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Suzuki Vitara

PURA VITA (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Suzuki's improved Vitara continues to offer a strong option in the small SUV segment and is now based around Boosterjet turbo petrol power. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 58

The Vitara, Suzuki's compact crossover, looks to build a lot of talent into four metres. This model line's now thirty years old and these days is built around 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol power, with the usual option of ALLGRIP 4WD. This revised model gets sharper styling, extra safety kit and remains competitive proposition in the small SUV segment.

Backgroundword count: 147

Small SUV-style 'Juke-genre' SUV models are all the rage just at present. Every mainstream brand, it seems, must have one. Here's Suzuki's offering for customers in this sector, the surprisingly light, lithe and fashionable Vitara. The Vitara is the kind of youthful, dynamic-looking product that buyers of compact Crossover models seem to want. On paper, it certainly seems to tick all the 'Juke-genre' boxes, with lifestyle looks, trendy cabin technology and supermini-standards of efficiency. It even claims to be a rewarding steer on twisty tarmac, especially with the 1.0 and 1.4-litre BOOSTERJET 1.4-litre petrol turbo engines that the Japanese brand has added since this car was originally launched. That really would make it different from small Suzuki SUVs of the past. There are familiar touches though: value pricing, high specifications and a 4WD option - something actually relatively unusual in this segment. It all sounds quite promising.

Driving Experienceword count: 190

The range is now based around 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre versions of Suzuki's well-proven Boosterjet petrol engine. There's now no diesel option. We'd try and stretch to the 1.4, which puts out 140PS and 220Nm of torque is available from just 1,500rpm through to 4,000rpm. This is one of Suzuki's newest units and gives this car a reasonable turn of speed, enabling it to make 62mph in 10.2s en route to 124mph. The short overhangs will help with off-roading but the 185mm ground clearance isn't that generous. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine puts out 111PS and offers 160Nm of torque. The ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system is available with both units. The set-up features an electronically controlled clutch pack, controlled by a four-position switch on the centre console. Choose 'Auto' and it'll stick to driving the front wheels unless slip is detected, whereupon the rear wheels are pressed into action. 'Sport' diverts up to 20 per cent of torque to the rear wheels to give livelier handling. 'Snow' offers permanent four-wheel drive with the system choosing how much torque to split front and rear, while 'Lock' splits the torque equally between front and rear.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Performance
60%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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