The compact SUV segment is slowly becoming saturated with brands bringing in new models and facelifts of old ones every year, all trying to offer the best build quality and prices. Suzuki has recently updated one of its best models in the segment, the Vitara. Now with a refined exterior look and its new 1.4Litre Turbo BoosterJet engine. I spent time with the range topping model, the Vitara 1.4T GLX to see what it has to offer.
- Model: Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto
- Engine: 1.4- Litre turbocharged petrol 4-cylinder
- Power & Torque: 103 kW & 220 Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed Automatic
- Top speed: 200 km/h
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 9.5 seconds
- Fuel consumption: 5.9 Litre / 100 km (Claimed)
- Price: R426 900
The exterior appearance of the new Suzuki Vitara is on point, Bold and stylish fitted LED head- and taillights, with LED DRLs (daytime running light), automatic rain-sensing wipers. fog lamps with chrome surround and. A Stylish two-tone body color accentuated by a contrasting black or white roof with silver roof rails complementing the silver and black 17-inch alloy wheels. The Suzuki Vitara GLX comes also packed with other modern features such as keyless entry, integrated side-mirror turn signals, front and rear parking sensors.
Jumping inside the new Suzuki Vitara you would be pleased with how ergonomic and well put together interior looks and feels. Although you might find hard plastics here and there, the overall build quality feels pretty solid and good to live with. The seats are fantastic and comfortable, made of leather and suede upholstery, the suede material is also found on the door trim inserts.
Multifunction steering wheel with mounted paddle shifters at the back and controls for the audio, phone, voice commands, and cruise control. A 4.2-inch color multi-information instrument cluster screen displays the vehicle information such as fuel capacity, range, and door locking info…
Also, on the interior is fitted a user-friendly 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SD slot, 1 USB port, Bluetooth and Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android with integrated reverse-view camera, 12V power socket, Automatic Dual-Zone Aircon, panoramic sunroof if you are a fan of stargazing.
Rated 5-star by the EuroNCAP crash test car assessment, the Vitara range comes fitted with several safety features such as Electronic stability control (ESP) with traction control, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and a brake-assist system (BAS) with a total of 7 airbags.
When it comes to practicality, the Suzuki Vitara is very good and easy to live with. Offering a very comfortable and spacious interior both at the front and at the back. The rear passenger legroom is often a debate when it comes to compact SUV, but the back seats of the Vitara are surprisingly spacious enough for 2 adult passengers with plenty of legroom and headroom. A decent luggage capacity of 375-liters which can be extended when the rear seats are folded to a 60:40 split, expanding to a total of 1120-liters, very useful when in need to store longer items like surfboard, bike. You will also find a 12V power socket, a dummy floor for discreet items storage as well a small spare wheel.
This probably what you have been waiting for, how does it drive?
The first thing to notice is how light the steering feels, easily maneuverable smooth as butter. The introduction of the new 1.4-litre turbocharged (BoosterJet) engine, also found in the Suzuki Swift Sport (The Budget Hot Hatch) developing 103kW and 220 Nm of torque, only 10 Nm less than the Swift Sport. Mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Giving a very torquey and instant throttle response making the drive much enjoyable and fun when overtaking. The drive sure feels alive and smooth with the suspension handling bumps with ease even on gravel roads, thanks to its 185mm ground clearance.
After driving both highways and sitting stuck in city traffic. I have managed an average of 7.4L/100km over the 5.9L claimed by Suzuki, which is not too far off, considering that I happen to have a heavy foot.
Price and Aftersales
The Suzuki Vitara range price starts from R310 900 to R426 900 for this range-topping model, Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX Auto. All prices include a 200 000 km / 5-year mechanical warranty and a 60 000 km/4-year service plan.
Let us start with things I do not like much: The lack of a built-in navigation system, windy noised cabin through the A pillar when cruising at highway speeds, the cruise control feature seemed a bit sluggish when trying to set a cruising speed below 80 km/h, the lack of additional USB port and Air ventilation for the back.
Ticking all the right boxes for a mid-sized family compact SUV, The Suzuki Vitara has proven to be a very good all-rounder from its stylish exterior design look, Comfortable and practical interior, to its responsive and powerful 1.4L turbocharged engine, which makes the drive and overtaking really fun and easier. I would highly suggest the consumers consider adding the Suzuki Vitara high up on their shopping list.