24 January 2018

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2016 Towing Review

A perfectly satisfactory garden trailer-towing vehicle for the weekend warriors.

Vitara 1
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Vitara 2
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Vitara 3
Suzuki Grand Vitara

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
Engine 2.4L Petrol
ANCAP Safety Rating 4 Star
Power 122kW at 6000rpm
Transmission 4-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 9.9L/100km
Body Style Medium SUV
Towing Capacity Braked 1700kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross mass 2100kg

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.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter SF535 1300kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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