Suzuki Vitara is a popular choice because it ticks many boxes for a wide range of owners. The small SUV out of Hungary not only looks good but is well made and affordable.
Suzuki sharply prices and specifies Vitara with luxury kit and advanced driver assist technology across three models, particularly the $29,990Turbo (2WD) variant driven.
It’s front wheel drive with a 6-speed conventional automatic transmission, not a CVT.
Vitara Turbo was upgraded early last year with subtle refinements and additional equipment along with a small styling tweak and some new colours.
Inside scored a sliding centre arm rest, soft feel dash and a larger touch screen along with more safety features.
Under the bonnet and chassis components remain the same as before.
Suzuki offer Vitara with a two tone, black roof option for an additional $1250. It really lifts Vitara’s appearance especially with Range Rover Vogue styling touches such as the clamshell bonnet and sloping roofline.
When you compare apples with apples, Vitara Turbo 2WD doesn’t have many competitors. If you look at the spec’ sheet and the 2WD powertrain (engine and transmission), for similar money there’s really only Mitsubishi’s ASX GSR 2.4, Kia Seltos 2.0 Sport +, Hyundai Kona Elite and Honda HRV RS as direct competitors. Possibly a few Chinese brands and Ford’s horrible EcoSport.
You’d put the Zook on your shopping list every day.
It’s been around long enough for instant recognition and is in a fairly standard idiom for a small SUV. There’s the toothy grille, clamshell bonnet as already mentioned and tapering roofline towards the tailgate now with all red lenses in the tail lights.
Vitara looks bigger than it is thanks in part to the chunky lines and imposing frontal styling. There are sundry style lines along its flanks to give the body depth and a neatly executed rear end. Optional two tone paint lifts Vitara’s look more giving it an air of exclusivity you’d expect at twice the price. Alloys are standard and the colour palette is attractive, even the brighter tones in gold and aqua.
They’ve done a good job styling Vitara as it conveys a semi-tough impression as well as being extremely practical.
Inside is fairly standard Suzuki with a minimalist flavour based around a centre control touch screen, a clutch of buttons and switches under that and a conventional driver’s instrument pod complete with a sporty wheel with paddle shifters.
The no fuss styling is practical and makes Vitara easy to drive especially with decent all round vision from the driver’s seat and easy to reach controls. The upholstery is some sort of patterned suede/leather and covers well shaped, firm seats for five. A good size load space down the back easily takes a few suitcases. Fold down the rear seats and your pushbike fits in easily. I like the soft feel dash and the sliding centre arm rest, both added at the latest upgrade.
This is where Vitara gets the jump on its competition as Suzuki generously equips the Turbo 2WD (and AllGrip all-wheel drive) with goodies like;
- Heated exterior mirrors
- Front and rear park sensors
- Hardwired satnav
- Climate control
- LED headlights
- Keyless start
- Roof rails
Drive and Engine
Plenty of pep comes from the high tech, 1.4-litre, turbo four cylinder petrol engine that also has direct fuel injection for added efficiency.
It’s good for 103kW and 220Nm output while consuming a claimed 5.9-litres/100km of (preferably) 95 or 98 fuel.
Power goes to the front wheels via a slick 6-speed auto that’s a revelation after driving many slurring CVT equipped competitor cars.
Off the mark acceleration is strong and it stays that way up to about 6000rpm where the urge drops off.
Suzuki use some clever technology to optimise the engine’s turbo for response and fuel efficiency.
Dynamics are up with the engine only limited by the height of the Vitara and tyre grip. They are general purpose tyres designed to cover off a wide range of applications.
It steers and brakes well and minimal noise enters the cabin.
Five stars all the way but this time, enhanced with even more advanced driver assist tech like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor, weaving alert, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and plenty of other stuff.
You could even add LED headlights to the safety list.
It’s a great package in safety terms and affordable to boot especially when you consider some other players in this segment only put this level of advanced safety kit in their top model at thousands more… or in an option package… at thousands more.
- Impressive overall package
- Punchy engine
- Excellent 6-speed auto transmission
- Unbeaten safety arsenal for the money
Not So Good Bits
- Needs more expensive 95 or better fuel
- Black roof option costs too much
- Underwhelming audio
I’d have one of these in a blink if I had a young family and lived in the big city. It ticks many of the “family car” boxes and is safe as houses. Reliable too and inexpensive to own and run. Shop it all day against anything else in the small SUV class.
Facts and Figures: 2019 Suzuki Vitara Turbo 2WD
- Engine: 1.4L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 103kW/220Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Hungary
- Price: from $29,990 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.
Also look at;
Suzuki Vitara 2WD
Suzuki Vitara – I’d have one of these in a blink if I had a young family and lived in the big city. It ticks many of the “family car” boxes and is safe as houses. Reliable too and inexpensive to own and run. Shop it all day against anything else in the small SUV class.