Take Life for a longer drive
The Grand Vitara has the look of an athletic champion: A muscular, well-proportioned body born strictly for purpose. A short front overhang and large diameter tyres project sporty aggression, while flared fenders and wide treads contribute to a look of sure stability.The Suzuki Grand Vitara was born from a single idea; whatever you love doing in your life, you should be able to just do it. In our busy lives, it’s so easy to lose track of what’s really important like taking your love of life out onto the open road.
The Grand Vitara takes Suzuki’s true 4×4 heritage and plants it firmly in today’s world.
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Suzuki’s return to the SA market has been a successful one so far, and the inclusion of the latest-generation Vitara looks to continue its fine form. Gone is the boxy styling and slightly effeminate air of its predecessors; the new model is a sophisticateThe local Vitara line up comprises a 4-cylinder 2,4-litre VVT powerplant, and a 3,2-litre V6 flagship model. The 2,4-litre unit develops 122 kW at 6 000 r/min and peak torque of 225 N.m at 4 000 r/min. It can be mated with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. In manual guise, the 2,4 accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in 11,7 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 180 km/h. The automatic gearbox version completes the 0-100 km/h sprint in 12,0 seconds, and has a 170 km/h top speed.
The 3,2-litre V6 also features VVT and develops 165 kW at 6 200 r/min, as well as 284 N.m of twist at 3 500 r/min. Equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission, the 3,2 V6 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 9,3 seconds, while the top speed is 200 km/h.
Both models feature a permanent all-wheel drive system that transfers torque to both the front and rear wheels via a limited-slip centre differential with a torque sensor. The system offers three driving modes accessed via a rotary control on the facia: 4H (a 47/53 split for most road surfaces), 4H-Lock (locks the centre diff for loose surfaces), and 4L-Lock, which adds low range for tough off-road conditions.
A combination of 200 mm ground clearance, short front and rear overhangs, long-travel suspension (comprising a front MacPherson strut configuration, with coil springs and anti-roll bar, coupled to a multi-link rear system), and integrated ladder frame monocoque chassis also aid the Vitara’s ability to stray off the beaten track.
The Vitara’s exterior styling shuns it’s predecessor’s boxy, unimaginative lines and adopts a clean, yet stylish combination of curves and sharp lines that give the newcomer a purposeful, yet classy appearance. Touches such as the ‘gills’ on the front wing and pronounced wheel arches, roof rails, foglamps and a colour-coded spare wheel cover further emphasise the Vitara’s go-anywhere intentions.
The interior is spacious enough for five adults and is tastefully appointed. The 2,4 model features a combination of durable cloth upholstery with strong black plastics and brushed chrome accents on the facia and around the instrument dials. The flagship 3,2 V6 model adds leather upholstery and black wood trim.
Specification is generous and includes 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 for the MP3-compatible six-disc CD player on the 2,4-litre model. The 3,2 V6 adds leather upholstery, cruise control, a glass sunroof, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, and hill descent/ascent control.
Safety features across the range include 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 anchorages are standard.
All models come with a comprehensive ownership package comprising 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 4×4 driver training as standard.
- CAR MAGAZINE