Road test: Suzuki Vitara 

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki’s Vitara is a compact SUV which is practical, reliable and relatively affordable, and while there is stiff competition in the sector, the Vitara has plenty of plus-points including its mild-hybrid technology and the option of four-wheel-drive. 

Vitara prices start at €23,669 (£20,849) for the SZ4 trim which includes digital radio and CD player, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. You also get alloy wheels, cruise control, climate control and automatic wipers. 

However, many buyers are likely to opt for the SZ-T and SZ5 trim levels which add a more sophisticated touchscreen infotainment system with integrated sat-nav, smartphone mirroring and a rearview camera. 

Only petrol engines are available and the 127 hp 1.4-litre version is the popular choice. It features mild hybrid-technology which helps deliver enhanced performance and improved fuel economy. The 0-100 kph time is a nippy  9.5 seconds, top speed 200 kph (124 mph). Average fuel economy is 17.6 kpl (49.7mpg)  and emissions are 128 g/km. 

Underway, the Vitara is smooth and responsive, with light steering making it easy to use in city traffic and tight parking situations. At motorway speeds, the engine note is rather more discernable and there is more wind noise than some in the class but overall, the Vitara is a pleasant drive. 

The cabin is smartly designed with a user-friendly dashboard layout so you quickly feel at ease. Seating is comfortable and supportive, there is good all-round visibility and the raised gearstick is more convenient for quicker gear shifts. 

The car seats five adults and while the rear seat width is a little tight for three occupants there is good headroom.  The boot space of 375 litres is adequate for normal everyday needs and can be boosted for larger items by dropping the rear seats. There is useful under-floor storage space too, and no awkward load lip, though the split-fold rear seats do not lie completely flat. 

Rivals include the Volkswagen T-Cross and SEAT Arona, but Suzuki has its own loyal following and this latest Vitara will have strong appeal to existing customers and with its revised styling and keen pricing is likely to attract new customers to the brand. 

Model tested is UK specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets. 

Facts At A Glance
Model: Suzuki Vitara
Engine. 1.4 litre petrol
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Performance: 0-100 kph 9.5 seconds, top speed 200 kph (124 mph)
Economy: 17.6 kpl (49.7 mpg)
Emissions: 128 g/km 

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Written by

Nick Fletcher