Remembering India’s First Grand Vitara

Grand Vitara is a moniker which holds a special place in the legacy of Maruti Suzuki in India.

You would be amazed to know that the first Grand Vitara was the only SUV from Maruti Suzuki to carry a V6 powertrain. MSIL has been the largest carmaker in the country since its inception. Even after decades of existence, it holds the top position with authority. In fact, despite over 10 car marques in the country in the mass market segment, Maruti still holds over 40% market share. That is an impressive feat. In fact, it still sells the Grand Vitara today. Needless to mention, the SUV is quite different today than when it first arrived. Here are the details.

You may also like: This Vitara-Based 2-Door HM Contessa V6 4×4 is TOTAL SAVAGE

First Maruti Grand Vitara

Some of our readers might know that Maruti sold the first-gen Grand Vitara SUV from 2003 to 2007 in our country. It was a large SUV with a 7-seat and 3-row arrangement. What’s more important is that it had a 6-cylinder engine and a 4WD configuration. More on that later. This SUV was over 4.7 m in length, 1.78 m in width and 1.74 m in height. Being a large 7-seat SUV, it boasted a wheelbase of a colossal 2.8 m. We still don’t get any car from Maruti Suzuki which has a similar size. This explains how revolutionary a flagship it was over 2 decades ago. In fact, it was larger than the existing model in almost every aspect.

Dimensions (mm) Grand Vitara (2003) Grand Vitara (2022)
Length 4,760 4,345
Width 1,780 1,795
Height 1,740 1,645
Wheelbase 2,800 2,600
Dimensions Comparison

You may also like: India’s Only HM Contessa 4×4 with V6 Engine – This is it


Under the long hood of the SUV sat a potent 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine which generated a healthy 168 hp and 236 Nm of peak power and torque. There was the option of choosing between either a 5-speed manual or an automatic transmission. The power was sent to all four wheels for a 4WD/AWD configuration. That made it a potent off-roader allowing the owners to take it to the tough-to-reach areas with relative ease. Today, the Grand Vitara comes with mild and strong hybrid mills with an AWD system. However, the main focus is on mileage and efficiency. There is also a CNG powertrain on offer with the current model for those looking for low running costs.

Specs Grand Vitara (2003) Grand Vitara (2022)
Engine 2.7-L Petrol V6 1.5-L Mild-Hybrid Petrol;
1.5-L Strong-Hybrid Petrol;
Power 168 hp 103 hp / 116 hp
Torque 236 Nm 137 Nm / 122 Nm
Transmission 5-speed MT/AT 5-speed MT/6-speed AT
Drivetrain 4WD/AWD 2WD/AWD
Specs Comparison

You may also like: India’s Only Toyota Land Cruiser Prado V6 that Runs on CNG

First-Gen Maruti Grand Vitara in India
First-Gen Maruti Grand Vitara in India

You may also like: Maruti Grand Vitara 7-Seater – Possible Tata Safari Rival?

What We Think

It is interesting to see the transformation of the Grand Vitara nameplate in the portfolio of Maruti Suzuki within two decades. In fact, there was another Grand Vitara model from 2007 to 2014. It is clear that this nameplate has been iconic in the Japanese carmaker’s Indian history. There is a clear shift in the mentality of the owners as well. People prefer to own SUVs for road presence but they don’t want them to be sluggish or fuel thirsty. Hence, MSIL is hybridising a large part of its fleet. We will see this trend expand in times to come before Maruti Suzuki completely shifts to full electrification.

Join us for FREE NEWS Updates on our Whatsapp Community or our official telegram channel.

Share your love