Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki’s ‘Original of the Species’ Vitara Returns After Years In The Wilderness

Suzuki Vitara ‘original of the species‘  returns after years in the wildernessIndependent.ieIT is always good to see an old name coming back. And none more so than the Suzuki Vitara.
SUZUKI VITARA
IT is always good to see an old name coming back. And none more so than the Suzuki Vitara. Suzuki Vitara nearly became a motoring dinosaur after the then-Government switched (rightly) to an emissions-based taxation system in 2008. It just wasn’t prepared for the brave new world. A handful was sold but mostly the Vitara – often dubbed the original of the compact SUV species – nearly became extinct because its emissions meant extortionate VRT and road tax. Seven years on and the name – on a spanking new model – is back.

1.6-liter Petrol

There is 1.6-liter petrol (120bhp) and a 1.6 diesel (also 120bhp) with more than respectable emissions (106g/km for the diesel in 2WD and 123g/km for the petrol). It has  5spd (petrol) and 6spd (diesel) manual gearboxes with an automatic to follow. 2WD and 4WD, three trim levels GL, GL+ (the biggest seller) and GLX. And there is the starting price, as we forecast last week, of €19,950 (1.6 petrol GL). Most buyers (70/30) will opt for 2WD but the 4WD is a decent operator (despite my foolish attempt to break new ground on-road tires and need a little tow).

Suzuki Vitara Prices

Prices are being pitched at the ‘introductory’ offer level until October when they are likely to rise by €1,000. I’m not so sure that is a great idea because of what it might do to residual values but it is their strategy and they obviously have their own way of doing things in an ultra-competitive environment. They are being up-front about the strategy. They want to get cars on the road so people like you and I will notice. I think we will. I was impressed not just with the look of the car which I think, and I don’t care what anybody says, is a clever take on a mini-Range Rover Sport. There is a black-roof/cocoa body combination that I particularly liked. But it is well priced and specced. Agreed, you don’t feel it getting up to €23,000/€24,000 for your diesel (1.6 DDiS GL+ €22,995) but that’s the territory you are realistically in any way. I expect the diesel GL+ to be the one most people will focus on.

Suzuki Vitara cabin

The cabin is quite smart, though three slots in the center facia on some models aren’t that clever; and there was an excellent driving position. Not so sure about the plastic on the inside of the doors, though. There’s decent room in the back seats. A spare wheel is NOT standard. Bargain for one. Standard equipment includes automatic air-con, cruise control with speed limiter, 16ins alloys, seven airbags, DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows and projector headlamps. Suzuki Vitara GL+ adds Smartphone link audio and navigation system, 17ins alloys, rear privacy glass. And GLX adds adaptive cruise control, radar brake support, panoramic sunroof, LED Projector headlights, 17ins alloys, and suede seat fabric.

ALLGRIP Four-Wheel-Drive System

Their ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system is an option on GLX versions (1.6 DDiS GLX €27,995). The larger diameter wheels and the higher ground clearance helped off-road, despite my faux pas. The system has four modes you can use depending on conditions (though I don’t think ‘water paddling’ is one). And where would any new car be without personalization? They’ve gone mad with this. As well as myriad bits and pieces you can have or add on the outside or inside, there are two Packs as well – Urban (GL+, GLX) and Rugged (GL+, GLX), both costing €900. They expect around 700 people to buy a new Suzuki Vitara in a full year in a segment that is growing apace. It has been a long way back. It’s a different world but it looks well equipped to deal with it.

Indo Motoring