Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo – A small SUV with a big reputation
My wife Suzi is a Suzuki fan – she first started driving the brand in 2004 and had one of the first Suzuki Swifts to hit the road. Her last one, for the time being, was a Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo which left our garage in mid this year. And it was a sad day for her. Whilst she ended up in a new Honda Civic, to this day, she reminisces about her Vitara in glowing terms.
So when I brought this one home for a week, it didn’t take long for her to want to drive it. And sadly for Honda, but a good thing for Suzuki, as soon as she clocks up the kilometres in the Honda, she’ll be into a new Vitara pretty damn quick.
Suzuki Vitara has been around for a long time. 31 Years, in fact, since 1988 and has developed a cult-like following particularly for the 4WD version. And then this 2WD SUV still has the reliability of any Suzuki but price-pointed to be more affordable transport for the school brigade.
What is it? Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo is a small SUV with a grand heritage. Not a johnny come lately, but a vehicle that started its life in 1988. And the experience that Suzuki puts into all of its vehicles is evident here.
How much? Currently priced at $31,990 drive away for the 2WD model in Queensland, there’s also a $500 gift card on offer until December 31st this year. On the southern state’s website, the Vitara All Grip Turbo (AWD) is offered for $34,990. The Vitara GL+ 2WD Auto, the starting point locally, can be had for $26,590 drive away with a bonus $1000 gift card.
Competitors? Too many to mention in full, but think Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, and perhaps Kia Seltos.
Front Of the Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo
There’s no doubt that other brands have more imposing front-ends, but there’s nothing to dislike about the Suzuki Vitara’s face. The powertrain is a 1.4-litre ‘booster jet’ turbo producing 103Kw of power and a comfortable 220 NM of torque. What that means in simple English is that this little SUV gets along really well and it’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission (not a CVT).
It has LED Headlights with Dusk Sensing feature, and front fog lights. Front parking sensors aren’t standard but can be dealer fitted as an accessory. The suspension is MacPherson Strut with coil springs at the front and at the rear is Torsion Beam suspension again with the coil springs. Importantly, the braking system incorporates ventilated discs at the front and solid discs at the rear.
Down the side
Suzuki hasn’t bothered to change the overall design of the Vitara too much. They do offer an optional white roof (around $1250) which makes a whole lot of difference in looks. Metallic Paint is around $600
Safety and Security
- Front, Side and Curtain Airbags along with a drivers knee airbag
- ABS Brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
- Vehicle Stability Control
- Traction Control
- Hill Hold Control
Australian New Car Assessment Program – ANCAP
It’s been unfortunate that manufacturers are still allowed to ‘advertise’ the safety worthiness of their cars even though they were tested by ANCAP a long time ago. if you review the document below, the Suzuki Vitara was last crash-tested in 2015 and come January next year that will be a whole 5-years ago. Having driven this car, I’d suggest that if tested right now, the Suzuki Vitara GLX would score 4 stars, but that’s just my opinion.
It’s time for the Federal Government to stand up and set guidelines for publication of ANCAP results. Cars tested 8 years ago or more, should NOT be able to use the old tests to promote the safety aspect of their current range.
Fuel Economy – Green Vehicle Guide for Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo
The Green Vehicle Guide provides fuel consumption estimates for most if not all vehicles on the market in Australia. Remember though, it’s a guide. The Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo is estimated to achieve 5.9 litres per 100 km when it’s used for ‘town and highway use’, 7.9 Litres per 100 km around town and an amazing 4.9 Litres per 100 km on the highway. My experiences, or at least y wife’s history with her car is that these figures are pretty close to what’s been quoted.
At The Back
47-litre fuel tank running on 95 Ron unleaded. Towing capacity is 1200kg braked and 400Kg without electric brakes. Reversing camera and rear sensors are standard.
Plenty of cargo room with just 2 rows of seats – 375 litres with the rear seat up and a massive 710 litres with the rear seat folded.
As a driver, I’m pretty comfortable. I’m sitting on the leather-accented seat with suede inserts. I’ve got a touch screen with satellite navigation and Apple Car Play too, not to mention Bluetooth connectivity. Of course, keyless entry and push-button start are standard.
The Suzuki has a great seating position and I feel secure with the bolstered seats. The driver cockpit is functional and looks pretty modern
Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo Insurance
I use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions for this cover are:
- A male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
- Bronze member of RACQ with 1 other insurance policies
- Has paid cash for the car. The car is parked in a driveway overnight.
- The driver resides in postcode 4017
- The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer
- No at-fault claim in the last 3 years, with no license suspensions
- Rating 1 currently, having held that rating 1 for 10 years or more
- No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.
The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance for Private Use – $346.79 with a $750 excess. Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote. (Effective November 25th 2019)
Finance – Suzuki Vitara GLX
I’ve included some indicative repayment figures for this car. It’s RRP drive away is $31,990, but I know you can buy it better than that and I can too.(Contact Car Business for a price).
So if you finance this Suzuki over 60 months, your repayments work out this way, with no balloon at the end of the term. Adding a ballon will reduce the payments significantly
Monthly Payments $654
Interest Rate 6%
Repayments are indicative only and will depend on your application. Some people will get a lower rate and some a higher rate. Some fees and charges are excluded from this example.
Warranty & Service – Suzuki Vitara GLX
Suzuki has recently revised their warranty and service program. It has a 5-year/Unlimited Kilometre warranty on offer for their range.
Service costs are pretty reasonable. Suzuki Scheduled Maintenance is due every 10,000km or 12 months – whichever occurs first. Capped Price Service runs out to $1475 for 5 years or about $295 per service. And in my opinion, you should ALWAYS take your Suzuki back to the dealer. Only Suzuki dealers have the equipment to diagnose any Suzuki specific concerns and update special software. In federal government is pushing for all independent workshops to have access to specialist diagnostic stools, but realistically, that access will be confined to the top-selling brands. It may be hackneyed but it’s very true. No-one knows your Suzuki better than brand specialists
Be careful when you take your vehicle in for service. Some new car dealers will try to upsell items such as Power Steering, Air Conditioning and Fuel Injector service. To avoid unnecessary spend, simply ask the dealer to advise whether this is a Suzuki recommended service. If they so no, then you should say no too. I would recommend, however, that rotation of your wheels and perhaps a wheel alignment is good value.
As far as roadside assistance is concerned, Suzuki doesn’t provide any on new vehicles. In the words of General Manager for Sales, Stephen Craig ” Why do we need roadside assist? Suzuki’s don’t break down”. Fair point Steve, but the average person should invest in a Roadside Assistance Program – perhaps RACQ still has the best plan.
Where to Buy – Dealers
My test vehicle was supplied by Suzuki Auto Co in Brisbane. I’m not paid for my reviews, so I can guarantee that my thoughts are completely unbiased.
If you’re in the market to buy any new Suzuki, pick your dealer carefully. When I want to check out the ‘worthiness’ of a dealer, I Google ‘Suzuki Dealers Brisbane where the city is the one that you live in or around and the brand is that particular one you’re interested in. I only list dealers who have achieved a minimum of 15 reviews with Google and then only those with 4 stars or higher.
I’m pretty disappointed at the number of Suzuki dealers who didn’t even qualify to be in my preferred dealer list. Come on, guys. You’ve got a great brand that provides trouble-free motoring.
From a South East Queensland perspective here are the dealers I’d visit:
Northside Redcliffe Suzuki 4.0 Stars from 26 Reviews
Southside Zupps Suzuki 4.3 Stars from 44 Reviews
Eastside No qualifying dealer
Westside Westpoint Suzuki 5.0 Stars from 16 Reviews
Gold Coast von Bibra Southport 4.8 Stars from 44 Reviews
Sunshine Coast No qualifying dealer
(Google Stars and review numbers effective 11th December 2019)
Pro’s and Cons
- A good looking vehicle with a modern interior
- It does have Apple Car Play and Android Auto, so a tick here
- Very competitive price
- None that would really worry me
The Final Word.
It may not be the size of vehicle that I’d pick, but Mrs Aldons just loves the Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo. Its got a lot of room in the back with the seats folded or just in place.
I can expect Suzi to choose another Vitara when her current car is due for a change in a year or so. There’s plenty of room, it’s smooth and economical around town and it won’t cost you a fortune to own. Mrs Aldons loved the blue colour and I have no doubt whatsoever that Suzi will be in a new Suzuki Vitara GLX Turbo before long
The provided quote should be used as an indication only and does not represent either approval or pre-qualifications for a loan.
The quoted payments apply for the example given and in this instance do not include fees and charges, as different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in different outcomes between financiers.
The specific details of your loan will be provided to you in your loan contract.
It is advised that you consult your financial adviser before taking out any loan
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