Suzuki’s Grand Vitara is Suzuki’s time-worn SUV that has been around for the past decade and still a serious contender in the market. It is a pretty basic vehicle and there are 3 different grades that you can look at that offer either 2-wheel or all-wheel drive. The car is without some of the later technology like keyless entry and electronically adjusted seats and parking sensors and a powered tailgate are missing too.
At the same time, there are only 4 stars on the ANCAP safety rating for the Grand Vitara. You get stability and traction control as well as six airbags, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, but because there isn’t autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring, it falls short of the full 5 stars.
The Grand Vitara can rev with the rest of them pretty well and you can get up to 6000rpm with not many issues. The car changes gears quickly and efficiently, but we would much prefer if there were more to play with since at higher speeds, the engine starts to sound a bit strained. That said, the low speeds might give you a bit of a bumpy ride too since there is a fair bit of body roll when turning corners or running over bumps in the road.
But off road, the Grand Vitara more than makes up for it. You get a very tough and no-nonsense experience from the car which will take you rather easily over terrain. But beware if you’re looking at a used Grand Vitara because the car may have taken quite a beating previous. Check well and look at comprehensive insurance claim histories to make sure that your car is still in good shape before you take it on.
The Grand Vitara is surprisingly comfortable – there is ample space for the 2 sitting in front of course and the rear seat is extremely spacious. It seems particularly committed to making your family comfortable – possibly to make up for that lack of the last star on the safety rating so you won’t have too much trouble putting in 3 kids with seatbelts or safety seats using the child-seat anchor points, and you won’t have them complaining about lack of a view because they’ve got good leverage back there. The seats are a little high though, and some may find it difficult to get in and out of the car.
You’ll also get plenty of cargo space and cubbies. You get 398 litres of cargo space which can go all the way up to 1,368 when you have the rear seats down. You’ll especially like that you can go camping with the Grand Vitara with the kids because you’ll also get a neat cargo bay light and a 12-volt power outlet for plugging in a fridge if you choose to bring one along.
The Grand Vitara gives you the basics and an immense amount of space, but there are compromises with the drive where the car seems to be a bit lacking in terms of stability and handling. It’s good as a mid-range SUV for yourself and your family, but do compare your car financing options before making your decision!