- New design with diode rear-light clusters
- Upgraded interior with soft-touch surfaces
- Colour info display – top audio on two models
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Suzuki is celebrating three decades of its Vitara models’ success by refreshing its offering with extra comfort features.
Nearly 1800 have been sold since launch in South Africa in 2015 thanks, the local office of the automaker says, to a combination across the range of excellent crash avoidance/protection – stability control is one – and seven crash bags.
Pricing, Suzuki SA says, twice earned the little on/off-roaders first place in the Compact Family Car category in the cars.co.za consumer awards.
SHINY NEW RIMS
The 2019 units, the automaker added, will later in the year introduce Suzuki’s 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine.
Meanwhile, the new Vitara has a redesigned nose, fresh alloy wheel rims, revised tail and new diode head/tail light clusters. Up front are new clear headlights each side of a redesigned grille with horizontal slats and a large Suzuki S badge.
The front bumper hosts a large trapezoidal air intake and some models have ”deep-set” front foul-weather lights with deep-set fog lamps on some units. The top model, the GLX, has diode headlights.
Vertical diode daytime running lights are enclosed in J-shaped chromed inserts (black on the GL) which extend from the edges of the number plate to the top of the foul-weather lights.
‘ADDRESS FIT AND FEEL’
The shape of the previous optional silver scuff plates and side mouldings have been revised to integrate with the new bumper design, front and rear.
The rear diode lights mimic the front running lights GLX units will option polished 17” alloy rims; parking sensors will be standard.
Suzuki says it has ”thoroughly addressed the fit and feel” of the SUVs. The upper instrument panel now has s soft touch materials and GLX has new upholstery said to be ”more luxurious and hardy”. The GL+ now has contrasting white stitching and the GLX gets a combination of real and synthetic leather.
GL+ and GLX units have a new 11cm colour information display; the GL has a nine cm monochrome unit. Displayed information includes tank range, average speed, outside temperature, gearshift indicator and, on AllGrip models, the selected driving mode.
The GL+ and GLX units, however, have a second large screen for its Smart Linkage Display Audio (Suzuki’s capital letters) system to replace the lesser analogue system. It includes smartphone connection for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity.
It will also display the reversing camera image in colour.
Across the range are power windows (front only on the GL), central locking, aircon with pollen filter, steering power assistance and foldable rear seats.
NEW SCREENS ON ALL UNITS
GL+ and GLX add auto aircon, cruise control, multifunction steering-wheel, all-round electric windows and chromed detailing.
Further, the GLX has a unique instrument panel trim, keyless access with push-button start/stop and a power tilt/sliding sunroof flanked by chromed roof rails.
Suzuki explains: ”The Suzuki Vitara has been a benchmark for family safety in its class, thanks to our decision to fit all models with seven crashbags (including one for the driver’s knees), electronic stability control (ESP) and anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure assistance.
”With this safety specifications, the Vitara received a five-star rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme..
”Every Vitara seat has a three-point crash restraint; IsoFix child-seat anchors, a high-mounted third brake-light and a full size spare wheel are also standard.”
…AND SO TO THE ENGINE
Powering the Suzuki Vitara is the company’s popular 1.6 petrol engine which delivers 86kW at 6000rpm, 156Nm at 4400rpm, and spins either a five-speed manual or six-speed autobox.
As before, Suzuki will offer buyers the choice of front-wheel drive or its intelligent adaptive AllGrip all-wheel drive system. The latter is available at the GLX specification level, and with a manual gearbox.
Suzuki’s AllGrip allows the driver to select driving mode on the fly or, in auto mode, will default to front-wheel drive in normal use but switch to all-wheel drive when road conditions or the driver need 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 will spread torque delivery between each of the four wheels to allow for slippery conditions.
Lastly, the driver can lock the Vitara in all-wheel drive up to 60km/h for greater peace of mind and maximum traction when conditions require.
As before, each Vitara buyers can customise their vehicle to their heart’s content. This catalogue has more than 80 optional extras, among them a roof rack, bicycle rack, tow hitch, cargo partitions, deodorising aircon filters, custom door sills and even an electric cooler box.
Suzuki will also offer special customisation packs, such as the Suzuki Rugged Pack, which includes a pre-approved set of optional extras.
…AND THEN TO THE PRICES
The refreshed Vitara will be sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000km or five-year vehicle warranty, a four-year or 60 000km service plan, and roadside assistance for the duration of the vehicle warranty.
Prices have not been raised to accommodate the refreshed models.
Immediately available (Feb 2019):
Suzuki Vitara GL – R281 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ – R318 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (a/t) – R337 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX (a/t) – R359 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip (manual) – R374 900