New Grand Vitara to shift the goalposts

Suzuki has opened a new front in its campaign for a larger share of the South African vehicle market, specifically the SUV segment.

23 Suz Vitara1

With the return of its Grand Vitara nameplate to local shores, Suzuki is ready to tackle competitors with a brand-new offering in this highly competitive segment of the market.

The latest Grand Vitara is the newest model from the partnership between Suzuki and Toyota. In this instance, the model has been designed and developed by Suzuki, and is manufactured in the Toyota Kirloskar factory in India.

What’s new?

Everything is new, and the range consists of two different drivetrain options, including the first ever mild hybrid petrol-electric powertrain from Suzuki Auto South Africa, three gearbox options and the choice between two- and four-wheel drive.

Exterior:

Viewed from the outside, the new Grand Vitara has a modern interpretation of its forebear’s clamshell bonnet which, in this case, is more sculpted, with the large and imposing wheel arches housing its large alloy wheels. Iconic roof rails round off this sculpted design.

From the front, there is a multi-level grille, which has a centre section with metallic surrounds, a thin top section to neatly frame the S-badge, and an inverted lower section that links with the bottom strike plate.

Below the headlamps is a deeply sculpted lower bumper. The line created by this bumper follows through to the doors and terminates in a kick up to the rear wheels.

At the rear, a thin and imposing LED light bar stretches the width of the car. This is also fitted with three-dimensional LED lights. Reverse and turn signal lights are fitted in a deep, sculpted section at the very edges of the lower bumper.

Interior and tech:

The dashboard has been designed with multiple layers. In the centre console, a large digital display takes centre stage. On the GL-models, this touch-sensitive display measures 7” and also hosts the reverse camera.

On the GLX models, the centre-mounted screen is a high-resolution touch screen of 9”. The panoramic video display from the multiple cameras mounted in the side mirrors, luggage door and grille are also displayed here and mirrored, while additional driving information is shown on the standard Head Up Display (HUD).

All models have a full-colour TFT display between the speed- and tachometer.

Drivetrains:

The Suzuki Grand Vitara will be offered with the choice of two versions of Suzuki’s K15 engine.

The first engine is the K15B, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 77 kW and 138 Nm.

The second engine on offer, and a first for Suzuki in South Africa, is the K15C petrol engine with mild hybrid electric power (code named SHVS or Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) en delivering 75.8 kW and 136.8 Nm.

The mild-hybrid system works continuously to support the petrol engine to deliver similar power to a naturally aspirated engine.

In the Grand Vitara Hybrid, this system lowers the average fuel consumption from 6 litres / 100 km to 5.6 litres / 100 km, despite the extra 125 kg of the all-wheel drive system.

There are three transmission options available in the Grand Vitara. The two-wheel drive K15B-engined Grand Vitara models can be purchased with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.

The K15C-powered mild-hybrid version of the Grand Vitara has a six-speed automatic transmission with switchable all-wheel drive.

Safety:

All models have six airbags as standard, including side curtain airbags as well as electronic stability control (ESP), ABS brakes with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and rear parking sensors as standard.

Prices:

1.5 GL 5MT (R399 900), 1.5 GL 4AT (R359 900), 1.5 GLX 5MT (R397 900), 1.5 GLX 4AT (R417 900) and the 1.5 GLX 6AT Hybrid AllGrip (R529 900).

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