Review Of Suzuki Vitara - The flamboyant style of crossovers never ceases to amaze me – just look at Suzuki’s new fourth-generation Vitara. Sharing a platform with the SX4 S-Cross crossover, the Suzuki Vitara has compact crossover looks – with an Evoque-esque two tone paint job, and all-wheel-drive capabilities, so competition includes the likes of the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke. Starting at £13,999, around the same price as a mid-range supermini, the new Vitara is competitively priced, so it will be interesting to see how its new credentials compare to 0:40 rivals. Now, We personally think the cabin of the Vitara is quite fresh and funky, but after asking several different people, I got some mixed responses. On one hand you have this cool body-coloured inlay and a very modern-looking touchscreen system, which I particularly like – but, on the other hand, there are loads of scratchy plastics. Regardless of aesthetics though, standard kit on every model is impressive, with cruise control, automatic air-con, digital radio and Bluetooth. Storage compartments are pretty good too. Although the flagship SZ5 model we have has all the bells and whistles, the mid-range SZ-T trim still offers you sat-nav and a rear parking camera. Leg room is reasonable in the back, but head room lacks a little, and average-sized adults might struggle if you have this panoramic sunroof of our SZ5 model.
As it’s slightly smaller than the S-Cross it is based on, the boot isn’t quite as big at 375 litres. But it is on par with most of its rivals. The under floor storage is good for hiding valuables though, and its ability to offer a smooth loading surface when you fold the seats down is handy too. But with the seats folded down you get just 710 litres of storage, a fair bit off rivals like the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke. The engine line-up is very simple, there is one diesel and one petrol, both are 1.6-litre units and both produce 118bhp. The petrol is available with a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearbox, whereas the diesel come with just a six-speed manual.
We’re driving the 1.6 petrol mated to a five-speed manual which requires a bit of work to get the most out of it. In fact, max pulling power comes in at just under 4,500 rpm, so you will end up getting a loud rumble from the engine by the time you get some oomph. And speaking of noise in the cabin, wind noise at motorway speeds is quite intrusive. The diesel on the other hand delivers max pulling power in around half those revs, so is easier to drive low down the revs, as you would expect. The diesel is also the most economical, emitting just 106g/km of CO2 and you will realistically get around 65 to 70mpg. Much better than the 40mpg we have been getting in the petrol.
Compact crossovers are not renowned for their driving dynamics, but that is where the Vitara is different, as the steering is very sharp and responsive and its spongy suspension doesn’t jeopardize its composure in the corners. If you go for the All Grip four-wheel-drive system, which does slow down its 0-62mph sprint times a bit, you get extra traction when cornering thanks to the intelligent Auto mode available. You can also flick it into Sport mode, and you can actually feel the instance the throttle response sharpens up.
There is also a Snow and Mud mode, pretty self-explanatory really. If you do get stuck in really bad snow or mud though, then you can use Lock mode. This utilises the limited slip differential and diverts power to the wheels that are actually gripping to stop you spinning on the spot. The new Vitara offers the fun character of the Swift supermini with the All Grip, off-road capability of the S-Cross it’s as simple as that really. And even though compact crossovers veer more towards style and practicality, the Vitara still manages to offer some clout when it comes to driving dynamics, which is lacking in this segment. It’s certainly more entertaining to drive than the Peugeot 2008 or Renault Captur. Thanks for read Review Of Suzuki Vitara.