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In-depth reviews

Suzuki Vitara review - Interior, design and technology

The sharply suited Suzuki VItara is let down by a cheap-looking interior - but it's very well equipped

Park the Vitara next to the SX4 S-Cross and they look virtually the same size, but the official statistics reveal that the Vitara is slightly shorter. It’s still bigger than the Nissan Juke, though, so it has a sizeable presence on the road.

The chunky styling focuses on sharp lines and striking details. It’s a solid-looking SUV, with a bright two-bar grille that connects the headlights. There’s a silver skid plate insert lower down in the bumper, and while this might be more cosmetic than functional, it gives the Suzuki a rugged look. The bright LED running lights sit either side of the foglights in angular recesses that accentuate the car’s width.

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Other design details such as the fake vents at the edges of the bonnet and the muscular lines that flow back along the doors and up over the rear wheels add a dash of sportiness. Metallic paint is available for around £430, but if you want a contrasting black roof it’ll cost an extra £370.

Inside, the interior design is lifted by a large central clock and a smart, seven-inch touchscreen that’s standard on mid-grade trims and above. The instrument cluster is simple and easy to read, while a strip of plastic that stretches across the dash can be ordered in a variety of colours and textures.

If you want to customise the interior even further, you can spec the rings surrounding the air vents in different colours, as well as the plastic trim around the gearlever. It all helps give an even more vibrant feel – and the Vitara’s cabin needs it.

Without this extra trim, the Suzuki is a little dull. The materials don’t look or feel any more expensive than its rivals’ here, with hard plastics throughout. Still, everything seems well screwed together – it’s just that the cabin lacks quality at this price.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The entry-level SZ4 Vitara comes with a four-speaker audio system with DAB digital radio, a CD player and USB/Bluetooth for media streaming, as well as steering wheel controls.

The SZ-T and SZ5 models add a touchscreen sat-nav system, plus MirrorLink smartphone connectivity, while the SZ5 also has slightly better sound quality thanks to the addition of a couple of tweeters. The glossy nav screen can be a little difficult to see in bright sunlight, but the Vitara’s multimedia package is slick to use, and flicking through different functions in the Vitara is easy.

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