Automotive enthusiasts familiar with the Suzuki Vitara nameplate will remember that it started out as a basic SUV with a ladder-frame chassis and part-time 4WD system. Lauded for its off-road credentials and durability, the Vitara evolved through the years to better respond to the changing needs of the market. Buyers today want a comfortable and stylish go-anywhere package that doesn’t cost a fortune, and will last them through the years. They’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well the new Vitara AllGrip, manufactured at Magyar Suzuki in Hungary, delivers on these criteria.
The heart of the Vitara AllGrip is its sophisticated all-wheel drive system. In “Auto” mode, a viscous coupling system quickly and seamlessly redirects torque to the rear wheels when it detects the front wheels beginning to slip. Throttle, wheel angle and other sensors further optimize the front/rear torque distribution when you choose between “Sport” and “Snow” modes. For extremely slippery situations, selecting “Lock” mode directs nearly 50% of torque to the rear wheels, and at the same time applies braking force to any individual wheel that is slipping. Choosing between these modes is easy with a rotary dial behind the shifter and a button for “Lock” mode.
Powering the Vitara is a compact 1.6-liter, 16-valve engine with variable valve timing, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Rated at 115hp and 156Nm, it’s a great balance between power and fuel efficiency. In full auto mode, the powertrain is programmed for smooth and economical fuel consumption. But should you choose to go into manual mode, the Vitara provides a sporty and rewarding experience as well.
The heart of the Vitara AllGrip is its sophisticated all-wheel drive system
Long-time Vitara fans will marvel at the superb ride quality of the Vitara AllGrip. While the traditional body-on-frame engineering of the past was lauded for its toughness, advances in engineering like Suzuki’s TECT frame have made it possible to make a monocoque chassis that can go off-road while providing superior stiffness and damping qualities. In concert with its premium Continental touring tires and front strut and rear torsion beam suspension, the Vitara has a solid and quiet ride that belies its compact dimensions.
All-wheel drive is only part of a good SUV’s formula. It’s also about having good angles so you can traverse uneven terrain safely. To start off, the Vitara has impressive ground clearance of 185mm. Approach, break-over and departure angles are 18.2°, 28.2° and 17.7°, respectively. What this means is it can take on light to moderately challenging trails without scraping its underbelly or getting stuck.
Who says you should be uncomfortable in a go-anywhere vehicle? The Vitara has a raft of modern features such as a panoramic moonroof, 10-inch multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless engine start, and full-auto climate control. Its multi-information dash panel also displays real-time torque/power distribution and accelerometer, while the central screen can be set to display vehicle pitch and roll, as well as the compass.
No fewer than six airbags are fitted to the Vitara: Front, side and curtain airbags deploy in a split second to protect the driver and the front passenger from serious injury. Antilock brakes with an electronic stability control system are also available. Indeed, the Vitara AllGrip is an exceedingly safe and dynamic machine with which to travel the countryside.
Finally, the Vitara is styled to age well through the years. Strategically placed creases and edges give the traditional wagon shape a sense of visual mass and sharpness. Its five-element grille and strong front bumper give it a sleek and modern look, while chrome side moldings, door garnish, a rear skid plate, and a roof spoiler complete the sporty trimmings.
Priced at just P1,458,000 for monotone colors—and only an additional P10,000 for two-tone paint jobs—the all-new Suzuki Vitara AllGrip is a stunning value for drivers who need one vehicle that can do it all and take on all comers.
This branded article was produced in partnership with Suzuki Philippines.