The Grand Vitara revolution began with the launch of the Vitara onto the Australian market in 1988.
The latest Grand Vitara pays homage to the original and represents the culmination of 40 years of four-wheel drive manufacturing expertise.
The goal for the engineers was straightforward: improve on the real off-road mastery, efficient performance, on-road manners, and the ease of use people have come to associate with the Grand Vitara.
Building on the concept of the ‘off-road athlete’, Suzuki engineers and designers worked with potential buyers and monitored global trends to meet expectations on design and packaging, equipment and technology, as well as safety and off-road performance.
This has resulted in a product with increased sophistication, greater comfort and utility, and improved on and off road performance.
Both the 3- and 5-door variants feature sporty, dynamic designs with an emphasis on elegance and utility for the 5-door, while the 3-door has a strong, athletic nature.
The bold front face and sleek distinctive styling gives the Grand Vitara the muscle it needs to tackle rugged terrain as well as the agility needed for everyday driving.
The short front overhang and large diameter wheels project a uniquely sporty aggression while the flared guards and wide track give the vehicle an enhanced look of stability.
An aerodynamic roof line contributes to the performance car look and feel of the vehicle, while the tailgate-mounted spare wheel clearly announces the Grand Vitara’s genuine off-road capabilities.
Grand Vitara also benefits from several subtle exterior design changes, while staying faithful to the overall image that has proved popular with customers.
The front bumper is new, extending an extra 30 mm to give more dynamism and accommodate the new V6 engine. This has the added advantage of increasing pedestrian protection.
In addition, the front fog lamps have been repositioned with wider spacing to emphasise the dynamic look of the vehicle.
The front grille is also new, featuring a four-bar motif that is both bold and refined and highlights the prominent S logo.
The new model also comes with two new alloy wheel designs.
The 17-inch alloy features the traditional five-spoke design, emphasising the off-road toughness of the Grand Vitara. They are standard on the turbo-diesel and both Prestige models, and available as an option on the entry level 5-door.
Grand Vitara is the first to feature an optional factory fitted 18-inch wheel, with the classic seven-spoke design available as an option on both Prestige models.
The Prestige models also feature new mirror-mounted side indicators.
Inside, the engineering team focused on making the interior more functional and user friendly.
Customers will notice the information display has moved from the centre console to the instrument cluster, keeping the driver’s vision focused on the road.
Extra features have been added into the digital display, which now relays instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, driving range and average speed at a push of the mode stalk.
The trip display now incorporates two trip meters, odometer and external temperature read-out.
Customers can also adjust the brightness of the display.
Moving the information display has freed up space on the dashboard for the inclusion of a new centre speaker in both Prestige models for improved sound quality in the combination AM/FM/CD tuner.
All models now feature back-lit steering wheel mounted switches, new sun visors with an extension function and a sliding centre arm rest.
Every model also comes standard with a revised climate control air-conditioning system, featuring an LCD display and intuitive controls in the centre stack.
The interior temperature can be controlled automatically by setting a desired ambient temperature, or adjusted manually with an eight-speed fan.
Two new engines headline the powertrain upgrade on the new Grand Vitara.
The 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four cylinder engines of the old model have been replaced with a new 2.4-litre four cylinder engine featuring VVT technology for increased performance and better economy.
The new engine is also significantly quieter than the superseded ones and designed with the aim of offering nimble performance, excellent economy and a smooth driving experience.
Key to these goals was the inclusion of VVT, which allows the lift of the intake valves to be altered while the engine is in operation.
Continuous variation of the intake valve timing ensures performance precisely tailored to the engine’s specific speed and load.
The end result is enhanced efficiency under low-load conditions, such as at idle or highway cruising, and increased power for brisk acceleration when overtaking or towing.
The VVT system is complemented by Suzuki’s intake manifold tuning system, which alters the effective length of the intake pipe by opening and closing a valve to improve volumetric efficiency.
Changing the port length in accordance with engine speed maximises engine torque across the rev range.
The 2.4-litre engine is available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, both carried over from the previous model.
Suzuki’s flagship Grand Vitara Prestige V6 now features a 3.2-litre V6 matched with a five-speed automatic transmission, offering effortless power, refined performance and optimum efficiency.
Rated at 165 kW and 284m, the new V6 represents a 22 per cent improvement in power over the superseded engine.
Crucially, the new engine is much more efficient than the previous V6, offering best in class fuel economy of just 10.5 l/100 km, representing a dramatic nine per cent improvement.
The quad cam V6 design engine features VVT on both intake and exhaust valve trains, enhancing charging efficiency across the rev range.
Camshaft variation of 50 degrees – 25 degrees advance and 25 degrees retard – maximises engine torque and ensures better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Other key features include roller rocker arms for reduced friction, a new inverted tooth drive silent timing chain for reduced noise and a camshaft cover incorporating constrained layer damping for improved refinement.
Connecting rods are manufactured of sinter-forged steel, ensuring superior performance and durability.
It also features a coil-on-plug ignition system, delivering precise timing and lower emissions. With no high tension spark plug wires and fewer parts than conventional systems, the Grand Vitara offers improved durability.
Upgrades from the old five-speed automatic transmission on the V6 include new shift points, while the coupling ratio has been improved to take advantage of the extra torque for improved efficiency and launch feel.
The new Grand Vitara retains the critically acclaimed dual range 4 mode 4x4 systems that debuted on the 2005 model.
Combined with a lockable centre differential, the Suzuki 4x4 system complements the Grand Vitara’s dimensions to deliver genuine off-road performance and excellent on-road dynamics.
The centre differential is locked in 4H lock and 4L lock for superb off-road performance.
All models have a 4 mode 4x4 system, operated from the main switch on the instrument panel. The 4H or 4 High mode can be used for normal driving applications and provides superior traction whilst offering smooth, quiet performance and neutral cornering.
The 4H Lock mode locks the centre differential to eliminate any speed difference between the front and rear axles, giving more traction to power through slippery conditions such as deep snow and mud.
The 4L Lock or 4 Low Lock engages the lower ratio in the transfer case and locks the centre differential to give sufficient low-end traction in difficult off-road conditions.
All Grand Vitara models are now equipped with ESP® stability control, eliminating the need for a centre LSD.
The new Grand Vitara has independent front and rear suspension and Suzuki’s built-in ladder frame chassis to give full suspension articulation when off road, while delivering a smooth, quiet ride for normal city driving.
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