It’s been a long time since Suzuki last offered a three-row SUV, but one is reportedly in the pipeline – and with hybrid power.
Autocar India reports Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki is working on a new flagship SUV, codenamed Y17, that’s set to enter production in 2025.
It will reportedly be based on the latest Grand Vitara, making it a Grand Grand Vitara of sorts.
The Grand Vitara nameplate was recently revived and applied to a new vehicle, also sold as the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder; Suzuki developed the duo and Toyota produces them.
Unlike the old body-on-frame Grand Vitara, which measured 4500mm long, the new unibody Grand Vitara is 4345mm long – roughly the size of the S-Cross.
This suggests this new Grand Vitara-based three-row SUV could be closer in size to the old Grand Vitara, but don’t expect it to be quite as rugged.
Whether it uses the same Toyota-sourced hybrid powertrain as the new Grand Vitara is unclear. That model features a 1.5-litre engine mated with an electric motor and 178V battery, for a total system output of 85kW – not exactly heady specifications for a three-row SUV.
“Sticking to our core value, we will offer more customers the joy of mobility. If a customer wants bigger SUVs, we will satisfy their needs,” said Maruti Suzuki India CEO Hisashi Takeuchi.
“If they want a three-row vehicle, we will supply those cars to the Indian customers holding onto entry cars… Our SUV play will become much wider.”
Additionally, Autocar India reports it plans to introduce another small SUV measuring under 4m long, slotting in under the Fronx.
Maruti Suzuki is the dominant force in the Indian car market with a more than 40 per cent share, and also exports vehicles to other markets; the recently introduced Jimny XL, for example, is produced by Maruti Suzuki.
The subsidiary wants to regain a 50 per cent share of the Indian market, which means capturing 33 per cent of the growing SUV market there.
It’s unclear whether this new flagship SUV will be exported to other markets like Australia.
In addition to the Jimny XL, Suzuki Australia previously sourced the Baleno and Alto from India.
Suzuki currently sells a three-row model in markets like India and Indonesia, known alternately as the XL6, XL7 and Ertiga XL7, but this has a more traditional people mover shape.
It hasn’t offered a three-row SUV for many years.
The Grand Vitara-based XL-7 was sold here from 2001 until 2006, when it ended production.
A replacement model debuted in North America in 2006, sharing its GM Theta platform with vehicles like the Holden Captiva and earlier iterations of the Chevrolet Equinox and measuring over 5m long.
Available only with a GM-sourced 3.6-litre petrol V6, it was produced until 2009 and offered only in left-hand drive markets like the US, Canada and the Middle East.