After spending a weekend away at the scenic Quaggasklook Dam with boat in tow, I really got to know the Suzuki flagship – the Grand Vitara automatic. For the record, the auto gearbox worked wonders when we were launching the boat at the slipway. There was no handbrake or riding the clutch required, but rather a hassle-free boat launch without the stress usually associated with launching a boat at an unfamiliar slipway. The Suzuki made light work of putting the boat into the water, as well as pulling it out again after the day’s cruising.
The suede and fabric combination seating is very comfortable and the Vitara can easily accommodate four passengers and the driver. To load larger items, simply fold down the 60:40 split rear seats. Interior cabin noise is kept impressively low, an indication of the lengths Suzuki has gone to in making a vehicle that offers the best possible ride. Suzuki has certainly done its homework with noise dampening. You can hardly hear the 2.4-litre VVT (variable valve timing) petrol motor when you’re on the road. The VVT technology improves power and torque to offer 122Kw at 6 000 rpm and 225 Nm at 4 000 rpm.
The instrumentation is aesthetically pleasing in design and easy on the eye. Climate control is standard on the Grand Vitara and the highquality audio system offers crisp sound.
There are three driving modes that can be used depending on the environment. I used the Vitara only in 4H mode which is used for normal driving as I was mainly driving on dust roads that were relatively flat and easy to negotiate. The 4H lock mode is designed for more serious off-road driving and is a high range 4×4 mode offering evenly distributed traction to the front and rear wheels for powering through deep mud or more difficult conditions. The third mode is the 4L lock setting which ensures there is enough low-end traction to get out of the most difficulty offroad conditions.
ABS braking with EBD is standard, as well as traction control and stability control is present, which enhances control and reduces front and rear wheel slip. Ventilated discs front and rear are standard and tyres are either 17 inch or 18 inch depending on the model, and fuel fo the vehicle is supplied from its 66-litre tank.
Central locking and immobilizer are standard on the Grand Vitara and it also enjoys a 3 year 100 000 km warranty, a 6 year 90 000 km service plan and AA roadside assistance – giving you piece of mind in ownership.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is a capable tow vehicle that competes well against other SUVs on the market and with the entire Suzuki range gaining a foothold in the current tough economic climate; it is a clear indication that this manufacturer is producing quality vehicles.
The final thought
This Suzuki has made me realise that my next car, whatever it may be, will have an automatic gearbox. Blended with this Vitara’s workhorse 2.4-litre engine for raw power to slug a heavy boat up the slipway (or negotiate treacherous off-road rocky conditions), the motor and gearbox combination come together to present a package which makes driving a pleasure. With its smooth, comfortable ride, the Vitara is certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for a vehicle would you can drive daily – and love every second of it!
For more information, contact you nearest authorized Suzuki auto dealership.