BoosterJet pro­pelled

The new Suzuki Vitara S packs a real punch in the shape of its BoosterJet en­gine as re­ports

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentmotors -

The S is a new range­top­ping trim grade for Suzuki’s ex­cel­lent lit­tle Vitara. Big­ger than a small cross­over and smaller than a big one, it sits in a real sweet spot in the size stakes.

The com­pany is po­si­tion­ing the S as a sportier-look­ing model with a new en­gine, which, for now, is ex­clu­sive to the model.

At just 1.4 litres, the new BoosterJet en­gine has, as you’ve prob­a­bly al­ready worked out, a turbo. No jets, though, sadly.

It’s a small turbo for faster re­sponses, which is bet­ter for real-world driv­ing.

Looks and im­age

Look closely and you’ll see a dif­fer­ent front grille, black al­loy wheels, black de­tail­ing around the fog lights and a neat lit­tle roof spoiler.

The Vitara range is ob­vi­ously get­ting some­thing right, be­cause it’s sell­ing like hot cakes and anec­do­tal ev­i­dence sug­gests peo­ple are see­ing lots of them around. The S is a model dif­fer­en­ti­ated by its ex­tra style, and its ex­tra turn of pace.

Space and practicality

A 375-litre boot is smaller than the one at the back of the larger S-Cross, but in prac­tice the dif­fer­ence is less sig­nif­i­cant than you might think, and the stack­ing height makes a big dif­fer­ence ver­sus, say, an es­tate car.

A chunky fold­ing pushchair will go in eas­ily, with room on top for ex­tras. There’s a neat twin-level boot floor, and ev­ery door can hold a large drinks bot­tle.

Be­hind the wheel

Climb in, push the starter but­ton and pull away. You’ll no­tice sev­eral things in quick suc­ces­sion.

First is how well-weighted the clutch is, al­low­ing for pre­cise con­trol. Se­cond is how the new BoosterJet en­gine is clearly tuned to give most of its im­pres­sive thrust with only a light press of the ac­cel­er­a­tor.

Give it a squeeze and off you’ll rocket. You’ll also no­tice that the gear lever moves with real pre­ci­sion through the six ra­tios, even if the mo­tion is a touch heav­ier than av­er­age on this all-but new car.

The raw me­chan­i­cals are shared with the Swift Sport, al­beit with dif­fer­ent gear ra­tios.

This is a happy, like­able car, and has to be one of the most en­gag­ing crossovers of any size to drive. Only a petrol Skoda Yeti is as much fun. At £21,000, in­clud­ing stan­dard All­grip four-wheel drive and SZ5 spec – ex­cept for the heavy panoramic roof – the Vitara S brings home the ba­con for a very rea­son­able £700 ex­tra.

For that im­pres­sive new en­gine and a lit­tle bit of ex­clu­siv­ity, that’s not bad at all. It’s also £800 cheaper than a diesel All­grip SZ5.

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