Suzuki Vitara review - Reliability and safety
The Vitara boasts excellent crash test results, but Suzuki owners seem to have a downer on build quality
Suzuki has traditionally boasted a strong reputation for building durable cars, but a 17th-place finish in our 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey suggests that the brand is currently performing in the middle of the pack. That being said, Suzuki finished above Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes.
The Vitara itself achieved 54th place out of 75 cars. Overall reliability was good, but customers didn't think much of the exterior styling and build quality.
There’s better news when it comes to safety, because the Vitara was awarded a five-star rating in Euro NCAP’s 2015 tests, which are tougher than ever. The independent crash tester rated adult and child occupant protection at 89% and 85% respectively, while pedestrian safety was scored at an impressive 76% – a performance that’s a world away from the bull-bar-equipped Vitaras of the 1990s.
All versions of the Suzuki Vitara get seven airbags, stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring, along with more advanced safety kit such as a lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, a rear traffic alert system and traffic sign recognition.
The standard Suzuki three-year/60,000-mile warranty applies to the Vitara, and it’s the same cover as Nissan offers on the Juke. Look to the Korean makers Hyundai and Kia for much better warranty value, with five and seven-year warranty cover respectively.
Suzuki engineers seem to have missed the memo about the trend toward extending service intervals across the industry. They want your Vitara to have a check-up once a year – or every 9,000 miles, which is relatively short these days.
In this review
- 1Suzuki Vitara reviewThe 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 spaceTwo-wheel-drive versions lack the versatility of the 4x4, but the Vitara's 'crossover' design is practical enough
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe Vitara boasts excellent crash test results, but Suzuki owners seem to have a downer on build quality