Since 1988, the Vitara has been part of the universally usable SUV that is designed for everyday use and off-road use. The fourth generation of the on- and off-roader can now be found on the streets with a facelift from 2018. As with all manufacturers, Suzuki relies on downsizing and mild hybrid technology for all passenger car models to reduce the emission values of conventional petrol engines. The model is available with mild hybrid technology in the version with the 1,4 l as a mild hybrid version and now also as a full hybrid. We tested the new full hybrid version with a 1,5 l in-line four-cylinder engine and a 24,6 kW electric motor.
The trend in Europe towards electric mobility is being continuously expanded by Suzuki in cooperation with Toyota. After the introduction of mild hybrid technology, the next step has been taken with the full hybrid version. With the combination of the 102 hp 1,5 liter petrol engine and the 24,6 kW Electric motor powers both the front-wheel drive model (our test car) and the all-wheel drive model. Compared to the conventional engine, the installation of the 0,84 kWh lithium-ion battery under the floor of the trunk results in a slightly smaller loading volume of 289 liters in the trunk. The volume can be increased to 1.046 liters with the split folding rear seat bench. The low battery capacity already indicates that the purely electric driving distances are limited to a few kilometers in everyday life.
The Suzuki Vitara has gained a following, especially in the leisure sector. In addition to the practical usable storage space, it also offers the option of a braked Trailers to be coupled with up to 1.200 kg. However, the dead weight has increased by another 80 kilograms due to the additional motor. At 1.320 kg, it is still a lightweight among SUVs. Consistent lightweight construction has been practiced by Suzuki for decades.
When driving, the automated 6-speed manual transmission is a bit tough, the gear change takes place with a slight delay, and the transitions are often accompanied by the electric motor stepping in. This bridges gaps in torque. The Vitara focuses more on cruising and is designed for long-distance operations. According to the WLTP, the combined consumption values are given as 5,3 l/100 km. Three driving modes can be selected on the Vitara, from sporty to normal to ECO mode. During our tests, we deliberately switched to ECO mode for the most part, and according to the on-board computer, 6,7 l were achieved. In real operation, consumption values of between 6 and 7 liters are realistic in our winter tests with a defensive driving style. In normal operation, you can add another liter of E-10 petrol in winter.
The Vitara is offered with two engines. The mild hybrid variant as "1.4 BOOSTERJET HYBRID" and the full hybrid we tested "1.5 DUALJET HYBRID". With both variants you can choose between front and all-wheel drive. We tested the "Comfort +" equipment line. The standard safety equipment has been upgraded with dual-sensor-supported active brake support, lane departure warning system with steering intervention, drowsiness detection, traffic sign recognition, a blind spot warning system, parking assistant and reversing camera. For 32.500 euros with front-wheel drive (August 2022), the Comfort + comes with extensive equipment including a panoramic glass sunroof, electrically folding exterior mirrors and polished 17-inch rims.
In the fourth generation Suzuki with the current engine, the consumption values have been slightly reduced again. The full hybrid in the "Comfort #" variant is technically equipped with many assistance systems for relaxed long-distance journeys. The target groups are ambitious SUV fans who want to use a practical and versatile vehicle for family and leisure activities. It is primarily designed for relaxed medium and long-distance cruising.
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