The Suzuki XL7 Hybrid has been launched, and with it, a better look at how it looks, inside and out. But more importantly, we get information on its (mild) hybrid system under the hood. There’s a lot of expectation that this will make its way to the PH, so without further ado, let’s have a look at what we could, or should, at the very least expect from this mildly electrified XL7.
Suzuki Indonesia officially launches XL7 Hybrid
Looking at its exterior, honestly, there’s not much to be said other than it looks almost exactly the same as the current XL7 being offered in the PH. From the blacked-out headlights, the black cladding, faux skid plate, they’re still all there. The shape of the front grill is also the same, but the new Hybrid does look a lot meaner and bolder with a redesigned pattern.
The XL7 Hybrid also gets a totally blacked-out grill. Also new is the top-of-the-line (TOTL) Alpha variant comes in a two-tone paint scheme, giving a more aggressive look to the otherwise docile 7-seater. The entry-level variant, the Beta, gets a single paint color scheme.
Lastly, onto the wheels, both the mid-spec Beta and Alpha get the same wheel design that we have now, albeit finished in black. A very nice touch, if we say so ourselves.
Oh, before we continue, we’ve already mentioned the existence of two different variants of the XL7 Hybrid, so we’ll be referencing them accordingly hereon, yes? Now, going back.
As far as the interior goes, standard features include the same gauge cluster complete with the multi-information display, a good-to-handle three-spoke steering wheel, a 12V socket, USB and Aux input ports, chrome door handles, and the same “black wood” dashboard accent.
Both variants also have automatic climate control, an engine start-stop button, and Cruise Control. Here’s a bit of a downer, though. The infotainment screen for these two hybrid variants seems to have gotten smaller in the XL7 Hybrid. The XL7 we have now has a 10″ screen but the Hybrid gets a smaller 8″ unit. We can assume that it still gets the same smartphone and connectivity options, but really? We hope the bigger screen is retained should this model make it here.
The biggest addition goes into the TOTL Alpha, which is an E-Mirror Touchscreen, which you can make out in the photo above. Other than serving as a rearview mirror, we can assume that it may also be the screen to show images from the reverse camera. If that’s the case, then the 8″ infotainment screen would be better. We’re sure it has a lot more nifty features, but we’ll get to that later on as more information comes in.
Both Beta and Alpha variants will get the same number of seats – seven – and with fabric as the upholstery of choice. If anything, we’re glad to report that our experience with the cabin space of the XL7 is most pleasing. The ride might change, and we say this with no certainty, but space-wise, it is very comfortable enough for occupants, whether in the front, middle or even the 3rd row.
Of course, the luggage space will also remain the same, and with the 50:50 split of the 3rd row, you can get even more for bigger cargo.
Now to the most important part, what powers the XL7 Hybrid? Being a mild hybrid, you’ll find the very familiar K15B gasoline engine under the hood. It still pumps out the same power and torque at about 103 HP and 138 Nm, respectively. The addition of the Integrated Starter Generator or ISG is what makes this an SHVS, or a Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki.
With the same engine and battery combination, we can expect the same performance as the Ertiga Hybrid. Just to repeat how the hybrid system works, “the ISG recoups energy from braking and deceleration, which it sends up to charge the batteries. The batteries, in turn, are responsible for keeping necessary functions such as the air conditioning running when the Auto Start-Stop function engages. It’s the Auto Start-Stop that cuts off the engine, thereby cutting its fuel consumption, all while the batteries take over essential functions.”
We easily did almost 11 km/L in the city with heavy traffic, and that improved to 14.6 km/L on the highway, so we should be able to expect the same from the XL7 Hybrid as far as fuel consumption goes.
Don’t get your hopes up with the transmission, though, because the XL7 Hybrid still gets a 4-speed automatic slushbox. Hey, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, right? While we wish for a more modern unit, at least we know it’s reliable and durable.
So there we have it, folks, the outsides, and innards of the Suzuki XL7 Hybrid. There’s a pretty good chance that it will make its way to Philippine soil, given how it’s grown its own following like its twin, the Ertiga. With the Ertiga already having a hybrid option here, it makes sense for Suzuki to bring in the XL7 Hybrid to also be able to cater to its fanbase.
If it’s priced as well as the Ertiga Hybrid, then the XL7 Hybrid has a big shot at the electrified 7-seater MPV market. That said, and we ask that you take this with a grain of salt, but roughly converted to PH currency, the XL7 Hybrid Beta AT is PHP 1,101,3395 and the XL7 Hybrid Alpha is at PHP 1,138,743. But hey, the brand isn’t known to be up there when it comes to pricing, so we might have a pretty good deal in our hands if Suzuki PH does bring it.
The only question is “when”. Honestly, we’re of the mind that it’s going to be very soon.