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In-depth reviews

Suzuki Vitara - Reliability and safety

The Suzuki Vitara boasts plenty of safety kit, but owners seem to have a downer on the ownership experience

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£25,419 to £30,969
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Suzuki has traditionally boasted a strong reputation for building durable cars, but the brand has slipped one place down from its 2022 position to 22nd out of 32 manufacturers in the 2023 Driver Power satisfaction survey. This puts it ahead of Ford and Volkswagen, but behind Skoda and Toyota.

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The bad news keeps coming because the 2015 Euro NCAP crash test score has since expired due to tougher testing having been introduced in the interim. That doesn’t make the Vitara inherently unsafe, but it does mean that there are newer alternatives that might do a better job of protecting you and other road users around you.

All versions of the Suzuki Vitara come with plenty of safety tech, such as seven airbags, stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring, along with lots of advanced safety kit to help prevent you from having a crash in the first place. These include lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear cross-traffic alert system to warn you of vehicles crossing your path when you go to reverse out of a parking space or onto a main road.

Key standard safety features

Euro NCAP safety ratings

  • Euro NCAP safety rating - N/A

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 Korean makers Hyundai and Kia for much better warranty value, with five and seven years of warranty coverage, respectively.

The standard Suzuki warranty can be extended in a similar way to the Toyota warranty. Getting your Vitara serviced at a Suzuki main dealer increases the cover by 12 months with every service. That’ll extend the manufacturer’s warranty up to the same 100,000 miles as the Toyota one, but the length of cover only goes up until the car is seven years old.

Servicing

Suzuki engineers have increased the service intervals for the 1.4 Boosterjet and 1.5 Hybrid to 12,500 miles, although the service schedule still requires cars to be seen annually rather than the biannual rate of some of its rivals. At least that does mean you can maintain the manufacturer’s warranty as described in the section above.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 Boosterjet SZ4 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £17,150

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid SZ-T 5dr AGS
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £26,460

Fastest

  • Name
    1.4 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,105
Online Reviews Editor

Max looks after the reviews on the Auto Express website. He’s been a motoring journalist since 2017 and has written for Autocar, What Car?, Piston Heads, DrivingElectric, Carbuyer, Electrifying, and Good Motoring Magazine.

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