Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 09 May 2016
The term compact SUV has become far more prevelant in recent years with many auto makers introducing compact family sub urban vehicles. Suzuki however were far ahead of the game, when they introduced the much loved Vitara back in 1988. Now twenty eight years after it was first introduced to the South African market, we have an all-new fourth generation Vitara.
With bolder and more dramatic looks than ever, the all-new Vitara introduces some funky styling touches. To begin you’ll easily spot the presence of its two tone paint scheme. Take a look at the one I have been driving for instance, with its black body paint, white roof and door mirrors, it’s not hard to spot parked in the lot and I really rather like this about the new Vitara.
Dual tone colour options don’t end with its exterior. When you step inside, you’ll notice that the Suzuki Vitara’s dashboard features dash paneling which is also available in a variety of colours. The overall cabin of the Vitara remains very spacious, with enough space to transport four adult and their luggage in complete comfort.
At the centre of the dash, you also get a simple Japanese inspired analogue dash clock. The clock also is available in a variety of stylish and simplistic faces. While the interior remains fairly simple and minimalistic, it does so with a refreshing elegant simplicity. Media is delivered thanks USB, auxiliary, Bluetooth and there is the presence of two separate 12-volt power sockets. One in the front and one located in rear of the vehicle.When it comes to powering the Vitara, Suzuki offer it only with one engine variant, the 1.6 litre. This engine is offered throughout the product line-up in SA and I can see why Suzuki have made this descision. The 1.6 L engine delivers more than ample power. the edition which I drove, the 1.6 GL+ edition delivers 86Kw and 151 Nm of power. The vehicle which I drove also featured front-wheel drive. Suzuki also offer the Vitara with their AllGrip four wheel drive system.
Perhaps the most impressive element of this engine however is its consumption figure. Suzuki claim that the new Vitara is capable of averaging a combined 5.8 L/100km and that on the open road it will achieve over 800km range on a single tank. When you look at manufacturer claims, the figures often look good on paper, however my experience of the new Vitara has shown, that these are more than just paper figures. Even after driving the vehicle for an entire week with a heavy foot, I was still able to only bring the average consumption upto 6.6 L/100km. The Vitara really is therefore a very economical vehicle in the real world.Practicality further continues into the Suzuki’s boot. With the rear seats folded up, the boot offers over 375 litres, larger than many of its closest competitors.The Suzuki Vitara competes with vehicles such as the Citroen Cactus which I recently explored, as well as the Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke to name a few. Just like Japanese origami, when you drive the all-new Vitara, you immediately get the impression that the vehicle offers both form and function, cleverly rolled into a simple yet practical space. Every element of the design appears to make very good sense and in my opinion this is why the latest generation makes such good sense if you are in the market for a practical, compact yet spacious and economical SUV.
Vitara 1.6 GL – R255,900
Vitara 1.6 GL+ – R289,900
Vitara 1.6 GL+ AllGrip – R313,900
Vitara 1.6 GLX AllGrip – R322,900
Vitara 1.6 GLX AllGrip Auto – R342,900
For a further look at my experiences driving the Suzuki Vitara kindly watch: