With a Renault diesel under the bonnet, this 4WD speaks the universal language of horsepower
Viva la Revolution, the new diesel Suzuki Grand Vitara is tres magnifique.
To source new power generation for the Vitara, Suzuki looked to Europe for a power plant that would meet all the coming Euro emission standards. At Renault they found what they were looking for.
The new diesel Vitara is powered by the Renault F9Q common rail diesel engine with direct electronic fuel injection, a Garret water-cooled turbocharger and a single overhead camshaft. This four-cylinder, 1870cc motor runs on a compression ratio of 17.0 to 1 and produces 95kW (129 brake horsepower) at 3750 rpm. The previous Grand Vitara diesel had an 80kW engine.
Peak torque of 300Nm at a low 2000rpm exceeds any other Suzuki model and helps provide the Grand Vitara with excellent mid-range response and flexibility. By comparison, the 2-litre petrol Grand Vitara offers 183Nm of torque and the 2.7-litre V6 petrol version a maximum of 250 Nm.
In European tests the diesel Vitara achieved 6.7 litres/100 km (42.2 miles per gallon) in the open road fuel test. The new Grand Vitara diesel is equipped with the same four-mode full-time four-wheel-drive transmission as the 2.0-litre petrol and 2.7-litre V6 petrol versions.
The transmission can be switched into four high lock mode at vehicle speeds up to 100 km/h. A 5-speed manual gearbox is fitted and no automatic transmission is available.
When Suzuki launched their first little 2-stroke 4WD’s in the 1970s, they caused quite a stir and a lot of undeserved mirth. But the nimble little Suzuki 4WDs quickly gained a reputation for reliability and getting into places other 4WDs dared not go.
Sitting at the traffic lights in the diesel Vitara you are completely unaware that you are in a diesel. There is no telltale shake and rattle and when you accelerate away from the lights it is no different from driving a regular petrol vehicle. When I drove the Vitara away from Continental Cars in Newmarket, I thought for quite awhile that they had mistakenly given me a petrol version of the Vitara.
Suzuki claim that the Vitara as a built in ladder frame chassis, but I fail to see how you can build in a separate component. What ever they have done it sure works. Suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a multilink set up in the rear.
Internally there is much to commend the new Vitara, however the new dash could give the appearance of three lengths of left over pipe, but lets just call it design.
The seats are comfortable, the heater and all the other controls work well. For the size of 4WD there is plenty of luggage space in the back.Externally Vitara looks bigger and carries sharper lines than the previous models.
Vitara is almost but not quite deserving the "Grand" name that sits as part of its title but it has got a lot closer than all the previous models, a lot closer.
By Gordon Legge
300Nm @ 2000rpm
Transmission: 5-speed 4-mode full time 4WD
Brakes: Front ventilated discs
Suspension: Front McPherson struts
Rear Multilink with coil springs
Dimensions: Length 4470mm
Weight: Curb 1660kg
(no towing weights are given)