Suzuki is currently on the crest of a wave with its strongest model line-up ever, headed by such models as the Swift and the second generation Jimny which is currently receiving worldwide views.
The Vitara is one of the best value for money SUVs currently on the market and for the model year 2019 there are a number of enhancements. Introduced in 2015, right away it found favour to buyers not just because of its value for money but also it was stylish and compact with easy to manage dimensions. The Vitara proved to be equally at home in the country or in town. Most never really got to explore it’s off road capability; however when weather and road conditions took a turn for the worse it proved to be a safe mode of transport for me.
Now come various styling upgrades, new engines and an even higher level of technology and safety features. Suzuki’s SUV styling heritage shines through in the latest model in a strong looking design. A clamshell bonnet gives the front end a look of solidity, and a trapezoid front bumper indicates a powerful grip on the ground. There is a new, more elegant front face with redesigned grille and lower bumper and the rear lamps have now been redesigned with a distinctive LED display. Moving to the interior and a welcoming cabin with new seat trim design which is utilised for the range. Suede seat fabric is fitted on SZ5 models; the upper instrument panel is upgraded to a soft touch material and the instrument cluster now features a central colour information display. If I had one complaint with the previous generation models it was the hard material used especially in the dash, so a good move by Suzuki to change that. Those who buy the new Vitara will certainly not be disappointed when it comes to the level of standard equipment. The entry level SZ4 model has seven airbags, alloy wheels, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with speed limiter, auto air conditioning and front and rear electric windows. The SZ-T adds new design 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, white stitching for seat trim fabric, Smartphone link audio and navigation system. Moving to the top of the range the SZ5 and it adds LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Traffic Sign Recognition (also fitted on ALLGRIP models), blind spot monitor, and Adaptive Cruise Control, Dual Sensor Brake Support and Panoramic sunroof. Colour choice for many is key when purchasing a new vehicle and the new model range is available in two new dual-tone.
The impressive one litre three cylinder Boosterjet engine featured in the Baleno, S-Cross and Swift now comes to Vitara delivering the same level of power and torque of a much larger capacity normally aspirated engine with an output of 111PS. This small capacity engine offers strong benefits in performance with rest to 100kph (62mph) in 11.5 seconds with manual transmission and two wheel drive. Maximum speed, where permitted is 179kph (111mph) for both manual and automatic transmission models. Now offered for SZ-T and SZ5 grades, the outgoing S model launched in 2016 was the first Suzuki to utilise the Boosterjet technology petrol engine which is a 140PS 1.4-litre Direct Injection turbocharged unit. Although a four cylinder unit, this engine has very similar technical characteristics to the one litre with its compact turbo charger and cylinder head design. The 1.4-litre engine offers strong benefits in performance with rest to 100kph (62mph) in 9.5 seconds (2WD models) for both manual and automatic transmissions and a maximum speed, where permitted, of 199kph (124mph). I had the opportunity to try both 2WD and 4WD versions and really it is down to the buyer to choose what is best for their individual needs; however one thing is certain the Vitara in its latest guise does offer value for money. My last adventure with the Vitara was on home tarmac with a 4WD version.