There are big ones, small ones, electric and family ones, “coupes”, diesels and PHEVs. SUVs represent, in France, nearly 40% of car sales in 2021.
The Japanese brand, specialist in the genre and ally of Toyota (the two brands entered each other’s capital in 2019), takes the opportunity to offer its Vitara, third best-selling Suzuki in France in 2021, a hybrid engine.
Resumption of the Corolla or the Yaris? No. This is the real surprise: it is an “in-house” engine, called upon to animate other Suzukis, including the new S-Cross.
This 102 hp 1.5 liter 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine works in conjunction with an electric motor, which can drive the Vitara on its own for a few hundred meters or even a little more.
It delivers up to 33 hp, is located at the gearbox output and directly drives the transmission shaft.
The driveline relies on a robotized gearbox, which is content with a single clutch. Like the late Sensodrive and BMP of another age, from the PSA group, who shone by their clumsiness, their jolts and their annoying tendency to make you bob back and forth between gears.
On paper, this technological choice on the part of Suzuki can be worrying. But in practice, with the electric motor that compensates for the torque break felt between two speeds, it works very well.
There is this rocking effect during the sharpest accelerations, during insertions on the fast lanes, but this transmission called AGS deserves more praise than negative criticism.
It is long on the trigger when it comes to overtaking, with a marked response time even when using the steering wheel paddles, and leads to an increase in noise level when downshifting, also due to any soundproofing of the Vitara.
But this robotic box is perfectly forgotten on a daily basis, in town as on the secondary network, in family driving.
Despite a combined power of only 115 hp, the small Japanese SUV takes advantage of its contained weight (1,338 kg) to offer decent acceleration. On the other hand, our tests carried out in the Alps did not allow us to apprehend its true average consumption…
On the winding roads of the region, where we consumed 7.4 l/100 km of unleaded on average, and in the heart of local weather conditions, the Vitara once again demonstrated its ability when fitted with tires winter and equipped with the 4×4 AllGrip transmission.
It is a real reassuring and versatile all-purpose, which shines less for its dynamism than for its healthy behavior, but which a layer of snow does not frighten.
Since the 1.4 Boosterjet “micro-hybrid” (alternator-starter) sold so far is only available with manual transmission, this 1.5 Dualjet engine is the only one to benefit from an “automated” gearbox on the Vitara .
But it leads an additional cost of €1,300 compared to the one it replaces. It will therefore be necessary to count on a minimum of €27,890 to take advantage of this new engine (whose first deliveries are scheduled for March 2022), or even €2,000 more to pair it with the AllGrip drivetrain.
On board the Suzuki, nothing new, and that’s a shame: this small SUV born in 2015 struggles to hide its wrinkles. The materials that make up its dashboard are hard to the touch, sensitive to scratches and not flattering.
Same story on the on-board technology side. The needle counters are legible and the ergonomics serve simplicity of use, but the multimedia system, already not innovative when it was released, seems really dated, both in terms of design and functionality.
The Japanese, whose trunk volume does not reach 300 liters, tries to compensate with a good size/habitability ratio and with well-stocked equipment from the access version (automatic air conditioning, 7 airbags, adaptive cruise control, “hands-free” access/starting, blind spot monitoring, reversing camera, touch screen, heated front seats, etc.)
Suzuki Vitara test – our opinion:
“The right product, in the right place,” says a Suzuki dealer based in the Alps, about the Vitara. That’s true, especially with the 4×4 drivetrain. For the rest, the Vitara is rather pleasant but aging. And its new hybrid engine, although pleasant, struggles to justify the additional cost that accompanies it.
Photos ACE Team.
- Well-provided equipment
- Simple ergonomics
- Proposition 4×4
- Size/habitability ratio
We love less
- Presentation dated
- Any soundproofing
- Material quality
- Limited performance
Specifications (Suzuki Vitara Dualjet Hybrid Auto AllGrip)
- Internal combustion engine: front, transverse, 4-cylinder, gasoline, 1,462 cc3, 102 hp at 6,000 rpm, 138 Nm at 4,400 rpm
- Electric motor: 24kW/56Nm
- Transmission: integral, robotized single clutch, 6 speeds
- Cumulative power (hp): 115
- Curb weight (kg): 1,338
- Long.xlarg.xhaut. (m) : 4,18×1,78×1,61
- Wheelbase (m): 2.50
- Turning circle (m): 10.4
- Max speed (km/h): 180
- 0 to 100 km/h (s): 13.5
- Standard tires : 215/55 R 17
- Test tires: Michelin Alpin 6
- Cons. Mixed WLTP (l/100 km): 5.8
- Cons. during the test (l/100 km): 7.4
- CO2 (g/km): 133
- Malus : 170 €
- 5/2 chest (l): 289/1,046
- Front/rear elbow width (cm): 147/142
- Rear legroom (cm): 71
- Tank (l): 47
- Country of manufacture: Hungary
- Warranty: 3 years/100,000 km
- Fiscal horsepower: 5 CV
- Base rate: €27,890 (Dualjet Hybrid Auto)
- Price of the version tested: €31,840 (Dualjet Hybrid Auto Allgrip, Style finish)
SUGGESTED RANGE (Suzuki Vitara)
Petrol, 129 hp, from €23,690 to €28,840
Petrol hybrid, 115 hp, from €27,890 to €31,840
- Metallic paint: €590
- So’Color metallic paint: €850
- Renault Captur, E-Tech Hybrid 145 hp, from €28,200
- Ford Puma, 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid 125 hp Powershift, from €28,400
- Nissan Juke, DIG-T 114 hp DCT7, from €24,990
Suzuki news, seen by auto-moto.com:
Suzuki S-Cross 2022 test: our opinion at the wheel of the new compact SUV
A Suzuki Jimny transformed into a 5-door monster truck
Suzuki Swift: which version to choose?