Test Drive: Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited Edition
We took the Suzuki Grand Vitara to Tagaytay to test how this limited edition crossover fairs in blazing the road and climbing hills — all while packing three grown men and their luggage inside. It features a 2.4L engine, a set of 18-inch wheels, and a sporty look fit for any adventure.
Although not as boxy, the 2015 Grand Vitara still has some resemblance left of the previous Escudo models from the late 90s with its front grille and sporty stance. We like how despite having a sporty look, it could also pass as an executive vehicle with its minimalistic approach and accents that add a certain touch of class to its appearance.
The front features an extra pair of fog lamps flanking the accented bumper. This silver accent continues to the side and up top for the roof rails breaking the solid bronze color exclusive to the limited edition variant.
It’s also fitted with 18-inch alloy rims which look really appealing and go well with its entire design language. Additionally, the Grand Vitara also boasts a ground clearance of 188mm.
The rear still flaunts a timid pair of tail lights on the opposite sides of its 5th door. Also seen here are the cover for the spare tire and door handle with the same body hue. The company also threw in a third brake light and a pair of signal repeaters installed on its side mirrors.
The overall design of this Grand Vitara is such a looker in every angle you look at it. Its sloping hood also gives the illusion that the front is lower than its rear — almost looks like a cat getting ready to pounce.
Once you get in, the accents on the outside are also manifested running along the center panel while also visually bringing out the stereo controls embedded on the tilting/telescoping steering wheel.
The instrumentations are segmented into three parts which show the tachometer, speedometer, and fuel/temperature gauges. Additionally, there is also a digital assistant in the middle that shows real-time fuel mileage, average fuel consumption, and range distance displaying an estimate of how many kilometers you can still cover before the fuel runs out.
The stereo comes in a standard form with a small display and a CD player. It also has an AUX port for connecting music players via a 3.5mm jack which we had no problems using. On the other hand, There are a bunch of connectivity ports tucked inside the glove compartment that doesn’t work and has no power. It might just be a model-specific problem but they were useless to us during our time with it.
For those with devices that easily lose power, you’d be glad to know that the Grand Vitara has dual 12V sockets for powering your smartphones on a long road trip when you use them for Waze or as a music player. Also seen at the left side of the gear lever is an A/T Power button that the company claims increases the RPM of the car that basically compensates for its 4-speed configuration.
The bronze hue continues to accent the upholstery. Being a limited edition model, we were expecting to see leather inside but the fabric-wrapped seats weren’t so bad either. In addition, leg room for the back passengers was roomy and comfortable even during long rides.
Opening the fifth door reveals the space for storing luggage and other things. It’s not the biggest we’ve seen on an SUV but isn’t too small either.
We drove the Grand Vitara for a week and also brought it up the mountains of Tagaytay for a company outing. We noticed that even when it’s packed, it had no problem gaining speed and climbing steep slopes since its 2.4-liter engine’s got the muscle power to do so.
The 16-valve DOHC engine also comes with VVT or variable valve timing which should improve performance along with fuel efficiency. Although even with that feature, we noticed the Grand Vitara to be a bit of a gas guzzler as it yielded 7.9km/L of average consumption during the whole week of combined highway and city driving.
Acceleration is average and driving it through the winding roads of Batangas with a bit of speed showed that cornering isn’t one of the strengths of this vehicle. That’s understandable, though, since this is more of a rugged off-roader than a speed devil.
Speaking of going off-road, the McPherson strut/Multi-Link tandem of its suspension gives a bit of a bumpy ride when the paved road ends.
All things considered, we enjoyed using the Grand Vitara during our out of town trip and would definitely be a good vehicle for those looking to do so as well. It’s got comfortable seats and leg room, has a capable engine for carrying loads, and doesn’t stop when the road gets rough.
We also like how simple it looks, and yet still maintains its unique charm that other brands try so hard to achieve. Like a cherry on top, its 18-inch alloy wheels do just that to the overall aesthetics of the Grand Vitara.
It doesn’t have the usual bells-and-whistles seen on other top-of-the-line vehicles like a backup sensor or leather seats, but we think the company made these sacrifices to keep the prices more affordable.
It has a price tag of Php 1,160,000 for the standard models while the limited edition is more pricey at Php 1,210,000.
The 2015 Grand Vitara is available in six colors namely white, silver, gray, black, brown, and bronze for this limited edition variant.
Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited Edition specs:
2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC J24B VVT engine
230hp @ 6000rpm
227Nm @ 3800rpm
Dimensions: 4,500 x 1,810 x 1,683mm
Minimum ground clearance: 188m
18-inch alloy wheels
What we liked about it:
- Good-looking exterior
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Capable engine
What we didn’t like:
- No backup sensor
- Doesn’t have the usual bells-and-whistles of other top-of-the-line models.
- A bit of a gas guzzler
- Connectivity ports not working