The re-introduction of the Suzuki brand by Toyota Kenya has taken the crossover world by storm. The flagship Vitara has been enhanced for 2019, to take on the Renault Kadjar, Hyundai Creta and the fourth coming Volkswagen T-Roc crossover. Get to know more in this Suzuki Vitara Review.
The refreshed Vitara model range sees the introduction of Suzuki’s turbocharged Booster jet engine technology, which will be included in this model range later this year in the form of a 1.4 Booster jet turbo petrol engine.
There will be no mistaking the new Suzuki Vitara for its predecessor, thanks to a fresh new front design, new alloy wheel options and revised rear style with new LED light clusters.
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.
At the rear, the completely new combination lamp is fitted with LED lights that mimic the daytime running lights in the front. The Vitara GLX fans have the option of new polished 17” alloy rims.
Suzuki has loaded the Vitara with all the bells and whistles, with special attention to the fit and finish of the interior.
The upper instrument panel is now made from soft-touch materials and on the GLX specification level, there is a new seat trim material that is both more luxurious and hardier. The seats are covered with a combination of luxurious suede and synthetic leather.
The instrument binnacle spots 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 All Grip models, the selected Driving Mode.
Suzuki added a second large screen in its new Smart Linkage Display Audio system. It 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.
Under the hood lies a popular 1.6 VVT petrol engine, which delivers 86 kW at 6 000 rpm and 156 Nm at 4 400 rpm. 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 All Grip all-wheel-drive system. The latter is available at the GLX specification level coupled with a manual gearbox.
Suzuki’s All Grip system allows the driver to select between various driving modes on the fly. In Auto Mode, the system will default to front-wheel drive in normal usage and automatically switch to all-wheel drive when the road conditions or driver inputs necessitate it.
In Sport Mode, the system will change engine and accelerator response, while delaying ESP intervention for a more spirited drive, and in Mud / Snow mode it will actively spread torque delivery between all four wheels to allow for possible slippery conditions.
The Suzuki Vitara has been a benchmark for family safety in its class. This is thanks to Suzuki’s decision to fit all models 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).
If you’re looking for an affordable, stylish yet efficient crossover, the Vitara should tick all your boxes. Pricing starts at Ksh. 3 Million and comes with a 3 year/100,000 warranty.