Suzuki range upgrades: Nothing cranky about little Jimny

SUZUKI has announced some minor changes for the Grand Vitara range with the aim of boosting its appeal in the very competitive mid-sized SUV sector.

At the front the bumper and grille have been re-styled with a more angular design and the foglamp styling has been revised. Other changes include inner headlight black accents on 5 door SZ5 models, and new design 17” or 18” alloy wheels.

Following customer demand, a temporary use 16 inch spare wheel with 225/70 tyre has been included as standard, eliminating the need for a puncture repair system. As the spare wheel is mounted on the rear door the Grand Vitara has grown in length by 200mm (five door models) and 170mm (three door models).

Moving inside, SZ3 (3 door) and SZ4 (3 door and 5 door) models get new design seat trims whilst SZ5 5 door models are now equipped with a 6.1 inch touchscreen Colour Navigation System. The system is powered by Garmin and includes comprehensive European mapping with downloadable updates and content for those occasional forays across the channel.

The navigation system forms part of the infotainment centre – allowing a number of music options; CD, radio, SD card, media player (including iPod® and iPhone®) connected via the USB port, as well as via Bluetooth® music streaming and phone connectivity.

Under the bonnet, 1.9 DDiS models have had the emissions control system revised, resulting in a CO2 drop from 179 g/km to 174 g/km – that means the VED band has been reduced by one to H and there’s an improvement in combined fuel economy to 42.8mpg from 41.5mpg.

Price for the 1.9 DDiS SZ5 is £23,875.

Suzuki launched the first Vitara 24 years ago, creating the world’s first compact SUV and tapping into a new market for vehicles that combine  off-road capability with responsive, fun-to-drive on-road ability.

> One that’s been around a whole lot longer is the little Jimny 4×4, now celebrating its 43rd anniversary, and also getting a cosmetic tickle.

It has picked up 20,000 loyal owners in the UK since it arrived here in 1998, and could attract a few more with its more modern appearance.

Design revisions include a new front bumper and grille design, new design bonnet shape incorporating a central air intake as well as the repositioning of the front fog lamps. The new front bumper design has resulted in a slight increase in overall length of 30mm to 3,675mm, although Jimny easily remains the most compact SUV on sale in the UK.

For the interior, a new seat fabric trim has been adopted for the SZ3; both SZ3 and SZ4 models have new design front and rear headrests as well as ISOFIX child seat mountings fitted as standard to the rear seats.

Breeze Blue has now been added to the optional metallic paint range of four colours available for the higher specification SZ4 model with three metallic and one solid colour available for SZ3. Metallic paint is a £399 option.

The all-alloy 16-valve 1.3-litre engine benefits from variable valve timing, ensuring lively performance, and strong fuel economy. Maximum output is 85PS, with 81lb/ft of torque delivered at 4,100rpm; a flat torque curve means near maximum torque is delivered from as low as 2,500rpm, giving Jimny the kind of flexible driving character and pulling power that are the benchmarks to a successful SUV.

The manual transmission model returns an official 39.8mpg in combined cycle driving (38.7mpg for the automatic); respective CO2 outputs are 162 and 167g/km.

Prices are £11,995 for the SZ3, £12,900 for the manual SZ4 and £13,800 for the automatic version.

It remains a genuine compact off-roader with push-button selectable four-wheel drive and high and low gear ratios.

 

 

 

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