Suzuki recently introduced a refreshed Vitara model range in South Africa, which it says comes as standard with a more generous helping of creature comforts.
The model range upgrade also lays the foundation for the introduction of Suzuki’s turbocharged Boosterjet engine technology, which will be included in this model range later this year in the form of a 1.4 Boosterjet turbo petrol engine.
In front, new clear headlamp clusters flank a redesigned grille with horizontal slats and a large Suzuki S badge. Lower down, the bumper features a large trapezoidal air intake with deep-set fog lamps (on certain models). For the GLX specification level, the main driving lights are LED.
The distinctive vertical LED daytime running lights are enclosed in a new J-shaped chrome insert (black on the GL spec level), which extends from the edges of the black number plate housing to the top of the fog lamps.
At the rear, the completely new combination lamp is fitted with LED lights that mimic the daytime running lights in the front, and Vitara GLX fans have the option of new polished 17-inch alloy rims. On the GLX, the front and rear bumpers are fitted with flush mounted parking sensors.
Suzuki says it included more creature comforts, but also spent a lot of time making it feel more premium on the inside.
As such, the upper instrument panel is now made from premium soft touch materials and on the GLX specification level there is a new seat trim material. On the GL+ model, the designers have replaced the black stitching on all seats with contrasting white stitching and on the GLX specification level, the seats are covered with a combination of luxury suede and synthetic leather.
For the driver, Suzuki has fitted the GL+ and GLX models with a new 4.2 inch full colour LCD information display and a 3.5 inch monochrome LCD on the GL specification level. This screen displays information such as driving range, average speed, outside temperature, a gear shift indicator and, on AllGrip models, the selected Driving Mode.
Suzuki added a second large screen in its new Smart Linkage Display Audio system, which replaces the more traditional analogue system on the GL+ and GLX models. This new touchscreen system features smartphone integration, built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity. It will display the reverse camera image in full colour.
As before, the Vitara has a very long list of standard features. These include electric windows (front only on the GL model), central locking, air conditioner with pollen filter, power steering and foldable rear seats.
For the GL+ and GLX spec levels, Suzuki added climate control, cruise control, a multifunction steering, all-round electric windows and chrome detailing. And on the GLX model, designers have distinguished this top spec model with a unique instrument panel trim, keyless access with push-button Start/Stop and an electric tilt and sliding panoramic sunroof flanked by chromed roof rails.
All models come with seven airbags (including an airbag for the driver’s knees), electronic stability control (ESP) and ABS brakes with emergency brake assistance. With this safety specifications, the Vitara received a full five star rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP).
All Vitara models are also equipped with three-point seatbelts for all passengers, ISOFIX anchorage points for child seats, a high-mounted additional brake light and a full size spare wheel.
The Vitara is powered by the same 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol as before. It develops 86 kW at 6 000 rpm and 156 Nm at 4 400 rpm and it’s mated to the choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.
As before, Suzuki will offer buyers the choice of either front-wheel drive or its intelligent adaptive AllGrip all-wheel drive system. The latter is available at the GLX specification level coupled with a manual gearbox.
As before, Vitara owners can customise their vehicles to their heart’s content thanks to a very comprehensive accessory catalogue. This catalogue offers over eighty optional extras, including roof racks, bicycle racks, tow bars, cargo partitions, special deodorised air conditioning filters, custom door sills and even an electric cooler box for the luggage compartment.
Suzuki will also offer special customisation packs, such as the Suzuki Rugged Pack, which includes a pre-approved set of optional extras, such as front and rear silver scuff plates and other functional and cosmetic trim pieces.
The refreshed Vitara will be sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000 km / 5-year vehicle warranty. It also has a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for the duration of the vehicle warranty.
Best of all? There’s no price increase compared to the outgoing model.
Suzuki Vitara GL (manual): R281 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (man): R318 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (auto): R337 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX (auto): R359 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip (man): R374 900