Standard EquipmentTechnical SpecificationIndependent Review

Driver Convenience

  • Bluetooth hands free telephone connection
  • Colour information display
  • Cruise control + speed limiter
  • Engine start/stop button
  • Lights on warning
  • PAS
  • Rear parking camera
  • Satellite navigation system
  • Service indicator
  • Smartphone link display

Entertainment

  • 4 speakers
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • USB connection

Exterior Features

  • Black wheel arch extensions + side mouldings
  • Body colour door mirrors and handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Chrome front grille
  • Chrome lower front bumper insert
  • Electric adjustable heated door mirrors
  • Electric front+rear windows
  • Front and rear intermittent wipers
  • Front fog lamps
  • Halogen Projector Headlamps
  • Headlamp levelling
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Silver roof rails
  • Visible VIN plate

Interior Features

  • 3 rear headrests
  • 3 spoke leather covered steering wheel
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Auto air conditioning with climate control
  • Child seat tether anchorage points
  • Driver/front passenger seat height adjustment
  • Driver/passenger sunvisors with ticket holders + illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Front and rear bottle holders
  • Front centre armrest
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Front footwell lights
  • Front headrests
  • Front map light
  • Front/rear assist grips
  • Glovebox light
  • Isofix child seat preparation
  • Luggage area lamp
  • Luggage cover
  • Luggage hooks
  • Passenger seat back pocket
  • Pollen filter
  • Removable boot floor
  • Tilt/telescopic adjust steering wheel
  • Top tether anchor plate for isofix child seat
  • Two 12V accessory power outlets

Safety

  • 'Childproof' rear door locks
  • 3 rear 3 point seatbelts with ELR
  • ABS+EBD+Brake assist
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • ESP
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Hill hold control
  • Side airbags
  • Side impact protection beams
  • Tyre pressure monitor

Security

  • Alarm
  • Deadlocks
  • Freewheeling lock cylinders
  • Immobiliser
  • Key in reminder
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote central door locking

Wheels

  • 17" Silver alloy wheels
  • Tyre repair kit

Emissions

CO2 (g/km)

121

HC+NOx

Particles

Standard Euro Emissions

EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

Camshaft

DOHC

Catalytic Convertor

1

CC

988

Cylinder Layout

IN-LINE

Cylinders

3

Engine Code

K10C

Engine Layout

FRONT TRANSVERSE

Fuel Delivery

DIRECT INJECTION

Gears

5 SPEED

Number of Valves

12

Transmission

MANUAL

Fuel Consumption

EC Combined (mpg)

53.2

EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies

1

EC Extra Urban (mpg)

58.8

EC Urban (mpg)

45.5

General

Badge Engine CC

1

Badge Power

111

Based On ID

Coin Description

Boosterjet

Coin Series

SZ-T

Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years

12

Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years

NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %

NCAP Child Occupant Protection %

NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09

NCAP Pedestrian Protection %

NCAP Safety Assist %

Safety Concerns?

1

Special Edition

1

Special Order

1

Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage

60000

Standard manufacturers warranty - Years

3

Vehicle Homologation Class

M1

Performance

0 to 62 mph (secs)

11.5

Engine Power - BHP

111

Engine Power - KW

82

Engine Power - RPM

5500

Engine Torque - LBS.FT

125

Engine Torque - MKG

17.3

Engine Torque - NM

170

Engine Torque - RPM

2000

Top Speed

111

Tyres

Alloys?

1

Space Saver?

1

Tyre Size Front

215/55 R17

Tyre Size Rear

215/55 R17

Tyre Size Spare

TYRE REPAIR KIT

Wheel Style

Wheel Type

17" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

Height

Height (including roof rails)

1610

Length

4175

Wheelbase

2500

Width

1775

Width (including mirrors)

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)

47

Gross Vehicle Weight

1730

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

710

Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)

375

Max. Loading Weight

570

Max. Towing Weight - Braked

1200

Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked

400

Minimum Kerbweight

1160

No. of Seats

5

Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb

10.4

Summary

Customers wanting a small Crossover of this kind now have so much choice that for many of them, it must be difficult to know where to start. If that's the case for you, then beginning your search by looking at a great all-rounder in this segment seems to make a lot of sense. And this Vitara is certainly that. In this test, we've looked at some of the reasons why. The way the affordably-priced base petrol version is so much more efficient than many cheap petrol-powered rivals. The extra space you get inside compared to key competitors like Nissan's Juke. And the high standards of specification that'll sugar the showroom proposition. Plus for what it's worth, this Vitara is also a bit more capable in poor conditions than most of the alternative choices you could make, provided you can stretch up to one of the pricey ALLGRIP 4x4 models. This is, in other words, in every sense, a Vitara for the modern world. A car that's a little more than just a fashion statement.

Background

Small SUV-style 'Juke-genre' Crossover models are all the rage just at present. Every mainstream brand, it seems, must have one. Here's Suzuki's offering for customers in this sector, the surprisingly light, lithe and fashionable Vitara. The Vitara is the kind of youthful, dynamic-looking product that buyers of compact Crossover models seem to want. On paper, it certainly seems to tick all the 'Juke-genre' boxes, with lifestyle looks, trendy cabin technology and supermini-standards of efficiency. It even claims to be a rewarding steer on twisty tarmac, especially with the 1.4-litre BOOSTERJET 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine that the Japanese brand has added since this car was originally launched. That really would make it different from small Suzuki SUVs of the past. There are familiar touches though: value pricing, high specifications and a 4WD option - something actually relatively unusual in this segment. It all sounds quite promising. Time to put this car to the test.

Driving Experience

The performance-orientated 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine is one of Suzuki's newest units and gives this car a reasonable turn of speed, enabling it to make 62mph in 10.2s en route to 124mph. Otherwise, the mechanicals aren't anything too surprising, shared as they are with the existing SX-4 S-Cross. That means buyers get to choose between either a 1.6-litre petrol engine or a much preferable Fiat-sourced 118bhp 1.6 diesel, both being offered in front or four-wheel drive guises. The petrol engine is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard with an optional CVT transmission also offered. Go diesel and you get a six-speed manual 'box. The short overhangs will help with off-roading but the 185mm ground clearance isn't that generous. The ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system is standard with the 1.4-litre petrol turbo and optional with the 1.6-litre variants. The set-up features an electronically controlled clutch pack, controlled by a four-position switch on the centre console. Choose 'Auto' and it'll stick to driving the front wheels unless slip is detected, whereupon the rear wheels are pressed into action. 'Sport' diverts up to 20 per cent of torque to the rear wheels to give livelier handling. 'Snow' offers permanent four-wheel drive with the system choosing how much torque to split front and rear, while 'Lock' splits the torque equally between front and rear.

Design and Build

With tight proportions and a front end that has more than a hint of current Land Rover design about it, the Vitara is quite an assured piece of design work. There's also a blacked-out floating glasshouse, heavily sculpted flanks and a very neat tail-lamp finish. Buyers can also specify a rugged package which adds front and rear skidplates as well as additional body side mouldings. Suzuki cabins have long been the marque's weak link but this Vitara shows the company pulling its socks up a bit. Okay, so the idea of body-coloured metal across the dash isn't a new one (many of you will recall the Fiat Coupe mining that trend way back in '93) but Suzuki also offers chrome around the gearlever and door trims, plus an analogue clock. It's by no means a large vehicle, breaking the tape at just over four metres long, but still features a features a 375-litre boot. That's competitive with the rival Renault Captur, although the Suzuki lacks the Renault's sliding rear bench seats.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £14,000 for the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol version, but you'll need a £20,000 budget for the petrol ALLGRIP 4WD version. 1.6 DDiS diesel model pricing starts at around £17,000. For the 1.4-litre petrol turbo ALLGRIP model, you'll need around £21,000. All variants get seven airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, a DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with a speed limiter, auto air conditioning, front and rear electric windows and projector headlamps. The plusher SZ-T trim level adds 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Smartphone link audio and a navigation system. Moving up to SZ5 adds LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Adaptive Cruise Control, Radar Brake Support and a Panaoramic sunroof. There's a range of personalisation options and two key extra-cost packages. The 'Urban' package consists of fog lamp bezels (chrome-plated),body-side mouldings, and a roof spoiler. The 'Rugged' package delivers front and rear skid plates, fog lamp bezels, body-side mouldings and loading edge protection.

Cost of Ownership

The Vitara's CO2 emissions are low thanks to the use of high tensile steel and other weight saving measures in the body plus an Engine Auto Stop Start system which shuts down the engine when stationary. Go for the base 1.6-litre petrol engine and you'll manage 53.3mpg and 123g/km, while the 1.6-litre DDiS diesel manages 70.6mpg and 106g/km. Obviously, expect those returns to take a bit of a knock if you specify ALLGRIP 4WD. The 1.4-litre petrol turbo ALLGRIP variant manages 127g/km of CO2. Residual values might well stack up better than the industry average if the current crop of Suzuki models is anything to go by. Strong reliability records and modest optional equipment lists have helped to keep 'real world' residuals buoyant. The Vitara shouldn't divert too far from that template even if it does promise additional personalisation options.