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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Suzuki Grand Vitara returns as sharply styled Toyota underpinned SUV

Although branded a global model, which could see it become available in South Africa, the Grand Vitara, for now, remains an Indian-only model.

The confirmation of its name made just over a week ago, Suzuki’s Maruti division in India has officially taken the wraps off of the all-new Grand Vitara that could potentially come to South Africa at some stage.

A model that revives one of Suzuki’s most iconic monikers, placed on hiatus some two years ago, the Grand Vitara has, however, little in common with previous generations as it loses not only the low-range gearbox, but also the option of a six-cylinder engine.

The fifth model to emerge from Toyota’s partnership with Maruti Suzuki, the others being the Glanza/Starlet based on the Baleno, the Urban Cruiser derived from the Vitara Brezza, the Rumion from the Ertiga and the Belta spun-off of the Ciaz, the Grand Vitara premiers as the latter marque’s take on the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder but with reworked styling and subtle interior adaptions.

As is known by the now, the Grand Vitara reveres the partnership’s status quo by being spun-off of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder rather being built by Suzuki for Toyota.

New Suzuki Grand Vitara reveraled
In addition to the front facia, Suzuki has also made small changes to the rear facia.

Set to be assembled by Toyota alongside the Urban Cruiser Hyryder at its Bidadi Plant in the state of Bengaluru, the Grand Vitara’s dimensions are unchanged from the Toyota’s, but as evident from the images, Suzuki has been more thorough with the restyling.

Subtly inspired by the Brezza that slots-in below it, the Grand Vitara boasts a split-headlight design seemingly also influenced by the design of the Suzuki Across, as well as the model it is derived from, the Toyota RAV4.

As well as a two-tier grille with a chrome centre bar on higher-end models, the Grand Vitara receives a tweaked front bumper and model-specific 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

While unchanged from the Urban Cruiser Hyryder in side profile, alterations to the rear, though small, are easy to spot in the various badges moving from the left to the right of the tailgate, and the full-width chrome strip bowing out in favour of a LED light bar separated by the central Suzuki logo.

ALSO READ: Suzuki revives Grand Vitara for Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder twin

Inside, the applied tweaks are a lot smaller with mainly materials and colours differing. This means the Grand Vitara offers the same seven or nine-inch touchscreen infotainment systems as the Urban Cruiser Hyryder, the Heads-Up Display and surround-view camera system first offered on the Baleno, and a wireless smartphone charger.

Depending on the trim level, specification items comprise a panoramic sunroof, tyre pressure monitor, up to six airbags, Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Hold Assist, a digital instrument cluster display, ambient lighting and Hill Descent Control on all-wheel-drive models.

Like the Urban Cruiser Hyryder, the Grand Vitara is motivated by a choice of two hybrid powerunuits; a mild-hybrid version of Suzuki’s own 1.5-litre petrol that produces 75kW/135Nm and a Toyota-made 1.5-litre hybrid that adds a 59 kW electric motor to the equation for a total system output of 85 kW.

Transmissions comprise a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic on the mild-hybrid, with an e-CVT being standard on the hybrid.

New Suzuki Grand Vitara reveraled
Aside from the Suzuki badges, materials and colours, the Grand Vitara’s interior is otherwise identical to that of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder.

All-wheel-drive meanwhile is offered solely on mild-hybrid manual models with the inclusion of Suzuki’s AllGrip Select system that sports four modes; Auto, Snow, Sport and Lock.

Heading for Suzuki’s Nexa dealership chains from next month, pricing for the Grand Vitara remains to be confirmed, though speculation is it could undercut those of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder by a small margin.

While billed as a global model with rumours of it replacing the now seven-year old international Vitara circulating, the Grand Vitara, until an announcement is made, remains an Indian-only market model.

Additional images and information from autocarindia.com and overdrive.in.

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