Offered in a choice of two and all-wheel-drive variants, the all-new Vitara compact SUV complements Suzuki’s urban-focused S-Cross and the more serious 4WD-only Grand Vitara.
The Vitara is being marketed in two levels of specification: GL+ and GLX. The GL+ can be specified with five-speed manual ($22,990) or six-speed automatic transmissions ($24,990 as per our test car); the GLX comes with the auto transmission only ($33,990).
With a choice of colour customisation inside and out and two optional body styling packages, Suzuki Queensland says the Vitara features the highest level of interior specification ever offered on one of its models in Australia.
Connectivity extends to a seven-inch multi-function display which provides intuitive operation of audio and video playback functions as well as hands-free smart phone and navigation features.
Other standard features include trip computer, privacy glass, tilt/reach adjustable steering, headlight levelling adjustment, cruise control with speed limiter, single-zone aircon, front fog lights, 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, gear shift paddles, cargo cover and light, hill hold control, roof rails.
As a drive, the Vitara is more mid-pack than class-leading. With 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque, its 1.6-litre petrol engine is not as peppy nor as smooth and quiet as the best in the Compact SUV category and dynamically the Suzuki is no match for, say, Mazda’s CX-3. That said, it still gets along nicely and accommodates its occupants with a compliant ride in comfortable surroundings.
Boot space at 375 litres trumps the Mazda’s 264, though trails Nissan’s Qashqai’s 430 and Honda HRV’s capacious 437.
No game changer, but an honest buy.