The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara Range for 2019

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara
The 2019 Suzuki Vitara on sale in Ireland from February

Suzuki has revised the Vitara range for 2019 with new models available from Irish Suzuki dealerships from February. The 2019 Suzuki Vitara goes on sale from €20,995 with styling upgrades, new engines and more technology and safety features.

On the outside the new 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 are two new colours, including Solar Yellow Pearl and Ice Greyish Blue (pictured).

Inside there is a 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.

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

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.

There are three trim lines for the Vitara in Ireland, SZ4 (from €20,995), SZ-T (from €22,995) and SZ5 (from €26,495).

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.

ALLGRIP ‘Select’ four wheel drive is also available from €28,495.

The 1.0-litre petrol comes with a five speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the 1.4 litre petrol is available with a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox.

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara goes on sale from €20,995
The 2019 Suzuki Vitara goes on sale from €20,995

We look forward to bringing you a full road test of the 2019 Suzuki Vitara later in the year!


Airside Suzuki Dealership

New Airside Suzuki Dealership Opens In Dublin

Airside Suzuki Dealership
The new Airside Suzuki dealership in Dublin

Suzuki Ireland has announced the opening of the new Airside Suzuki dealership at Airside Motor Park in Swords, County Dublin. It's the largest standalone Suzuki showroom in the country, and brings the dealership network in Ireland to 21.

The seven-car dealership, which is part of the very experienced Ashley Group, has been fully refurbished to create a contemporary and welcoming setting. The full Suzuki range is on display with test drives available of all models, including the newly-launched Suzuki Swift Sport supermini.

Going forward, Airside Suzuki customers will also enjoy access to a comprehensive choice of Approved Used Suzuki cars on the forecourt.

Designed as a “one-stop-shop” location for added customer convenience, the new dealer is equally a Suzuki Service Centre, and offers routine maintenance and repairs. Adhering to Suzuki’s Service Promise, vehicle owners will benefit from, amongst other advantages, the supply of courtesy cars, pricing that is transparent, the use of genuine Suzuki parts during any work, and a complementary health check during every visit.

Dale Wyatt, Director of Automobile at Suzuki GB PLC, said: “Airside Motor Park is one of the busiest vehicle retailing hubs in Dublin, and is therefore a prime location to expand Suzuki’s presence in the region. With the Ashley Group bringing over three decades of expertise and know-how in the sector, this is invaluable to helping communicate the multiple benefits that the Suzuki product range offers to today’s motorists. We are delighted to have Airside Suzuki on board, and we look forward to working closely with the business.”

Pat Devitt, Brand Manager for Airside Suzuki, added: “We are proud to have created a showroom which promotes the very best that the Suzuki brand has to offer coupled with a relaxing environment away from the hustle and bustle of the Motor Park where customers can take the time to choose a car which is right for them. Furthermore, with the arrival of the eye-catching third-generation Swift Sport, it’s perfect timing to have joined the retail network. We have already welcomed a number of customers since opening our doors, which is a very encouraging start.”

Airside Suzuki is located at Unit D1 / D2, Airside Enterprise Centre, Airside Motor Park, Swords, Co. Dublin, K67 XC90.

For further information on the Suzuki product range, or to book a test drive, call 01 8957580 or visit www.cars.suzuki.ie/dealers/airsidesuzuki.


Suzuki Swift Sport

Suzuki Swift Sport Review (2018)

Suzuki Swift Sport
The new Suzuki Swift Sport at Mondello Park, Kildare

Suzuki Ireland is adding a new Suzuki Swift Sport to the Swift range. With 140hp, the Suzuki Swift Sport is more of a warm hatch that hot hatch but this package has plenty to entertain, as Caroline Kidd found out at the UK and Irish press launch in County Wicklow.

Styling

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a good-looking small hatchback with a lower and wider profile. The Swift Sport is enhanced with a new grille, bumpers, black aerodynamic under spoilers, 17” alloys, dual tailpipes and a roof-end spoiler. LED headlamps come as standard. The Swift Sport is available in six colours, including Champion Yellow exclusive to the Sport and inspired by the Suzuki Works Junior Rally Team.

Interior

Inside, the Suzuki Swift shows its more budget positioning in the market with a lot of hard black plastics, but the Swift Sport interior is enhanced with unique Sport interior trim that adds some red detail. The tachometer has a red dial face and the speedometer is coloured silver. The front seats have a semi-bucket design. Infotainment is provided via a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation also comes as standard. There is impressive safety equipment on board including Adaptive Cruise Control, Dual Sensor Brake Support and Lane Departure Prevention.

Practicality

The Suzuki Swift Sport feels roomy up front for driver and passenger. The car feels smaller in the back to some rivals. The boot is on the small side for this class of vehicle at 265 litres.

The interior of the Suzuki Swift Sport
The interior of the Suzuki Swift Sport

Engines

Under the bonnet of the Suzuki Swift Sport there’s a 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine producing 140hp and 230Nm of torque. The Swift Sport uses a 6-speed manual gearbox. 0 to 100kmh is 8.1 seconds and the Sport can reach a top speed of 210km/h. CO2 emissions of 125g mean motor tax will be €270 per year and the car can return up to 50.4mpg on a combined cycle.

On the road

The new Suzuki Swift Sport has been engineered under the concept of “ultimate driving excitement”. It’s built on a light but rigid new platform and weighs just 975kg. It’s no surprise that the Suzuki Swift Sport is riotous good fun to drive. Performance could never be described as blistering but the Swift Sport takes on the road with youthful enthusiasm. The grip is superb through corners while the steering is delightfully tactile. The engine noise in the cabin makes the driving experience feel all the more frantic! The ride comfort is fine for daily use with some predictable firmness.

Equipment

There is just one trim level that comes very well-equipped with auto air conditioning, DAB radio, rear privacy glass, touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, electric windows, front fog lamps and rear view camera.

Suzuki Swift Sport
The Suzuki Swift Sport is a fun-to-drive small hatchback

Pricing

Unfortunately, Irish pricing has not been finalised yet. In the UK, the Suzuki Swift Sport starts from £17,995.

Verdict

Pricing remains to be confirmed but the Suzuki Swift Sport is a neat little package with a high spec, plenty of equipment and plenty of character. The performance figures may not look amazing for the new Suzuki Swift Sport but that’s only half the story. The Suzuki Swift Sport is so much fun to drive, with a sort of back-to-basics feel that will have you taking the long way home.

The new Suzuki Swift Sport goes on sale in Ireland in June.

Caroline Kidd


2017 Suzuki Swift review ireland

Suzuki Swift Boosterjet Review

The Suzuki Swift has had many design iterations since its 80’s launch but in the 2000s, Suzuki really nailed it with a styling blueprint that was made fashionable by the relaunched BMW MINI in 2001.

The Suzuki Swift’s squared off roofline, sporty stance, large headlamps, optional bonnet stripes and bi colour finish held it to good stead: the design remained largely unchanged for ten years, yet still managed to look cool and modern.

This year, an all-new Suzuki Swift has arrived in Ireland sitting on Suzuki’s latest small car platform that also underpins the Baleno and the Ignis.

But while the Suzuki Baleno is unfashionably practical and the Ignis is fashionably weird, the Swift is designed to be the model with the most ‘emotional appeal’ in Suzuki’s small car line-up.

And this is an attractive five door supermini. The styling has evolved gently, while bi colour options remain. So far so good for new Swift.

Inside hard plastics prevail in the new interior but aesthetically they don’t look bad at all and there is no arguing that this is a well-built cabin with an intuitive layout. The car is now wider by 4cm and the front seats have been moved further apart to give more shoulder room. Headroom is very good all round and the footwells in the back are bigger than in the old car. The boot is now over 50 litres bigger at 265 litres, though still some way off the class best.

2017 Suzuki Swift review ireland
The interior of the new Suzuki Swift

Suzuki is also offering a good standard specification including air con, 15” alloys, DAB radio, Bluetooth, LED DRLs, leather steering wheel, front electric windows and rear privacy glass (SZ3 from €14,995). A rear view camera and touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto is available one trim level up (SZ-T from €16,995). Top spec SZ5 models (from €18,995) have an impressive list of technology on board including forward collision alert, navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and high beam assist.

That start price of €14,995 will get you a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 90hp. However an even better engine for the new Swift is the 1.0-litre turbo petrol Boosterjet engine that packs 111hp and is available from €16,995. In light of competition from turbo petrol variants of the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and SEAT Ibiza, this one is good value.

On the road, progress in the Suzuki Swift 1.0-litre is brisk, especially around town, while out of town the turbo adds extra flexibility and helps the car pick up speed quickly.  It’s also a very refined unit with little vibration. I returned close to 50mpg on my test drive and emissions are low at just 97g of CO2 per kilometre.

The Suzuki Swift has lost weight and has a kerb weight as low as 890kg on some models. But rigidity has been increased and the Swift handles with aplomb. The steering is quick and the car enters corners eagerly but with some body roll it’s not as tight through corners as a Ford Fiesta or SEAT Ibiza. The cabin is mostly quiet but at high speed there is some more noticeable road and wind noise. Comfort is generally good but the Swift feels more rudimentary over larger imperfections in the road surface.

2017 Suzuki Swift review ireland
The Suzuki Swift is a good value small car with plenty of kerb appeal

The Suzuki Swift is one to watch out for among superminis. The new car has benefited from some modernising inside and out. It’s not the plushest supermini out there or the most spacious, but the technology and new Boosterjet engine make it a formidable competitor in its price range.

Model tested: Suzuki Swift 1.0 SZ5 SHVS Boosterjet
Price: 
€18,995 (Range starts at €14,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
111hp
Torque: 170Nm
0-100km/h:  
10.6 seconds
Top speed: 195km/h
Economy: 
65.7mpg
CO2 emissions:  
97g/km
Motor tax:
€180 per year

Caroline Kidd

If you are looking for a fun, small petrol car, you might also like this review of the SEAT Ibiza.


2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland

Suzuki Ignis Review

Suzuki is happy as a brand to market themselves as the ‘small car experts’ and in early 2017 they added yet another small car to their range in the shape of the new Suzuki Ignis. Ignis joins Celerio, Swift and Baleno in Suzuki’s small car range. That’s quite a portfolio.

But Ignis is a little different. In fact you could almost say Ignis sits in a class of its own. Is it a city car or is it a 4x4?

Well it’s a bit of both. Suzuki class Ignis as a compact crossover, and the cute but chunky, boxy looks are bound to divide opinion.

Pricing starts at a budget friendly €12,995 for a 2WD model, rising to €17,995 for a top spec model equipped with 4WD.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis has the tough look of a mini off-roader

Inside, the cabin is constructed from a mix of hard plastics that’s common in this segment, but the two tone colour scheme with orange accents provides light relief. In short, it’s a bright and pleasant cabin that is modern and easy to navigate. Infotainment is provided via a seven inch touchscreen on all but the base model, which is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

In terms of interior space, the boxy design bodes particularly well. There is ample room up front and in the rear: headroom and legroom is very generous. Only the base model has five seat capacity: the other trims are four seaters with two individually sliding rear seats. The boot is 260 litres, which is good for this size of car too.

The Ignis has a slightly elevated ride height and driving position so you do feel as if you are driving a mini off-roader. There is just one engine available, a 1.2-litre with 90hp, but it’s more than up for the job as the Ignis is very light weighing as low as 855kg. It always feels lively and is robust enough for motorway driving. The engine is paired to a five speed manual gearbox, while there is also an automatic option. My 4WD test car returned close to 50mpg.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The interior of the Suzuki Ignis

The Ignis is good fun to drive with quick, accurate steering and an agile chassis, but there is some lean in corners. It’s best in the city and gets noisy at high speeds, while rough, uneven surfaces will cause some discomfort in the cabin too.

Three trim levels are offered for Ignis in Ireland: SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5. SZ3 is available from €12,995 and equipment includes air con, front electric windows, digital radio and Bluetooth.

SZ-T (from €14,495) adds satellite navigation, rear view camera, wheel arch extensions, side mouldings, roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels.

SZ5 (from €16,495) adds auto air conditioning, LED headlights with LED DRLs, front fog lights, rear electric windows, keyless entry and start, Dual Camera Brake Support and cruise control.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine

Suzuki’s Allgrip 4WD system is an option on SZ5 trim. Automatic gearboxes are available on each model for €1500 on top of the list price.

The Suzuki Ignis is certainly not like any other city car and brings a lot of rugged charm to the city car class. This is a spacious small car and offers good value for money, while the 1.2-litre engine is efficient and makes the Ignis good fun to drive. It feels a bit more basic when it comes to comfort and refinement, but at this pricing you can forgive it some of those ills.

Model tested: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP
Price: 
€17,995 (Range starts at €12,995)
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Power: 
90hp
Torque: 120Nm
0-100km/h:  
11.1 seconds
Top speed: 166km/h
Economy: 
60.1mpg
CO2 emissions:  
106g/km
Motor tax:
€190 per year

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis has plenty of rugged charm

Caroline Kidd

If you are looking for a city car, you might also like this review of the Volkswagen Up.


2017 Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift Review (2017)

The Suzuki Swift has been a feature of Suzuki’s model range in Ireland for many years and is a previous winner of Irish Small Car of the Year. Now the Swift supermini is back for a third generation on an all-new platform. In 2016, the biggest model launch for Suzuki was the Baleno, which was also the car that debuted Suzuki’s brilliant new 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine and is now available for the first time in the Swift. I liked that car very much, but Swift is Suzuki’s more compact supermini with more emotional appeal.

Styling

Baleno is Suzuki’s rational choice of supermini where style kudos has been compromised to maximise space and practicality; Swift wants to be part of the cool gang. The styling is an evolution of the previous generation’s squat look with plenty of round edges to keep the look soft and friendly. There are a choice of seven body colours that complement the Swift including new Burning Red and Speedy Blue. The roof can be finished in contrasting black or silver depending on the body colour for a more unique look.

Interior

The Suzuki Swift has a new interior that looks more modern and is resolutely built. Hard, black plastic features a lot but there is some satin chrome finish that adds a little light relief. The design is simple and understated but overall the cabin lacks soft touch plastics and some of the aesthetic appeal that is becoming more common in this segment. All but the entry model Swift have a touchscreen that controls media and Bluetooth connection, and navigation on top spec models. The system is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Practicality

The Suzuki Swift is sold now as five door only. The new Swift is 1cm shorter than the outgoing model and still comes in under four metres in length making it one of the most compact cars in its segment. Yet the boot is now over 50 litres bigger at 265 litres, though still some way off the class best. The car is now wider by 4cm and the front seats have been moved further apart to give more shoulder room. The wheelbase is 2cm longer than the old car so rear seating space has been boosted. Headroom is exceptionally good so new Swift feels anything but small inside. The rear seats split fold 60:40 as standard for more cargo space.

2017 Suzuki Swift
Interior of the new Suzuki Swift

Engines

The range kicks off with a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol unit with 90hp. Suzuki’s 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine is also available with 111hp. There is no diesel option. Some models come with mild hybrid technology badged ‘SVHS’ that boosts efficiency. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet with SVHS has CO2 emissions as low as 97g/km and returns up to 65.7mpg. The 1.2-litre engine provides similar economy. At the launch I sampled both engines. The 1.0-litre is slow to pull off but as the revs climb it becomes more and more responsive, and adds more flexibility and punch for driving on larger roads. The 1.0-litre automatic is an easy, effortless drive and feels more lively off the line. The 1.2-litre was a surprise hit for me. The engine needs to be revved more, but it’s fun to drive and still perky for urban driving.

On the road

The new Suzuki Swift has lost some weight with the lightest model weighing just 890kg. On the road it’s nimble and easy to drive with good visibility all round. There is body roll in the corners when you push things but the Swift grips on remarkably well, and models with Allgrip 4x4 are even better in this regard. The steering is quick and direct but there is not much in the way of feedback reaching the rim. Refinement is good with very little engine noise in the cabin. But at high speed there is some more noticeable road and wind noise. Comfort is generally good but the Swift is caught out by larger imperfections in the road surface.

Equipment

There are three trim levels for new Suzuki Swift in Ireland – SZ3, SZ5 and SZ-T. The SZ3 model comes with the 1.2-litre engine and equipment includes air con, 15” alloys, DAB radio, Bluetooth, LED DRLs, leather steering wheel, front electric windows and rear privacy glass. The SZ5 model has the 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine with SVHS or 1.2-litre with SVHS and Allgrip 4x4. Equipment includes 16” alloys, front fog lamps, rear view camera and touchscreen with smartphone compatibility. Top spec SZ-T models have forward collision alert, navigation, dual zone climate control four electric windows, LED lights front and rear, adaptive cruise control, polished 16” alloys, and keyless entry and start.

2017 Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift goes on sale in Ireland from June

Pricing

The new Suzuki Swift range starts at €14,995 including delivery charges for the 1.2-litre SZ3 model. Boosterjet models in SZ5 trim start from €16,995. SZ-T models start from €18,995. 1.0-litre automatics are available for €2000 more.

Rivals

Suzuki list the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio, Mazda2 and Hyundai i20 as the main competition for new Swift.

Verdict

Current Suzuki Swift owners (and there are a lot in Ireland) will see a big improvement all round in the new Swift. It’s lighter and more efficient with more technology. The Suzuki Swift is priced keenly with a good level of standard equipment. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet SZ5 is the sweet spot of the range on price and equipment, and is one of the most affordable turbo powered cars in the segment. The new Suzuki Swift lacks some of the interior polish of the best in class, and shows some limitations in comfort and refinement, but it’s good-looking, nimble and affordable, so will easily find loving homes!

The new Suzuki Swift will be in Irish dealers from mid-May and officially goes on sale from June 2017.

Caroline Kidd


Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland

Suzuki S-Cross Review (2017)

If you passed the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross in the street, it probably wouldn’t make that much of an impression on you. It’s not the sort of car that will make you take a sharp intake of breath and whip out the camera phone. None of its rivals probably will either. But there really is more to the S-Cross than meets the eye.

The latest round of changes were part of a revamp in late 2016, which also sees the addition of Suzuki’s Boosterjet turbo petrol technology to the S-Cross range.

Visually the S-Cross now has a more SUV-like stance on the road. Suzuki has raised the suspension by about 1.5cm, and the front end is now higher and more upright with a bold chrome bar grille and new lights front and back.

Inside the basic cabin layout is the same but there is a new soft touch plastic dashboard pad, which looks better, and gives the S-Cross a more high quality feel despite the hard plastics that still feature above and below, and in the door panels. The cabin design is plain but inoffensive, and you quickly feel at home here. It’s also right up to date in terms of technology: a smart looking touchscreen sits in the centre of the dash with navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
The interior of the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

The S-Cross range starts at a reasonable €20,995 for a 1.0-litre petrol model, rising to €26,995 for a 1.6-litre diesel. In terms of interior space, the S-Cross feels spacious and is comparative to the likes of the Opel Mokka X, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur and larger crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. There is seating for five and a 430 litre boot with a low, flat loading sill. There are manual and automatic gearboxes, and the option of all wheel drive.

The big news with this new update is the addition of Suzuki’s new 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engines. The 1.0-litre is fantastic in the smaller Suzuki Baleno hatchback and I’ve also sampled the 1.4-litre Boosterjet in the Suzuki Vitara S.

The 1.0-litre is a success in the S-Cross too. It’s a joy to drive – responsive and refined with plenty of low down grunt to zip around town. It’s also efficient with 48mpg easily achievable. The S-Cross has excellent road manners and is very enjoyable to drive. It has the same ‘fun factor’ as the smaller Vitara with nicely weighted steering and good body control in the corners, but the S-Cross feels more mature, comfortable and refined compared to the Vitara.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
The S-Cross is a fine crossover to drive with Suzuki's new 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine

There are three trim levels to choose from in Ireland: SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, four electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, and electric and heated door mirrors. The SZ-T model on test had keyless entry and start, parking sensors, parking camera, dual zone climate control, LED lights, auto lights and wipers, navigation, rear privacy glass and 17-inch alloys so it’s good value for the 1.0-litre at just under €25,000.

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross looks relatively innocuous among the sea of crossovers and SUVs on our roads but it’s a great all-rounder, being both practical and good to drive. The Boosterjet engine really transforms this car into something interesting, so if the looks don’t do it for you, the engine certainly will.

Model tested: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T
Price: 
€24,995 (Range starts at €20,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
111hp
0-100km/h:  
11 seconds
Economy: 
56.4mpg
CO2 emissions:  
113g/km
Motor tax:
€200 per year

If you are looking for a petrol crossover, you might also like this review of the Peugeot 2008.

Caroline Kidd


Suzuki Vitara S Review Ireland

Suzuki Vitara S Review

The Suzuki Vitara has been around since 1988 and is easily one of Suzuki’s most well-known models. Over the years it’s changed in size and powertrain, but the Vitara has always had a rough and ready appeal.

Vitara has changed yet again and the current model introduced in 2014, just as a slew of new crossovers were hitting the market, has smaller dimensions than some of the Vitara tanks that preceded it in response to strong market demand for stylish compact SUVs.

Priced from €21,745, the new Vitara is more of the compact crossover, but it still has the rugged charm on the outside of a larger SUV. 1.6 petrol and diesel options are available, but Suzuki Ireland has recently introduced the Vitara S, a range topping version with sportier styling and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet producing 140hp.

On the outside the Vitara S is distinguished by 17” black alloy wheels, a unique grille design, silver door mirrors, LED headlamps with red projector covers, rear spoiler and black side body mouldings, while there are four body colours to choose from: Bright Red, Cool White Pearl, Galactic Grey and Cosmic Black.

Suzuki Vitara S Review Ireland
Interior of the Suzuki Vitara S

Inside the Suzuki Vitara S uses red to accentuate details like the air vent surrounds. In typical Suzuki fashion, there are a lot of hard black plastics around the cabin but the build is good and the design easy to navigate. Infotainment is provided via a touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Interior space makes the Vitara more of a rival for the likes of the Peugeot 2008, Opel Mokka X and Renault Captur, but there is still good room to stretch out in the back and there is also a practical 375 litre boot, comparative to any hatchback.

The Suzuki Vitara S is riotous good fun to drive. It’s a little disarming as compact crossovers may be popular, but they often disappoint behind the wheel. Not the Vitara. And it’s one of its best qualities. The steering is really excellent – pure and precise allowing you to tuck the Vitara neatly into bends and position the car easily on the road. Taking on corners with a bit more speed is not a problem as the car grips very well and body roll is kept in check. There is road noise at high speeds but it’s not too annoying and a firmer suspension makes the ride quality a bit poorer over rough, uneven surfaces.

Suzuki Vitara S Review Ireland
The Suzuki Vitara S comes with a 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine, four wheel drive and choice of manual or automatic gearbox

Vitara S comes with Suzuki’s new 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine and it’s a fantastic companion for this car. The power delivery is quick and smooth: it’s not lacking anything. The Vitara S comes with Allgrip four wheel drive as standard and there is choice of manual or automatic gearbox. The manual comes in at €27,745, while the automatic is a steeper €29,845. The CO2 emissions for both are similar, with motor tax costing €270 per year. Claimed fuel economy is also very similar, with Suzuki quoting around 52mpg for the automatic. It’s a bit more disappointing in real life, being somewhere in the high 30s.

For your money, Vitara S does have a high spec including hill descent control, radar brake control, keyless entry and start, parking sensors, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, dual zone climate control, four electric windows, and auto lights and wipers.

The Suzuki Vitara S is at the pricier end of the Vitara range but you will not be left wanting for performance and the four wheel drive system adds extra grip and assurance in poorer conditions. In this configuration, it’s not ever going to be as efficient as a diesel, but it is a lot of fun to drive, which can’t be said for a lot of rivals. The interior lacks a bit of polish and the ride comfort is a little rudimentary, but the Suzuki Vitara S will still put a big smile on your face.

Suzuki Vitara S Review Ireland
The Suzuki Vitara S is riotous good fun to drive

Model tested: Suzuki Vitara S Boosterjet ALLGRIP Auto
Price: 
€29,845 (Range starts at €21,745)
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
140hp
Torque: 220Nm
0-100km/h:  
10.2 seconds
Top speed: 200km/h
Economy: 
52.3mpg
CO2 emissions:  
128g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

If you are looking for a small petrol crossover, you might also like this review of the Peugeot 2008.

Caroline Kidd


Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland

Suzuki S-Cross (2016) Launched

A revamped Suzuki SX4 S-Cross will arrive in Irish Suzuki dealers this October, priced from €20,995.

Hot on the heels of the all-new Suzuki Baleno hatchback that arrived in Ireland over the summer, Suzuki are further strengthening their line-up with a major facelift and new engines for the SX4 S-Cross.

Visually the S-Cross now has a more SUV-like stance on the road. Suzuki has raised the suspension by about 1.5cm, and the front end is now higher and more upright with a bold chrome bar grille and new lights front and back.

Inside the basic cabin layout is the same but there is a new soft touch plastic dashboard pad, which looks more pleasing and gives the S-Cross a more high quality feel despite the hard plastics that still feature above and below, and in the door panels. There is seating for five and a 430 litre boot with a low, flat loading sill.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
Suzuki has improved some of the materials in the cabin for a plusher feel

Suzuki has really shaken up the engine line-up to keep up with competitors (and perhaps surpass them too). Gone is the old 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and in come two brand new turbo petrol ‘Boosterjet’ engines: a 1.0-litre (111hp) and a 1.4-litre (150hp). The 1.6-litre diesel (120hp) will still be offered but Suzuki are keen to push their new petrol engines because they are an attractive low entry price into the range, but efficient and powerful for their size. The 1.0-litre will return up to 56.4mpg and emissions of 113g/km CO2 mean that it qualifies for motor tax of €200 per year.

Manual and automatic gearboxes are offered, as well as a four wheel drive option. The old CVT automatic gearbox has been replaced with a new dual clutch system.

At the launch I drove the 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre turbo petrols. The 1.0-litre has adequate power for the S-Cross and is very responsive to the throttle, though the absence of a sixth gear makes it less efficient for high speed cruising on the motorway. The S-Cross 1.4-litre comes with a six speed manual and is in turn even more flexible than the 1.0-litre with a strong surge of power in all the gears. Some road noise was apparent in the cabin at high speeds but the S-Cross performed overwhelmingly as a comfortable and nimble crossover. The steering is light but there was enough feedback reaching the rim for some enthusiastic driving through the long, flowing corners of our test route through North Wales.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
Suzuki is looking for a slice of the petrol crossover market with two new powerful and efficient Boosterjet engines joining the SX4 S-Cross range

Three trim levels will be offered: SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, four electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, electric and heated door mirrors.

Pricing starts at €20,995 for the S-Cross 1.0-litre Boosterjet in SZ4 trim, SZ-T models start from €24,995 and SZ5 from €28,495. The 1.6-litre diesel starts at €26,995.

The new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross will be in Irish Suzuki dealers from mid-October.

Caroline Kidd

 


Suzuki Baleno Review Ireland

Suzuki Baleno Review

Suzuki Baleno Ireland Review
The new Suzuki Baleno

The compact car market is as large as it is varied but if you really sift through what’s on offer there is real value to be had. If you’re looking for the leader in the small hatchback ‘Space Race’ then the new Suzuki Baleno has to be one of the frontrunners. Launched in Ireland over the summer, the new Suzuki Baleno joins the Celerio and Swift in Suzuki’s small car line-up. It’s compact on the outside, but the Baleno is stunningly spacious inside for a car with a sub-€18,000 starting price.

But let’s rewind a bit. Suzuki bill the Baleno as a more rational choice for buyers looking for extra interior space and a larger boot capacity from their compact car, but who may not be looking to move up in size to a Suzuki Vitara or S-Cross.

The new Baleno sits on an all-new platform and it is an attractive, if slightly unusual presence in the metal as winning at the Space Race on the inside has design constraints on the outside. But certainly viewed straight on or from the back and the Baleno holds a good deal of distinction.

The interior is not as upmarket as the chrome and LED light tech on the outside might suggest, and Suzuki has opted for the strong, hard plastic, durable look. A simple design is punctuated with some tech and spec highlights like a large centrally mounted touchscreen that’s standard across the range with Bluetooth, Mirrorlink, Apple CarPlay access, and a sat nav, along with 16” alloy wheels, air con, electric mirrors and front windows, remote central locking, auto lights, front fog lights and rear privacy glass. That’s a lot of equipment for a ‘base’ model. The higher of the two trim levels, SZ5, has even more with Radar Brake Control, keyless entry and go, electric rear windows,  and adaptive cruise control – equipment we are more used to seeing on larger, more expensive cars.

Suzuki Baleno Ireland Review
Suzuki Baleno: The interior is plain but comes well-equipped

But the real draw here is the rear seating space, which is phenomenal for a small hatchback. This is a really comfortable car to sit in as a rear seat passenger and would shame some of the cars from the class above. Even the middle seat space is decent. The boot is 320 litres, which is on the upper end of what is common in this class, though practicality is hindered slightly from a highish load lip.

There is no diesel option for new Baleno but Suzuki’s brand new three cylinder ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol engine with 110bhp more than makes up for it for power mixed with excellent frugality. Emissions of 105g CO2/km put the car in this configuration in tax band A3 (€190 per year). The claimed economy is 63mpg, but I was happy to return 52mpg during my time with the car.

A 1.2-litre petrol ‘mild hybrid’ Baleno with 89bhp is also available but the Boosterjet is so much more fun. It’s ultra-responsive and whirrs positively across town, country and motorway driving. The Baleno weighs in at less than a tonne and the lightweight construction is immediately apparent on the road.  The Baleno is pleasingly nifty and agile, exactly how a small car should be. The steering is light making it an ideal companion for town and city driving, and out on bigger roads the Baleno responds quickly to inputs, and the feedback that is reaching your fingertips is quite pure and rudimentary.  If you want to extract more fizz from the Boosterjet and put a bit more pressure on the Baleno through corners, there is noticeable body roll and the car begins to lean and feel a bit top heavy.  But the saving grace is that the Baleno hangs on well from its skinny tyres at the front so it’s easy to work through it. There is some harshness over rougher bits of road surface, but being quite softly sprung means the Baleno is mostly a smooth, comfortable drive.

With pricing starting at €17,995, there are cheaper small cars than the Suzuki Baleno on the market, and those with cooler styling and plusher interiors. But if space and spec is the currency you measure value by, then the new Baleno is a winner. The Baleno would be well capable as a small family car, and if you carry rear passengers a lot there really is not much better out there at this price range for sheer leg waving freedom in the back. It’s fantastic that Suzuki has developed a three cylinder turbo petrol engine for their new Baleno and not just stuck with a traditional non-turbo unit as the enthusiasm and frugality of which this engine goes about its business makes the Baleno impossible to ignore. The Suzuki Baleno may look pretty innocuous from the outside, but underestimate this car at your peril!

Suzuki Baleno Ireland Review
Suzuki Baleno: Exceptional interior space and well-equipped from base

Caroline Kidd

Model Tested: Suzuki Baleno 1.0L Boosterjet SZ5
Price: 
€19,495 (Range starts at €17,995)
Engine: 
1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
110bhp
0-100km/h:
11.4 seconds
Economy:
63mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
105g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year