In-depth reviews

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.

Warranty

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.

Servicing

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.

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