Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Summit Review by David TaylorDespite the big name, the Suzuki Grand Vitara when compared to its rivals is a medium SUV. With an all-new redesigned face, the vehicle gains some brownie points in the looks department. It wasn’t exactly the ugliest of offroaders, but this new midlife nip-and-tuck has turned it into quite a looker.
Under the hood of the Suzuki Grand Vitara
The engine is a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol motor with 122kW and 225Nm. It’s not the fastest thing around but there’s enough power for most types of driving. Power is delivered to all four wheels through a five-speed gearbox and it’s here where I picked up my first gripe. Perhaps I’ve been spoilt with too many six-speeders, but the five-speed unit feels a little long, which means you’re going to be changing down a gear when it comes to overtaking on the open road. A close-range six-speed will work wonders here and I can’t help but think it’ll aid the fuel consumption too.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara off-road capability
If you think that the Suzuki Grand Vitara is ‘just another one of those mommy offroaders that can’t actually go offroad’, then think again. Admittedly I wasn’t aware of the Grand Vitara’s offroad credentials, but after I noticed the dashboard drivetrain selection switch, I had to try it out. I headed for the thickest dunes, where I promptly got stuck. Once I’d engaged low-range/diff locks, the Grand Vitara pulled itself out with ease. It’s deceptively capable offroad and if you’re after a city slicker that can be relied upon to go anywhere, this is your car.
Interiors are where Suzuki excels itself and the Grand Vitara is no exception. There’s a premium and well-built feel to the dashboard and while there are no fancy LCD screens to dominate the middle cluster, the ergonomics are near perfect. Everything you need is within reach. However, unlike other Suzuki models, I was surprised to see the lack of a USB audio input.
The ‘Summit’ specification gives you cruise control, leather seats, keyless go, automatic HID headlights, fog lamps, traction control as well as attractive 18-inch wheels for around R60,000 above the ‘Dune’ derivative. The back seats fold forward not once, but twice giving you a massive boot, which enables things like furniture to be carried with ease. Keep the rear seats down and passengers will enjoy plenty of legroom.
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Summit - ConclusionThe Suzuki Grand Vitara, like most of Suzuki’s range of passenger cars, is underrated. Not only is it a great offroad vehicle, perfect for those trips to the middle of nowhere, but it’s also quite at home sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s comfortable, well appointed and has most of the creature comforts you need. On the open road, it’s an absolute pleasure to drive, and is one of the few cars where you don’t go numb after an hour in the same position. It is well priced too, which I think is a big feather in its cap.
Suzuki Grand Vitara - PriceSuzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Summit price as tested: R362 900
- Why you should: Surprisingly capable off-roader, practical, excellent ride, value for money offering.
- Why you shouldn’t: Engine is a little thirsty considering its size. No diesel option.
- It would be better if: There was USB connectivity, a 6-speed gearbox and a diesel engine option.
- View the Suzuki Grand Vitara: New / Used
- Competitors worth checking out: Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Captiva