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Old 11 Sep 2012
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A suzuki grand vitara for a trip around south america

Hi everyone,

My girlfriend and I are considering a 1 year break from our lives in Paris. The general idea is to purchase a car, most likely in Chile based on other travelers' advice, and around South America (or part of it).

From what I have read, 4x4 seems to be a good idea. We don't inted to offroad for the sake of it, but we like the idea of being able to reach potentially remote areas where no paved road goes. Unlike most overlanders, we expect to be staying in budget hostels / hotels most of the time, so fitting the vehicle is not an issue for us.

Ideally, we would go for a Toyota Land Cruiser. Now, price is a big issue, particularly in Chile where second hand prices are quite high... So we are looking for cheaper options. One of them would be a Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Is it a good car for such a trip (based on my budget, I would get a 2000-2002 model)? I understand that outside Chile, suzuki cars are not that common so I am a little concerned with spare parts availability in case we run into trouble... What do you think? Also, how does embarking on such a trip without any knowledge of car repair sound to you?

Thanks for your advice and comments.

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Old 12 Sep 2012
anaconda moto's Avatar
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Location: Ecuador, amazone, puyo
Posts: 175
I do not know about other countrys ,but suzuki vitaras.(grand)
here in Ecuador are very very common.
Have a great trip!
Freedom is all i need!
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Old 13 Sep 2012
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Thanks for your feedback. It's encouraging !
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Old 13 Sep 2012
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chalkida, GREECE
Posts: 65
Hello jayjay!

We are currently on a RTW trip. The last four months we are traveling in Africa with our trusty Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.0TD.

It is a 2004 model and it's the diesel one.

It has a Peugeot engine. All the diesels that Suzuki made before 2005 have either a MAZDA or a PEUGEOT engine. That make things easier when it comes to service and maintenance as you can find Peugeot spare and parts that can fit in a Suzuki.

We experienced this when our car was broken in Morocco and the mechanics fixed it by using an identical fuel pump that originally fits in a Peugeot (Actually we carry the same engine with Peugeot 406 2.0 diesel).

As long as you don't care for extra space and luxury, the Suzuki is the best vehicle you can get for an overland trip.

We have not met or heard from other people especially in Europe to travel overland with such a car. For sure, in Africa we are all alone to run our Suzuki!!!And we are 100% satisfied for our choice!!

When it comes to its offroad capabilities, I can assure you that it will make it in any occasions. However, it depends on the amendments and extras you are going to put/add (front/back diff lock, new socks, winch). It also depends in your driving style and experience.

In Greece, we have our Greek Vitara Club with tons of information, technical advice and experience and hundreds of improvements.

You can check our website here: vitaraclub.gr. Do not hesitate to ask for more information as they are great guys and they also have an english division. They helped us a lot with our car and they are very keen on adventures, traveling and expeditions.

Finally, you can check our blog and images to see how we amended the interior to put everything inside, what improvements we did etc. You can also find our contact details for more information.

Check here: thepinproject.blogspot.com

Best Regards.

thepinproject.blogspot.com - traveliving around the world
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Old 19 Sep 2012
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: On the road in South America
Posts: 256
I've not been watching for them specifically, but I am pretty sure I've seen a few here in Argentina.

If your travelling so light, would a motorcycle be an option?

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Old 19 Sep 2012
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Location: J10 M40 UK
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I once went across australia and back with a Vitara towing a trailer tent , they are as well built as any other , and better than some . The only restriction is they are quite small, but if you load accordingly , they work well off road and on . With any vehicle if the bit that breaks isnt really common then you just get it sent , almost anywhere in the world doesnt take that long with the modern courier companies , and someone reliable to dispatch it . If you are lacking on mech knowledge then get a good workshop manual for your vehicle , and try and get abit of mech basics , eg by helping someone who is prepping your vehicle etc . HTSH
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Old 10 Oct 2012
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Location: kent
Posts: 27
Hi there

I have a Suzuki gv 2.0 petrol 2001, excellent car i have got some bigger than standard BFG A/T tyres on it and it goes anywhere i point it cant really fault it its a bit small but thats about it will go everywhere the bigger boys go and more
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