The Suzuki Grand Vitara, a name synonymous with compact SUVs, returns with a fresh outlook for 2024. The GLX trim, powered by a 1.5-litre hybrid powertrain, offers an enticing blend of efficiency, improved styling, and thoughtful technology upgrades. The last time I drove a Vitara Grand was several years ago, before this redesign, so needless to say, I was eager to experience the difference with this one.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara traces its origins back to 1988, establishing itself as a capable and no-nonsense off-roader. I remember driving up to the Blue Mountain and seeing several Vitaras in Hagley Gap. Over the years, the Grand Vitara has evolved, adapting to modern tastes while retaining its core essence of functionality. The 2024 model marks a significant step forward, introducing a bolder design language and a greater focus on refinement.

Refined and Confident

The 2024 Grand Vitara GLX hybrid exudes a more sophisticated presence than its predecessors. Protruding rear tail lights borrow cues from luxury automakers like Land Rover and Audi, adding a touch of distinction. The overall design boasts cleaner lines and sculpted surfaces, giving the Grand Vitara a more premium appeal. A raised ride height offers excellent ground clearance, surpassing many of its rivals in the class.

Suzuki seemed to have two things in mind when they were designing this interior: style and functionality. The two-tone interior provides a sense of airiness, while the materials feel a step above previous iterations. Suzuki addresses the need for enhanced driver-focused features by introducing a heads-up display (HUD), adjustable for height and brightness – a welcome feature often missing in many modern vehicles.

The GLX 4-wheel drive version features an encaved wireless charging pad with clear indicators – both on the pad and the infotainment screen – ensuring no second-guessing about your phone’s charging status. One of Suzuki’s biggest advancements lies in the new infotainment system, boasting legible fonts and a well-organised tile layout for an intuitive experience. USB and 12-volt outlets come with practical covers, keeping the centre console tidy, and climate controls are clearly laid out with easy-to-use buttons.

User-Friendly and Connected

The revamped 9” infotainment system is a highlight in the Grand Vitara GLX. Its user-friendly interface, improved graphics, and responsiveness make it a pleasure to use. Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration ensure seamless smartphone connectivity.

Practical and Versatile

The Suzuki Grand Vitara has always been known for its practicality, and the 2024 model continues this tradition. With 373 litres of cargo space, the vehicle is equipped to store all the essentials. I must also give them credit for including a full-size spare tire, which is reassuring, especially for those venturing off the beaten path.

Efficient and Capable

At its heart, the Grand Vitara GLX hybrid pairs a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for enhanced fuel efficiency. The engine performs modestly, getting from point A to B in a manner that is reliable and confident. Also, the hybrid powertrain delivers a noticeably improved driving range, a significant advantage in its segment, however, I wish the gas tank was a little larger than the 45 litres we get. With all this said, the biggest selling point of the Grand Vitara is that it is one of the cheapest vehicles in its category, costing at least a million less than most of its competitors.

Building on Suzuki’s expertise in lightweight construction, the Grand Vitara benefits from the use of high-tensile steel, enhancing manoeuvrability. In addition, the 4-wheel drive GLX variant adds a ‘Sport’ driving mode, injecting a bit of extra pep. The overall ride quality is balanced, offering a comfortable and compliant experience.

The 2024 Suzuki Grand Vitara GLX hybrid represents a significant leap forward, offering stylish design, modern technology, and a fuel-efficient powertrain. It is poised to be a compelling choice for drivers seeking an affordable, practical, and stylish compact SUV.

Available at: Stewart’s Auto Sales Ltd, 49-53 South Camp Road. Tel (876) 968-0930,

(876) 968-0931, www.suzukijamaica.com

Specifications:

Price of tested model: $6.8m, 4 Wheel Drive (high Spec GLX)

Price Range/ Options: $6.3m, 2 Wheel Drive (mid Spec GLX), $5.8m, 2 Wheel Drive (low Spec LX)

Engine: 1.5-litre petrol + electric motor (hybrid)

Transmission: 5-Speed

Power: 101.64bhp@6000rpm

Torque: 136.8Nm@4400rpm

Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 Litres

Fuel economy: 10.6 km/l / 9.434 L/100km (highway)

Body Type: mid size SUV

Competition: Honda HR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail

https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/auto/20240414/2024-suzuki-grand-vitara-glx-hybrid-revitalised-style-and-efficiency