Suzuki takes pride in saying that every model in their line-up is some sort of hybrid. Now, the Vitara Full Hybrid joins the range
This new stylish Vitara, is available now and comes with a 140V, 24 kWh motor alongside its 1.5-litre, 115 PS 4-cylinder petrol engine.
Suzuki also tells us that, comparing the Vitara to the twenty-three cars that are in the same compact SUV segment, its cars have the fullest list of equipment and features that are provided as standard. Their customers who’ve looked around the market apparently get a pleasant surprise when they ask about ‘extras’ that turn out to be standard on a Suzuki.
There’s also new transmission: this is Suzuki’s AGS (auto gear shift) which is an automated manual system.
On our test drive along some glorious Welsh winding countryside roads, the car proved to be a willing performer…if you put your foot down hard — zero to 62 mph in 13.5 seconds is not exactly fast.
Automated manual systems can have their own smoothness issues and Suzuki informs us that the electric motor, with its instant torque, fills the time gap between the clutched gear changes…nonetheless a very slight lurching could be detected sometimes when the gears changed up.
The brakes worked well and some slight whine or whistle was heard when braking. These are observations and not criticisms.
The Vitara felt pleasantly light and easy to drive and provided a very comfortable ride.
Driver-assistance features include ‘sway alert’; this is Suzuki’s version of the industry-standard lane departure warning feature. We were at first a touch confused as the car wasn’t actually swaying.
The official WLTP combined fuel consumption figure is a respectable 53.0 mpg; on our run, we achieved an indicated 44.6 mpg on a hilly route through Wales.
Not only do all new Vitara models have a generous specification in both safety (seven airbags, for example, and Rear cross-traffic alert) and convenience (adaptive cruise control, for instance, and automatic air-conditioning).
Suzuki continues with its sensible, simple pricing structure: the three grades are SZ-T, SZ5 and SZ5 ALLGRIP (a quite sophisticated 4-wheel-drive), starting at £23,749. The test car was the top version at £30,134. The new upgraded hybrid tech, make this new Vitara Full Hybrid a sensible choice for a family SUV.
Given that Suzuki’s increasing sales buck the industry trend, it looks like their actuaries have set these prices at the right level.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
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