Living with the Suzuki XL6

Can the XL6 add some much-needed fun to the family van formula? Kyle Kock finds out for the CAR Magazine team.

No sooner had one MPV– the Kia Carnival – departed the CAR long-term fleet, when another arrived to take its place in the shape of the Suzuki XL6. And having seen how enamoured Ian McLaren’s family became with their ‘bus’ there is a sense of excitement Kyle Kock never expected to feel upon being handed the keys to a practical family vehicle.

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Time spent: 1 of … months
Distance covered: 150km
Average fuel consumption: 7.2L/100km
He likes: Practical modular interior, a more characterful take on the family van
He doesn’t like: Sharing a single USB port

As mentioned in the December 2023 road test of the GL manual model, the XL6 is spun off Suzuki’s HEARTECT modular platform. Versions of this platform underpin a wide variety of the firm’s wares; from the likes of hatchbacks such as the Swift and Baleno, through to the Fronx crossover and Ertiga MPV. Compared with the Ertiga, the XL6 is 50mm longer, 40mm wider and 65mm higher but shares a 2 740mm wheelbase and 180mm of ground clearance – the latter will likely prove a boon on family trips to locations away from sealed road surfaces.

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In addition to its slightly larger dimensions, the XL6 distinguishes itself from the Ertiga by approaching the MPV milieu in a similar manner to Renault’s popular Triber. Features such as faux barge plates, black plastic cladding on the wheel arches and lower bodywork and roof rails lend it more of a crossover air than the more workmanlike Ertiga.

In a move away from most compact MPVs of its ilk, the XL6 doesn’t feature any bench seating; instead opting for six individual seats finished in synthetic leather in this GLX-spec model. While some may bemoan the omission of an extra seat in the rear, parents familiar with the small-scale turf wars over who’s taking up the most seat space that’s waged by their offspring in the back of the car will no doubt welcome the individual seating arrangement.

What’s more, the second row features slide adjustment and individual armrests (another highly contended commodity among younger rear passengers) as well as roof-mounted air vents with manual fan settings. The only potential for back-seat bickering could arise from whose turn it is to charge their tablet, as the only USB port sits up front. Thankfully, the generous glazing all-round means a drive through scenically interesting spots won’t be missed by those in the back.

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With good weather still on the cards for a few months yet, that sizeable boot  – featuring a handy 416l of loadspace with four seats in place, 128l with all six seats in place, and a whopping 1 208l with the rear pews folded  –  hasn’t gone unnoticed by the kids and will no doubt soon be loaded with all manner of toys, sports equipment and the wealth of paraphernalia that accompanies any day trip with young ones aboard.

Find the full article in the May 2024 issue of CAR Magazine.

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The post Living With it – Suzuki XL6 appeared first on CAR Magazine.

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