THERE is a very sound case for downsizing and Suzuki showcases is skills in the smaller car market with the latest Vitara.
The new Vitara is no attempt to drive upmarket in terms of size but a statement that the compact SUV is very much within the Suzuki territory and sales are beginning to prove the point.
The Vitara has no easy ride because it enters a market packed with competitors, but few offer the combination of sheer value and enjoyment this model offers.
Certainly a far cry from the Grand Vitara of the early 2000s which was more of a 4x4, the Vitara of today is very much a versatile transport solution and has a great deal going for it.
The series has evolved through changes in body size and powertrain. Now, more than 25 years after the original model's debut, the Vitara heritage is embodied in a fresh sport utility vehicle, albeit crossover incarnation.
The all-new Vitara has compact dimensions to meet contemporary needs and features Suzuki's cutting-edge ALLGRIP four wheel drive system as an option.
Advanced safety and connectivity equipment is available and Vitara also enables owners to express themselves through various personalisation options.
The new Vitara went into production at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary earlier this year and is an indicator of Suzuki's recent sales successes in the global market.
There are both diesel and petrol options and one of the more interesting is the 1,586cc 16v petrol option.
Some might think that a 1.6 is a little limp for a car that is regarded as a SUV but this is quite wrong because it falls into Suzuki's area of expertise to get the absolute most out of smaller engines.
And so, the little M16A engine linked to a five-speed manual gearbox offers a maximum speed of 112mph and 0-62mph acceleration of 11.5 seconds.
Not too surprising though as this car was a front-drive version, but a true pointer to the way SUV design is heading with the revitalisation of the petrol engine concept.
On the economy front a combined mpg figure of 53.3 is possible with a CO2 readout of 123g/km which is not bad at all for a 1.6 petrol.
The audio system with navigation and smartphone connectivity gives access to advanced smartphone features on higher end variants.