Suzuki in­tro­duces new-gen­er­a­tion Vi­tara

The Philippine Star - - MOTORING -

FILIPINOS are fa­mil­iar with the Suzuki Grand Vi­tara, that name­plate be­ing seen in lo­cal roads and show­rooms for over a decade now. It does bat­tle with a le­gion of com­pact SUV’s, the Grand Vi­tara be­ing the proud sole owner of a unique lad­der framem­o­no­coque chas­sis and a true-blue part-time four-wheel drive sys­tem that hard-core of­froad­ers swear by.

But it’s been some time since we last had a Vi­tara (with­out the “Grand”). And now it’s back. Suzuki Philip­pines fi­nally ended the wait last Thurs­day with the of­fi­cial come­back of the new Vi­tara. The new-gen­er­a­tion Vi­tara (now made in Europe, Hun­gary to be ex­act) em­bod­ies the Suzuki small SUV legacy while cap­tur­ing mod­ern de­sign trends to tar­get the mil­len­nial mar­ket.

With a his­tory of more than three decades, the Vi­tara has been known for en­hanced driv­ing per­for­mance, and off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In ad­di­tion to the tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions, the Vi­tara has up­graded the her­itage de­sign of the Suzuki SUV by in­cor­po­rat­ing mod­ern el­e­ments and mak­ing the sub­com­pact SUV per­fect for city driv­ing while en­abling Filipino driv­ers, specif­i­cally mil­len­ni­als, the in­di­vid­u­al­ity and per­son­al­iza­tion they look for in a ve­hi­cle.

“Equipped with the long­est, and widest di­men­sion in its class with the best ra­dius per­for­mance, the features of the new Vi­tara are aimed at pro­vid­ing the best value in terms of de­sign, per­for­mance and fuel ef­fi­ciency. Set­ting it apart from com­pe­ti­tion, the sub­com­pact SUV al­lows driv­ers to freely ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity and per­son­al­ize their ve­hi­cles with its wide ar­ray of col­ors and ac­ces­sory pack­ages,” said SPH Au­to­mo­bile Di­vi­sion Gen­eral Man­ager Shuzo Hoshikura.

He adds, “Through these, we be­lieve we will en­hance the Filipino driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, which is at the core of bring­ing driv­ers closer to the Suzuki Way of Life. Mil­len­ni­als can look for­ward to a safe, com­fort­able and op­ti­mum driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that for many years Filipinos have an­tic­i­pated with the nextgen­er­a­tion Vi­tara.”

Faith­ful to Suzuki SUV’s orig­i­nal styling, the ex­te­rior de­sign of the new Vi­tara ex­udes a strong yet so­phis­ti­cated pres­ence achieved through the mod­ern­ized Suzuki SUV sig­na­ture clamshell bon­net. The side press lines and

smooth roofline sug­gest a youth­ful, rugged look and strong aero­dy­namic per­for­mance, re­spec­tively.

The new Vi­tara has an over­all width of 1,775mm, height of 1,610mm, length of 4,175mm and a min­i­mum ground clear­ance of 185mm, mak­ing it the long­est and widest in its class with the small­est turn­ing ra­dius for best-in-class ma­neu­ver­abil­ity.

Day­time run­ning lamps with ver­ti­cally placed LEDs are stan­dard in the GLX model. En­ergy-sav­ing LED head­lamps with a blue pro­jec­tor cover come stan­dard with the GLX, while halo­gen pro­jec­tor head­lamps fea­tur­ing good light dis­tri­bu­tion for the low beam are used in the GL and GL+ mod­els. Pol­ished al­loy wheels are avail­able in 17 inches for GLX vari­ant, while 16-inch al­loy wheels come stan­dard for the GL+ and 16inch steel wheels with full caps are fit­ted on the GL.

The in­te­ri­ors com­bine mus­cu­lar con­tours and a sporty feel. The in­stru­ment panel con­veys a youth­ful look with its up­per lin­ear de­sign that in­cludes a round clock and a match­ing round air out­let. The seats use high-qual­ity fab­ric, with the GLX fea­tur­ing a com­bi­na­tion of leather and suede-type fab­ric for an even classier feel. The GLX also features a panoramic sun­roof de­signed with two glass pan­els that can be both slid to pro­vide the big­gest open­ing in its class and added pre­mi­um­ness to the ve­hi­cle.

The in­te­rior de­sign fuses com­fort and util­ity. All vari­ants fea­ture 6-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, pad­dle shifters, and audio steer­ing con­trols. The GL+ and GLX mod­els also fea­ture a footwell lamp and key­less push start sys­tem.

The new Vi­tara’s In­fo­tain­ment audio sys­tem features hands­free con­nec­tiv­ity, nav­i­ga­tion, Blue­tooth audio and a USB port. The GLX vari­ant en­able on-the-go con­nec­tiv­ity through its Wi-Fi sup­port while a Mir­rorLink func­tion links a smart­phone with the SUV’s An­droid sys­tem (with a 10-inch touchscreen for the GLX—the big­gest in its class— while GL+ and GL vari­ants have a 7-inch touchscreen.

The lug­gage space can ac­com­mo­date up to 375 liters, ex­pand­able by low­er­ing the lug­gage board or re­mov­ing the di­viders on both sides of the lug­gage area. To ac­com­mo­date large suit­cases, the rear seats can be folded to make way for up to 710 liters.

To al­low own­ers to ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity (much like with Mini Coop­ers), the Vi­tara comes in var­i­ous col­ors and de­signs. With two-tone op­tions avail­able for the roof, pil­lars and door mir­rors for GLX and mono­tone col­ors for GL + and GL mod­els, the Vi­tara of­fers ac­ces­sory pack­ages that would make a Mini Cooper owner feel at home.

The Vi­tara GLX boasts a 6-point airbag sys­tem com­pris­ing of dual, cur­tain and side airbags for the driver and pas­sen­ger. It also features cruise con­trol with speed lim­iter, ul­tra­sonic sen­sors in the front and rear bumpers with re­verse cam­era that de­tect ob­sta­cles dur­ing park­ing, an au­to­matic light sys­tem that turns head­lamps and tail­lamps on and off, and au­to­matic wipers trig­gered de­pend­ing on the ex­tent of rain­fall and ve­hi­cle speed.

The Vi­tara’s Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram (ESP) au­to­mat­i­cally con­trols the en­gine torque and brakes upon de­tec­tion of wheel­spin to en­sure the driver main­tains di­rec­tional con­trol. The Hill Hold Con­trol helps the driver to pre­vent the ve­hi­cle from rolling back­ward on an up­hill climb.

In the event of a col­li­sion, the new Vi­tara has an im­pact-ab­sorb­ing de­sign. The brake pedal sys­tem lim­its the pedal’s move­ment to­ward the driver in case of a frontal im­pact to pre­vent broekn legs. For fur­ther pro­tec­tion the Vi­tara’s To­tal Ef­fec­tive Con­trol Tech­nol­ogy (TECT) ab­sorbs im­pact and the seat­belts use force lim­iters to mit­i­gate col­li­sion forces on the oc­cu­pants’ chests.

Boast­ing the light­est curb weight in its cat­e­gory, the new Vi­tara de­liv­ers en­hanced fuel ef­fi­ciency. The ve­hi­cle’s up­dated 1.6-liter en­gine is de­signed to de­liver the high­est torque per­for­mance of 156Nm at 4,400rpm and best-in-class out­put of 115hp at 6,000rpm. This mod­ern en­gine is mated to a new 6-speed au­to­matic.

“Equipped with top-of-the-line features, the new Vi­tara will en­able the Filipino driv­ing pub­lic to freely ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity through its unique de­sign and a wide se­lec­tion of col­ors to choose from. Apart from this, the Vi­tara is de­signed with en­hanced safety features and su­pe­rior fuel ef­fi­ciency. Backed by all these features, we are hope­ful that the new Vi­tara will ap­peal to the Philip­pine mar­ket es­pe­cially among mil­len­ni­als,” Suzuki Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion Global Au­to­mo­bile Plan­ning Depart­ment Gen­eral Man­ager Nobu­taka Suzuki says.

The new Vi­tara re­tails for P1,048,000 for the GLX; P938,000 for the GL+ and while prices for the GL will soon be an­nounced.

GLX vari­ants are avail­able in two-tone col­ors At­lantis Turquoise Pearl, Hori­zon Or­ange Metal­lic, and Bright Red Metal­lic. GL+ and GL vari­ants are avail­able in Cool White Pearl, Silky Sil­ver Metal­lic, Galac­tic Gray Metal­lic, Cos­mic Black Pearl Metal­lic and At­lantis Turquoise Pearl Metal­lic.

Pho­tos by MANNY N. DE LOS REYES

By MANNY N. DE LOS REYES

(L-R) Suzuki Philip­pines (SPH) Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and Trea­surer Norminio Mo­jica, Suzuki Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion (SMC) Asia Au­to­mo­bile Depart­ment Gen­eral Man­ager Shi­geo Takezawa, SPH Pres­i­dent Hiroshi Suzuki, SPH Gen­eral Man­ager for Au­to­mo­bile Shuzo Hoshikura, SMC Global Au­to­mo­bile Plan­ning Depart­ment Gen­eral Man­ager Nobu­taka Suzuki, SPH As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager Ce­cil Ca­pacete

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