IN GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, SUZUKI HITS THE MARK
Car-like capabilities and good looks attracting young drivers
THERE are needs and there are wants when it comes to buying a car. Every Back To Future fan DeLorean, but does anyone need one?
My relatively simple: airconditioning, cruise control (I hate helping the state raise any more revenue than I to), a higher driving position (easier to get in and out of at my age) good audio system, probably with CD player (so I don’t need convert all discs files just yet).
There is no reason the world, then, why Suzuki Vitara shouldn’t be perfect for me at this time of my life. The irony that it’s more likely to be people starting out their driving career who seem to be coming around to its way of driving.
The Vitara name has been for years with the Grand Vitara but this latest version was released in September in two versions — the entrylevel RT-S and higher-spec RT-X aimed squarely at compact SUV sector.
Blood Suzuki sales consultant Tony Samuelson says new Vitara is smaller than its Grand namesake and “more car-like”.
The engine — a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol in the RT-S RT-X smaller but power-to-weight ratio better, as is fuel economy. After full weekend’s driving RT-S, which included two trips to Melbourne with five adults aboard, I’d matched Suzuki’s claimed 5.8 litres/100km.
And it uses regular unleaded, which is a bonus.
“This what the ‘hot market’ seems to be at moment — compact SUV-type vehicle,” Samuelson said.
“It’s as versatile inside as what the Grand Vitara is.
“Your fuel economy’s quite a bit better . . . it handles more like car.
“We’ve had people upgrade from Swift because they want something that’s slightly bigger but not huge.”
Also not huge is the price — $22,990 on road for RT-S manual.
‘We’ve had people upgrade from Swift because they want
something that’s slightly bigger but not huge.’
BLOOD SUZUKI SALES CONSULTANT TONY SAMUELSON
Samuelson said the Vitara was proving popular with younger drivers, who were attracted by its looks as well as its mix of technology.
Even on RT-S, Bluetooth, satnav, Apple CarPlay/MirrorLink interface, reversing camera, touchscreen and iPod/USB ports are standard.
The thing prospective buyers need to be aware of is the one big difference between RT-S RT-X.
Apart from touches of comfort — keyless entry and start, sunroof, leather/suede seats, automatic headlights (that are also auto levelling)
rain-sensing wipers, the RT-X is allwheel-drive, while RT-S frontwheel drive.
Just remember which is which when you’re choosing the model in to rough it on weekend.
Away from bush tracks, RT-S is a smooth and steady ride with some nicely unexpected touches.
Personal experience tells me while it will seat five, four adults would be a better maximum if you want to avoid all-out civil war in the back seat.
At least seamless Bluetooth connectivity made for ready peacemaker with an almost unlimited playlist.
Like me, you may do a double take the first time look in the side mirrors. I initially thought petrol cap was open — not that I knew where it was at the time — but closer inspection revealed it to be curve of the rear quarter panel as flares over wheel. The analogue clock in middle air vents on dash is a nice retro touch. At the other end spectrum, reversing camera’s clarity is perhaps best I have yet experienced.
And boot space can be made bigger by means of a clever sliding luggage board. Naturally the 60:40 rear seats fold down.
In short, if your off-road needs are not paramount and you make do without some of life’s little luxuries, RT-S is happily up to challenge.