The new Suzuki Vitara is finally here, and it's hoping to abandon memories of the dated previous car with Range Rover Evoque inspired styling and much more advanced equipment. There's also more dynamic ability on offer, but it's not quite up with the class best.
The new Vitara shares its platform with the SX4 S-Cross, the other mid-sized crossover in Suzuki’s range. Thanks to a raised ride height and more rugged angular styling, the Vitara is the more overtly off-road looking model, but a 100mm shorter wheelbase and a smaller boot mean it’s more of a Nissan Juke rival, while the S-Cross takes on the Nissan Qashqai.
Suzuki has a long history of building hard-wearing, affordable small 4x4s, so its no surprise that the Vitara is offered in both front and four-wheel drive configurations. There’s a choice of a 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel engines, both of which feel sportier than you'd expect, as well as manual and automatic gearboxes.
A sporty Vitara S has also been introduced which features a brand new 1.4-litre turbocharged engine. It may be the smallest engine of the three available but it's the most powerful and is still more fuel efficient than the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol.