It’s been a bit of a Suzuki Fest over at MotorMartin Towers recently with the Vitara S 1.4 BoosterJet ALLGRIP following hot on the heels of the rather superb Suzuki Ignis SZ5 ALLGRIP, a car that can be read about by clicking here and one that has already got it’s eye on the MotorMartin 2017 Car Of The Year title.
The Vitara S looks great, especially in the Bright Red colour scheme of the vehicle on test and is a credit to the designers and engineers of Suzuki who are certainly reaping the benefits of all their hard work with their impressive car range at present. Indeed, it wasn’t that long ago that the Vitara wouldn’t have been anywhere near the top of anyone’s wish list with regard to their next car, so uninspiring was the perceived lack of technology and ponderous styling.
Like Bruce Willis’ John McClane fighting his way through Nakatomi Plaza to succeed against a spirited Alan Rickmansworth in the form of Hans Grüber, the Vitara S and by default, the Vitara range as a whole found itself under great duress, forced to move around in the dark and dust, hiding out whilst the more extravagant opposition were allowed to gain a foothold. The ending we all know, with John McClane using giule, ingenuity and not a little courage to defeat the dastardly Grüber, much like the fully rejuvenated and refreshed Vitara S battling against it’s previous reputation, perhaps whilst wearing a grubby vest, before rising up victorious as the final credits role.
With it’s muscular styling the sporting Vitara S exudes aggression and ability, it’s wide rear arches rising from low down against the front wheels creating a powerful profile that allows the Vitara to stand out from the crowd. The Suzuki’s chromed front grille rises away from the dramatic, day time LED surrounds and front fog lights whilst the distinctive rear spoiler, privacy glass and 17″ black alloys continue the sports theme of this great looking and distinctive SUV.
Sitting inside the comfortable interior of the Vitara S 1.4 BoosterJet ALLGRIP and the sporting theme is again evident to all. With red surrounds to the air vents clock and dials, matching red stitching on the seats and steering wheel, the Suzuki creates an environment that suggests a level of sophistication and quality that fully befits this S specification Vitara. Technologically speaking, like the recently reviewed S Cross, the Vitara wants for nothing, offering an impressive specification level that includes the latest driving technology. Technology designed to make driving this SUV as easy and stress free as possible.
For comfort and convenience the Vitara S has the necessary Engine auto stop start system, Keyless entry and start, Rear parking camera, Front & rear parking distance sensors, Cruise control with speed limiter and a fantastic Adaptive cruise control system which makes travelling any kind of distance a real pleasure. For those unsure, or who have never tried this system, it’s a try once and never want to drive without it again kind of deal. Once up to speed, say 70mph on the motorway or dual carriageway, you arm the cruise control system with a simple press of steering wheel mounted button, choose the distance you wish to stay from the vehicle in front from three predetermined settings and leave the Suzuki to do the rest. The car in front slows down, you slow down, the car in front speeds up, you speed up and so on and so forth. Obviously, you still need to remain aware at all times as to the traffic around you and what is happening but it just adds a level of safety that is superb and for me, allows you to remain much more relaxed and focused on the drive rather than constantly worrying about the unpredictability of others. Once you allow yourself to trust the Vitara S and its abilities, the system becomes invaluable.
With this digital age that we find ourselves living within becoming all enveloping, affecting each and every hour of our waking lives, it’s becoming more and more important for manufacturers to consider and create infotainment systems that truly allow us to remain connected at all times both with the car itself and the outside world as well. The Vitara S includes a USB connector, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth integrated audio unit, a Satellite Navigation system and Smartphone linkage display audio allowing your essential digital music and audio collection to play clearly through the car’s own systems, sounding fantastic and incredibly easy to set up. Combine that connectivity with the simple to use Sat Nav and you are set to travel these green and pleasant land of ours, seeking out those hidden gems and destinations that the Vitara S allows you to discover.
And it’s whilst driving the Suzuki that the reason for that S designation becomes abundantly clear. S = Sport. Simple.
The engine that so dominates the driving experience is a gem, displacing just 1373cc and benefiting from the added go provided by a turbo, all of which means that the Vitara develops 138bhp at 5500rpm. Put your foot down in the Suzuki and it lives up to the sporting styling evident inside and out producing, Suzuki say: Maximum performance without compromising fuel efficiency. The direct injection turbo system provides great acceleration whilst optimising economy. Combine this with the lightweight body and you get a more powerful, more agile drive. Turn the impressive ALLGRIP control to Sport and the driving experience is taken to the next level. It really is that good and I loved it. The ALLGRIP system allows the Vitara S to utilise all of Suzuki’s off road experience in creating a SUV that feels planted on the road in everyday driving situations when leaving the control in automatic and yet in poor weather and with a turn of the easy to reach control dial, you’ve got a fully fledged 4×4 that allows you to drive further and safer than you thought possible, adapting to road conditions as necessary.
Easy steering, decent ride, good boot space and a comfortable cabin for all mean that Suzuki have fashioned a practical, ‘real life’ motoring SUV that delivers at every turn. Excellent looking, excellent driving and excellent road holding and dynamics. The price? Just £22,249 and that is an absolute bargain.
Where will you go?