The Suzuki Vitara is already a very popular car in the compact SUV segment, a segment that seems to be growing almost daily. We have just seen the Volkswagen T-Cross enter this segment as well as the Citroen C3 Aircross. It is no wonder that Suzuki wants to make for a more appealing offer by adding the Vitara Turbo to its range.
What makes this Vitara so special is the engine lying under the bonnet. It is the same 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine found in the Suzuki Swift Sport. It is a fantastic engine which lends itself to fun driving. It produces 103 kW and 220 Nm. If you compare it to the 1.6-litre found in the GLX model, you will see it offers quite a bit more in terms of performance. The 1.6-litre engine produces 86 kW and 156 Nm.
Speaking of the GLX, the Turbo is only available on this trim level taking it right to the top of the range. You can expect features such as a multi-function steering wheel for the audio and cruise control systems (which also feature speed limiting functionality), park distance control both front and rear, automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch multi-information full colour display in the instrument binnacle and electric windows and mirrors. There is also Suzuki’s 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity which offers complete mobile phone integration with in-build Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink systems. The system includes an SD slot, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity for hands free dialling and voice control for many of the infotainment features.
The Vitara Turbo further offers a reverse camera with image display on the system, a unique leather and suede upholstery combination (which I think is just spectacular) and automatic LED headlamps, with LED daytime running lights, and automatic rain-sensing wipers.
But back to the engine, it is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, you can opt for an automatic transmission as well. The manual is quick-shifting and fuss-free. This car, overall, is quite a joy to drive. The fuel consumption is claimed at a 5.8l/100 km for the manual and 5.9l/100 km for the automatic.
There is only one downside to the new Suzuki Vitara Sport and that is the price. It is a little on the expensive side. And when you consider its rivals, it makes for quite a hard sell. With that said, I absolutely loved driving this car and would happily drive it every day. It sometimes feels as if you are in a sport version of the Vitara and that may go a long way for many who will be happy to pay the extra bucks. I just wish it was about R20 000 cheaper, it would then be such great value for money.
PRICING OF THE SUZUKI VITARA TURBO
1.4 Turbo GLX 6MT: R378 900
1.4 Turbo GLX 6AT: R397 900