With all the compact crossover SUV vehicles sold locally, there are those among who will say that the segment is practically oversaturated. Of course, there will also be plenty who will enjoy the variety that the segment offers. For those who want to look beyond the usual suspects such as the Mitsubishi Xpander, Toyota Rush, and Honda BR-V, there’s the XL7, a compact crossover from fellow Japanese carmaker Suzuki.
So does the 2021 Suzuki XL7—a carryover from 2020—deserve to be your next vehicle? We enumerate the XL7’s pros and cons for your more informed car shopping decision.
1. Traditional SUV styling
The Suzuki XL7 is conservatively designed, so it won’t stand out in a sea of crossovers. Depending on your type of personality, this can be a really good thing. Just as the XL7 doesn’t really call attention to itself, so too are its choice of colors. Buyers of the XL7 have four paint options to choose from, including Brave Khaki Pearl, Magma Gray Metallic, Snow White Pearl, and Rising Orange Pearl for those who want a bit contemporary look to their ride.
2. Versatile cargo space
The XL7’s roof rails and seven-seater versatility support many favorite outdoor activities. XL7 owners can haul up to 199 liters of groceries and gear in the rear luggage area even when there are passengers in the third row. The large tailgate opening makes loading and unloading a cinch, and a 50:50 split luggage board expands storage capacity. The XL7 also makes sure there’s plenty of places to stash your personal items with multiple ventilated cup holders, bottle holders, smartphone holders, and more.
3. Reliable engine performance
At the XL7’s engine bay lies a 1.5-liter K15B engine, the same one found in the Ciaz sedan and Jimny mini SUV. The XL7 power mill delivers 103hp and 138Nm torque while mated to a 4-speed transmission. As a result, the XL7 conquers city streets with responsive and stable handling coupled with a comfy and smooth ride.
4. Sturdy, safe and aerodynamic body
The XL7 rides on Suzuki’s signature light and rigid "HEARTECT" platform, which imbues this crossover with a smoothly curving frame that increases underbody stiffness while providing stellar fundamental vehicle performance. That’s not all—HEARTECT also enhances collision safety by efficiently dispersing energy, all while optimizing the body for class-leading aerodynamics that raise performance and fuel economy.
5. Safer even for pedestrians
In the untoward event that you accidentally hit a pedestrian on the road, the way the XL7 is built is not only safe for occupants, but people on the road as well. The structures of the XL7’s bonnet, front windscreen wiper area, front bumper and other parts are designed to be impact-absorbing, with the goal of reducing head and leg injuries in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.
6. Parking made easy
Two rear bumper ultrasonic sensors detect obstacles while parking the car and alert the driver via warning sounds. The information display on the instrument panel helps keep the driver informed of the distance to the obstacle via the standard-equipped rearview camera. Adding to the XL7’s nifty parking features is a hill hold control is designed to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards during standing starts on slopes. This system works by keeping the brakes engaged for up to two seconds after the driver removes the pressure from the brake pedal to move the foot to the accelerator.
1. Cheap-looking interior surfaces
Conservative styling con only go so far, as the XL7’s cabin looks dated, with much of the interior decked in hard plastic. That said, not everyone is going to appreciate the XL7’ traditional styling. If you prefer the look of a contemporary, this one might not be suited to your taste.
2. Third row is cramped as $#!+
You can’t really fault the XL7 over the (non) spaciousness of its third row, as every crossover SUV is guilty of this. Some even more popular models are even worse offenders. As long as you keep your third row for cargo and kids, you won’t really have a problem with the shortage on roominess back there.
Yay or nay?
Costing just PHP1,073,000, the 2021 XL7 is hands down one of the more affordable seven-seaters available on the market. If you have a relatively small budget, then you really can’t complain about what this little Suzuki crossover has to offer. However, if you have more spending money, you may want to look at its more upscale competitors. The Mitsubishi Xpander and Honda CR-V are among the few that come to mind.
Photos from Suzuki