A luxury off-shoot of the Suzuki Vitara has been unveiled in India. Although it’s not coming to Australia, it provides a pointer to the technology coming to next-generation models due Down Under.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara name has been revived for a luxury version of the popular soft-roader to be sold in India and other developing countries.
Despite the upmarket appearance and addition of new technology, the Suzuki Grand Vitara will not be sold in Australia because it has been designed for emerging markets and may not meet our more stringent safety standards.
However, the reborn Suzuki Grand Vitara does provide several clues about the next-generation Suzuki Swift and Suzuki Vitara – both of which are due in Australian showrooms in the next couple of years.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara debuts several technology firsts for Suzuki, including two types of hybrid systems, a widescreen digital instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, smartphone connectivity to check the car’s vital signs, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, and cooling for the front seats.
While this technology is yet to be confirmed for other future Suzuki cars, it is unlikely the Japanese car maker would have developed these systems for just one model.
The new Suzuki Grand Vitara may not be coming to Australia, however the regular version of today’s Suzuki Vitara sold locally is roughly the same size as the all-new model.
Compared to the regular Suzuki Vitara sold in Australia, the reborn Suzuki Grand Vitara sold in India is 170mm longer (4345mm versus 4175mm), 35mm taller (1645mm versus 1610mm), 20mm wider (1795mm versus 1775mm) and has a 100mm longer footprint (2600mm versus 2500mm).
The biggest differences are under the bonnet.
While the regular Suzuki Vitara sold in Australia has a choice of non-turbo 1.6-litre four-cylinder or turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines, the new Suzuki Grand Vitara in India is offered with a choice of two hybrid systems that are between 15 and 40 per cent more fuel efficient than today’s offerings.
The most efficient version is a hybrid system that blends an electric motor and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine backed by a CVT auto (3.6L/100km), followed by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder paired to a “mild hybrid” system paired to a six-speed auto that consumes fuel at a rate of 4.9L/100km (two-wheel-drive) and 5.2L/100km (all-wheel drive).
While the long list of advanced technology would likely be welcomed by thrifty Suzuki buyers in Australia, the boss of Suzuki Australia says there are no plans to introduce the new Grand Vitara locally.
“It’s too close (in size) to our Vitara,” said the boss of Suzuki Australia, Michael Pachota.
Suzuki Australia would not disclose future model plans. However if history is a guide, a range of new models are due in the coming years, starting with the revamped Suzuki S-Cross from next month.
New versions of the popular Swift hatch and Vitara SUV are due in a couple of years, though timing and details are yet to be confirmed.
It’s likely they will adopt some if not all of the technology upgrades that made their debut in the new Suzuki Grand Vitara flagship.
Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.