The 2019 Suzuki Vitara
The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Caroline drives the 2019 Suzuki Vitara!

The Suzuki Vitara has status as a bit of a legend. Debuting in 1988, early iterations of the Vitara had boxy, utilitarian attitude by the bucketloads. In fact it’s not uncommon to see some late 80s and early 90s models still on the road.

Over the years, the Suzuki Vitara has morphed to suit the rise in popularity of the ‘soft-roader’ and SUV. Softer around the edges, it’s probably reached its meekest form in the current generation of the car. That’s not an insult, and it’s great to see Suzuki adapting their Vitara to suit market trends. With pricing starting from €20,995, the Vitara is now scrapping it out with the other compact crossover. But while most of its competitors have been spawned from superminis, I was delighted to find that the Vitara still has a whiff of its tough early roots about it.

The Suzuki Vitara is available from €20,995
The Suzuki Vitara is available from €20,995

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

In early 2019, Suzuki refreshed the Vitara range with styling upgrades, new engines and more technology and safety features. That’s good for Vitara fans.

On the outside the 2019 Suzuki Vitara has a more elegant front face with redesigned grille and lower bumper, and the rear lamps have now been redesigned with a distinctive LED display. There is something charming about the Vitara’s presence, and while the back of the car is a little too generic for my liking, you can’t deny that there is a plucky toughness to this car that is missing from many rivals.

There are also two new colours for 2019, including Solar Yellow Pearl and Ice Greyish Blue, the latter of which is particularly fashionable!

The interior of the 2019 Suzuki Vitara
The interior of the 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Inside the 2019 Suzuki Vitara

In Ireland the Suzuki Vitara is sold in three trim levels: SZ4 (from €20,995), SZT (from €22,995) and SZ5 (from €26,495).

Inside there is new seat trim design and suede seat fabric fitted on SZ5 models. The upper instrument panel is upgraded to a soft touch material and the instrument cluster now features a central colour information display. There are still plenty of hard plastics about the cabin but it’s simple and inoffensive with good levels of standard equipment. Bluetooth, alloy wheels, electric windows, cruise control and climate control are fitted as standard on all models, while smartphone link audio and navigation is fitted as standard on SZ-T and SZ5 grade.

SZ5 also adds Dual Sensor Brake Support (also on SZ-T ALLGRIP models), Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Interior space is good for this class of vehicle. There is good room to stretch out in the back and there is also a practical 375 litre boot, comparative to any hatchback. Lots of headroom all round too.

Rear seating in the Suzuki Vitara
Rear seating in the Suzuki Vitara

What are my engine options?

Engines for the Vitara range now include the excellent 1.0-litre (111hp) and 1.4-litre (140hp) turbocharged petrol engines with Boosterjet technology, seen already on other models in the Suzuki range like the Swift and S-Cross. The 1.0-litre petrol comes with a 5 speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the 1.4 litre petrol is available with a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox. ALLGRIP ‘Select’ four wheel drive is also available from €28,495.

My test car was the Suzuki Vitara 1.0 SZT with a list price of €22,995. This 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine suits the car well and has adequate power and performance. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.2l/100km.

Driving the Suzuki Vitara

You sit higher in the Vitara than in some of the more low slung hatchback-based crossovers. The little Vitara is fun to drive and grips the tarmac willingly with light but precise steering and not too much body roll. There is some road noise at high speeds and the suspension picks up some disturbances over uneven tarmac but overall the Vitara is a surprisingly good compact crossover.

The Suzuki Vitara is perhaps a slightly offbeat choice in the compact crossover segment. Yet it’s very enjoyable to drive and has its own charm. It’s good value with the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and comes well equipped with plenty of space. If you are in the market for a small SUV, the Vitara is definitely worth a test drive – it could win you over very quickly!

The Suzuki Vitara is a fun little crossover for the compact class
The Suzuki Vitara is a fun little crossover for the compact class

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Suzuki Vitara 1.0 SZT
€22,995 (from €20,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
111 hp
Torque: 160 Nm
12.5 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
5.7 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
Motor tax: 
€270 per year