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Suzuki models, news & reviews
By James Foxall
29 September 2008 14:00
Twenty years ago you probably didn’t imagine the Suzuki Vitara to be a ground breaker. But it was. The little 4x4 was the first small Sports Utility Vehicle and as such created a sector in the market that every major car maker would want to join.
You’ve got to feel for ’em. Two decades on and Suzuki still makes its small SUV – now extravagantly called the Grand Vitara – but it’s largely overlooked. As bigger players have joined the fray the current version has been consistently shuffled down people’s wish list even though it was only launched in 2005. Having sorted out the smaller cars in its range the Japanese firm has now addressed the Grand Vitara.
It’s hardly a radical revamp. The front end’s been tweaked with a sleeker grille and bumper that adds 3cm to the front overhang. It also gets new door mirrors with turn indicators incorporated. Suzuki's been at work on the interior too. The switches have been given a more solid feel to them and there’s a new centre console and air-conditioning controllers. It’s smart to look at and well built but the materials still don’t exude quality.
Suzuki has also been at work in areas you can’t see. It’s increased the thickness of the glass in the front doors and the depth of the carpet to improve sound insulation. But perhaps strangely, considering big cars are currently as popular as hedge fund managers, it’s the top end of the Grand Vitara range Suzuki has concentrated on.
The biggest change is to the engines. The top of the line 2.0-litre petrol unit has been replaced by a 2.4-litre. At 169bhp the new engine is 29bhp up than the unit it replaces. But it’s also got more torque and has been designed to be quieter while putting out the same carbon dioxide emissions of 205g/km in the three-door manual, 225g/km in the dirtiest five-door auto.
The efforts at improving refinement have been successful. At motorway speeds you can’t hear the engine; it’s drowned out by the wind noise. And even holding gears with the smooth though not particularly fast-shifting five-speed manual doesn’t make it sound coarse or thrashy. We tried it out in the three-door model and although hardly down on power you’d expect a modern 2.4 in a relatively small vehicle to be a bit gutsier.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 first drive
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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 (2008) CAR review
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RE: Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 (2008) CAR review
Bought a 1.9ddis back in march 06 and put 33500 miles on the clock in 18 months, pxd last october for another one and so far 22000 miles in the 12 months. The new update looks very acceptable and a move up the scale. Have been totally happy with both gvs and may go for the uprated diesel when it arrives or hold out for the Kizashi. One of the main reasons I bought the gv was I wanted a large family Suzuki car. At present wife has also got new swift from 05, son has new swift from april.To say we are totally satisfied with Suzuki, they work.
05 October 2008 19:26
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