The Suzuki Vitara has gone where many more illustrious SUVs and 4x4s could not. It is particularly good in sand, say those in the know, and now, Suzuki, a champion brand in South Africa, has improved it inside and out.
It comes with different drivetrains, including a mild hybrid petrol-electric option, a choice of three gearboxes, and both two-wheel and four-wheel drive.
“The previous generation Grand Vitara was very popular and had a particularly long life cycle in South Africa thanks to its popularity. The new model is a reinterpretation of the Grand Vitara concept and has been completely redesigned from the ground up, with a focus on style, technology and ride comfort,” said Brendon Carpenter, Suzuki Auto’s brand marketing manager.
This Vitara is a collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki.
Its clamshell bonnet is more sculpted and the wheel arches enhance its design. The multilevel grille delivers an imposing presence in conjunction with the daylight running lights.
At the rear, a thin and imposing LED light bar stretches the width of the car. This is also fitted with three-dimensional LED lights. Reverse and turn signal lights are fitted in a deep, sculpted section at the very edges of the lower bumper.
All models feature roof rails and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Flagship luxury and technology
The interior offers flagship finishes and fit. The Grand Vitara greets occupants with specially designed plush seats that will provide comfort even when driving through the roughest of terrains.
In the centre console, a large digital display takes centre stage. On the GL models, this touch-sensitive display measures seven inches and also hosts the reverse camera.
On the GLX models, the centre-mounted screen is a high-resolution touchscreen of nine inches.
All models have a full-colour TFT display between the speed- and tachometer for vehicle settings and vehicle information.
They also have keyless access, keyless start/stop, electric windows and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, automatic climate control, cruise control, a leather-covered steering wheel with remote controls for the audio, cruise and phone features and a powerful audio system.
In addition to this high specification level, all GLX models are fitted with a panoramic sunroof and additional speakers, including high-end tweeters. The six-speed four-wheel drive hybrid model also has paddle shifters that allow the driver to shift gears right from the steering wheel.
Flagship engine technology
The Suzuki Grand Vitara will be offered with either a naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 77kW and 138Nm or the K15C petrol engine with mild hybrid electric power (codenamed SHVS or Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki). The engine produces a much higher compression ratio than its sibling (12.0:1) and an always-on mild hybrid system with a power output of 75.8 kW and 136.8Nm.
At the heart of the hybrid system is an integrated starter generator (ISG) that supports the petrol engine under load or hard acceleration. The same ISG system will harvest kinetic energy when the vehicle is slowed down and pushed back into the standard vehicle and additional 12V lithium-ion hybrid batteries.
The entire Grand Vitara range has the same very high level of safety that includes, among other features, Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), six airbags as standard, including side curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin.
All the models also feature electronic stability control (ESP), ABS brakes with emergency brake assist, hill hold assist and rear parking sensors as standard.