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Read and compare reviews on the Suzuki Vitara 2015 – 2019 Models from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

2019 Suzuki Vitara Turbo Awd Review – Safer Suzi

Suzuki Vitara review NZ Autocar


Suzuki has given the Vitara SUV an update, freshening its appearance and boosting on-board safety tech. Top-tier models continue with the 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine and all-wheel drive, and that’s the one we spent some time in recently.

In terms of outward changes, Vitara offers new 17-inch alloys, a redesigned bumper, LED daytime running lights and rear privacy glass. There are some fresh bits inside too, like a softer touch dash and new seat trimmings.

We found the latter to be on the firm side and lacking in lower back support, meaning longer drives could necessitate more pit stops. But the seven-inch digital infotainment screen is as easy to use as ever and the six-speaker audio system offers great sound quality.

Speaking of quality, the interior finishings are up to snuff at this price point with the leather-bound steering wheel, chrome garnishings, centre analogue and silver-ringed instruments adding a nice layer of luxury.

We wish they had boosted the AC in the upgrade however. With a heatwave enveloping the country at the time, the air conditioning struggled, with the ‘Low’ setting translating to 17 degrees.

The same, but different: 2019 Suzuki Vitara first impressions

Suzuki Vitara review Driven


It used to be that every Suzuki SUV would more or less sing from the same songbook of off-road performance and rugged charm.

But these days, the Japanese carmaker’s assortment of terra-firma tacklers reads less like a unified group and more like some kind of motoring ‘boy band’ — all fundamentally the same, but simultaneously cornering different niches.

There’s the Jimny of course; the heart of the band who’s most loyal to its roots. There’s the Ignis and S-Cross; the weird new members lacking in lore. There’s the Grand Vitara; a band manager that’s 15 years older than everyone else but desperately trying to stay hip. And then there’s the Vitara; the lead singer.

It might not be the most exciting singer on the charts, but the Vitara is nonetheless an SUV sales hero for Suzuki. And they’ve just released a face-lifted model for 2019, which we drove alongside the new Jimny at the manufacturer’s recent national launch.

Those figures are the same as those from the old model, which is a good thing given this new model offers a selection of new features.

Visually, the dial hasn’t been turned too far. The Vitara isn’t exactly a natural beauty, but it does look distinctive and different.

Small SUV is big value for money



Both Suzuki Vitaras turned 30 years old last year. Wait, both?

Yeah, the current Vitara and the Grand Vitara sort of split off from the same line in a messy way, with the Grand Vitara carrying on with the ladder chassis history of the original, while the vehicle we now call the Vitara shares a monocoque platform with the S-Cross.

But it was only the latter that got a facelift for its birthday that included a new front and a whole load of new safety gear for good measure.

So this isn’t really a proper Vitara is it?

Depends what you consider “proper” to be – is it a rugged ladder chassis part-time 4X4? No. Does it have the associated crude ride and poor on-road handling properties? Thankfully, also no.

Nope, this is a modern, comfortable small crossover SUV, which was a direction Suzuki always had to take the Vitara if the company ever hoped to sell any.

This particular example will enrage hardcore purists even further by not even being AWD, truly surrendering everything the Vitara used to stand for in favour of fashion over function.

Well, guess what? It’s way better for it too.

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