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00  Month

This Suzuki was worth another look

Created on 03/04/2016 @ 08:50
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Test Report by Graham Breeze

Impressed at launch by Suzuki’s new Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet I was keen to take a better look and after a week behind the wheel I’m still a fan of this mini Range Rover lookalike.

The new Vitara range arrived in 2015 to replace the popular 4X4 Grand Vitara with the promise of the direct injection four cylinder petrol engine Boosterjet to follow.

Now it’s here and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the styling and performance, though you may put a question mark over parting company with £20,899.

Since arriving in 1988 the Vitara has been picking up accolades thanks to city styling married to capable on and off-road abilities and now just eight months after the UK launch the S model has been introduced, providing a more sporting and dynamic character to the Vitara line-up.

The biggest change is the arrival of the 1.4-litre petrol engine with the new Boosterjet technology. This 140PS direct injection turbocharged petrol unit takes Suzuki to a new level with torque available from 1,500 rpm, an incredible 41 per cent more than in the 1.6 - that's over 17 per cent more power, yet there's four per cent better fuel economy.

In fact the six-speed manual model on test averaged 52.3mpg on the combined cycle, while producing only 127g/km of emissions.

For the technical reader the Boosterjet engine uses a small displacement, high torque turbocharger. By controlling the waste gate valve, which closes to create higher boost pressure during heavy load operation and remains open during normal driving, the Boosterjet reduces pumping loss to achieve high levels of power and fuel efficiency.

Suzuki's Allgrip system is standard on the new S range with four driving modes of Auto, Snow, Lock and Sport.

There's also Hill Hold Control, Hill Descent Control and a comprehensive list of safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control, an impact absorbing feature and a full set of airbags.

But it's not all about performance because the Vitara looks the part too. For my mind it's the best looking Suzuki so far, firmly expressing the company's SUV styling with a solid looking appearance and a roof line that slopes sharply downwards towards the rear.

The unique S-model trim includes gloss black 17 inch alloys, vertical grille design, a rear upper spoiler, silver door mirrors and very neat red interior stitching on instruments, doors and seating.

You also get rear privacy glass, wheel arch extensions, front and rear silver skid pads, silver roof rails,  chrome front grille and side trim and sporty aluminium pedals.

Also fitted are childproof rear door locks, a tyre pressure monitor, radar brake support, emergency stop signalling and a flat tyre pair kit, which means no spare.

There's a rear parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, adjustable steering and driver's seat, an easy-to-use information system, keyless entry, DAB radio, SatNav, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel audio controls

There is enough room inside for most needs with a 375 litre (13.24 cu.ft) boot which goes up to 710 litres (25.07 cu.ft) with the rear seats folded down. The towing weight capacity is 1,200 kg (2,645 lb).

At launch I said the Vitara design looked to have been influenced by Range Rover Evoque, this latest arrival has even more quality but that is reflected in the price tag.

The Boosterjet S was well worth a second look. For a 1.4 you get surprisingly impressive performance and 12 months free road tax though I would expect a spare wheel in a 4X4 not an emergency repair kit.


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