The Suzuki Grand Vitara is the big brother of the Vitara and is altogether bigger but not by a great deal. Inside, the styling is reminiscent of a Suzuki Swift and it features a three gauge layout with a central speedometer positioned in line with the driver. Our model was also fitted with cruise control. It was fairly comfortable although we were unable to try out the climate control system as it had been disconnected due to some prior work – typically, on the day we took it for its tow test, the sun was blazing down.
|At a glance|
|Model||Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 JLX|
|ANCAP Safety Rating||4 Star|
|Power||122kW at 6000rpm|
|Body Style||Medium SUV|
|Towing Capacity Braked||1700kg|
|Towing Capacity Unbraked||750kg|
Alongside the vehicle, the boat visually seemed quite imposing but the Grand Vitara was easy to maneuver around the tight parking lot.
The towing hitch on our draw bar was located quite close to the spare wheel cover and, when coupling the vehicle with the boat, the standard feature reverse camera came in very handy.
On the hill section of our test, the Vitara showed sufficient power for the weight it was pulling but it was clear we were operating at the upper limit of its capacity. We gained speed up the hill, moving from 50km/h to 80km/h at 4700rpm, and once we had reached our desired speed, it fell back to 3200rpm.
Over all the performance was acceptable on all surface conditions. While cornering, the steering was satisfactory, although the load we were carrying pushed it harder. The ride was slightly firm which resulted in a bit of bounce and, when moving off on to an uneven surface, the traction was reasonable.
The Grand Vitara is surprisingly easier to handle than its slightly smaller cousin – it felt nimble and the steering was sharp. Braking worked fine with our load and, when heavy braking was applied, the steering didn’t deviate and remained strong.
The cabin is roomy up-front although back seat passengers with longer legs may feel cramped in the rear. Those rear seats can be folded up and tumbled forward to allow for more loading space which is ideal for storage. Its interior finish was basic, with perhaps a little more detail required around the radio fascia, but its practical size, agility and ground clearance make it an easy vehicle to get in and out of, and use around the town – a perfectly satisfactory garden trailer-towing vehicle for the weekend warriors.
Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.