Suzuki Vitara SUV – A Revised Way of Life.

The Suzuki Vitara was born in 1988 as a compact and fashionable off-roader, but it has since transformed itself into something bigger and more versatile. For this new, fourth generation car, the Vitara has returned to its roots and promises to be more stylish, fun to drive and wallet friendly. For 2019, the revised Suzuki Vitara is fitted with petrol-only engines, and can be ordered with manual or automatic gearboxes, and a choice of two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive (AllGrip) – depending on the model chosen.

Rugged Off-Road Design;

The new Vitara is smaller than the generation before it, and Suzuki has injected a dash of style that was missing from its boxy and relatively plain predecessor. At the front are a pair of distinctive, swept-back headlamps, LED running lights and a clamshell bonnet that takes its cues from the old car’s, while stylish character lines have been cut into the flanks for some added kerb appeal. In addition, there are the typical additions of a raised ride height and tough plastic cladding for the lower body and wheelarches. Suzuki has traditionally boasted a strong reputation for building durable cars and has a loyal following on these shores. Suzuki has been awarded a 5-star rating for the new Vitara in Euro NCAP’s tougher test procedures, with all versions equipped with 7 airbags, stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring as standard.

Generous Interior & Boot Space;

The new Vitara is remarkably large inside – and is internally bigger than most of its immediate rivals in this fiercly-competitive market. There is decent legroom for rear passengers, while the wide-opening doors make access straightforward. The Vitara’s large windows and high-set seats create an airy atmosphere, which is a welcome change these days. Once you open the tailgate , you will discover a well shaped 375-litre boot with all seats in place (or 710-litres with the rear seats folded), plus the added practicality of a handy 12V power supply.

Three Trim Levels;

There are three trim levels available in the revised Suzuki Vitara – SZ4, SZ-T, and SZ5, with the entry-level model available with a 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine, the SZ-T model available with a choice of 1.0-litre or 1.4-litre Boosterjet engines, and the range-topping SZ5 model available only with the larger capacity engine. Famed for providing excellent standard equipment levels at an affordable price, the specification across the Vitara range is impressive, with minimum equipment including items such as 16” alloy wheels, auto stop/start, chrome front grille, LED daytime running lights, cruise control with speed limiter, CD player, USB port, automatic climate control, electric windows front & rear, front centre armrest, Hill Hold, ABS, EBD, ESP, tyre pressure monitoring system, deadlocks, remote central locking, and a removable double luggage floor. Mid-spec SZ-T specification also includes satellite navigation, 17” alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, rear camera, DAB radio and Smartphone Linkage, while SZ5 trim adds dual sensor brake support, front & rear parking sensors, panoramic roof, suede seat fabric, electrically-folding door mirrors, 17” alloys with a polished finish, keyless entry & start, and adaptive cruise control.

Test Car;

My test car was a Suzuki Vitara SZ5 1.4-litre Boosterjet AllGrip, 6-speed manual, and was finished in ever-popular Atlantis Turquoise metallic paint (a €370 cost option). The four-cylinder engine in my test car is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 10.2-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 200km/h (where permitted). With 140bhp and 220Nm of torque available, this sweet-revving engine is a perfect match for the Vitara’s breadth of talents – both on, and off-road. Fuel consumption as low as 5.5l/100km (51.3mpg) is possible on a combined driving cycle, while annual road tax for this all-wheel-drive edition of the Vitara is just €280.

Boosterjet Technology;

The Boosterjet engine is a newly developed Suzuki unit that is characterised by improved fuel efficiency and driving pleasure made possible by using a small displacement, high torque turbocharger. By controlling the wastegate valve, which closes to create higher boost pressure during heavy load operation and remains open during normal driving, the Boosterjet reduces pumping loss, thus achieving high levels of both power and fuel-efficiency. An air bypass valve is also utilised to prevent turbo ‘stall’ after the throttle has been closed and then quickly reopened. The 1.4-litre engine employs six-hole fuel injectors and high tumble port technologies to inject fuel with a high combustion efficiency to provide greater fuel economy and improved power output. Fuel is injected at a pressure of 200 Bar into the combustion chamber during the air intake stroke which then forms a rich mixture around the spark plug and leaner mixture around the outer edge of the piston. The tumble flow of the fuel is created by utilising a straight intake port and a complex shape piston crown design. The Boosterjet engine has been developed with Suzuki’s ethos of reducing weight and size, with added response and smooth power delivery to achieve the characteristics Suzuki engines are well renowned for.

On The Road;

On the road, the new Vitara encompasses occupants with a cosetting, comfortable and compliant ride quality. Road undulations are well absorbed, and there is only minimal body roll, with the car always feeling confident and surefooted. Interior comfort is excellent, with supportive seats, and an uncluttered dashboard layout, making the Vitara a pleasant place in which to spend time. The new Vitara possesses good road presence, without tank-like proportions, making it ideal for parking in crowded shopping centre car parks, and the like. It is worth mentioning that, given its jacked-up suspension and off-roader looks, the new Vitara is surprisingly agile and engaging to drive.

Pricing, Verdict & Warranty;

Overall, there is a lot to like about the new Suzuki Vitara. With a starting price of just €20,995 (ex-works), and 0% finance available (subject to T’s & C’s), it is sure to appeal to an even greater audience than ever before. My test car specification is priced at €28,495 (ex-works) and genuinely does represent excellent value for money. All Suzuki passenger cars are covered by a comprehensive 3-Year/100,000km warranty, along with a 12-Year anti-corrosion warranty.

Visit www.suzuki.ie for further information.