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Vitara with shades of the Evoque

Created on 25/05/2015 @ 08:30
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The suits at Suzuki will likely deny it but the design of the new Vitara looks to have been strongly influenced by the Range Rover Evoque.

It’s over 25 years since the original model debuted and now there’s simply no comparison with the latest incarnation recognisable as a fresh and sporty utility vehicle.

So to be compared with the hugely successful Evoque should have Suzuki bosses cracking open the champagne and designers dancing in the street – there could be 
no greater compliment.

Suzuki say the new Vitara meets contemporary needs and with a new Allgrip four-wheel drive system as an option will appeal to a much broader audience and should do well in a SUV sector where opposition will come from Vauxhall Mokka and Fiat 500X.

Large wheels and higher ground clearance mean the new Vitara is happy off-road and though the test area used at launch wasn’t too demanding it did enough to suggest this Suzuki has a place away from the tarmac.

And as well as the Allgrip system drivers have the option of a choice of four modes to suit the driving conditions and road surface. But don’t expect Evoque performance when off tarmac.

Where Evoque influence is clear comes with personalisation choice. Exterior colour choices and a range of design details allow buyers to personalise to their own tastes with 10 body colours available – including five two-tone combinations.

There’s no mistaking the Vitara as an SUV option with aerodynamics reflected in designed bumper openings, a roof line that slopes smoothly downwards towards the rear and with attractively shaped side mirrors.

LED headlamps with blue projector covers are available on the SZ5 upgrade, contributing to energy saving and looking cool.
Suzuki has taken the opportunity to up their technology game with the Vitara.

An audio system with navigation and smartphone connectivity gives access to advanced features (available on SZ-T and SZ5). 

The Radar Brake Support system (available as standard on SZ5) offers cutting-edge safety by using milliwave radar to prevent or reduce the chance of a collision.

Highlights for SZ4 include seven airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with speed limiter, auto air conditioning, 
front and rear electric windows and projector headlamps. 

SZ-T adds 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Smartphone link audio and navigation system. 

Moving up to SZ5 adds LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Adaptive Cruise Control, Radar Brake 
Support and Panoramic sunroof. 

Once in the cabin there’s a sporty look and feel with a boldly shaped instrument panel and a U-shape design around the gear shift lever helping communicate SUV 
toughness. Round clock and round ventilation louvres help give the interior a youthful feel.

The cabin space is impressive even though it’s a bit tight in the back for three and the boot made short work of the golf club space test.

The seven-model Vitara range is powered by the M16A 1.6-litre petrol engine or the D16AA 1.6-litre DDiS engine and produces the best fuel economy figures and CO2 
levels in class and yet still produces gutsy performance.

The CO2 emissions for the petrol engine with two wheel drive/manual transmission are 123g/km and 127g/km for the petrol engine with two-wheel drive/six-speed 
automatic transmission.

Suzuki’s Allgrip system enables CO2 emissions that are remarkably low for a four-wheel drive SUV with 130g/km with the five-speed manual transmission and 131g/km 
with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The DDiS engine, emitts just 106g/km with two-wheel drive/six-speed manual transmission and 111g/km with four-wheel drive/six-speed manual transmission.

The 1.6 petrol manual has a top speed of 112mph and does 0-62mph in 11.5seconds with combined fuel figures of 53.3mpg

In line with the SX4 S-Cross model and recently launched Celerio, both petrol and diesel Vitara models require routine servicing every 12,500.

Prices remain as competitive as ever, ranging from £13,999 to £21,299 – possibly opening up the 4x4 sector to a new range of buyers.

This is the best Suzuki I have driven.

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