Suzuki has (literally) boosted its popular Vitara range with the launch of a range-topping Vitara Turbo, in both manual and automatic guises. At the heart of the new model is Suzuki’s 1.4-litre BOOSTERJET engine, which lands at the same time, as the new Suzuki Swift Sport.
In the Vitara, the BOOSTERJET engine delivers 103kW at 5 500 rpm and a healthy 220Nm from 1 500 to 4 000 rpm. By comparison, the Vitara 1.6-litre GLX delivers 86kW at 6 000 rpm and 156Nm at a peak of 4 400 rpm. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic gearbox, with the latter offering manual shifting via steering-mounted paddles.
The Vitara range boasts an impressive heritage of over 30 years, from the introduction of the first generation in 1988. Through the years it has evolved into a slightly larger compact SUV in the form of the first generation Grand Vitara in 1998 and the global debut of the second-generation Grand Vitara in 2005; a vehicle that is still on sale to this day.
The compact SUV segment has grown tremendously over the past few years and the smaller Vitara was relaunched in 2015 as the successor to the original pioneer of this compact SUV segment.
Economy & gearbox
Suzuki’s BOOSTERJET-engine technology combines a range of engineering advancements to offer an engine with a very strong and linear torque delivery and low fuel consumption. Suzuki claims that fuel consumption, in a combined cycle, is 5.8 L/100km for the manual model and 5.9 for the auto.
In this version of the engine, the list of BOOSTERJET-technologies includes direct injection – for more efficient and cleaner combustion – a turbocharger with electric waste-gate control – for a faster build-up of boost pressure, variable valve timing, 16 valves and lightweight construction, including a very compact integrated exhaust manifold.
The power is delivered to the front wheels and it should be noted that although the automatic gearbox is similar to the unit available on the normally aspirated 1.6 models (with steering-mounted paddles), the manual gearbox adds a sixth gear and is counterweighed for a more positive and sportier shifting feel.
At its launch in 2015, the Vitara drew very positive comments for its sporty profile.
To achieve this, Suzuki’s engineers added a trapezoidal lower front intake, which opens towards the road, a clamshell bonnet with power bulge, a sloping roofline ending in thick C-pillars and an accentuated rear hipline with a kicked-up character line that runs over the rear fenders.
The Vitara Turbo vaunts the same specification and equipment levels of the range-topping GLX grade. These include 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of five solid colours and seven dual-tone combinations, where the body colour is contrasted by the choice of a black or white roof, depending on the colour chosen.
The Vitara Turbo is also equipped with LED daytime running lights and, in this configuration, LED head- and brake lights, with a set of silver roof rails and chrome detailing in the front grille and under the fog lamps.
The long list of luxuries include, steering mounted controls 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.
Suzuki has also added its very popular seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and reverse camera to the Turbo, 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 dialing and voice control for many of the infotainment features.
The Vitara Turbo further offers a reverse camera with image display on the system, unique leather and suede upholstery combination and automatic LED headlamps, with LED daytime running lights, and automatic rain-sensing wipers.
All models in the Suzuki Vitara range are fitted with a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features. Active safety features include electronic stability control (ESP) with traction control, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and a brake-assist system (BAS).
Passive safety features include seven airbags (dual front, front side, side curtain and driver knee airbags) on all models, as well as Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) body-design, which features side and cross-body impact zones, ultra-high-strength steel and additional bracing for a body that is both highly rigid and impact absorbing.
The Suzuki Vitara Turbo is sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000km / five-year mechanical warranty and a full six-year / unlimited kilometer warranty against corrosion. Suzuki has also added a 24//7 roadside assistance plan for the same period as the warranty and a comprehensive four-year / 60 000km service plan.