So...my input from a LONG TIME suzuki owner
I had a 3dr escudo, 1.6 w/3spd auto (local)
2006 grand vitara (bought new)
2004 Ignis sport (local 2nd hand)
2010 swift (bought new)
2017 vitara (bought new)
My short answer: Don't
Pros and cons:
Pros: little monster, tough
Cons: gas guzzler, parts never available at firm
Pros: van was basically trouble free over the last 14¾ years. Suspension tough, i will rate it next to a toyota. Literally all we ever changed in ours was the lower cradles. And very recently, when the van was around 12years old the 4 shocks and and sway bar links.
Actual low range gearing on tranny. Only changed brake shoes once in the last 14 years. Handles susprisingly well for an SUV. I cornered in wallerfield over 110km/h and the van stand up normal, i attribute this to the AWD system.
Cons: heavy on gas. 4wd system is actuator controlled (possible electrical issues), parts are expensive. A/c comoressor OEM was 10k installed. Brake pads have doubled in price since we bought that van but wagner TQ series pads work great. Some are known to have fan controller issues. A/c vent and glove box handle breaks easily. Not sure why they even sold a RWD only model. Lifestyle motors used $hit tint on the van. Only recently also we replaced the water pump and serentine belt tensioner. (I attributed this to age and not manufacturer fault)
Lifestyle motors is S.H.I.T.
Pros: OEM recaro seats, momo steering and enkei wheels. Car was fast on launch and handles corners like a boss. The high compression m15 and short ratio gearbox was a dream-team. Loved that car. Sold it for personal reasons.
Cons: EVERYTHING was expensove for the car. Front shocks were like 3700 each, clutch kit was around 5k. I didn keep this car long enough to say much negative.
Lifestyle motors is S.H.I.T
Pros: good on gas, over the 7 years i had it, all i ever replaced was brake pads 3x. And rotors after the 2nd set of pads.
Cons: from day 1 the car had a knock on the suspension, i dealer serviced for the entire warranty period and they claimed they couldnt locate the noise. The same week the warranty was up, they miraculously found: it was supposedly the steering rack. They said its 14k to replace. I took my car and left. Took it to a mechanic in my area, they found it was the sway bar bushings @$150 each.
Noise went away after.
I noticed the OE suspension sagged a bit at around the 5yesr mark, but the ride quality never deteriorated.
Black fabric got dirty very easily.
LIFESTLE MOTORS MC
2017 vitara (allgrip)
Pros: Vehicle looks great. Feature packed: (cruise control, speed limiter, hill decent assist, traction control, paddle shifters, etc)
Centre locking diff in gravel mode.
Tranny is an aisin, so it uses WS spec fluids, easy to get.
Cons: car performs like dying horse even tho i use premium gas all the time. "Sport mode" is a gimmic, its just basically a way to turn on the rear diff and the supposed throttle response increase makes it perform better, but it really doesnt. "Manual mode" is also crap: shifts are delayed and inconsistent. The driver's door upholstery already came off (still needs to be replaced). Car uses wheel bolts instead of nuts (no issue with that, but you rarely see that on a japanese car). Road noise is horrible, not sure if the factory insulation is lacking.
Servicing: fairly straight forward- oil, oil filter. Tranny is sealed and requires a diagnostic machine to monitor temps to set volume.
EVERYTHING is expensive: brakepads are around 2500, wipers are 1k and parts are *almost impossible to get online.
Not me personally, but i know persons who are already experiencing steering rack failure.
Overall, the vehicle is a good bang for buck, but not a keeper. Is a buy, use, abuse, sell kinda car. Cuz 2nd owners gonna see hell with these if they anal about maintainance.
Also: warranty, i took the car from dealer service as i missed 1 service during covid when they were closed. The car was serviced with OE filter etc. During this time one of the windows got stuck, rain was about to fall and i stopped by the road and took off the door upholstery, the cable had rusted and burst. I was forced to cut the other cable in order to send up the glass. I propped the glass shut and took the car to the firm, they said i cut the wire and they cant honour the warranty. I just left, walked over to parts dept, they said its 2700 for the regulator and 3months till delivery. I went by a guy in the bamboo who changed the cable for 300.
After this experience, i made up my mind: LIFESTYLE MOTORS STINK MC.
As for the OP, i prefer buy a local used toyota or nissan: simply because you can get a lot of parts easy and they are fairly easy to work on.