The fourth-generation Suzuki Vitara has long said goodbye to soft-tops and two doors. It’s like Suzuki at some point said, you know what we can’t sell that type of car anymore but let’s keep the badge. I’m here to tell you that’s a bloody good thing, because the Vitara Turbo AllGrip I’ve been driving this week is indeed a good thing.
What is it?
It’s a compact SUV with a handy AWD system that will take you further than the nature strip out front. This is the top spec model so it’s also laden with features especially when it comes to safety.
It’s spacious enough too with enough room for four or five, but only for short trips. The cabin is a pleasant place to be with premium suede under your bum. It’s also got a turbo, which is exactly why I’m a bit of a fan. There’s also a cloth semi-transparent panoramic sunroof.
Behind the wheel
Like all compact SUV’s you sit a little higher, I had no issues finding a comfortable driving position. This is the Series II Vitara, so Suzuki has gone to work ironing out some annoyances. The dash is a tad softer to touch, there’s a new sliding centre arm rest and better still a new 4.2-inch colour LCD display in the middle of the dashboard. It has little animations that pop up when you change driving modes, say from Sport to Snow. Nice touch Suzuki.
The body does move around a bit if you get too ambitious, but generally things are mostly well planted. The AWD system takes itself very seriously with auto, snow, sport and lock modes. The car even has a hill decent function, I actually took the Vitara off-road when I reviewed the Jimny. It’s surprising what it can do actually.
The Suzuki Vitara Turbo AllGrip has a 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. It manages to produce 103kW and 220Nm of torque that arrives at 1500rpm. Now while those figures seem like a weak tea, the Vitara Turbo actually has enough punch to it when things get, well you know, spirited!
The AWD system is rugged enough to warrant an off-road and snow mode. But in reality, it just gives the Vitara a higher degree of surety underfoot, especially in the wet.
The all-important Autonomous Emergency Breaking (AEB) is standard across the Vitara range. As is lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
The 7.0-inch colour touchscreen does a decent job but thankfully the Vitara is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The top of the range Vitara will set you back $33,990. Suzuki suggest a fuel economy figure of 6.2L/100km, I’d suggest 8.9L/100km. It’s not hard to burn fuel in a small capacity petrol turbo engine. You will be heading back to the dealership every six months or 10,000km with a five-step capped pricing plan that costs $175, $175, $359 and $175. The 10,000km intervals may turn away some people I’d think. Suzuki offer a five-year, 140,000km warranty which again is a bit outside the norm these days.
Why would you buy one?
Because the Mitsubishi ASX wasn’t your go, or you couldn’t get over the fact the Holden Trax doesn’t offer AWD.
Being the top of the range model can sometimes give you a false perspective on the car overall. But I genuinely believe the Turbo AllGrip Vitara is a good thing. It looks great, sports a semi-premium interior while remaining well mannered when it comes to handling. Plus it can go down a dirt trail or two. It’s a 7.9 out of 10 for me.