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2016 Suzuki Vitara arrives in Australia

The long-awaited new 2016 Suzuki Vitara has arrived Down Under. Is it still an off-roader at heart?

NAME A MANUFACTURER of off-road vehicles and most would pick Toyota, Jeep or Land Rover.  But Suzuki is right up for there for heritage and history earned over the decades through practical capability.  So when they announce a new vehicle, it’s news.

What we have here is the Vitara, to slip under the larger (400mm longer) Grand Vitara. There’s two grades, RT-S and RT-X. Both are powered by a 1.6L petrol engine good for 88kW and 156Nm, which doesn’t sound a lot but this little car weighs a mere 1185kg.  That’s less than half a Ford Ranger, less than an i30 and less than the Toyota 86.

The RT-S equipment list includes satellite navigation, reversing camera, 17 inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, Bluetooth and cruise control.

The RT-X adds 4WD, sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, electric mirrors, and a few other cosmetic items.  It is automatic-only with paddle shifts.  The 4WD system lacks low range, but has the current fashion of adaptive terrain. The modes are:

  • Auto – 2WD, all wheel drive on demand
  • Sport – switches to all wheel drive under acceleration or other conditions where it would help handling
  • Snow – uses all wheel drive as a default.  For slippery surfaces.
  • Lock – appears to lock torque 50/50 front to rear, for offroad use.

Tyres are 215/55/17, ground clearance 185mm, and suspension is fully independent.  There is a hill descent control system on AWD models.

Suzuki claim the new Vitara still has offroad capability – “unlike other small SUVs, Vitara has the 4×4 credentials and ground clearance, so you can take it on far more adventurous tracks.”

We’ll find out soon, but Suzuki have a track record to be proud of so we don’t expect to be disappointed.


Grade 5-speed Manual 6-speed Automatic
RT-S (2WD) $21,990 $23,990
RT-X (4WD) N/A $31,990

Suzuki are offering special driveaway pricing for the RT-S models.  The manual will start from $22,990 drive away, with the auto available from $24,990 drive away, no more to pay.


  • Engine – 4cylinder 1.6L 88kW / 156Nm
  • Weight – 1075-1185kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass – 1730kg
  • Fuel consumption – 5.8L/100km (2WD man), 6.0 (2WD auto), 6.3 (AWD)
  • Dimensions:



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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper