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Our Fleet Test Drive: Suzuki Vitara - 8th report

Date: 18 December 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)

This week the Vitara has been on its longest journey to date, a 540-mile round trip from Surrey to North Yorkshire for the launch event of the new Vitara S.

With one proviso, the Vitara makes a good motorway car. Road noise is excessive, but otherwise
the Suzuki is well suited to the long haul. The cosseting ride helps, but what impresses most is the Vitara's comfortable seat and sound driving position.

I usually end a five-hour drive with a few aches and pains, but the Vitara's supportive seat, relatively upright driving position and well positioned pedals meant I arrived in Yorkshire free from any niggling discomfort.
The long drive also meant a tankful of fuel was consumed almost exclusively on the motorway. Economy for this tank compared well with the previous average of 43.6mpg at 47.7mpg.

It was interesting to compare our long-term test petrol 1.6 with the new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol in the Vitara S. The new engine has much more torque, delivered lower down the rev range. It's smoother and more refined than the 1.6, too. However, the new engine will only appear on the top-spec S model, with an expected price of around £21,000. I prefer the S, but my 1.6 is better value.


Verdict


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

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