I have recently got a Suzuki Escudo (Grand Vitara it is different than a XL7). Escudo has a 2.0l engine.
Went on a 9-day trip from Islamabad-Naran-Gilgit (via Babusar Pass)-Naltar valley-Hunza-Hoper Valley-Gulmit (Passu)-Khunjarab and back via the same route. Was very worried about the rainy season and the landsliding, but Allah ka shukar hai there were no heavy rains during my stay.
Over all the roads are fine, but Chilas to Raikot Bridge section is bad and the last 3-4km is very bad
There was no traffic jams when we were going to Naran but yes on return it took me like 2 hours from Mansehra bypass to cross Abbottabad which is like 30km distance. Again met traffic jam near Hasanabdal (there is a bridge under construction), but this time utilizing the ability of a crossover vehicle I was able to get out of the traffic jam much quicker :)... But trust me the line of vehicles going towards Abbottabad was a few km long and it was not moving at all.
Luckily there was no shortage of fuel and food during the time I was there but heard that it was pretty bad situation right after Eid for about a week or 10 days.
The hotel rates have gone up...heard that a room which is usually for 4000 is being charged like 12000. A local from Gilgit-Baltistan was telling me that he is in tourism business for the last 17 years...and according to him he has not seen more local tourist ever before in GB area.
p.s. forgot to thank IJC member @unware ... who was kind enough to lend me a petrol can for this trip, which was very much needed for peace of mind Faheem sb, Thank you!