If you read my road test last year on the outgoing Grand Vitara (click here), you’ll know that I fell for it in a big way, but time stands still for no 4x4, and after 27 years it was time for a change.
The new, fourth generation Vitara is as stylish and robust as ever, offering the usual value for money ethos that you would expect from Suzuki. The range starts at £13,999 and is available in SZ4, SZ-T and SZ-5 grades. Suzuki’s ALLGRIP intelligent four-wheel drive is an option on SZ5 models only and costs £19,799 for the petrol and £21,299 the diesel.
Transmission wise, there’s a five-speed manual available for the 1.6-litre petrol and a six-speed manual for the 1.6-litre diesel engine. A six-speed automatic will be available in the Summer for the 1.6-litre petrol only that will have a wide gear ratio range to offer precise driver control and will also help to provide a quick response at low vehicle speeds, for instance when pulling away from standstill or driving slowly uphill.
Hurtling around the hill circuit at Millbrook isn’t what the Vitara was built for, but it appeared to be just as much fun to drive as outgoing Grand Vitara. The 320Nm of torque from the 1.6 diesel engine made light work of the twists and turns ensuring I wasn’t constantly changing gear. It was comfy too, though I’ll admit to not paying much attention to the interior and dashboard, but more on the road ahead!
The Vitara comes equipped with a comprehensive list of safety equipment, for example there’s seven airbags fitted as standard, Adaptive Cruise Control (available on SZ5 models), and a tyre pressure monitoring system amongst many.
There’s so much more to say about the new Vitara, and as first impressions go it made a positive, lasting one. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on an ALLGRIP model in the coming months, so watch this space for a more in-depth report.