Suzuki has been making SUVs long before they were cool, but just as demand for such vehicles started hitting the roof, they withdrew from the U.S. market.
Seven years have passed since Americans can buy a new Suzuki straight from the dealer, and during this time, we’ve learned to live without the Jimny, a tough little off-roader that conquered the hearts of many. However, the Japanese auto firm has other vehicles in its range, including the extremely popular Vitara, a rival to the likes of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.
Presented at the 2014 Paris Auto Show and revamped four years later, the subcompact crossover has ditched the slightly rugged styling of its predecessor in favor of a more rounded character. Things look quite basic inside, but it doesn’t miss out on features such as an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration or automatic climate control. Storage spaces are decent, and so is room for passengers. Moreover, at 375 liters (13.2 cu-ft), the boot is actually bigger than the Mazda CX-3’s.
These were all pointed out by CarsGuide, who reviewed the mid-range Vitara Turbo, which slots between the entry-level version and range-topping Turbo AllGrip, and starts at around AU$30,000 (US$20,562) in Australia.
It’s powered by a new, 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 138 HP (140 PS) and 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive. The base model uses a 1.6-liter mill, with 115 HP (117 PS) and 156 Nm (115 lb-ft) of torque, connected to a standard 5-speed manual or optional six-speed auto. The top-of-the-line variant gets the same 1.4-liter turbo and auto ‘box as the Turbo, and adds the AllGrip all-wheel drive system.
So, should we be jealous that we can’t get the new Vitara in this side of the pond? The following video should provide an answer.