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Suzuki Vitara Review

Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
All rounder and family favourite

Best bits

  • Good to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Easy to live with

Not so great

  • Interior lags behind similar models
  • Kia and Hyundai offer longer warranties
  • Slightly thirsty older engines

Read by

Suzuki Vitara Left Side View

Overall verdict

Suzuki Vitara Front Interior

On the inside

Suzuki Vitara Front Side View

Driving

Suzuki Vitara Car Functions

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Vitara Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Suzuki Vitara

"The Suzuki Vitara was a crossover long before it was cool. The original version was launched back in 1988 and caused something of a sensation, trailing a blaze for ‘soft-roaders’ and their ‘crossover’ offspring ever since."

Suzuki Vitara Left Side View

These days the Vitara - which was relaunched with a brand new version in 2015 - has reinvented itself as an alternative to small SUVs, like the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, as well as more leftfield choices like the Kia Soul and Skoda Yeti.


The Vitara’s heritage shines through in the way it looks: chunky, rugged and exuding a go-anywhere confidence. This is one of the few crossovers that walks the walk, too, as Vitara can genuinely hold its own off-road if you opt for one of the models with Allgrip four-wheel drive(although it stops short of being a serious off roader - that’s the Jimny's party piece), while on the road it makes the Vitara always feels composed.


When it went on sale in 2015, this generation of Vitara had three engine choices:  1.6-litre petrol and diesel units and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol ‘Boosterjet’ engine, which is the most powerful engine in the range, but was initially only available with four-wheel drive. 


Following the 2019 facelift, the 1.6-litre diesel and petrol options were dropped from the range and a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol was added, while the 1.4 Boosterjet got the option of both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive and a choice of an automatic or manual gearbox.


There’s a lot to like about Vitara’s engines, whether you go for pre or post-facelift. They’re eager and responsive, but the 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrols aren’t the most economical, while the diesel is a bit harsh under acceleration, even if it is the most economical of the lot.


Out on the road, Vitara is well mannered, something that will be particularly noticeable if you’ve previously owned an older Suzuki - this Vitara is good to drive, smooth, refined and the most car-like off-roader that the Japanese firm has ever built. Ride quality - often a Suzuki bugbear is actually very good in the Vitara.


Vitara drivers are treated to a comfortable driving position with good visibility and lots of room. The seat and steering wheel adjusts in numerous ways, too. And that focus on practicality is reflected elsewhere in the car, with plenty of space for passengers front and back and a decent-sized boot.


When it comes to choosing which Vitara to go for, the range is easy to understand and offers a decent choice of trims, including SZ4, SZ-T, SZ5 and ‘sporty’ S trim levels. Base-level SZ4 has air con, cruise control, DAB radio, electric windows, front foglights, USB/Bluetooth connectivity and 16 inch alloy wheels. Go for the SZ-T for sat nav. SZ-5 benefits from suede seat trim, LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof, while the sporty S trim gets stiffer sports suspension and black alloy wheels


Add to that 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.


Vitara offers great value for money. For 2019, it was brought up to date with an improved interior (you can tell the revised models by the chrome slats on the grille) making it more than a match for other small crossovers.


Ready to get your top quality Suzuki Vitara?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Suzuki Vitara

1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr

  • 2018
  • 33,237 miles
  • Desira Suzuki Norwich
  • Norfolk, NR66AQ
Price:£11,690
PCP: £188.63/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £188.63, Customer Deposit: £1,753.00, Total Deposit: £1,753.50, Optional Final Payment: £5,412.85, Total Charge For Credit: £2,267.03, Total Amount Payable: £13,957.03, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 5.1%, Excess Mileage Charge: 14.9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Suzuki Vitara

1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP 5dr Auto

  • 2019
  • 12,000 miles
  • Stoneacre Ford Goole
  • Yorkshire, DN146UA
Price:£17,690
PCP: £274.78/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £274.78, Customer Deposit: £2,653.00, Total Deposit: £2,653.50, Optional Final Payment: £9,390.60, Total Charge For Credit: £3,971.40, Total Amount Payable: £21,661.40, Representative APR: 11.3%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 5.81%, Excess Mileage Charge: 5.78ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Suzuki Vitara right for you?

The Vitara is Suzuki’s DNA in metal form: it’s well equipped, well engineered and has go-anywhere credentials. Even in a crowded market with some excellent alternatives, Vitara makes a great case for itself. If you need your crossover to be me capable than not, this will probably edge it over the other options on sale. But it’s more than just a capable set of wheels, the boot is a great size and easy to access. Flip down the seats and you have a large load area too - perfect for family life.


Models from 2020 add a mild hybrid system. While this is a substantial upgrade for Vitara, don’t get it confused with something like a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The Suzuki hybrid charges itself by harvesting otherwise wasted energy - you don’t plug this hybrid in and as a result don’t expect to go far on battery power at all. This hybrid is all about making the petrol engine more efficient.


What's the best Suzuki Vitara model/engine to choose?

Most buyers opt for the two-wheel-drive version, however, which feels like a Swift-on-stilts (in a good way). It will grip and grip, although there's obviously more roll than the hatch due to the higher centre of gravity. Various engines have been available since it was launched, but the 1.0-litre turbocharged BoosterJet petrol, launched when the Vitara was facelifted for 2019, is our choice, thanks to smooth yet strong performance and little noise.


Even the entry-level SZ4 gets air conditioning, cruise control, a DAB radio, electric windows, front foglights, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and 16-inch alloy wheels, a surprisingly well-specced entry-level model. Higher up the range, the pick is the SZ-R with integrated satnav and media system.


What other cars are similar to the Suzuki Vitara?

Buyers of small SUVs and crossovers are spoilt for choice. If you’re after something a bit older, you’ve got the Skoda Yeti, Ford EcoSport and Kia Soul, while new and nearly-new buyers can consider the SEAT Arona, Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross, offering popular SUV style at hatchback prices. 


Then there’s Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur and Toyota C-HR, although the Citroen C3 Aircross, and Hyundai Kona. All very good cars and all worth considering. The Dacia Duster is the value proposition, undercutting all of the above, even in top-spec form. If you want something with more of an off-road look, the Jeep Renegade is worth a look.


Learn more

Suzuki Vitara Front Interior

On the inside

Suzuki Vitara Front Side View

Driving

Suzuki Vitara Car Functions

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Vitara Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

How efficient is the Suzuki Vitara?

Even though the engines are petrol only, the Vitara is surprisingly good on fuel. Both will return around 45mpg in front-wheel-drive manual form, dropping to high thirties as a 4x4. Its CO2 emissions are high for a car this size though, especially with the automatic gearbox.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Is the Suzuki Vitara a 4x4?

It’s not as off-road focused as before, but the Vitara is definitely a 4x4. However, not every model comes with Suzuki’s ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system as standard, so always check.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Does the Suzuki Vitara have a separate chassis?

Many off-roaders (including the Suzuki Jimny) use a ladder frame (separate) chassis type that sits underneath the body to make the car tougher. The Vitara previously had this layout but switched to the more conventional unibody design (typical for most cars) back in 2005.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Is the Vitara a reliable car?

Yes. The Vitara performs well in reliability surveys, as does Suzuki as a brand, consistently finishing inside the top ten. It uses engines that are tried and tested in its other models too.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

How many body styles are there?

Previous generations of the Vitara had just three doors, there was even a convertible, but now this car is available as a five-door only, with five seats, and is a crossover, not an estate.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady