Carshop First Drive: New Suzuki Vitara Turbo

  Calvin Fisher


Suzuki's Boosted Baby – Calvin Fisher gets to grips with some more Boosterjet goodness from Suzuki.

Like the new Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo driven last week (read it here the latest Vitara is now equipped with the 1.4-litre Boosterjet direct injection turbo K14C DITC engine. A Vitara turbo finally, for a compact SUV first conceived in 1988!

I had the privilege of running a 3rd generation model for a year in 2008, but this is an evolution of the 4th gen, first released in 2015. It received a minor change in 2019 - and this is a continuation of the sweeping upgrades.

Like that car I had, and the two generations of Vitara before it, it's here that Suzuki honed its reputation twofold, smiles for miles and an inane ability to pack big car space onto little car footprints. Second only (in the world) to Daihatsu, a moot point if ever there was one. With styling best described as proudly Japanese, a well-appointed cabin that echoes this and a driving experience now firmly updated.

That great 'on road demeanor' is further complimented by the new heart, packing 103kW and 220Nm as early as 1500rpm. What's it like? Two words, frugal and perky. With an unrestrained approach to driving it around Gauteng we easily kept the fuel consumption tucked under 5l/100km.

This in a compact SUV packed to the rafters with gear, many of them in the form of acronyms such as ABS, EBD and ESP. And since we're on the subject of safety, it boasts 7 airbags and a reinforced safety cell. More toys include a new 7-inch touchscreen with USB and Bluetooth connectivity plus the now almost obligatory screen sharing via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The rest of the Vitara range gets similar upgrades with reverse cameras and a wealth of improvements to comfort. The other GLX models for example also get a central touchscreen, keyless entry, Push to Start, Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent. With seven colors, (with two-tone roof options), the aforementioned plethora of features and a powertrain with real verve, the Vitara goes from strong performer to no brainer. A pity that it will get lost in the biggest, most hotly contested segment out there. Which is a shame, because it's brilliant.

New Suzuki Vitara Turbo Spec:

Engine 1.4l, inline 4-cyl, turbocharged
Power 103kW
Torque 237Nm
Gearbox 6 speed manual/auto
Driven Wheels Front
0-100kph 8 seconds
Top Speed205kph
Average Fuel Consumption N/A
CO2 Emissions N/A


1.4 Suzuki Vitara Turbo GLX Manual R378,900.00
1.4 Suzuki Vitara Turbo GLX Auto R397,900.00

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