The all-new Suzuki Grand Vitara is now officially on sale at Suzuki dealers across South Africa. It follows a short few months after Suzuki Auto South Africa gave the public and media their first taste of its new flagship at last year’s Festival of Motoring.
The Grand Vitara is available with the choice of two different drivetrain options, including the first ever mild hybrid petrol-electric powertrain from Suzuki Auto South Africa, three gearbox options and the choice between two- and four-wheel drive.
“The previous-generation Grand Vitara was very popular and had a particularly long life cycle in South Africa thanks to its popularity. The new model is a reinterpretation of the Grand Vitara concept and has been completely redesigned from the ground up, with a focus on style, technology and ride comfort,” says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto.
The new Suzuki Grand Vitara is the newest model from the partnership between Suzuki and Toyota for the development and production of a range of compact vehicles. In this instance, the model has been designed and developed by Suzuki, and it is manufactured in the Toyota Kirloskar factory in India.
While the new Grand Vitara shared no technology or platforms with its predecessor, its imposing design does nod the head to this iconic vehicle.
Viewed from the outside, the new Grand Vitara has a modern interpretation of its forebear’s clamshell bonnet which, in this case, is more sculpted, with the large and imposing wheel arches housing its large alloy wheels. Iconic roof rails round off this sculpted design.
While these design cues remind the viewer of the previous model, they have been reinterpreted and used to link the other design elements that are unique to this model and to the compact SUV segment as a whole.
Among the many unique features that make this a stand-out design are the multi-level grille, which has an imposing centre section with metallic surrounds, a thin top section to neatly frame the S-badge, and an inverted lower section that links with the bottom strike plate.
The multi-level grille is flanked by three-point LED daytime running lights on either side, which are uniquely positioned higher than the headlamps. The headlamps, which function automatically on all versions, are recessed in their own dark polycarbonate surrounds.
Below the headlamps is a deeply sculpted lower bumper. The line created by this bumper follows through to the doors and terminates in a kick up to the rear wheels.
Higher up, the clamshell bonnet design continues into a sharp shoulder line that stretches all the way to the rear lights and across the luggage door to create one seamless shape. This shoulder line is accentuated in chrome on the GLX models.
At the rear, a thin and imposing LED light bar stretches the width of the car. This is also fitted with three-dimensional LED lights. Reverse and turn signal lights are fitted in a deep, sculpted section at the very edges of the lower bumper.
All models feature roof rails and 17” alloy wheels. In the GL model, the alloy wheels are painted, while the GLX versions have machine-polished rims of the same size.
The roof rails are standard across the range and are silver on the GLX versions. The latter model grade also has privacy glass on the rear doors as standard.
Flagship luxury and technology
If the exterior design makes a promise of flagship-level luxury and comfort, then the interior of the Grand Vitara definitely delivers.
Occupants in the Grand Vitara are greeted first by plush seats that have been designed especially for this model range. The seats, along with the suspension system and electric steering, have been created specifically for the most comfortable ride on rough and uneven surfaces.
The dashboard has been designed with multiple layers to create a sense of spaciousness. In the centre console, a large digital display takes centre stage. On the GL-models, this touch-sensitive display measures 7” and also hosts the reverse camera.
On the GLX models, the centre-mounted screen is a high-resolution touch screen of 9”. The panoramic video display from the multiple cameras mounted in the side mirrors, luggage door and grille is also displayed here and mirrored, while additional driving information is shown on the standard Head Up Display (HUD).
On the subject of the new Head Up Display, in the Grand Vitara this system displays a large variety of information, including vehicle speed, engine speed, gear selection, the instant fuel consumption figures, vehicle alerts and even climate control settings.
As has become the norm with Suzuki, it has filled the entire range to the brim with comfort and safety features.
All models have a full-colour TFT display between the speed- and tachometer for vehicle settings and vehicle information.
All models also have keyless access, keyless start/stop, electric windows, wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, automatic climate control, cruise control, a leather covered steering wheel with remote controls for the audio, cruise and phone features and a powerful audio system.
GLX-versions of the Grand Vitara further receive a full leatherette interior, wireless charging tray, ambient lighting (including in the footwells), and additional USB-charging sockets for rear passengers.
In addition to this high specification level, all GLX models are fitted with a panoramic sunroof and additional speakers, including high-end tweeters. The 6-speed four-wheel drive Hybrid model also has paddle shifters that allow the driver to shift gears right from the steering wheel.
Flagship engine technology
The Suzuki Grand Vitara will be offered with the choice of two versions of Suzuki’s K15 engine.
The first engine is the K15B, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 77 kW at 6 000 rpm and 138 Nm at 4 400 rpm.
This engine uses multipoint fuel injection and variable valve timing to offer the largest amount of torque from low engine revolutions all the way to the torque peak.
The second engine on offer, and a first for Suzuki in South Africa, is the K15C petrol engine with mild hybrid electric power (code named SHVS or Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki).
This engine uses a much higher compression ratio than its sibling (12.0:1) and an always-on mild-hybrid system with a power output of 75.8 kW at 6 000 rpm and 136.8 Nm at 4 400 rpm.
The mild-hybrid system works continuously to support the petrol engine to deliver similar power to a naturally aspirated engine across a wide torque band, while dramatically lowering fuel consumption and emissions.
In the Grand Vitara Hybrid, this system lowers the average fuel consumption from 6 litres / 100 km to 5.6 litres / 100 km, despite the additional 125 kg of the all-wheel drive system.
At the heart of the hybrid system is an integrated starter generator (ISG) that supports the petrol engine under load or hard acceleration. The same ISG-system will harvest kinetic energy when the vehicle is slowed down and push that back into the standard vehicle battery and the additional 12V lithium-ion hybrid battery.
To further save on fuel, this version of the Grand Vitara is fitted with Start/Stop technology and will switch off when the vehicle is stationary, for instance at a red traffic light or in heavy traffic. The 12 Volt ISG system will restart the engine in the blink of an eye when needed.
There are three transmission options available in the Grand Vitara. The two-wheel drive K15B-engined Grand Vitara models can be purchased with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.
The K15C-powered mild-hybrid version of the Grand Vitara has a six-speed automatic transmission with switchable all-wheel drive.
This latter version of the Grand Vitara boasts the sixth generation of Suzuki’s AllGrip Select system. In contrast to the version available on the Jimny, this AllGrip system will automatically switch its power between the various wheels depending on road conditions and driver input.
Despite this automatic operation of the system, it is also switchable from inside the cabin. The driver can choose between Auto (where the vehicle decides based on road conditions and driver behaviour), Sport (for the best power distribution and grip during spirited driving), Snow (for more muted power delivery in slippery conditions, such as snow, mud or soft sand) and Lock (to keep the power evenly distributed between all four wheels if the conditions require it).
Under the skin, the Grand Vitara drives on a new generation monocoque TECT-platform that is renowned for its safety and rigidity.
All models have four-disc brakes (vented in front), with MacPherson front struts and a torsion beam rear suspension system.
The Grand Vitara has a ground clearance of 210 mm, matching that of the go-anywhere Suzuki Jimny.
As can be expected from Suzuki, the entire Grand Vitara range has the same very high level of safety.
This starts in the vehicle’s design, which includes the newest generation of Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) to not only absorb crash energy but disperse it along energy channels to prevent the cabin from deforming as far as possible and keep all occupants safe.
All models have six airbags as standard, including side curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin.
All models also feature electronic stability control (ESP), ABS brakes with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and rear parking sensors as standard.
ISOFIX, with both top and bottom tethers, are also standard across the range.
Spoiled for choice
Suzuki will launch the Grand Vitara with a large selection of colours.
All models can be ordered with the choice of Arctic White, Splendid Silver, Opulent Red, Grandeur Grey, Celestial Blue, Midnight Black and pearlescent versions of Arctic White and Cave Black.
Two-tone options, with a black roof and side mirrors, are available in Arctic White, Splendid Silver and Opulent Red.