My neighbour owns a current fourth-generation Suzuki Vitara in earthy Savannah Ivory, and it’s fair to say she’s a key buyer demographic: mid-20s, urbanite, who likes cars and the Suzuki brand.
Consciously or not, the Vitara is safe territory for her as the nameplate has been around for her entire lifetime.
Rewind three generations and the Suzuki Vitara first lobbed into Australia in 1992 with a charmingly boxy body, unpretentious vibe and modest 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine. Three decades along the Vitara is still kicking about, hallmarks carried through even if the off-road rough and tumble has today morphed more into an urban-centric crossover.
Times and expectations change and today’s fourth-generation car brings with it turbo power, a contemporary suite of active safety, and modern must-haves such as smartphone mirroring, though for first two you need to dodge the base version and climb straight into the Turbo.
Let’s face it, if the Suzuki Vitara Turbo is in your crosshairs, then the extra punch its engine offers over the base version is the primary lure (and its fulsome safety fit-out really should be considered a deal-sealer).
It’s also fair to consider the mid-spec Turbo as becoming increasingly crucial to Vitara’s local fortunes, given newcomer MG is making turbo family hauling ever more affordable and enticing.
The 2021 Suzuki Vitara Turbo lists for $30,490 before on-road costs and is only available with an automatic transmission.
That’s a whopping $7500 more than the base manual Vitara ($22,990 list) and a still-sizeable leap up from the base auto version ($24,990 list). However, the all-you-can-eat Turbo AllGrip sits a further $4000 up the fiscal tree ($34,990 before on-roads).
At the time of writing, Suzuki promoted a cleanskin Turbo in Cool White at $32,990 drive-away.
There are eight colours available, with single-tone premium hues asking $695 and two-tone finishes, such as our test car’s Galactic Grey and Cosmic Black roof, wanting for a cool $1295, or a total of $34,285 drive-away as tested.
Unlike the thrifty base Vitara, there’s a sizeable choice of small-SUV alternatives for around the $30,000 mark, though very few offer turbocharged motivation – one particular exception being Suzuki’s own S-Cross Turbo Prestige ($29,990) crossover wagon.
It’s fairly cut and dried: the dividend for the Turbo’s extra $5500 investment over the base automatic is largely the addition of the lustier powertrain and the more expansive safety suite.
Outside, the Turbo has polished 17-inch alloys, dusk-sensing LED headlights, adaptive cruise, power windows, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, keyless go, power-folding mirrors and rain-sensing wipers.
Inside, the Turbo has manual seating with leather-accented and suede trim, single-zone climate control and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with proprietary sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring, plus six-speaker audio that adds a pair of tweeters over the base car.
There’s a single 12-volt outlet and USB port, plus a large analogue clock for a dash of old-school ‘premium’ Japanese nostalgia.
In short, yes. But it’s slightly complicated. ANCAP awarded Vitara a five-star rating back in 2016 covering all available variants at time from 2015 build onwards.
It was an older testing regime with a frontal offset score of 14.79 out of 16, side impact score of 16.00 out of 16, and rating ‘good’ for both whiplash and pedestrian protection, despite stipulation in the report that, at the time, there was no collision avoidance offered by way of AEB or lane support.
Fast forward to 2019’s facelift and Vitara’s safety equipment suite expanded significantly, boosting the credentials of the Turbo and Turbo AllGrip specifically – the base version still lacks AEB of any sort, standard or optional.
ANCAP’s report on Vitara was updated in sympathy of the changes.
In current guise, the Vitara Turbo gets camera/laser-based autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a weaving alert (at speeds above 60km/h), and rear-cross traffic alert.
There’s no active lane-keeping or lane following functionality, but what the Turbo does have is a big reason why it should be considered the default entry point into the Vitara range.
It also has seven airbags with front, side, curtain and driver’s knee coverage, while ISOFIX mounts are located in the rear outboard seating positions.
The cabin design is fairly austere and workmanlike bar the odd flourish to bring a bit of a lift to the ambience, such as the shiny speckled dash trim and well-presented blend of partial leather and suede trim, the latter creeping into the door trim inserts.
Otherwise, this $30,000 vehicle feels all the part like a $23,000 Vitara, which is technically the case.
The leather-trimmed wheel and soft-padded dash trim present well, though they barely distract from the sea of very shiny plastic, most conspicuously atop the door trim and around your knees. There’s some hard-wearing honesty to the effect, but little of the cabin aims upmarket.
The console, too, is a featureless array of plastic cubbies that rattle with anything stowed inside, including square cupholders. From the manual seat lever to the monochrome LCD climate control display it’s pretty basic and, neat carpet mats apart, there’s not much to remind that you’ve splurged on the Turbo version.
Up front are single 12-volt and USB ports, so you can only charge one device without a 12-volt adaptor. Bar the rudimentary if perfectly functional proprietary sat-nav, the modest 8.0-inch unit’s features are pretty slim and the lack of DAB+ radio is, in 2021, an oversight for any $30,000 vehicle.
Ditto the driver’s screen, which can display all manner of data including and power and torque meters but strangely lacks a digital speedometer, which would be handy given the white on silver script of analogue speedo isn’t the last word in quick-glance legibility.
The front seat bases – and the rears for that matter – are set quite high and the generous glasshouse means outward visibility is excellent bar from a pair of quite chunky, vision-obscuring A-pillars. I do wish you could drop the driver’s seat lower and the flat seatback could be a little more comfy and offer a bit more lateral support.
Row two is reasonably cosy with not a lot of knee room, exacerbating the sense that the cabin feels short – indeed, its concise 4.2 metres overall length confirms the Vitara looks bigger than it actually is. Bar a pair of bottle holders in the doors, it’s desperately short on second row creature comforts: no centre armrest, cup holders, air vents or device power.
Boot space is 375 litres that converts to a modest 710 litres with the 60:40 rear split-fold seating stowed, though there is a dual-layer floor some buyers might find handy: high for easy load-in, low for extra space, and you can tilt it to ‘capture’ your grocery bags to stop them rolling around the boot. The space saver spare is stowed under the ‘second floor’.
All in all, the Vitara Turbo cabin is a little too plain and a touch downmarket compared with some of the finer SUV competition out there vying for similar coin.
What the feisty little ‘BoosterJet’ force-fed 1.4-litre lacks in capacity it offsets with reasonably healthy torque for its size, its 220Nm from 1500rpm doing the lion’s share of the heavy lifting during around town driving. Power is a decent 103kW at 5500rpm.
By comparison, that’s a fair hike over the 86kW and 156Nm of the base version’s naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre.
The engine is mated to a conventional six-speed auto with paddle-shifters, the front-driven powertrain returning a claimed consumption figure of just 5.9L/100km, making it the most frugal of the self-shifting Vitara stable.
On test, during mostly urban driving, the Turbo returns real-world consumption closer to the mid-sevens mark, which is about what we found with the base Vitara during that version’s review, though the force-fed versions do require 95RON premium fuel. The fuel tank holds 47 litres.
The real trump card in the package is the engine. The little BoosterJet 1.4 is quite energetic, pulling hard from the depths of the rev-range and remaining strong as the tacho needle rises, though there’s enough go in reserve that it’s easy to ride the mid-range torque to maintain handy pace.
The engine is quite raspy under full load, though not to much detriment. And while the auto is hardly the last word in intuitive response, it does get around to plucking the right forward ratio for whatever situation it finds itself in.
One annoyance is that the M (for manual) setting is directly below the D (for drive) slot in the transmission selector, and seven out of ten times you come out of park or reverse you inadvertently land in the manual setting.
The ride and handling balance is acceptable, a mixture of slightly firm ride compliance that gets a bit terse over speed bumps and a bit of wallowing while the suspension settles down, suggesting it’s a little under-damped.
It doesn’t negotiate rougher surfaces and lumpiness badly at all, though nor does it really feel all that resolved in doing so.
One big plus with Vitara Turbo is that, at 1185kg kerb, there’s not much of it to inhibit its keenness in hooking through a corner or changing direction. And hook it does, though the slightly floaty nature of the suspension does rob it of a sense of certifiable body control and, with it, a touch of fun factor.
Meanwhile, the steering is cooperative enough, although it lacks a bit of fluidity off centre on the move and demands a bit too much effort for small steering correction. It’s also unnecessarily heavy and under-assisted at parking speeds, though not by a large measure.
Its concise form and generally excellent outward visibility – bar the chunky A-pillars – means it’s easy to park in even tight urban car spaces, even though the reversing camera suffers a little from slightly grainy and distorted display.
All in all, it’s a competent enough experience on road that doesn’t really misstep nor shine overly brightly except when you but the boot in, where there’s enough fire in its belly to make some fairly impressive haste from A to B.
But as a comfy and well-rounded family hauling experience, it comes up a bit short against some of the finer competition in its segment.
Suzuki offers a decent five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with capped-price servicing through the first five years of ownership.
Maintenance intervals are 12 months with a short 10,000km cap per visit – the 1.6-litre Vitaras have longer 15,000km gaps.
Interval costs are capped at $239, $329, $239, $429 and $239 through the first five visits (60 months/50,000km), which averages out to $295 per year.
Its lusty little engine, lithe nature, broad safety coverage and competitive pricing makes for a car that will certainly find favour with many buyers. But it’s really better-suited as a low-flying city-bound crossover and more of a lifestyle proposition than it is an accomplished all-rounder and fine family hauler.
The Vitara is starting to feel its age a bit, albeit in smaller details that could’ve been spruced up a bit in the last facelift.
That said, the Vitara remains one of Suzuki’s classier and more contemporary offerings. And it’s really the mid-spec Turbo, with its want-for-little enthusiasm and safety kit, where the nameplate really shines.
The pick of its own crop? You bet. But don’t let its poke cloud your judgment too much when cross-shopping the Vitara Turbo with the slew of other small-SUV alternatives out there.
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MORE: Everything Suzuki Vitara
- DPF problems.
- Clutch problems.
- Air conditioning problems.
- Timing chain problems.
- Engine problems.
Suzuki Vitara reliability
Suzuki owners were happy with running costs, acceleration, handling and value, but the brand came 21st out of 29 manufacturers in our Driver Power manufacturer poll – a drop from 14th place in 2021.
Suzuki is celebrating some great news from the results of the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. Following reports from over 16,300 readers about their car ownership experience for vehicles up to five years old, Suzuki ranked joint third out of the 30 car brands measured with a score of 97.1% reliability.What is a Suzuki Vitara comparable to? ›
Maruti's new hybrid SUV rivals the Toyota Hyryder, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, MG Astor and the Nissan Kicks.Is Suzuki as reliable as Toyota? ›
Following Suzuki at the top of the reliability rankings was Lexus (97.5%) and Toyota (96.8%), with Kia, Mitsubishi and Subaru all tied for fourth place with a score of 95.8%.Are Suzuki cars better than Toyota? ›
Toyotas generally have a higher brand value and perception than a Maruti Suzuki, which could weigh in your favour; 4) Both companies offer good aftersales service, and although Maruti Suzuki is more widespread, Toyota has a reputation for its service quality.Is Kia more reliable than Suzuki? ›
If you're considering just one of the three cars then you're in luck because all three of these brands are known for their longevity. The Telegraph placed Kia third behind Suzuki with 80 problems per 100 vehicles. Interestingly, Honda was much lower at 15th with 117 problems per 100 vehicles.Who makes the Suzuki Vitara engine? ›
The vehicle was developed by Suzuki using the Global C platform shared with the SX4 S-Cross and the Vitara. The mild hybrid model, marketed as "Smart Hybrid" by Suzuki and "NeoDrive" by Toyota, uses Suzuki's 1.5-litre K15C four-cylinder engine and the Smart Hybrid system developed by Suzuki.Do Suzuki Vitaras hold their value? ›
The Vitara isn't known for holding its value well compared with key rivals, which is good news if you're buying used.What are the top 10 reliable cars 2021? ›
In the Consumer Reports Auto Reliability survey, the Top 10 Most Reliable models are: Lexus GX (most reliable), Kia Niro EV, Toyota Prius Prime, Toyota Prius, Cadillac XT5, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Honda Insight, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-9.
EV Reliability May be a Myth.
- Kia. Reliability rating: 95.8% ...
- Mazda. Reliability rating: 95.9% ...
- Mitsubishi. Reliability rating: 96.9% ...
- Dacia. Reliability rating: 97.3% ...
- Lexus. Reliability rating: 98.7% ...
- Alfa Romeo. Reliability rating: 86.5% ...
- Land Rover. Reliability rating: 82.5% ...
- Fiat. Reliability rating: 82.0%
6.2L/100km fuel economy. ALLGRIP 4WD technology. Hill Descent Control. Panoramic sunroof.What is the most reliable Suzuki? ›
Beating stiff competition from other car manufacturers, Suzuki received an amazing reliability score of 97.7%! Plus, in the same survey, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross was awarded joint first for the most reliable car - owners reported that in the space of a year, they experienced zero faults with the S-Cross.Is Suzuki Vitara discontinued? ›
Anyone in the market for a compact AWD that wasn't a Subaru would have naturally gravitated to the Suzuki. Alas, with the recent news that the Vitara has been discontinued, it's the end of an era for the small-SUV genre that it helped bring about more than 20 years ago.Why did they stop making Suzuki? ›
Its cars were too small, its safety record iffy and its branding a bit too comical (Suzuki Sidekick, anyone?). So it came as little surprise to most analysts when Suzuki announced late Monday that it would stop selling automobiles in the United States and put its American unit into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.What's the most reliable car brand? ›
- Lexus. This brand stays at the top, year after year. ...
- Toyota. Many Toyota models are among the most popular cars worldwide because they are affordable, dependable, and easy to maintain.
- Mazda. ...
- Kia. ...
- Honda. ...
- Buick. ...
Some Suzuki cars use timing chains and others use timing belts, depending on the model and the displacement of the engine. 2.0 and 2.5 L Suzuki Grand Vitaras use a timing chain, for instance, but 1.6 L Vitaras use a timing belt. The Suzuki Swift uses a timing belt.Are Suzuki engines good? ›
As we said, Japanese car manufacturers are renowned for their reliability and Suzuki are no different. ... Suzuki scored a reliability index of just 50, which is well above the industry average of 118.Is Suzuki cheap to maintain? ›
Suzuki's are known for having decent reliability, so it's reasonable to expect your Suzuki will need slightly less maintenance than the average car on the road. Expect your Suzuki to visit the repair shop no more than average—so, about 0.4 times per year for unplanned maintenance.
@ DilipKumar | The Toyota Urban Cruiser is powered by a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, borrowed from the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. This engine generates 103bhp and 138Nm of torque. This engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic unit.What is the most reliable car brand 2022? ›
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is ranked as the most reliable vehicle overall.What are the 5 least reliable car brands? ›
- 8/10 Jeep.
- 7/10 Mercedes-Benz.
- 6/10 Cadillac.
- 5/10 Ford.
- 4/10 VW.
- 3/10 Tesla.
- 2/10 Alfa Romeo.
- 1/10 Land Rover Range Rover.
The Most Reliable Car Brands.
|Longest-Lasting Car Brands to Reach 200,000 Miles- iSeeCars Study|
|Rank||Model||% of Cars Over 200k Miles|
Our chosen engine in the Suzuki Vitara is the 1.4-litre petrol engine that produces 127bhp and uses mild-hybrid technology to give it a little extra performance without sacrificing fuel-efficiency. In fact, you won't notice the extra assistance but that's not to say it's slow.Is Suzuki Grand Vitara a Toyota? ›
A Toyota and a Suzuki
The Grand Vitara is a vehicle that combines the capabilities of both Toyota and Suzuki. It's a rare vehicle that combines Suzuki's famous Global C platform, the AllGrip four-wheel drive, and a strong hybrid system found in the Hilux, Camry and Prius, and other Toyota technologies.
When the Vitara was facelifted in 2019, Suzuki dropped the 1.6-litre engines (not replacing the diesel) and introduced the 1.0 BoosterJet engine. For us, this is by far the best engine choice.Which SUV loses its value fastest? ›
|Top 5 Lowest- and Highest-Depreciating Midsize SUVs – iSeeCars Study|
|1||Jeep Wrangler Unlimited||52.8%|
The Suzuki Vitara is a compact and inexpensive 4x4 that has been designed from the ground up to be an affordable, inexpensive and incredibly practical SUV that does what it's supposed to.Is Suzuki Vitara made in Japan? ›
The 4-cyl. Tracker and Vitara are virtual twins built at the CAMI assembly plant, a Suzuki-GM joint venture in Ingersoll, Ont. The Grand Vitara is made in Japan.
- Volkswagen (36)
- Mini (37)
- Ford (38)
- Cadillac (38)
- Mercedes-Benz (40)
- Jeep (41)
- Volvo (41)
- Chevrolet (42)
- Jeep – 77.0%
- Land Rover – 81.4%
- Fiat – 86.4%
- Alfa Romeo – 87.3%
- Peugeot – 87.4%
- Ford – 87.8%
- Jaguar – 88.7%
- Nissan – 89.3%
- Ignoring a Car's Reliability Rating Can Cost You Time and Money. ...
- 2022 Chevrolet Suburban. ...
- 2022 Volvo XC90. ...
- 2022 Land Rover Defender. ...
- 2022 Volkswagen Atlas. ...
- 2022 Audi A6. ...
- 2022 Audi Q8. ...
- 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB.
|1||Skoda Kodiaq Mk1 (NS)||96.23%|
|2||Hyundai Kona MK1 (OS)||95.71%|
|3||Mazda CX-5 Mk2 (KF)||95.57%|
|4||Kia XCeed MK3 (CD)||95.56%|
|Rank||Most Reliable||Least Reliable|
Most Dependable and versatile vehicles.
- Infiniti QX50.
- Fiat 500X.
- Subaru Crosstrek.
- Cadillac XT5.
- Lincoln MKC.
- Lexus NX 200t.
- Mazda CX-3.
- Honda HR-V.
- Toyota Corolla (Top-rated compact car) ...
- Hyundai Sonata (Top-rated midsize car) ...
- Chevrolet Impala (Top-rated large car) ...
- Buick Envision (Top-rated compact SUV) ...
- Hyundai Sante Fe (Top-rated midsize SUV) ...
- Chevrolet Suburban (Top-rated large SUV)
- 2022 Dodge Charger: Reliability Score: 89/100.
- 2022 Chevrolet Corvette: Reliability Score: 89/100.
- 2022 Hyundai Accent: Reliability Score: 90/100.
- 2022 Genesis G90: Reliability Score: 91/100.
- 2022 Chrysler 300: Reliability Score: 92/100.
- 2022 Nissan Maxima: Reliability Score: 93/100.
Size-wise, it's clear that the Grand Vitara is the larger crossover in this comparo. It's also more spacious thanks to the longer wheelbase. And should you need to go over uneven terrain or floodwaters, the Grand Vitara offers more peace of mind thanks to its higher ground clearance.Does Suzuki Vitara use Fiat engine? ›
Suzuki offered only one diesel engine, the Fiat-built 1.6-litre DDiS, with just two models – the Vitara and SX4 S-Cross.
The Suzuki Vitara is available in eight variants, is classed as a Small SUV and is built in Hungary. Buyers can choose from both unleaded petrol or premium unleaded petrol engines. The Suzuki Vitara is sold with engines that range in size from 1.4L to 1.6L and from turbocharged four-cylinders to four-cylinders.Is Suzuki made by Toyota? ›
Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in the business partnership, and the two companies will now start production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt.Which is the best SUV car of Suzuki? ›
Maruti Suzuki SUV cars with best mileage are Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross.Is Suzuki made in China? ›
|Headquarters||Chongqing , China|
|Number of employees||Approximately 4,200|
|Parent||Chang'an Automobile Group Suzuki|
New Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid 2022 review | Auto Express.Where is Suzuki Vitara 2022 made? ›
2022 Suzuki Vitara TURBO Specifications
The Vitara is regarded as a small SUV built in Japan with prices from a dealer as a used car starting at $33,500.
The longest wait periods for new Suzuki vehicles are for the Suzuki Jimny (222 days), Suzuki Vitara (43 days) and Suzuki Swift (32 days).Why did Suzuki Vitara fail? ›
Couldn't Justify the Price Tag | Suzuki Kizashi & Grand Vitara. The entire factors of failure narrow down to this. The cars were ridiculously overpriced for the Indian market and way more for a Maruti which had an image of making sub 10 lakhs cars.Is Suzuki Grand Vitara worth buying? ›
Grand vitara 2022 is a good beginning for all medal class family's and also good for pricing and i suggested to buy people who are planning to buy car under 10 lakes then coming to mileage in city 18kmpl mileage and highway 21kmpl mileage and it is very easy to maintain and maintenance is under 6000 per service… and ...