Our Cars

The story of my Suzuki Grand Vitara

When looking for a 4×4, I wanted something that was capable, small and cute. Enter the Suzuki Grand Vitara and follow my regular updates.

  • Update 7: Bushes
  • Update 6: Problem Parts
  • Update 5: The Lift
  • Update 4: Buying Vincent
  • Update 3: Finding Vincent
  • Update 2: Why the Grand Vitara?
  • Update 1: this page

Click the links above or below to navigate around the stories…


Juliette Remfrey

Juliette Remfrey

A car enthusiast with a background in the modified street car and sportscar scene with a developing passion for offroad 4WDing.

  • Andrew Riles

    Looking forward to following this….

    I am going through a similar process atm, and still at the point of deciding what size vehicle I need…..GV is top of the list for smaller 4WDs though, Discovery for larger fourbies (though the sheer weight of the 3 and 4 is proving a tough pill to swallow)

    I’ve considered softroaders, but ruled them out on the same grounds you have….

    • Juliette Remfrey

      Hey Andrew! We’d love to hear a story on your thought process in selecting a 4X4 as well. The next stories will talk about how I ended up with this specific vehicle, and what’s first on the list to do.

  • Swee

    I, too, am looking for a small 4WD. I eliminated: all SUV’s without true 4-wheel drive, all diesels, and all cars with bad fuel economy. There’s nothing left! Well, I don’t like the Jimny – so I’m going to have to compromise on the fuel economy thing.

    Freelander 2 (the 2-litre turbo petrol) was very attractive, but it’s extremely rare in Victoria and expensive. The only Suzuki Grand Vitara with a 5-speed auto gear box is the thirsty 3.2-litre Prestige model, and leather seats I don’t like. (A 4-speed gearbox is just ridiculous.) If I want better seats and fuel economy it’s the less powerful 5-speed manual GV Sports – I like the hill descent control, etc. And I don’t want a black car.

    It’s not easy to find the right car I want…

    • Hi Swee, understand your problem very well!

      Leather seats are great offroad.

      How about a Jeep Renegade?

      • Swee

        I hope I don’t sound frivolous if I say I have concerns about Jeep’s reliability record. I used to own a Suzuki Vitara V6 for 15 years, and in that time absolutely nothing broke, not even a light bulb. No car is perfect. I just want to know what compromises people have to make, so as to better inform my buying decision. I’m almost resigned to keep my current car – except it has terrible ground clearance and I often have to drive on steep, slippery fire-access forestry tracks.

        • Juliette Remfrey

          I meant to answer you about fuel economy, that’ll be in the next update. I am pleasantly surprised.

    • Juliette Remfrey

      I sympathise! A Jimny was also off my list. Impractical, slow and unsafe. Far more mods available but the cons outweigh the pros. I also thought about a Freelander 2, but Robert compared them back-to-back and the Grand Vitara walked all over it. It’s so hard in the small, modern secondhand 4WD market. Jeeps feature prominently but they’re just not reliable enough.

      A Renegade isn’t in the same price bracket Robert 😉 Didn’t rate that either. Too small, transmission had a mind of its own.

    • Andrew Riles

      I too can sympathise…..you’ve described some of the reasons I loved the first gen GV I had a few yrs ago….and as much as I love the second gen models, they have packed on a bit of weight which doesn’t help fuel economy, and neither would the four speed auto….

      As I said below, I’m still making my mind up on the size of vehicle, but I’d go the same way as Juliette if I bought another GV….my main concern is the small payload….

      • Juliette Remfrey

        Even the 5-door is really just a comfortable 2 person vehicle, in my opinion. Most people I see selling up have expanding families. It works in my situation.