Vivacious new ‘Vitara S’ from Suzuki

Ever since its launch in 1988, the various generations of the Suzuki Vitara have earned high acclaim for their stylish designs, compact and easy to manage dimensions, good on-road performance and genuine off-road ability. Over the years, the Vitara has evolved through changes in body size, engine technology, safety systems and chassis development.

While a new Vitara was launched by Suzuki in 2015, the model range has been enhanced by the addition of a ‘Vitara S’ model which I have just spent the last week in.

The new Suzuki ‘Vitara S’ is only available with a petrol engine, but both a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic gearbox (with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel) are available. The 1.4-litre petrol engine comes with Suzuki’s new Boosterjet technology, which offers low emissions, greatly enhanced fuel economy and 17% more power than the 1.6-litre engine it replaces. This Direct Injection Turbo Charged engine (DITC) offers 138bhp and 220Nm of torque which combine to make this car so much fun to drive. This eager engine goes hand-in-hand with a chassis that is equally enjoyable. Body control is excellent and engine responses are fluid and natural, giving the new ‘Vitara S’ a sporty and dynamic character.

Available in 4 colours (Red, White, Black and Silver), the new ‘Vitara S’ stands 1.61M tall, 4.175M long and 1.775M wide, and will fit comfortably into any car parking space, while turning heads with its stylish good looks. Thanks to these well thought-out proportions, the new ‘Vitara S’ looks great from every angle and offers excellent head and leg room inside too. The quality of the materials used in the cabin is impressive, while the infotainment system offers satellite navigation, Bluetooth, radio functions and images from the standard reverse camera all on one centrally located touch screen.

My test car (or SUV – to give it its proper title) was fitted with Suzuki’s smooth-shifting automatic gearbox with a twin-clutch system and looked great in ‘Cool White’ metallic paint with contrasting black body trimmings and gloss-black 17” alloy wheels. Standard equipment on my €29,495 (ex-works) test car also included Radar Brake Support, Adaptive Cruise Control, Smartphone link audio, seven airbags, vertical grille design, rear upper spoiler, satin silver door mirrors, suede seat fabric with red stitching, red air-conditioning vent surrounds, red instrument accents, aluminium foot pedals, LED headlamps and Suzuki’s innovative ‘four-mode ALLGRIP system’ along with many other quality features.

Suzuki’s ALLGRIP system has four driver-selectable modes for safe, enjoyable driving on diverse surfaces. The system has a ‘feed forward function’ that allocates torque to the rear wheels before any slippage can occour. The four modes are auto, sport, snow and lock, and the system provides the reassurance of four-wheel-drive safety and stability, with the low running costs of a two-wheel-drive.

Overall, the new Suzuki ‘Vitara S’ offers excellent value for money and is certainly an SUV for all seasons. A 3-year/100,000km warranty is standard on all new Suzuki cars, SUV’s and 4x4’s.