At first glance you will see how the new generation Vitara has had quite a make over, with its sharp angular lines updating it’s image to a more rugged handsome fella. Since the Vitara’s conception in 1988, the vehicle was aimed at the compact SUV markets and earned its respect amongst its peers thanks to its great build quality and off roading capability.
Unfortunately our Vitara GL+ version didn’t come with the new AllGrip technology so we never got the chance to test its off-roading ability. I understand with the AllGrip tech. you switch between four separate drving modes namely AUTO, SPORT, SNOW and LOCK to best suit the terrain and your Vitara senses and divides power between the front and rear axles accordingly to get you through.
From the oustside, Vitara’s muscular stance flared side panels and a large chromed grille don’t dissapoint.The new two tone colours available in the range with blacked out roof and pillars really have brought a customised youthfulness to the version. Moving into the spacious interior the Vitara’s redesigned dashboard has coloured panels which brighten up the space nicely.
The sound system is a MP3/WMA compatible CD player with Bluetooth/Hands-free connectivity, which is super driver friendly thanks to steering wheel controls with cruise control.
With the new generation Vitara following in its predecessor’s tyre tracks with Suzuki’s cutting edge All-Grip off road technology and super comfy on road performance, there’s more competition in sports utility form.
On delivery of the new Vitara you could be a bit concerned about the weight of the vehicle performing with the fairly modest 1600cc engine, as the vehicle weighs in at just under 1800kgs. Had they taken it too far or were they a few fries short of a happy meal?
Settling into the daily routine with the Suzuki Vitara it didnt take long to get to the conclusion that size doesn’t alway’s count, as this four cylinder proved how it punches way above its weight. It’s no secret that car-makers are shedding weight in every possible area to reach better consumption figures and allow for more connectivity and safety systems, and all the while still being competitive when it comes to pricing.
It is easy to admire how Suzuki in its long history of car and bike manufacturing, manage to get what they do from this 1.6 litre. It’s not fast off the mark but dig a bit deeper into the rev counter you soon realise how great the engine is. With the 1.6 litre across the five-derivative range there are three specification levels to choose from (GL, GL+ and GLX) and a choice of two transmissions (five-speed manual and six-speed auto), as well as either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The Suzuki Vitara also comes crammed full of safety specifications with a 7 airbag setup achieving a 5-star EuroNCAP rating, giving you safety peace of mind. Also included across all models is the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
All in all a very impressive package when considering you have just about every creature comfort you’ll ever need on top of world class safety. Get out there and test drive one for yourself. Visit http://www.suzuki.co.za to find your nearest dealer.