Suzuki Vitara Turbo is the Vitara of Choice
The all-new Suzuki Vitara impressed Motoringuru when we sampled the RT-X version a little while ago. We liked the value, the bold colours, the retro inspired styling, its city-friendly nimble handling and sharp pricing. Everything that a twenty-something year old could want in a small SUV. There was one sore sticking point – discounting the choppy ride – the naturally aspirated engine and CVT where simply overwhelmed by the Vitara’s size and bulk.
Thankfully, Suzuki has cottoned on and launched the new Suzuki Vitara Turbo. Available in either front or all-wheel drive – “AllGrip” in Suzuki speak – the Vitara Turbo is powered by a brand spanking new 1.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that chucks out 103kW @ 5500rpm and it mated to a six-speed automatic.
There’s also a mix of Turbo badging and design touches to differentiate the sports models from their naturally aspirated sisters. Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the turbo models.
The front-wheel drive version is priced at $28,990 plus taxes and the 4×4 model adds another $4,000. We piloted the front driver.
What we like:
- Engine gives the Vitara the grunt it deserved from the outset
- Six-speed automatic replacement for the CVT
- More aggressive design detailing
- Value is even more tempting
Not so much:
- Engine only likes premium unleaded
- Ride is still too hard
- Interior still lacks storage
- Not a lot else
The Vitara S Turbo’s cabin is similar to that of the Vitara RT-X, with leather and suede trim on the seats, a 7” touchscreen with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay, a reversing camera and single-zone climate control.
Unique to the Turbo is red stitching on the seats, red surrounds on the heating/cooling vents and a big, bold “Turbo” badge on the passenger’s side of the dashboard to ensure that none of the occupants forget which model they are riding in.
Under the Bonnet
The engine is clearly the centrepiece for the Vitara Turbo – if not the whole Suzuki Vitara range- and the 1.4 litre turbo and intercooled unit pumps out 103kW @ 5500rpm and 220Nm @ 1500-4000rpm.
These figures mightn’t seem stove hot on paper, but the Vitara Turbo is a true pocket rocket or mini performance SUV. The huge powerband allows for a steady spread of torque almost from idle which also makes for brisk acceleration from standstill.
The six-speed automatic is a good match for the engine, picking its cogs wisely. Should one choose to do their own cog swapping, there’s paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
Official combined fuel consumption figures are 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres, however we found 7.1 litres more realistic. The turbo engine requires premium unleaded.
Name: Suzuki Vitara S Turbo
Engine: 1.4 litre turbo intercooled petrol engine, 103kW @ 5500rpm and 220Nm @ 1500-4000rpm.
Options: Atlantis Blue Turquoise $995
Country of Origin: Hungary