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Suzuki Vitara (2015–)

Last updated 7 January 2019

Great to drive. Lots of space. Five star Euro NCAP rating. Relatively economical.
2015-2018 interior not as plush as rivals (hugely improved from 2019).
Updated 22 November 2018
2019 Suzuki Vitara model range prices announced:

1.0 Boosterjet SZ4 2WD 5-speed manual 139g/km CO2 WLTP £16,999 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T 2WD 5-speed manual 139g/km CO2 WLTP £18,999 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T AT 2WD 6-speed automatic 153g/km...

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On sale for more than a quarter of a century, the Suzuki Vitara is arguably the original crossover SUV. Unlike 25 years ago, the Vitara now sits amongst a raft of similarly small SUVs - the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka X to name a few. Although it's a competitive market, the Vitara is slightly different to its peers - it's marginally bigger and therefore more practical (although not as big as the likes of the Nissan Qashqai), and it's also surprisingly good to drive.

A 1.4-litre turbocharged BoosterJet petrol engine arrived late in 2015 and would be our choice, thanks to 140PS and a useful 220Nm of torque available from low down in the rev range. Alternative options are 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines, both producing 120PS. Both 1.6-litre units are fine - although the diesel is a little gruff, and the petrol lacks the sparkle of the 1.4 turbo.

AllGrip four-wheel drive is an option on higher-spec Vitaras and provides genuine off-road ability (although it stops short of being a serious mud-plugger - the Jimny's got that covered), while on the road it makes the Vitara feel unflappable. Most buyers opt for the two-wheel-drive version, however, which feels like a Swift-on-stilts (in a good way). It'll grip and grip, although there's obviously more roll than the supermini due to the higher centre of gravity.

Style-conscious buyers can choose from a selection of two-tone paint options, as well as a selection of customisation options for the cabin. The interior isn't as plush as some rivals, but it feels solid and the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system (standard on the SZ-T and up) is easy to use.

The Vitara has up-to-date safety equipment including active systems like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, as well as a high level of passive safety specification thanks to lightweight but strong bodywork. It scored five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2015.

While the 2015-2018 Suzuki Vitara fall short of being best in class, it offers a lot of space and equipment for the money. It should also prove to be a reliable car to own, and it's more fun to drive than you might expect.

For 2019 the car is brought up to date with much improved trim, soft-touch interior surfaces and WLTP 1.0T and 1.4T petrol engines, both offered as manuals or 6-speed torque converters automatics and both offered with AllGrip four wheel drive.

Suzuki Vitara 1.6 DDiS AllGrip and 1.6 petrol 2015 Road Test

Suzuki Vitara 1.6 AllGrip Long-Term Test

Suzuki Vitara 1.4T BoosterJet S AllGrip 2016 Road Test

Suzuki Vitara 1.0T AllGrip 2019 Road Test

Owners' reviews

A great SUV which is easy to drive because of its light body and good all round visibility
A good rugged, solid car
Great engine, found wanting in some other areas
Sporty looks, good spec, but under powered.
Well equipped reliable Vehicle

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