2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
The third generation of the Suzuki Vitara is here. With the off-road five-door, the Japanese want to appeal to male buyers and the three-door to female buyers.
It premiered at the IAA and will be available from dealers from October 15: Suzuki’s new Grand Vitara is entering its third generation of models. And as it should be, the new one has grown again - and not just visually by doing without unnecessary flourishes. The larger five-door has increased in length by around 28 centimeters and now measures 4.47 meters including the spare wheel. Three centimeters were added in width, seven in the gauge. The wheelbase was extended by 16 centimeters to 2.64 meters.
The smaller three-door is now just over four meters long, three centimeters wider and has a track width that has grown by a full 24 centimeters - so much more space between the axles - regardless of whether it has three or five doors.
Legroom has grown
This is particularly noticeable in the interior. The passengers there now have significantly more space, and legroom has also increased in the rear - the rear row of seats not only has an alibi function. In general, the interior is impressive. The seats provide good support even on long journeys. The cover material feels comfortable and breathable. The rear seat can be folded down and away on the five-door model in a 60:40 ratio. Then the standard 398 liters of cargo space will be up to 1,384 liters.
The materials have a consistently high quality - even if you always look at and hear the plastic. As usual, the workmanship is excellent - even if a constant creaking in the dashboard is a bit skeptical when the load changes. The instruments are all where you intuitively look for them, although a few of the buttons are a bit small. And anyone who can cope with the measly display of the navigator has good eyesight.
The handy steering wheel can only be adjusted in height, but not in depth. The keyless start system is started at the push of a button - as long as the ignition key equipped with a transmitter is inside the car.
Big engine only in the big car
The 2.0-liter petrol engine will only be available in the five-door. It draws 103 kW / 140 PS from four cylinders. But despite a torque of 183 Nm he is a bit weak in the Grand Vitara.
Accelerations are not really fun and there are overtaking maneuvers that you consider more carefully than usual. But for everyday use it is always enough - and you can hardly ask the driving dynamics of a coupé from an all-wheel drive.
If you take a look at the competitors, their push forward is usually no better. Officially, the 2.0-liter Vitara accelerates to 100 in 12.5 seconds, the top speed is 175 km / h - the competitors are no better. The five-speed gearshift is occasionally a bit wobbly and stiff.
No sixth gear
Above all, you miss a sixth gear. Even a bit below the top speed of 175 km / h, you intuitively reach for the gearshift button in order to control the increasing noise level of the engine (it can be quite loud) by changing to the next higher gear - but there is no more gear. According to the manufacturer, consumption is 9.1 liters of super per 100 kilometers.
It all sounds more nagging than it really is. Because the new Grand Vitara is also significantly better than its predecessor as an everyday SUV. For example with the chassis. The Vitara can be driven on asphalt like a normal limousine. In terms of suspension, Suzuki's engineers have found a good compromise between the hard bump of an off-road vehicle and the comfortable swing of a road car. The result: Even long distances can be driven without getting tired in the Grand Vitara. The increased length also helps here: the straight-line stability is perfect.
And off-road, it quickly proves to be a full-fledged off-road vehicle that doesn't just look like it. It creates water furrows when driving slowly up to a depth of 70 centimeters. The short overhangs at the front and rear ensure very good climbing ability (for off-road fans: approach angle for the five-door model at the front 29º, rear 27º, ramp angle 19º; approach angle for the three-door model at the front 29º, 36º and 20º).
More than just a fashion SUV
In normal operation, the all-wheel drive distributes 47 percent of the engine power to the front wheels and 53 percent to the rear wheels. A center compensation ensures a tension-free ride on any surface. If the terrain becomes rougher and the ground looser, the front and rear cardan shafts can be rigidly connected by a lock using a switch (even while driving). And when it gets really rough, you can switch a terrain reduction to the barrier. The Grand Vitara is more than just a fashion SUV.
Suzuki's marketing department has clear ideas about who it is targeting: the five-door model is intended primarily to appeal to male buyers between the ages of 30 and 55, "who have a particular affinity for off-road vehicles".
The three-door car, on the other hand, “combines elegance, comfort and design with unobtrusive robustness” - correspondingly high “the proportion of female buyers with a clear leisure-time orientation” is likely to be correspondingly high.
The Vitara is definitely suitable for families - not only because of the two standard Isofix brackets. When the new Grand Vitara is available from dealers from October 15, it will initially be available with two petrol engines: the 1.6-liter with 78 kW / 106 hp and the 2.0-liter, which is only available in the five-door model.
Three-door from 19,690 euros
The two equipment variants “Club” and “Comfort” can be ordered. And the price list starts at 19,690 euros for the three-door model and at 24,290 euros for the five-door model. A 129 hp common rail diesel is to follow in spring 2006 - soot particle filter as standard.
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