Suzuki Vitara (2015-present)

With a low price but plenty of practicality and performance, the Suzuki Vitara could be a small SUV bargain

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Low price compared to rivals
Spacious interior
Looks like a more expensive car

Weaknesses 

Noisy diesel engine
Interior quality not the best in class
Likely to lose more money than similar cars
Best New Discount

Suzuki Vitara Estate 1.6 sz5 5dr

Total RRP £20,494

Your quote £18,604

You Save £1,890

Its shape and styling might remind you of a Range Rover Evoque but the Suzuki Vitara is an entirely different car altogether. Where the Evoque sells for a large premium, the Vitara is all about value for money.

Starting from just under £15,000, the Suzuki offers space, good performance and a well-equipped interior - a package that few other cars in its class can match.

It's biggest problem is likely to be in convincing buyers of cars such as the Renault Captur, Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and Vauxhall Mokka X that they should consider an alternative with the relatively obscure Suzuki badge.

As a small crossover (also known as a small SUV), the Suzuki Vitara is built in the same way as a conventional family car, for good fuel economy and comfort. It combines this with the added height of an off-road car, giving you a higher driving position and more headroom for passengers.

The result is a spacious interior with room for three adults in the back, providing more room to stretch your legs than you'll find in a Nissan Juke or Renault Captur. The 375-litre boot is only average in size and can't compete with the 470 litres of the Honda HR-V. That car's priced at considerably more than £15,000, though.

The Vitara's price doesn't make it a budget choice. It’s a modern car with a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating and a good level of basic standard equipment, including air conditioning, alloy wheels, digital radio and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly.

Mid-range SZ-T cars, which are priced from £17,000 before any Suzuki Vitara discounts, include a rear camera, sat-nav and larger 17in alloy wheels. You also have the option of four-wheel drive, which gives the Vitara some off-road performance to go with its rugged looks.

All it lacks is the polish of rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. The diesel engine clatters when you start it up, the smallest petrol engine needs to be revved hard for the best performance (which reduces fuel economy) and the materials used in the straightforward interior don’t feel as soft or expensive as you would find in an Audi Q2.

But it's perfectly good to drive, turning sharply with the agility of a shorter hatchback, and without much leaning. It's comfortable too, even though it doesn't cushion bumps as well as a Volkswagen Golf or Renault Megane - a criticism that can be applied to any small crossover.

In fact, there's very little compromise needed if you opt to pay a low price for this very substantial car.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 10:30

Understanding Suzuki Vitara car names 

  • Vitara
  • Engine
    1.6 DDiS
  • Gearbox
    TCSS
  • Driven wheels
    Allgrip
  • Trim level
    SZ5
  • Engine
    The Vitara's engine size is given in litres. In general, the bigger the engine, the more power it has, although that's not always the case (the smallest Vitara engine is the most powerful). The letters DDiS indicate a diesel engine. Petrol models are either simply called 'Petrol' or have no additional label at all.
  • Gearbox
    You can opt for an automatic version of the Vitara. Four-wheel drive diesel cars have an advanced automatic gearbox, with two clutches for faster and smoother changes. This is called Twin-Clutch System by Suzuki (TCSS)
  • Driven wheels
    If your Vitara has four-wheel drive, it will be badged 'Allgrip'.
  • Trim level
    The different Vitara trim levels come with varying levels of standard equipment. The most basic is the Vitara SZ4, followed by the SZ-T, SZ-5 and, finally, the Vitara S.

Suzuki Vitara Engines 

Petrol: 1.4 Boosterjet, 1.6
Diesel: 1.6 DDiS

Most of the Vitara range is available with the choice of one petrol or one diesel engine. The cheapest option is the 1.6-litre petrol engine. It’s efficient for a car of this type, particularly the manual car in two-wheel drive. This has an official fuel economy figure of 58.8mpg, which is closer to 45mpg in real-world driving. The engine feels lively, revving away when you press the accelerator and sounds sporty as it growls under the bonnet, although acceleration is steady rather than spectacular - like most rivals.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine costs £1,500 more, offering fuel economy that’s 10mpg better than the petrol model. It’s not a huge difference, so you may not make that amount up in fuel savings. Performance is similar to the 1.6 petrol engine, although the diesel feels like it’s more powerful because it has more urge without having to be revved. It is noisy as it clatters away during acceleration, but becomes much quieter when you’re driving at a steady speed.

The best engine in the range is only available in the top-of-the-range Vitara S. The 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine is the smallest, but is turbocharged, which boosts power without having a big impact on fuel economy. The extra power over the other two engines is noticeable, particularly when you need to accelerate to overtake: the 1.4-litre engine needs much less time to get up to speed.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.4 Boosterjet

Petrol

51.3 - 52.3mpg

140hp

0-62mph: 10.2sec

124mph

1.6

Petrol

49.5 - 58.8mpg

120hp

0-62mph: 11.5 - 12sec

112mph

1.6 DDiS

Diesel

62.7 - 70.6mpg

120hp

0-62mph: 11.5 - 12.4sec

112mph

Suzuki Vitara Trims 

SZ4, SZ-T, SZ5, S, Urban pack, Rugged pack

You need to pick the trim level on your Vitara with care because you can’t pay individually for optional extras. If you want a panoramic sunroof, for example, you’ll need the SZ5 model, which is the only version that it’s fitted to.

The cheapest Vitara SZ4 only comes with the 1.6-litre petrol engine and a manual gearbox. It’s well-equipped for the price, with climate control, Bluetooth for wireless phone connectivity, 16in alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and split-fold rear seat, so you can lower one of the back seats to boost luggage space, while leaving another for a passenger. There are airbags at the front, along the sides and protecting the driver’s knees. The SZ4 is the only Vitara that comes with a CD player.

Moving up to SZ-T costs £1,750 but brings some significant upgrades, including a rear parking camera and sat-nav. The alloy wheels are larger, at 17in, and there’s tinted glass for rear passengers. This trim is available with an automatic gearbox, as well as the diesel engine.

Another £2,500 buys you an SZ-5 model, which is also available with four-wheel drive, called Alllgrip. You’ll sit on suede seats, underneath a panoramic sunroof, with brighter LED headlights guiding the way.  It has adaptive cruise control, that maintains a set distance from the car in front, polished alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, folding door mirrors, and keyless entry and start, so you never have to take the key fob out of your pocket. Automatic emergency braking that can help avoid crashes at low speeds is also included.

The top-of-the-range Vitara S comes with four-wheel drive and is the only model available with the 1.4-litre petrol engine. Black panels and black 17in alloy wheels mark out the car’s exterior. Inside, there are red highlights on the dashboard. It comes with most of the equipment on the SZ5 but not the panoramic sunroof.

You can also buy two styling packs for the SZ-T and SZ-5 models. In both cases, the Urban Pack, costing just under £700, adds rugged looking panels on the side and a spoiler above the rear window that makes the car look a bit sportier. The Rugged Pack, for around £750, has extra protection underneath the car, for off-roading, and reinforcement around the boot to prevent it being scuffed when you load luggage.

Suzuki Vitara Prices

Suzuki Vitara S

1.4 boosterjet s allgrip 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 52.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,354

You could save up to: £1890

1.4 boosterjet s allgrip 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,704

You could save up to: £1890

Suzuki Vitara SZ-T

1.6 sz-t 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,104

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,454

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t [rugged pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,854

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t [rugged pack] 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £18,204

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t [urban pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,774

You could save up to: £1890.01

1.6 sz-t [urban pack] 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £18,124

You could save up to: £1890.01

1.6 sz-t allgrip 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £17,904

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t allgrip [rugged pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £18,654

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz-t allgrip [urban pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £18,574

You could save up to: £1890.01

Suzuki Vitara SZ4

1.6 sz4 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £14,104

You could save up to: £1890.01

Suzuki Vitara SZ5

1.6 sz5 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £18,604

You could save up to: £1890.01

1.6 sz5 [rugged pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,354

You could save up to: £1890.01

1.6 sz5 [urban pack] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 53.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,274

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz5 allgrip 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 49.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £21,754

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz5 allgrip [rugged pack] 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 49.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,504

You could save up to: £1890

1.6 sz5 allgrip [urban pack] 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 49.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,424

You could save up to: £1890.01