The South African market is among the very first in the world to receive the new Suzuki Grand Vitara model, which links two brand-new powerplants to the Grand Vitara's crisp, contemporary styling, comprehensive specification levels and legendary, true 4x4 capability.
New Suzuki Grand Vitara - FeaturesEngine Performance Fully imported, the locally available five-door Grand Vitara compact SUV range consists of three models – two 2,4-litre four-cylinder derivatives, and a 3,2-litre V6 flagship.
The new Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 models feature a four-cylinder, 2 393 cc powerplant with twin overhead camshafts and VVT variable valve timing to produce 122 kW of maximum power at 6 000 rpm. The torque peak of 225 Nm is achieved at 4 000 rpm.
The flagship Grand Vitara 3.2's powerplant is a 3 195 cc V6 with twin overhead camshafts per bank and 24 valves with VVT variable valve timing. It is credited with 165 kW at 6 200 rpm, and 284 Nm of torque at 3 500 rpm.
The 2,4-litre versions offer a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions, while the 3,2-litre V6 is available with a five-speed automatic transmission only. All three models feature permanent all-wheel drive. Unlike most compact SUVs, the new Suzuki Grand Vitara is a true 4x4 all-terrainer, with an advanced all-wheel drive system that incorporates a low-range transfer case and convenient, electronic switching between 4x4 modes.
The system employs a torque-sensing centre differential that can vary power between the front and rear axles depending on road conditions and driving style. For more challenging terrain, the centre differential can be locked to further boost traction and stability.
In extreme off-road conditions, the transmission's transfer case can be used to select low-range mode, to further boost all-terrain tractability, climbing capability and overall traversability.
Also contributing to the Grand Vitara's legendary all-terrain talent is its 200 mm ground clearance, short front and rear overhangs, long-travel suspension, and rugged integrated ladder frame monocoque chassis.
The chassis isn't only tough and durable, but provides a rigid platform for the Suzuki's all-independent suspension. The latter sees a front MacPherson strut configuration, with coil springs and anti-roll bar, coupled to a multi-link rear system.
The suspension provides a perfect mix of control and comfort, with controlled and smooth responses to a wide variety of driving conditions. Ride comfort remains impressive, even on uncompromising terrain, while the overall rigidity of the chassis ensures close and satisfying communication between car and driver.
The interior of the new Suzuki Grand Vitara is surprisingly spacious for a compact SUV. Positioning the wheels at each corner has created a relatively long wheelbase to boost front and rear legroom, while its generous overall width also boosts interior space.
The use of high-quality materials and close attention to detail – a hallmark of all Suzuki products – is a Grand Vitara highlight.
The sculpted front bucket seats and 60/40 split rear bench seat of the Grand Vitara are upholstered in luxuriously textured but durable upholstery, while the dashboard features soft-touch plastics and metallic trim accents. The flagship status of the 3.2 V6 model is reflected in its leather upholstery and black wood trim.
The specification levels across all new Suzuki Grand Vitara models are impressive. External features common to all models include roof rails, integrated mirror turn signals, a colour-coded full spare wheel cover, front fog lamps and alloy wheels – 17-inch versions in the case of the 2.4 models and 18-inch for the flagship Grand Vitara 3.2 V6.
Inside, even the more affordable 2,4-litre models offer full keyless operation with selective remote central locking, tinted windows, climate control air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio satellite controls.
The standard RDS-compatible FM/AM CD receiver boasts an integrated six-disc CD changer and seven loudspeakers, and is compatible with MP3 playback.
The Grand Vitara 3.2 V6 adds niceties such as leather upholstery, cruise control, a glass sunroof, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, and hill descent/ascent control.
On the safety front, all three new Suzuki Grand Vitara models feature all-disc ABS brakes, ESP stability control, front, side and curtain airbags, front and rear head restraints, and five inertia reel seatbelts, with the front belts featuring pre-tensioners and load limiters. Isofix rear child seat anchors are standard.
The new Suzuki Grand Vitara scored four stars for occupant protection in the Euro NCAP safety ratings, together with three stars for pedestrian protection and three stars for child safety.
"The Grand Vitara has always been a strong ambassador for Suzuki in South Africa. It is a vehicle perfectly suited to local conditions and lifestyles, and this latest model range improves on every aspect of its predecessors," says Kazuyuki Yamashita, Managing Director of Suzuki Auto SA.
"That South Africa is among the very first to receive the new Suzuki Grand Vitara is further proof of the importance of the SA market to Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan.
"We believe it will do much to strengthen the Suzuki brand in the SA motoring landscape even further," Yamashita concluded.
Despite is modern powertrains, true 4x4 capability, comprehensive specification and high safety levels, the new Suzuki Grand Vitara range boasts value-added pricing that positions it aggressively against its rivals.
New Suzuki Grand Vitara - PriceSuzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Manual: R269 900 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Automatic: R282 900 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2 V6 Automatic: R323 900
All models come standard with a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a six-year/90 000 km service plan, a Netstar Early Warning tracking system which can be optionally activated, a three-year AA roadside assistance package, and free 4x4 driver training.