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Cars Worth Noting – 2004 Suzuki XL-7

2004 Suzuki XL-7

Revisiting the Suzuki XL-7 is like visiting an old aunt, nothing really ever seems to change. But there can be a comfort in that. I didn’t have any trouble finding any of the buttons and switches inside and I wasn’t surprised by the ride and handling. What still impresses me about the XL-7, is how stylishly elegant the interior looks. And this is on a vehicle that’s supposed to be cheap. The fit and finish are noticeably good and the IP and door inners are trimmed out nicely with wood and chrome accents.

The XL-7 has been freshened up with a new fascia, grille fog lamps and head and tail lamps, but there’s nothing radical enough make it look that different from the previous model. The XL-7 still suffers from a small and anemic 2.7L V-6 that Suzuki claims puts out an impressive 185 hp. I’m still not impressed. The engine sounds like it’s working too hard for what the vehicle is getting out of it and I just can’t seem to find the generous 184 lbs.-ft. of torque that they claim.

XL-7 still touts body-on-frame construction, which, as expected from any tall vehicle like this, gives up a lot in ride and handling. The SUV market seems to be splitting into two camps, unibody crossover car-based vehicles for the mid to small size and body-on-frame for the larger ‘trucks’. The XL-7 may suffer.

One thing this seven-passenger vehicle does have over other body-on-frame SUVs is price. With a max sticker of $26,899 fully loaded with features like leather seating surfaces, 4WD and rear air conditioning for the third seat, it’s thousands less than the nearest Domestic or Japanese competitor.

The 2004 XL-7 sports three new exterior colors, Classic Red, Cosmic Blue Metallic and Azure Gray Metallic.

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