In this section:
- Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
- Suspension and ride comfort
- Noise and vibration
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Our chosen engine in the Suzuki Vitara is the 1.4-litre petrol engine that produces 127bhp and uses mild-hybrid technology to give it a little extra performance without sacrificing fuel-efficiency. In fact, you won’t notice the extra assistance but that's not to say it's slow. Indeed, the Vitara is quite sprightly for a small SUV, with plenty of pace to get to motorway speeds or pass slower-moving traffic on a country lane. Its 0-62mph time (9.5sec) is slightly quicker than those of the equivalent Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Cross.
Meanwhile, the four-wheel drive Vitara – badged ‘AllGrip’ – is heavier than the two-wheel drive and, as a result, has less pace. It adds a bit more grip in slippery conditions as well as the ability to tackle muddy country roads if you need to. Don’t expect it to match the off-road credentials of the Jeep Renegade, though.
However, if ride comfort is your top priority, then there are better small SUVs and we’d suggest taking a look at the Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc
Head out onto a twisty road and the Vitara goes round corners well enough, but it's let down by the steering, which is very light when you begin to turn the wheel and gives little sense of connection to the front wheels. It’s better suited to town driving, helping you to manoeuvre into parking spaces and around tight roundabouts with ease.
The hybrid version is only 40kg heavier than the mild-hybrid, and the extra weight makes very little difference to how the car handles. Even with AllGrip four-wheel drive, no version of the Vitara is as composed or as fun to drive as the Puma or T-Cross, though.