Suzuki vitara off road




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    The people are hardened, and there is good reason resilient brahmans are the cattle of choice. The Suzuki Vitara range is now complete following the arrival of a Fiat-sourced turbo diesel engine, sitting alongside a 1. With the trio of all-wheel drives we headed north, galloping across the bitumen to Cooktown before trekking through the Bloomfield Track and back into Cairns.

    Yep, they did, and with ease. Personalisation is a key feature of the Vitara, and the ability to choose between colours for the dash, steering wheel and centre trim adds some internal excitement. Black hard plastic finishes are used across the door tops and dash, yet all the key touch points have up-market materials.

    Particularly good is the combination of leather and suede trim on the seats in the turbo and GLX variants. With mm of ground clearance it makes things easy for entry and exit, and four adults will have no issues with the cabin space. For those who like some firepower under their right foot, then the two turbo models are the pick. Offering some extra urgency is the turbo petrol offering, which is much more responsive under acceleration.

    But the star of the show is this new diesel. Easily accomplishing the highway kilometres, things got interesting on the Bloomfield Track north of Cape Tribulation. The Vitara proved drum-tight, soaking up some nasty corrugations and wading through the creeks was done with ease.

    Being the dry season the track was fairly benign, but the passing traffic of Cruisers, Patrols and other four-wheel drives proved it was no place for pretenders. AllGrip offers four drive modes — Automatic where it runs mostly in two-wheel drive, Sport for improved acceleration and torque characteristics, Snow to optimise traction and Lock for when the going gets tough.

    Suzuki has capped-price servicing, which is required every six months or 10,km. Prices are at the lower end of the scale, and the marque has an outstanding reputation for quality and reliability. Fuel efficiency is good, and the diesel was particularly impressive on test by achieving its official figure of 4.

    Fold the seats via a button on the seat tops and you get litres of space. You can also fold the rear seats upright. That will easily swallow a couple of bikes with the wheel removed, flat-pack furniture and surfboards. You get two cup holders in the centre console, easy access to the USB ports in front of a shifter a couple of good nooks for mobiles are nearby and bottle holders in the doors.

    Customisation is an ace up the Vitara sleeve. The two-tone body colours with contrasting roof offer something different at this end of the market, and will appeal to the chic urbanites. Looking particularly good is the turquoise, but Suzuki Queensland has a special white with black roof and black wheels which looks good and even Ranger Rover Evoque-like but without the price tag.

    The pick would be either turbo models, diesel or petrol. Possessing a solid features list, they each have some nice punch under the right foot and manage to get the job done without paying a penalty at the bowser.

    3 x suzuki vitara off road action 2



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