It hardly seems 30 years have passed since Suzuki first introduced the Vitara, but the various iterations since then have seen it grow into a fully-fledged compact SUV in Grand Vitara form as well as the smaller Vitara – now boosted by the introduction of a 1,4-litre turbo-charged engine.
The BOOSTERJET engine is basically the same as fitted to the Swift Sport and, in the Vitara, delivers 103 kW at 5 500 r/min and 220 Nm from 1 500 r/min to 4 000 r/min. By comparison, the Vitara 1,6 litre GLX delivers 86 kW at 6 000 r/min and 156 Nm at a peak of 4 400 r/min.
Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic gearbox, with the latter offering manual shifting via steering-mounted paddles.
Claimed fuel consumption in a combined cycle is 5,8 l/100 km for the manual model and 5,9 for the auto.
“The Vitara has always offered an exciting drive, thanks to its low weight and very rigid TECT platform. With the added power from the BOOSTERJET engine, we can now let the Vitara’s sporty handling truly shine,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki South Africa.
The Vitara Turbo has the same specification and equipment levels of the range-topping GLX grade. These include 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of five solid colours and seven dual-tone combinations, where the body colour is contrasted by the choice of a black or white roof, depending on the colour chosen.
The Vitara Turbo is also equipped with LED daytime running lights and, in this configuration, LED head and brake lights, with a set of silver roof rails and chrome detailing in the front grille and under the fog lamps.
Standard features include, steering mounted controls for the audio and cruise control systems (which also feature speed limiting functionality), park distance control both front and rear, automatic climate control, a 4,2-inch multi-information full colour display in the instrument binnacle and power windows and mirrors.
Suzuki has added a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and reverse camera to the Turbo, which offers complete mobile phone integration with in-build Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink systems. The system includes an SD slot, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity for hands free dialling and voice control for many of the infotainment features.
The Vitara Turbo also offers a reverse camera with image display on the system, a leather and suede upholstery combination and automatic LED headlamps, with LED daytime running lights, and automatic rain-sensing wipers.
All models in the Suzuki Vitara range are fitted with a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features. Active safety features include electronic stability control (ESP) with traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and a brake-assist system (BAS).
Passive safety features include seven crash bags (dual front, front side, side curtain and driver knee bags) on all models, as well as Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) body-design, which features side and cross-body impact zones, ultra-high strength steel and additional bracing for a body that is both highly rigid and impact absorbing.
The Suzuki Vitara Turbo is sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000 km / 5-year mechanical warranty and a full 6-year / unlimited kilometre warranty against corrosion. Suzuki has also added a 24//7 roadside assistance plan for the same period as the warranty and a comprehensive 4-year / 60 000 km service plan.