The Suzuki Vitara has always been an attractive option, with funky styling and a high level of standard specification. Now it has finally been fitted with the engine it deserves.
Suzuki has boosted its popular Vitara range with the launch of a range-topping Vitara turbo in both manual and automatic. At the heart of the exciting new model is Suzuki’s 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine.
UNDER THE VITARA’S BONNET
Boosterjet is the name given to Suzuki’s range of turbocharged engines that combine turbocharging with multi-point, high-pressure direct fuel injection.
In the Vitara, the Boosterjet delivers 103kW at 5 500r/min and 220Nm at 1 500r/min, a big improvement compared to the previous range-topping 1.6 litre GLX that offers 86kW and 156Nm.
But what makes this engine great is the linear power delivery with a full 220Nm available for 2 500r/min. The claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.8 litres per 100km on a combined cycle was easily achieved on our trip through the byways and gravel roads of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Power is delivered to the front wheels and this model is available in both manual and automatic guises. In the manual models that we used on our road trip, there is the addition of a sixth gear that makes achieving those incredible fuel consumption numbers even easier.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The Vitara has always offered an exciting drive, thanks to its low weight and very rigid platform. With the added power, the Vitara now really shines, and although it has the ground clearance to tackle rough roads it is just as at home in the twisty mountain passes of the Lowveld.
DOES IT HAVE THE SHOW TO MATCH THE GO?
The compact SUV segment has grown tremendously over the past few years and the smaller, yet extremely practical Vitara was relaunched in 2015 as the successor to the original pioneer of the compact SUV segment.
A trapezoidal lower front intake, clamshell bonnet with power bulge, a sloping roofline ending in thick C-pillars, and an accentuated rear hipline with kicked up character line that runs over the rear fenders are included. The Turbo flaunts the same specification including 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of five solid colours and seven dual-tone combinations, where the body colour is contrasted by the choice of a black or white roof, depending on the colour chosen. Other equipment includes LED daytime running lights and LED head and brake lights, with a set of silver roof rails and chrome detailing in the front grille and under the fog lamps.
Luxuries include steering-mounted controls, park distance control front and rear, automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument binnacle, and electric windows and mirrors.
Suzuki has also added its popular seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and reverse camera to the Turbo, which offers complete mobile phone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
All models in the Suzuki Vitara range are fitted with a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features including ESP, ABS, EBD, and seven airbags.
It is really difficult to fault the Vitara and even more so now thanks to this engine upgrade. The only problem is that at this price point, of around R400 000, the market is extremely crowded. That said, we believe anyone who takes the new Vitara for a test drive will be silly not to add it to their shortlist.
Images: Andre Badenhorst
*This is a promotional post*