Suzuki Vitara 1.5

SZ-T Hybrid ALLGRIP

Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, side, static
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, side, static
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, rear, static
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, interior
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, engine
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, 2022, boot

THERE are hybrid versions of Suzukis that they developed with Toyota, namely the Space and Across, but the latet full hybrid Vitara combines the latest 1.5 litre petrol and electric motor to deliver a punchy 115PS of power.

There are three models to choose from starting with the SZ-T at £25,499, the SZ5 and SZ5 ALLGRIP. The all feature two drive modes, standard and eco and all are well equipped. The range topper driven here also featured the latest four wheel drive .

It is a stylish looking compact SUV that attracted attention, especially in its two-tone livery, virtually everywhere it was parked.

The latest model still features the familiar clamshell bonnet, raked windscreen and distinctive chrome grille, smart headlight clusters and LED daytime lamps. The firm says improved aerodynamics are reflected in new bumpers, a sloping roof line and specially shaped side mirrors based on the results of airflow analysis.

The contrasting black roof, door mirrors and wheel arch guards give it a particularly eye-catching appeal.

The interior is smart and airy, more functional than premium, with solid and robust switchgear. The centrepiece touchscreen, has been around a while but is intuitive and user friendly.

It controls a number of major functions including infotainment and navigation and connectivity via smartphones.

All models are well equipped and include front and rear electric windows, keyless entry and start, 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels and rear privacy glass.

The SZ5 adds 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat upholstery, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and, of course, the availability of ALLGRIP 4WD as an option.

Suzuki's all wheel drive capability is well documented, as a recent, tough off-road foray in the Vitara's sister model the Jimny comprehensively demonstrated.

There are four modes: The auto mode is designed for economy and uses two-wheel drive by default. It switches to four wheel drive if it detects wheel spin. Sport and Snow modes pretty much speak for themselves, while the Lock mode is for extricating the car from snow, mud, or sand. A limited slip differential helps brake any slipping wheel and transfer torque to the gripping wheels.

It is practical and off-road capable, but there is more than that. It is a comfortable family vehicle, with good head and legroom, while the seats are comfortable and fully adjustable and the commanding driving position is a bonus.

The petrol/electric combo delivers gutsy performance with the seemingly pedestrian 0-60 sprint of over 13 seconds feeling quicker. The auto transmission is not my favourite, but gets the job done efficiently.

The hybrid system consists of a 140V lithium-ion battery and inverter, Motor Generator Unit, a 12V lithium-ion battery as well as a conventional 12V lead-acid battery to power components requiring lower voltage such as lights, instruments and heating/air conditioning.

Practicality and versatility are key with this kind of vehicle and it offers decent if not class leading of stowage space.

Handling is decent with some evidence of wallow when cornering, but the ride is comfortable enough.

The car is also packed with safety kit to deliver a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Equipment includes seven airbags including driver's knee bag, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention; blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Vitara 1.5 SZ-T Hybrid ALLGRIP

Price: £29,299

Mechanical: 115ps, 1,463cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving all wheels via 6-speed out gearbox

Max Speed: 111mph

0-62mph: 13.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 48.4

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 132g/km

Bik rating:31%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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