In the fast-paced world of today, the driving needs and dynamics have changed dramatically. A person who has worked hard and made a fortune for himself wants a ride that complements his achievements and pronounces his accomplishments. The lust for prestige lures the individual to go for an SUV to articulate the masculine self-esteem on the go. However, for a practical person who uses his ride for transportation, apart from the projection of his success, a sleek sedan serves the purpose better.
To cope with both the demands, car manufacturers across the globe have recently introduced the crossover category – an automobile that combines a car platform, preferably a hatchback, and the bold features of an SUV. In Pakistan, due to this changing trend and steadily climbing economy,the demand of SUV’s is currently on the rise.
Suzuki is globally known as a small-car specialist, but one should not forget that Suzuki has also produced very successful range of 4×4’s, one of which was the world’s first crossover, named Vitara, which started being manufactured way back in the year 1988. At that point in time, Suzuki was thinking about the future, and pioneered with a crossover in a consumer segment with low customer interest at that particular time. Due to this fact, the Vitara was redesigned to become a grown-up SUV in its 2nd and 3rd generations, the last of which was released in the year 2005.
With the trend changing, favoring the crossover again, the 4th generation Vitara was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2014 as a crossover. Combining the sleekness in a stylish modern design with the boldness of an SUV, the Vitara won hearts for its design while inspiring many with its competitive feature package.
The 4th generation Vitara that is launched in Pakistan comes with a 1.6L naturally-aspirated engine, which delivers a decent 118bhp at 6000 revs. This may not sound much, however the USP of this product is its weight. Weighing in at only 1185 kg, the Vitara is one of the lightest SUVs on offer. This not only allows it to carry more, but also improves its power-to-weight ratio which stands in at 104 bhp/ton. It needs to be mentioned that the big brands offering turbocharged engines may offer more power, however the power-to-weight ratios remain well under 100, which clearly indicates how well the Vitara is when it comes to performance.
As far as the feature package is concerned, the Vitara comes as standard with a multifunction steering that features Cruise control and Audio control. The 6-speed Automatic Transmission is enabled with a manual mode which allows the driver to have the manual changing sensation with the paddle shifters equipped on the steering wheel. The multifunction display shows the economy, mileage and range of the vehicle along with other variables. The air conditioning system of Vitara can be automatically controlled with input from outside temperature sensors. The hi-spec Vitara also comes equipped with a panoramic sunroof which makes the drive even more pleasurable. Keyless entry is also enabled for the hi-spec variant, along with automatic headlamps and wipers for drivers’ convenience.
A Unique aspect of Vitara is its infotainment system. The infotainment system features 10.1-inch touch screen with Android OS. The system also has the ability to connect to users’ mobile phone via Bluetooth and mirror link.
As far as safety is concerned, the Vitara provides unprecedented passive safety, as it combines high tensile steel for passenger cabin safety, with cleverly designed crumple zones that enable enhanced accidental safety for the occupants. Not only the vehicle structure, but the safety feature of 7 SRS airbags along with seatbelts having ELR and pre-tensioners ensure that the occupants remain safe post-accident.
The Vitara also comes equipped with ESP which means that the driver can depend on the vehicle to remain under control even on the harshest terrains. The ABS coupled with EBD ensures high levels of braking performance. The car also features Hill hold and hill descent controls which ensure the car remainunder control on hilly terrains. The car also comes equipped with parking sensors, to enable the driver to park with ease. One feature that adds to the beauty along with safety of the Vitara is its LED projector headlamp, which provides excellent visibility in dark, unlit roads.
The most unique feature of Vitara is its 4WD function. The indigenous “All Grip” function combines 4 driving modes which have been incorporated to give the driver maximum control of the vehicle on all terrains and driving conditions. The car automatically switches between 2WD and 4WD in order to facilitate the driver to ensure the Vitara grips the terrain. The other driving modes include the Sports Mode, which facilitates aggressive driving and maneuvering from the driver,whereas the Snow Mode complements the driver by maintaining traction on slippery surfaces. The car also comes with a dedicated Lock feature as well which maximizes the extrication of the vehicle if stuck.
Compared to its rivals, the Vitara comes equipped with features which are available as optional extras to the consumers. This means that the consumer is ripped-off if he wants to purchase a standard car which has almost no special features.
In this regard, we have to admit that Vitara comes packed with features which not only enhance driving pleasure and performance but also provide unparalleled safety to the occupants. Therefore, it is bound to present the driving pleasures to the individual who has earned his success.
by Shahzad Tabish
This exclusive review published in Monthly AutoMark Magazine’s printed edition of January-2017 issue