Underdog

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander. Words and pictures by Grant Spolander.

Off Road Test: Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 manual. Despite its competitive price and low-range capabilities, the Grand Vitara fails to do well in SA. Are potential buyers unaware of the Suzuki’s capabilities, or is the Grand Vitara pretending to be something it’s not? Our Technical Editor, Grant Spolander, test-drives the Grand Vitara 2.4 manual to find out more.

Despite its competitive price and low-range capabilities, the Grand Vitara fails to do well in SA. Are potential buyers unaware of the Suzuki’s capabilities, or is the Grand Vitara pretending to be something it’s not? Our Technical Editor, Grant Spolander, test-drives the Grand Vitara 2.4 manual to find out more.

Thanks to its low-range gearbox, the Grand Vitara is by right a bona fide 4x4. However, many off-road enthusiasts consider this vehicle a softroader. Perhaps it’s a size issue. Maybe the Grand Vitara’s compact proportions give it a not-to-be-taken-seriously look. Then again, the Jimny doesn’t exactly have bulging biceps, yet this teeny-tiny 4x4 is considered to be one of the most capable off-roaders on the market. So why the poor reputation? Does the Grand Vitara deserve its softie status, or can it ruck with the big boys?

INTERIOR
Like most Suzuki vehicles, the Grand Vitara sports good build-quality with firm fixtures and solid dials. The cabin layout is also clean, uncluttered, and stylishly finished. However, we’re not sold on the Grand Vitara’s fake woodgrain trim on the centre console and door panels.

In terms of space: tall folk will feel confined in the Grand Vitara’s driver seat, particularly if they’re above 1.9-metres in height. Plus, the second row is a bit cramped in the leg-room department if the front seats are adjusted all the way back. Boot space is another limited area. With roughly 398-litres on offer, the Grand Vitara may present some packing challenges for those who wish to overland in this vehicle. It’s not impossible, but you’d have to get creative in the way you stacked your camping gear.

A roofrack will probably be a prerequisite. If you fold the second row flat, you’ll bump the total boot volume up to a functional capacity of 1 386-litres, on par with the Fortuner...

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