Suzuki Vitara review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Two-wheel-drive versions lack the versatility of the 4x4, but the Vitara's 'crossover' design is practical enough
As an all-seasons car, the four-wheel-drive version of the Vitara is a practical choice – it might not climb a mountain or cross a river like the Land Rover Defender, or even the old Vitara, but it’s perfectly capable of crossing a muddy field or finding traction on icy roads where two-wheel-drive cars would scrabble for grip.
The front-driven versions are less versatile, but as with other crossover models you get a commanding, SUV-style view of the road ahead, and for many drivers the greater fuel efficiency the 2WD system offers will outweigh the frequency that four-wheel drive will be needed.
It’s easy for drivers to get comfortable, thanks to the wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustment. There are large storage bins in the front doors, although the glove box is a bit on the small side.
Unlike previous Vitara generations there’s no three-door version, so all models are equally practical from the design point of view.
Because it’s 125mm shorter overall (with a 100mm shorter wheelbase) than the SX4 S-Cross, the Suzuki Vitara doesn’t have the same amount of interior space, but it's still a spacious family car.
At 4,175mm long, 1,775mm wide and 1,610mm tall, the Vitara is a little bigger than the Nissan Juke (4,135mm x 1,765mm x 1,565mm) in all directions.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The high-sided design means there’s lots of rear headroom. Legroom is generous enough for all but the tallest adults.
If you want to emphasise the feeling of space, you can opt for a panoramic roof with a large 560mm opening, although on our test car it suffered an irritating rattle (early test cars sometimes have this issue). The sunroof also has an impact on headroom in the rear seats – not an issue if you mainly carry children, but six-footers will find it a problem.
The boot space of 375 litres (increasing to 710 litres with the rear seats folded) is fairly small for a car of this size. Many rivals, such as the SEAT Arona, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 are all capable of hauling more luggage. You get an even smaller boot with the Full Hybrid; its 289-litre space is less than you get in a Ford Fiesta supermini. It’s a well-thought-out shape, though – square, with a wide opening and a moveable boot floor creating a loading area that’s level with the boot lip, which also provides an area to store items out of sight.
The Suzuki Vitara has a modest maximum braked trailer towing capacity when compared to some of the larger SUVs and 4x4s out there. All models are limited to 1,200kg.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Suzuki Vitara has transformed from a chunky off-roader into a softer crossover
- 2Engines, performance and driveNimble handling makes the Vitara fun to drive, while the 1.4 Boosterjet hybrid engine provides a decent turn of pace.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLightweight build and efficient hybrid powertrain make the Vitara an economical crossover.
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe sharply suited Suzuki VItara is let down by a cheap-looking interior - but it's very well equipped
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingTwo-wheel-drive versions lack the versatility of the 4x4, but the Vitara's 'crossover' design is practical enough
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Vitara boasts excellent crash test results, but Suzuki owners seem to have a downer on build quality