1. The styling
It could be argued that from a styling point of view, the Vitara is one of Suzuki’s better efforts of recent times. It isn’t simply a copycat design of anything else in the class, and looks as chunky as you’d expect from an SUV. In a segment where the Nissan Juke is a little odd-looking and the Renault Captur rather soft, buyers might be drawn towards the more conventional Suzuki.
2. The cabin
It may look a little too plain inside for some, but Suzuki is keen to emphasise the generous standard equipment levels for the Vitara. All models feature seven airbags, alloy wheels, a DAB digital radio with both Bluetooth and USB connectivity, cruise control, and air conditioning, among other bits and bobs.
Higher spec models gain 17-inch alloy wheels and satellite navigation, while the top SZ5 trim level gains full LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof – a really impressive list of kit for a Suzuki.
3. The engines
A choice of two engines will be available from launch: one petrol and one diesel, both displacing 1.6 litres. Both produce the same 120hp total power output, but the turbocharged diesel unit is by far the more torquey – 236lb ft plays 115lb ft in the petrol.
A six-speed automatic gearbox will be available for the SZ5 petrol model late in summer 2015, but for now both units will be equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, sending power to either all four wheels, or just the fronts. Emissions for the front-wheel-drive petrol stand at 123g/km while the diesels drop as low as 106g/km, resulting in a measly £20 per year tax bill.
4. The customisation options
Although Suzuki appeared to have played it safe with the design of the interior, the air vent surrounds and main dash panel can be finished in a selection of four shades (including the turquoise shown in the photos) so buyers can add their own personal touch to perk up the inside.
The outside can be tweaked too: two styling packs can be specified for the exterior. the Urban pack adds a roof spoiler and chrome fog lamp bezels, and the Rugged pack adds front and rear skid plates and a protector for the boot edge.
5. The price
Suzuki has ensured that the Vitara is priced as competitively as possible. The entry-level 1.6 litre SZ4 starts from £13,999 – £2,200 less than the cheapest Vauxhall Mokka. Prices for the top spec all-wheel drive 1.6 diesel rise to £21,299, with all versions going on sale from April.
What do you think?
We think the Vitara looks like a big improvement over the old model – but what do you think? Could it tempt you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.