For many years, sophisticated, new SUVs were rich men’s toys, and most of us common mortals could only afford a glimpse of them on our roads. Several car manufacturers have of late been coming up with more affordable SUVs for the mass market, not necessarily out of love for us common mortals but because they have understood that people’s tastes are shifting rapidly and the popular appeal of driving an SUV is rapidly increasing. One of the most recent beautiful attempts is the new Suzuki Vitara, which in the past could have been regarded as a wannabe SUV. That’s the past though, as the new Vitara has been given a new lease of life and the only remnant of its past is literally the name it carries.
There is a lot going for the new Vitara, starting with the trendy youthful styling, the personalisation of each individual colour that enables a buyer to pick a varied colour palette, engines that deliver decently on the road whilst being highly economical, and perhaps one of the greatest surprises of all is the excellent driving experience. Yes, the Vitara drives beautifully on the road and in our test drive, the driving ability of the Vitara is the aspect that stood out most.
Scores highly on driving experience
The Vitara’s best asset is undoubtedly the driving experience. Forget the old Vitara. This car holds well on the road, has a steering that is not too light/not too heavy, has a constant grip on the road, the 1.6 petrol engine we drove delivers an impressive 118bhp and the torque level is superlative. The driver’s position is equally impressive – not too high but high enough for the overall size of the Vitara, while the seating as well as the steering positions provide extensive options to cater for all sizes and shapes!
Excellent value for money
From a value point of view, buying the new Vitara is a no brainer. You will certainly get value and you don’t need to ponder much about that aspect if you opt for the Vitara. For starters, the basic Vitara model – the 1.6GL+2WD comes with an extensive list of equipment and accessories. The basic model is equipped with climate control, 17” alloy wheels, privacy glass, cruise control, blue tooth connection, Stop-and-Go System (that saves on fuel), LED day time running lights, tyre pressure sensors, navigation system (including Maltese maps), metallic paint, extensive air bags (including front, side, knee and curtain air bags), remote control central locking, power steering, electric heated mirrors, DAB+ radio and sound system and much more. What then renders the new Vitara excellent value for money is that this model can be yours for just €18,500. It would certainly defy logic to take the risk and hassle of shipping a used SUV from the UK with probable high mileage and a lot of baggage in the wear and tear department, when you can get your hands on a highly desirable and reliable brand new sophisticated SUV for less than €20,000.
Another remarkable aspect of the new Vitara is versatility. It is not a stereotyped model that can suit only a specific strata of society. With the right colour palette, it can look fun, trendy and young. Yet, dress it differently and it can fit the bill perfectly for a more sober audience. Versatility is aided by the fact that you can personalise important aspects of the car, particularly in relation to colour palette, two-tone colour options, as well as the option to opt for the GLX model, which comes equipped with certain extras including xenon lights, panoramic roof and chrome front grille.
In technical terms the Vitara classifies as a compact SUV, but the truth is that it is the most spacious and well-equipped compact SUV on the market. It drives fantastically, it is extremely versatile and has the looks of a posh, stylish SUV. The entry level 1.6GL+2WD is probably the best value option and at €18,500, you can’t go wrong!
For more information on the new Suzuki Vitara visit the Suzuki Showroom at Industrial Parks Ltd, Antonio Bosio Street, Msida or call the sales team on T: 2016 0752. You can also visit www.suzuki.com.mt or send an email to [email protected]
This Test Drive originally appeared on Style on Sunday.