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