Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Suzuki Vitara - 4th report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Suzuki Vitara - 4th report

Date: 08 October 2015   |   Author: David Motton

Why we're running it: To see if a petrol crossover can make sense as a business car, despite having higher emissions than the equivalent diesel.
Equipment: Seven airbags, satnav, DAB radio, double-sliding panoramic sunroof, climate control, front foglamps, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, Radar Brake Support, keyless entry and start, 17-inch alloy wheels, suede and leather upholstery
Options: Rugged pack, which adds front and rear skid plates and a boot protector (£500), metallic paint (£430), detachable tow bar (£351)

In what may be a first for a BusinessCar long-termer, our Suzuki Vitara has been towing a caravan. No, really.

Dragging around a tonne of aluminium, white goods and soft furnishings is quite a long way from the day-to-day driving of most business drivers, but it does turn an uncompromising spotlight on the Vitara's 1.6-litre petrol engine.

We're running the petrol rather than the diesel to see if it stacks up as a sensible alternative for a low-mileage user. With a P11D value some £1500 lower than the diesel and an identical BIK band of 19%, the petrol saves a higher-rate taxpayer £114 a year in tax.

When towing, though, I really missed the extra torque of the diesel. There's not a lot going on at low revs or in the mid range, so frequent gearchanges and a leaden right foot are needed to build speed.

Obviously, towing demands a lot from an engine, but even with four people on board and some luggage in the boot the Vitara's performance is rather steady.

On the plus side, the petrol is more refined than the diesel. So given that I'm not planning any more caravanning trips just yet, I'm happy enough to be driving the petrol..

Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ5

Mileage 4124
Official consumption 53.3mpg
Our average consumption 43.2mpg
Forecast/actual CPM 46.6p/46.9p
P11D price £18,444
Model price range £13,999-£22,549
Residual value 33.6%
Depreciation cost £13,244
Fuel £4664
Service, maintenance and repair £2130
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £1569
CO2 (BIK band) 123g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £58/£117


  • Ride comfort
  • Styling
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Acceleration
  • Unreliable touchscreen response