The Suzuki XL7, in a nutshell, is a dressed-up Ertiga with extra features and extra ground clearance. We’re not saying it is just another more expensive 7-seater, however, since the additions it has over its more affordable stablemate elevate the experience to another level.
Though it is based on the Ertiga, the XL7 does feel like its own model. It’s a similar experience, but better. That being said, here’s our review of the 2020 Suzuki XL7.
The design of the XL7 is clean for the most part. The additional cladding on its sides doesn’t give it an overly-wide appearance, while the faux skid plates in the front and rear don’t take away from its relatively sleek appearance. The front-end is also native to the nameplate which makes it look very distinct in Suzuki’s lineup of cars.
Functionality-wise, the exterior has a good set of LED headlights and DRLs with halogen fog lamps. The vehicle also sits on 16-inch wheels netting 200 mm of ground clearance, and on top of that, the wheels themselves are two-tone. You also get roof rails on its side, and the rear, while plain and still looks like an Ertiga, does look clean and well-executed.
Overall, it’s not an overly-accessorized model, which is good for the more conservative of us. In terms of 7-seaters, the XL7 is one of the better-looking models in the segment, not just because it is more dressed up, but because the execution of its additions isn’t over the top. Except, perhaps, for that fake vent on its front fender, though, that’s only one gripe we have with it.
Open the doors to the XL7 and you are greeted with a dark-colored interior with carbon fiber-like accents. Though it isn’t real carbon, to the untrained eye it seems like the real deal, though the material’s addition doesn’t make that much sense on a 7-seater like the XL7, it’s only a footnote to the rest of the interior.
Essentially, you get the same space as the Ertiga with a few touch-ups here and there. The seats are upholstered with cloth and leather, which allows you to have the best of both worlds, with durable leather in key areas to save you from punching holes in the seats, and it looks good, if not a little plain.
Space for the driver is adequate, though we would have wanted the steering wheel to telescope along with its standard tilt adjustment. The second-row of seats is great for 2 average-size adults, but 3 people will be a bit of a squeeze. Side-to-side the XL7 is definitely narrower than we expected, but with some compromise, space is quite serviceable, and the experience is made better by the air vents. The rear seats are just any other model in the class, but ingress and egress are made easier thanks to the sliding middle row. Also, if your second-row passengers are feeling generous, the seats can slide forward giving you more legroom at the back. Passengers in the last row are treated to a single 12-volt socket. We would have preferred air vents at the back as well to make the experience for the rear passengers much better, however.
Cargo space, like the interior space, is on the narrower side. It's still on par with the rest of its rivals, give and take a few liters worth of space. You can fold the rear seats and the middle row as well for maximum carrying volume, and getting the seats down is an easy task. Loading items at the back is also easy thanks to the flat loading lip and the relatively flat cargo floor.
Because it has a unibody frame, the XL7 handles and takes bumps well. The higher ground clearance doesn’t significantly increase the comfort level in the cabin, but it does help alleviate most worries of bottoming out when going over potholes and bumps. While the standard for its class, it’s not stellar or overachieving, it’s a good standard. Impressive given that the XL7 only has semi-independent suspension, with a MacPherson strut in the front and a torsion beam in the rear. The standard for its class, this set of struts and beams delivered adequate performance over bumps.
Though, we should say that NVH insulation is one of its stronger points, provided that quiet tires are put on instead of low rolling resistance eco tires. At highway speeds, expect some intrusion, but the audio system will be able to drown out the more constant background noise while going at high speeds. As a city car, however, it is a respectable ride and drive, pretty adapted to the rough roads of Metro Manila.
This is perhaps one of the areas where Suzuki paid attention. Coming from the success of the Ertiga, the XL7 improves on the technology aspect ever so slightly, with the inclusion of a large 10-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Paired with a 6-speaker audio system that returns decent amounts of quality and volume, expect decent sound performance.
Apart from that, you get the normal slew of top of the line inclusions that come with all or most other competitors in the segment, namely a backup camera, rear parking sensors, a gauge cluster with two dials and a TFT screen down the middle that shows you your trip information as well as several other displays like your engine power and torque output, tire pressure monitoring system, and even your fuel economy meter display lives in this display. Apart from that, you get a USB port, and a 12-volt socket in the front, as well as a 12-volt socket in the second and third rows.
Considering the price point of this car, the segment it is in the tech loadout is standard if not a little bit better thanks to the inclusion of the smartphone pairing tech and even other creature comforts such as keyless entry with push-button start. Overall, it’s not cutting edge, however, it is modern enough to stack up to other segments that have a knack for being more feature-rich.
The XL7 comes equipped with dual front driver and passenger airbags, ABS with electronic brake distribution, Suzuki’s side-impact door beams, electronic stability control, hill hold control, engine immobilizer, and ISOFIX tethers.
The loadout of safety kit is par for the class, though it has enough to keep you covered in an event of an accident, and enough to keep you from being one. However, as with cars like these, high speed really is not a priority, so drive accordingly, and you should be fine.
Taking the XL7 out as a driver is quite respectable. Throttle input doesn’t take an eternity to register. Stop-and-go traffic performance is decent even if the engine only has 103 hp and 138 Nm of torque mated to a 4-speed automatic. Though, let’s face it, the straight-line performance is nothing to write home about. It’s your average do-it-all vehicle with a bit of weight, so it’s not going to be winning drag races.
Handling is also quite similar to its class. The steering is light and responsive, though the added weight and the extra body roll doesn’t inspire too much confidence in the twisties. Really, better for a more relaxed drive more than anything else. Navigating tight city streets, however, is not too much of an issue, thanks to the rather narrow width of the XL7, so clipping a curb shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially if you are looking at upgrading from a smaller vehicle. The backup camera and the parking sensors also help a lot with the length of the car.
Like most of its contemporaries, it may struggle to get up to speed once it gets loaded, but the engine still is able to do most tasks even with a few people sitting in any of the seven seats, or with some cargo on board.
Though in ideal conditions, provided you are only one in the car, in the city, your fuel economy is like that of a subcompact sedan. Traffic figures, we were able to get 9 km/L. Meanwhile, in faster city drives, we scored 15 km/L with the XL7. Most impressive is the highway performance, which stands at 20 km/L, which looks very familiar, and much like the Ertiga.
To us at least, the XL7 took what was great with the Ertiga, and slapped on a different face while giving it some growth serum to get taller by a few millimeters. However, the additions are not as tacked on, more tasteful than most. It’s a subtle approach to making a model like the Ertiga, a more premium vehicle on the outside.
Though, everything gets familiar once you step in the door. One gripe we have is the narrow cabin area, which technically makes feel more like a 6-seater if the occupants are larger than average. Still, at just P1,068,000, it’s definitely not a bad price for a car that you can do many practical things with. It’s definitely one of our top picks when it comes to value for money if you are shopping at this price point in the segment.
103 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Suzuki XL7 GLX AT
Number of Cylinders
Number of Valves
Max Output (HP)
103 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque (nm)
138 Nm @ 4,400 rpm
Economy & Environment
Number of Doors
Number of Seats
Safety & Security
Front Passenger's Airbag
Auto Brake System
Electronic Brake Distribution
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
With Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Electronic Door Locks
Speed Sensing Door Locks
Lane Departure Warning System
Blind-Spot Detection System
Front Parking Sensors
Rear Parking Sensors
Push Start Button
Wheels Metal Type
Automatic Single Zone Climate Control
10-inch Touchscreen Infotainment Audio
Bluetooth and USB
Electric Adjustable Seats
Steering Wheel Audio Control
Active Park Assist
Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring
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