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The Suzuki XL7 is seriously punching above its weight

Pound for pound, this MPV gives you your money’s worth

The proportion from front and rear is just right. PHOTO FROM SUZUKI

The seven-seater MPV has long been the vehicle of choice for practical families that want to get the most bang for the buck without going into SUV-budget territory. Based on lengthened passenger-car platforms, MPVs maximize people and cargo capacity while offering economical drivetrains and many creature comforts. This generation of “mom mobiles” can be quite sensible, but oftentimes they lack the appeal of larger and more masculine rides.

Here is where the Suzuki XL7 comes in. On paper, it meets the basic criteria for an MPV such as passenger capacity and an economical gasoline engine, but it’s in the details that the XL7 packs a punch. For starters, it wears SUV-inspired styling cues such as a prominent front fascia highlighted by powerful LED headlamps with daytime running lights; black front and side moldings to protect against stone chips; and silver front and rear bumpers for a sporty contrast with your choice of four colors.

Overall, this vehicle can stand toe-to-toe with other models. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

Powering the XL7 is a 1.5-liter gasoline engine rated at 103hp and 138Nm. It’s matched to a four-speed automatic transmission with tall gear ratios optimized for fuel economy, yet it has enough low-end grunt to make short work of typical urban traffic. The XL7’s sporty silhouette isn’t just for show either, as it has benefited from computer-aided engineering for class-leading aerodynamics to enhance performance and fuel economy.

Buyers who may have gotten used to the drab, penny-pinching interiors of typical MPVs will be in for a pleasant surprise with the XL7. The thick, three-spoke steering wheel feels sporty, and the simple contours of the dashboard and the seat panels are adorned with a carbon-fiber pattern. The 10-inch touch panel for audio and GPS is bright and easy to navigate, while at the center stack you’ll find simple, intuitive buttons for the automatic air-conditioner. The driver’s instrument panel features a wealth of information from your basic trip computer to show acceleration and deceleration forces, as well as torque and power performance.

On paper, it meets the basic criteria for an MPV such as passenger capacity and an economical gasoline engine, but it’s in the details that the XL7 packs a punch

The sporty ambience belies its solid family-vehicle purpose with seating features leaving no stone unturned. The second-row seat is split 60/40 and easily folds and tumbles for access to the third row. The latter is also split 50/50 and similarly folds for additional cargo capacity. With all seat backs folded flat, you can carry long items like carpets or surfboards. Even with all seats upright, cargo volume is still a generous 199L. Comfort and convenience are priorities in the XL7, which uses high-quality fabric upholstery and ample cushioning. All four doors have pockets that can hold 1L-size bottles, while the third row has a similar bottle holder and an accessory socket. The second row has an accessory socket and a phone holder behind the transmission tunnel, while above them is an array of secondary air-condtioning vents.

Seven-passenger seating plus a tall ride equals instant market appeal. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

Safety is of paramount importance in any family-oriented vehicle, and the XL7 is well equipped to handle any and all contingencies. Standard dynamic features include an electronic stability program (traction control) that retards engine power when it detects wheel slippage, and antilock brakes with hill-start assist and electronic brake-force distribution. In the event of a crash, the XL7’s body design is centered on Total Effective Control Technology, which is designed to disperse energy away from cabin occupants in order to increase their survivability. In concert with front airbags and shoulder seatbelts for all passengers, the XL7 is as safe as can be made short of turning it into a tank.

Finally, its suggested retail price is just P1,068,000. Packing so many features in such a stylish and versatile MPV, the Suzuki XL7 is fast becoming the top choice among buyers looking for their money’s worth.

This branded article was produced in partnership with Suzuki Philippines.



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