The Gen XY Lifestyle

Review: All-new Suzuki Vitara

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The latest Suzuki Vitara is a more compact offering than its predecessor, can it convince a fiercely loyal following of the highly vaunted SUV?

What’s happening?

There’s an added consideration to the compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) segment of late. It is built upon the emphasis of what a 4WD vehicle should be instead of attempting to win in being the best in class for fuel consumption.

From the looks of it…

The all-new Suzuki Vitara sports a modernised clamshell bonnet with flared fenders and deeper front bumper kit, exuding a classy European styling that is further accentuated by an available range of aesthetic kit packages that can be customised in accordance to the exterior paintwork.

As for the interior, the cabin is confidently styled with a robust looking instrument panel and cleverly refined with a combination of leather and suede covers on the seats. There is a touch of ruggedness about the interior that Suzuki has retained to justify its off-road heritage, as well as giving it a trendy trim to keep up with times.


The double sliding panoramic sunroof is more of a lifestyle feature for the passengers. Luggage space is 375-litres with a removable luggage board for versatility. The space for the rear legroom isn’t fantastic, but manages to comfortably seat two adults at the back. There is good storage space in terms of the door pockets and centre box compartments for bottled drinks and smaller items.

The standard offering that comes with this car include a fitted audio system that can be controlled via the switches on the steering wheel, which also can be used to manage the Cruise Control with speed limiter features. The keyless push start system is also standard in the Vitara, and entry to the car works in the form of a remote control key that unlocks the car doors, which can be achieved by merely pressing a button at the door handle, thus negating the need to extract the key from your pocket.

On the Road

Beneath the bonnet of the all-new Vitara is a 1.6-litre DOHC VVT naturally aspirated engine that is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that one can operate with via the use of paddle shifters. Altogether, there are four programmed modes for the Vitara. Normally, one would use either the Auto Mode or Sport Mode here in Singapore. The Auto Mode uses 2WD as a default setup and optimises fuel economy while the Sport Mode adds slightly more torque to the performance and holds out longer before each gear change.

The Snow Mode could just well be the right method of deriving pleasure from the Vitara because extracting power from all four wheels is what one ought to expect from an SUV. Although the concerns of local petrol costs are on the minds of most car owners, the Vitara does offer the option of driving with a more subdued 2WD mode instead of the more dynamic 4wd drive experience.

Most of my driving was spent in Snow Mode on wet and rough terrains and the car performed impressively. The Lock Mode takes it further when I found myself stuck in a  muddy situations off-roads, and it goes to show how amazing 4WD can be for a modestly built 1.6-litre engine.

How safe is it?

Seven airbags for the front and rear passengers as well as the driver’s knee airbag and side curtains act as mitigating factors during emergencies. The Vitara is built on the TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) body concept that offers both occupant and pedestrian protecting impact absorption features to minimise on severity of injuries. The Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) and Hill Hold Control preventing rollbacks are also key safety features of the SUV.

The Verdict

The all-new Vitara justifies the price tag and doesn’t attempt to patronise the consumers with just stylish looks and a meek drive train. Suzuki’s latest star is really what people need to consider if they want a compact SUV and not some toothless front-wheel drive doppelganger.



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