10 things we learned about the Suzuki Vitara S
22 July 2016
Author: Alisdair Suttie
|Category:|| Small 4x4|
|Key rival:|| Vauxhall Mokka|
|Model tested:|| Vitara S|
|Price as tested:|| £20,899|
Adding 'S' to the title isn't just about spoilers and alloy wheels with this Vitara, as Al Suttie discovers
1 - At a first glance, the Vitara S is little more than a set of gloss black alloy wheels, rear spoiler and some nicer seat fabric.
2 - Dig a little deeper, specifically under the bonnet, and you find Suzuki's new 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine.
3 - This is where things get interesting as it has 140hp and 220Nm of torque to make the 1.6 petrol looks somewhat weedy by comparison.
4 - That impression is massively underlined on the road, where the plodding 1.6 is easily out-performed by this nippy 1.4.
5 - It helps the Vitara S tips the scales at just 1200kg, so it is surprisingly zesty off the line and through the gears.
6 - The S also has the handling and balance to make the most of this point-to-point appeal, and it rides reasonably too.
7 - We had a six-speed manual version which has a decent shift action and returns 52.3mpg. Not quite as good as the 1.6's best, but good enough for us.
8 - There's also still all of the four-wheel drive and variable modes to let you wander off the beaten track should the inclination take you.
9 - Talking of steep slopes, the Vitara S is pricier than its sister models, and comparably quick rivals are cheaper but less efficient.
10 - Emissions of 127g/km are middling, but better than a rival Nissan Juke's or Vauxhall Mokka's, and the Suzuki is markedly more fun to drive.