Suzuki has upgraded the Vitara and it continues to offer a strong option in the small SUV segment for buyers. It is now based around Boosterjet turbo petrol power.
The new Suzuki Vitara looks to build a lot of value for money in its four metres of size. This model is now over thirty years old and these days is built around a modern 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol power engines, With the usual option to opt for ALLGRIP 4WD to make your driving experience even better. This revised model of the Vitara includes sharper more enhanced styling cues, extra safety options as standard and remains a very competitive rival to others within the small SUV market.
Small SUV-style models seem to be extremely popular within the automotive market at the moment with each mainstream brand bringing out at least one model within their line-up. It's no different over at Suzuki offering customers the newly refined Vitara in this sector. The Vitara is the new kid on the block with dynamic styling elements that buyers of this sector seem to want. On paper, the Vitara certainly seems to tick all of the boxes, with lifestyle looks, trendy cabin technology and lots of efficiencies. Suzuki even claims that it is a rewarding drive on twisty tarmac roads, especially with the 1.0 and 1.4-litre BOOSTERJET engine variants. This really would make it different from small Suzuki SUVs of the past. There are familiar touches too with being very good value for money, high specifications levels and even a 4WD option - something which you don't see too much of within this segment. It all sounds like quite the promising package.
The Suzuki range is now based around the 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre versions of Suzuki's popular Boosterjet petrol engine. There is no longer any way to obtain a diesel engine as these have since been dis-continued by the brand. We'd try and stretch to the 1.4, which puts out 140PS and 220Nm of torque is available from just 1,500rpm through to 4,000rpm. This is one of Suzuki's newest engines within it's new vehicles and gives this car a reasonable turn of speed when needed. Allowing the Vitara to make it to 62mph in 10.2s to a top speed of 124mph. The short overhangs will help with off-roading but the 185mm ground clearance isn't that handy. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine option puts out 111PS and offers 160Nm of torque, enough for most people. The optional ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system is available with both engine units. The 4wd system has a few options to it which when chosen, can completely change the drive of the vehicle. Choose 'Auto' and it'll stick to driving the front wheels unless slip is detected, where the rear wheels are pressed into action. 'Sport' diverts up to 20 per cent of torque to the rear wheels to give livelier handling and an exciting feel. 'Snow' offers permanent four-wheel drive with the system choosing how much torque to split front and rear, while 'Lock' splits the torque equally between front and rear. Quite an advanced system for a Suzuki!
With the relatively tight proportions and a front end that has more of a premium 'Land Rover' feel about it, the new Vitara is an assured piece of design work from the brand. This improved version gets a sleeker front grille and lower bumpers, plus the rear of the vehicle features revised design elements and distinctive LED combination tail-lamps. There are smarter alloy wheel designs too which can help to make the Vitara look the part. Buyers can also specify a rugged off-road package which adds front and rear skid plates as well as additional body side mouldings. Suzuki cabins used to be the brand's weak touch but this new Vitara shows the company making the effort to ensure that the quality is there. Okay, so the idea of body-coloured metal across the dash isn't a new one (a few of you will recall the Fiat Coupe mining that trend way back in '93) but Suzuki also offers chrome around the gear lever and door trims, plus an analogue clock. These touches help to make it feel more than just a Suzuki within the cabin. This revised model gets a smarter upper instrument panel incorporating soft-touch materials, while the instrument cluster has a fresh design and features a colour central information display. As ever, this is by no means a large vehicle, breaking the tape at just over four metres long but then again, it's not meant to be. It still features a 375-litre boot which is more than enough for most people. That's competitive with the rival Renault Captur, although the Suzuki lacks the Renault's sliding rear bench seats which will alow for even more room in the cargo compartment.
Pricing remains relatively cheap in the £17,000 to £26,000 bracket and buyers can choose between 'SZ4', 'SZ-T' and 'SZ5' trim levels. You'll need a budget of well over £20,000 for the ALLGRIP 4WD version of the Vitara. All variants get seven airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, a DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with a speed limiter, auto air conditioning, front and rear electric windows and projector headlamps. The higher SZ-T trim level adds 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Smartphone link audio and a navigation system. There's a range of personalisation options available too and lots of safety technology. This includes Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Traffic Sign recognition, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear cross traffic alert. A lot of kit for the money!
The Vitara's CO2 emissions are low thanks to the use of high tensile steel and other weight saving measures in the body plus an Engine Auto Stop Start system which shuts down the engine when stationary and re-starts again when required. Opt for the more powerful 1.4-litre Boosterjet manual with ALLGRIP 4WD and the combined fuel return is 52.3mpg with a CO2 reading of 127g/km. Choose the same car with the automatic transmission and you're looking at 51.4mpg and 128g/km. Residual values might well stack up better than the industry average if the current crop of Suzuki models is anything to go by. Strong reliability records and realistic optional equipment lists have helped to keep residuals reasonable. The Vitara shouldn't divert too far from that template even if it does promise additional personalisation options.
Customers wanting a small Crossover of this size now have so much choice that for many of them, it must be difficult to know where to start with every manufacturer seeming to chip in with their take on this segment. If that's the case for you, then beginning your search by looking at a great all-rounder in this market seems to make a lot of sense. And this improved Vitara is certainly that. Take, for example, the extra space you get inside compared to key competitors like Nissan's Juke. And the high standards of specification that'll sugar the showroom proposition. Plus for what it's worth, this Vitara is also a bit more capable in poor conditions than most of the alternative choices you could make, provided you can stretch up to one of the pricey ALLGRIP 4x4 models, it is well worth it. This is, in other words, in every sense, a Vitara for the modern world. A car that's a little more than just a fashion statement.
5th February 2021
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