The new Suzuki Vitara was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last year and has now, finally made it to our shores.
Competing in the closely contested compact crossover segment, two of the 2015 Suzuki Vitara models are touted as contenders in the compact SUV sector. These two are equipped with Suzuki’s innovative AllGrip all-wheel drive system.
The five-model Suzuki Vitara range spans three specification levels – GL, GL+ and GLX. There is a choice between a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox and also between front- or all-wheel drive.
All five models are equipped with the same, 1,6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that is claimed to be fuel economic at 5.8L/100km with the manual transmission and 6.0L/100km with the automatic.
The maximum power output is 86 kW at 6 000 r/min with a peak torque of 151 Nm at 4 400 r/min.
The AllGrip all-wheel drive, offered on two of the five Suzuki Vitara models, is a four-mode system:
The default driving mode is Auto, which prioritises fuel economy for on-road driving conditions by specifying front-wheel drive. However, it will introduce all-wheel drive when a loss of front-wheel traction is detected.
In Sport mode, AllGrip benefits composure on twisty roads by introducing all-wheel drive relative to throttle input. At midrange engine speeds, the accelerator/torque characteristics are adjusted to optimise engine response for confident cornering.
The Snow mode can be selected when traction is severely compromised, such as on muddy gravel tracks.
Finally, there is a Lock mode, which engages a limited slip diff to brake the spinning wheel, thereby transferring the available torque to those wheels that retain traction.
The new Vitara attained a full five-star safety rating under the latest EuroNCAP crash safety tests. The safety features include ABS anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control, seven airbags (including a knee airbag), front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and IsoFix child seat tethers.