Buyer beware if this is your dream car

Suzuki XL7 : Used

By Justin Pritchard
Suzuki XL7 : Used
History/Description Of The Used Suzuki XL7: With room for up to 7 people and standard V6 power, the last-generation Suzuki XL7 was built for the Japanese automaker by GM at their CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Riding the same platform and sharing much of its powertrain and underpinnings with the Equinox / Torrent / Vue models from GM at the time, the XL7 intended to be a large and family-ready sport ute. Slow sales killed the model off after just two years.

Look for a 3.6L V6 with 252 horsepower on all models, with front- or all-wheel drive available. A 5-speed automatic handled gearshift duty. Feature content included heated leather, automatic climate control, fog-lamps, keyless entry, and plenty more.

2007 Suzuki XL7 engine
Look for a 3.6L V6 with 252 horsepower. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

What Owners Like: Suzuki XL7 owners tend to enjoy a high level of standard equipment for the money, a spacious and flexible interior, and a smooth, quiet ride. A “solid” feel and good performance round out owner-stated positives.

What Owners Dislike: Blind-spots, rearward visibility, factory stereo quality and fuel mileage are common gripes. Some owners wish for more upscale interior trimmings as well.

2007 Suzuki XL7 interior
Some owners wish for more upscale interior trimmings as well. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

Common Issues: Used Suzuki XL7 shoppers have a few fairly significant issues to be aware of:

Start your test drive by checking the level and condition of the engine oil, ensuring its full and clean. Numerous reports of oil sludge and blocked oil pickups (where the engine sucks up its oil to be pumped around) have been made. If in doubt, have a mechanic remove the oil pan and do an assessment to ensure sludge isn’t an issue. If the model you’re considering seems to sporadically hesitate or displays an “oil” light at any point during your test drive, move to another model.

A check-engine light may indicate a problem with a camshaft sensor or other engine management sensor. If any check-engine lights are illuminated, determine why before agreeing to purchase the XL7 in question.

Inspect the XL7’s body for signs of peeling or rusting paint, especially on “pearl white” coloured models. Be sure all windows operate fully in both directions as expected, too. Shoppers are also advised to check for signs of a leaky sunroof drain, which typically drips water into the front footwell areas or into the ceiling liner.

Steering should be light and smooth in both directions. Any unwelcomed sounds or sensations while steering could indicate a well-known problem with a faulty steering rack and/or power steering pump.

Have a mechanic check the underside of the Suzuki XL7 in question for signs of an oil leak, especially around the engine’s timing cover.

2007 Suzuki XL7 rear side view
Inspect the XL7’s body for signs of peeling or rusting paint. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

The Verdict Of The Used Suzuki XL7: Numerous complaints, some fairly serious, have been made online -- though low sales volumes mean it’s difficult to ascertain what percentage of XL7 owners have experienced these issues. Thankfully, the Suzuki XL7 carried a fairly lengthy warranty.

Members of the XL7 section at Suzuki-forums.com note that it’s typically cheaper/easier to get service at a Chevrolet dealership, where they are familiar with the model. Shop cautiously, and opt for plenty of remaining warranty if you’re set on a Suzuki -- or choose a different model to play it safe.

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