg/city and 23 mpg/highway for all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds.
The sophisticated chassis delivers nimble, car-like ride and comfort whether driving on the highway, city streets or rural roads. The XL7's responsive road manners communicate a sense of confidence and control in virtually every driving scenario, while still providing refined Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance at or near the top of the midsize SUV category. The XL7 features four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a multilink design in the rear. The independent rear suspension is fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers in the five-passenger configuration and Nivomat self-leveling rear shock absorbers when configured for the available seven-passenger design. The all-new XL7 is fitted with a true dual exhaust system, constructed of durable, long-lasting stainless steel. The system was designed for quiet, refined exhaust tones to achieve "best in class" NVH in terms of quietness and tonal quality. The exhaust system features two downpipes, two catalytic converters, a center muffler, two side mufflers and two 3.5-inch diameter exhaust tips.The XL7's safety features start with the body structure itself -- a combination of computer-designed high-strength, dual-phase and galvanized steels. The body structure is computer-designed to manage loads -- to effectively transfer energy absorbed during impacts around the interior compartment and occupants -- in both front and rear crashes.The unibody construction is a high-strength steel structure, incorporating full-length frame rails and a safety cage in the middle into a single, welded unit. It also is designed with front and rear crush zones engineered to collapse in a controlled manner to help absorb crash energy while protecting the integrity of the occupant safety cage.The safety cage is reinforced with welded, tubular-section members that frame door openings and support the roof and steel members in the doors. The combination of single-piece door aperture and door beam reinforcements help resist side-impact intrusion.