Suzuki Philippines (SPH) took the covers off its fourth generation Vitara at the Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig City last Thursday, replacing the Grand Vitara that has been in the market for more than a decade.
“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 efficienvy. Setting it apart from competition, the subcompact SUV allows drivers to freely express their individuality and personalize their vehicles with its wide array of colours and accessory packages,” SPH General Manager Shuzo Hoshikura said in a statement.
The new Vitara utilizes a new unibody construction, with platform and components that are shared with the SX4 S-Cross. Gone is the iconic boxy shape of Vitaras past, replaced with a new body style befitting a crossover. It is 125mm shorter and 85mm lower than the previous Grand Vitara, making it easier to drive on narrower roads and fit in tighter parking spaces.
Muscular bulges, but now shorter
Though it may look big on the outside thanks to its muscular bulges and slightly wider contours, it is shorter than its predecessor, with a short headroom. It has sharp, swoopy lines to go with its slightly rounded build, from the clamshell bonnet, to the muscular line that goes from the sharp headlights to the swoopy taillights. Maintaining its rugged personality are the black bumper covers fitted to all four corners, and fender garnishes that resemble air vents.
The spare tire cover, which has graced on the previous generations of the Vitara, is gone. The chrome grille gives it a more chic feel. It sits on 17-inch alloys for the top grade GLX trim, while the lower grade models get 16-inch wheels. The GLX also gets two tone color packages to not only be easily identifiable as a GLX, but also gives an air of individuality.
The aspect of individuality also extends to the interior, which screams chic and gives a European air, such as the round, analogue clock between the center air vents. The circular metal accents on the vents can also be colored on the user’s preference, and so is the metal trim on the dashboard and the centre console. A 10-inch Android powered infotainment system now come as standard on the top range GLX, while the lower grade GL and GL+ models get seven inches. Also available in the GLX is the panoramic sunroof, suede highlights on the leather seats, LED headlights and daytime running lamps, and side and curtain airbags. Safety features include child seat anchorages, side impact door beams, stability control, hill hold control, and brake assist and pedal release systems.
The inline-four engine has been downgraded from 2.4 liters to 1.6 liters, same displacement as the original Vitara, in the pursuit of better fuel efficiency. It produces 115 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. Unlike the previous generation brethren, power its transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, with no manual offering. At 1,120 kilograms, it is very light for an SUV, thanks to its unibody construction.
“We are not entirely sure of our target numbers for the new Vitara, but we are confident that with this new Vitara we are entering into a market where millennials right now are looking for a starting car, and Filipinos today are looking after SUVs these days so it is a perfect choice for our target consumers,” Hoshikura told Fast Times.
Manufacture of the new Vitara is in Hungary, and will be priced at P1.048 million for the GLX model, and P938,000 for the GL+ model. The base GL model will be announced later this year.