Some of you will recall that earlier this year we had a chance to attend the Irish Suzuki Vitara launch, which included a first drive opportunity. We were impressed at the time and more recently we were offered the chance to spend a full week in the Vitara GLX ALLGRIP. First off, lets recap on Suzuki’s offering with the all-new Vitara. For just €19,999 you can drive away in a brand new 1.6 GL or if you want some all wheel drive security then €27,995 will make you the proud owner of a GLX ALLGRIP. These prices were introductory but are still fixed until October leaving another month or so for you to get a test drive. The 1.6-litre DDiS engine, two-wheel drive and six-speed manual transmission produces CO2 emissions of 106g/km and the four-wheel drive six-speed manual transmission variant produces just 111g/km. There is also a petrol 1.6 version that produces 123g/km of CO2 emissions. This means all models slot neatly into early Tax bands making them easily affordable. Our week long test drive in the Vitara GLX ALLGRIP had us clocking up serious mileage and even attending the Tullamore Show.
The last time we drove this vehicle we got a chance to go off road and experience the Hill Decent and Lock mode selected from the ALLGRIP shifter. This engages the limited slip differential and aids the vehicle when wheel slippage is experienced by transferring torque to the wheels with the most grip. With everything engaged we tackled sharp decent’s with inclines to match and were very impressed. In everyday driving you would simply engage Auto from the ALLGRIP shifter and then the Vitara puts fuel economy first and uses two-wheel drive by default before using four-wheel drive if it detects loss of traction. On our most recent test drive however we once again found ourselves relying on the ALLGRIP system to get us into the Tullamore Show. All those that attended will say it was a beautiful day but it didn’t necessarily start off that way. A heavy drizzle was down at 7am and a slippery rutted field with the sign “Exhibitor Car Park” beckoned as we hauled the little Vitara with its 375 litres of boot space filled full magazines and merchandise into the soft conditions. As expected the ALLGRIP system delivered and with minimal effort the Vitara conquered the terrain with ease allowing us get much closer to unload. Had we have been in a front wheel drive car, our walk would have been considerably further to the showgrounds!
As we said in our last piece about the Vitara, Suzuki have come a long way with the with this model since it was first launched over 25 years ago and we believe this is a credible alternative to many of the leading SUV’s within this sector. It has technology associated with much more expensive vehicles and does exactly what you ask of it. Driving it daily was a pleasure and the cabin is a real nice place to be with good furnishings and an airy feel thanks to the double sunroof, which extends over the front and rear seats. We were clocking up almost 100km a day on all types of roads and the little Vitara always felt surefooted and confidence inspiring. In our first article, which is still available in our reviews section, we stated that Suzuki anticipated selling 700 Vitara’s in the first 12 months on sale. The initial batch of 500 units has now been completely sold and a more are set to arrive into dealers in the coming days. Such is the demand for this vehicle you need to book a test drive in the not to distant future if you don’t want to be disappointed.
Suzuki Vitara Specification
Engine Size – 1.6
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 120hp
Torque – 320Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 12.4 seconds
Top Speed – 180km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 4.2L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 111g/km
Road Tax – €200
Base Price – €19,995
Price as Tested – €27,995