2016 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo

By Jaedene Hudson on 20 October 2016
2016 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo

Engine
Transmission
Fuel Economy
16.4 L/ 100km
Output
ANCAP rating

Not Tested

What is it?

A turbocharged version of the regular Vitara compact SUV – powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 103kW of power at 5500rpm and 220Nm of torque between 1500-4000rpm. While they're not huge numbers, they make a world of difference compared with the regular Vitara models that have 17kW less power and 64Nm less torque.

What are its rivals?

With more equipment, the stronger engine and a $5000 higher price tag, the Turbo S compares with the mid-spec variants of the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and top spec turbocharged Holden Trax.

How much is it?

The Vitara S Turbo is priced from $28,990 (plus on-road costs) for the in front-wheel drive version or $32,990 (+ORCs) for the four-wheel drive version.

What gear does it get?

For the extra cash (over the regular Vitara models) you get some subtle exterior changes, such as black 17-inch alloy wheels, revised grille, satin silver door mirrors with built-in turning indicator lights, and LED headlights/daytime running lights. Inside, there are leather/suede seats, parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, keyless entry and start, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers, and the turbocharged engine.

Standard equipment also includes a touchscreen multimedia system with rear camera, integrated sat-nav, Apple CarPlay connectivity (no Android Auto), climate control, Bluetooth/USB, cruise control, folding door mirrors, an auto up and down window for the driver, cruise control, red highlights around the cabin air vents (you can colour code the plastic inserts around the dash).

You also get seven airbags and a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

What's it like to drive?

This and the regular Vitara are chalk and cheese. The gripes we had on the entry model were around the lacklustre performance of the engine, bouncy ride, cheap feeling cabin, technical gremlins in the multimedia system, seats you sat 'on', not 'in' and an overall feeling that the Vitara was off the pace when compared to rivals.

With the Turbo S, however, all those issues are gone. The engine is free of lag at low speed which means power delivery is strong and available from low revs and (with the boost of the turbo) is quite strong in the mid range. The engine is surprisingly quiet, even under hard acceleration, and actually has a 'sporty' note to it. It matches well to the six-speed automatic, which comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel if you want to change gears 'manually' during some sporty driving.

The engine and transmission combo utilises the Vitara's well-tuned chassis. While the steering, suspension and brakes are unchanged from the regular Vitara model, the extra weight on board from the turbo engine means the car sits better on the road and the ride is not as bouncy as in regular models. While there should be no difference, the steering does seem to be a little more communicative than on the base models.

In AWD guise, which we tested, the Turbo sips just 0.2L/100km extra fuel but if you opt for the 2WD Turbo version it's actually more frugal (although it does sip the more expensive 95 RON fuel).

What's it like inside?

The layout is simple and uncluttered and everything is where you'd expect it. Like the regular models, storage is reasonable with big cup holders and door pockets, a good-sized glovebox, sunglasses holder and a tiered cubby hole under the centre stack. There is no covered storage, though, as there is no lid on the centre console area.

In the rear, leg and foot room are good for the class but head room is compromised by the sunroof in the RT-X models. Shoulder room is good, although the Vitara is more comfortable as a four seater than a five seater, as the middle rear seat is thin and hard. There are no cup holders, arm rest storage, air vents or a ski-port in the rear.

The hard plastics are replaced by suede inlays in the Turbo S, but overall the Turbo's interior is still a fraction off the premium feel of a CX-3 or HR-V.

Our test car came with red plastic bits across the dash that were a little too bright for our taste, although we like the concept and would opt for one of the other colours.

Boot space is good with 375 litres (in between the CX-3 and HR-V and the rear seats fold 60:40). There is no full sized spare, only a space-saving spare wheel.

How much is servicing and what's the warranty?

The Vitara comes with a three-year/100,000km warranty and capped-price servicing on six-monthly intervals priced from $249-$295, depending on the mileage.

Should I consider one?

Yes. As a 'hot hatch' version of a compact SUV, the Turbo S is a real surprise. It's at the top end for handling in this baby SUV class, has a tall driving position, plenty of grunt and is roomy, yet still compact enough for the urban environment where it will spend most of its time.

 

Quick Facts
Make Suzuki
Model Vitara S Turbo 2016
Category Compact SUV
Year 2016
Body type SUV
Country of manufacture Japan
Warranty 3-year
Available from 20-Oct-16
Models Available

Vitara RT-S

Vitara S Turbo

Vitara RT-X diesel

Priced from 28,990 (plus on road costs)

Specifications

Engine
Number of cylinders 4
Engine size 1.6 L
Engine aspiration Turbo charged
Fuel PULP
Claimed max power (kW) 103 kW @ 5500 rpm
Claimed max torque (Nm) 220 Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm

Transmission
Type 6-speed automatic

Wheels
Driving wheels AWD
Size 17 "

Tyres
Spare tyre type Space saver
Size 215/55

Dimensions
Kerb weight 1235 kg
Length 4175 mm
Width (including mirrors) 1775 mm
Ground clearance 185 mm
Seating capacity 5
Fuel capacity 47 litres
 
Fuel Consumption
Claimed fuel consumption 6.2 L/100km
CO2Emissions 145 g/km

 

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