Suzuki grand vitara 2016 reviews

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  • But there's still one brand that continues to sell the tried and proven body-on- frame design: Suzuki. First launched in the market way back in.

    The Suzuki Grand Vitara used to put off-road ability before on-road manners, but does it now deliver?.

    Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Suzuki Vitara S, a family SUV for just under £ that is a rival to the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai.

    A little more digging reveals that, for the money, you get quite a few toys as standard. When tackling corners or mountain roads, the Grand Vitara performed well and did not feel wayward. Off the line the engine was quite torquey. Or at least I think it was.

    The Clarkson review: Suzuki Vitara S

    But you know the car I mean: That sit-up-and-beg runabout that was popular with hairdressers and airline stewards in Brighton in the s.

    God, it was terrible. Putting the roof on was more complicated than building a circus marquee, and it never quite fitted properly, which meant that if you actually wanted the poppers — oo-er — to do up, you had to use your fingernails to stretch the fabric until they all came out.

    It was fitted with the same suspension — and I mean exactly the same — as you would find on a medieval ox cart. This meant that it was simply a system for suspending the body. It had less give than a dining room table, so if you ran over a speed hump at anything more than 15mph, you took off. And then you bounced down the road with blood pouring from your ruined fingers until you hit the next speed hump. Or a manhole cover.

    Or a small piece of gravel. Which would cause you to bounce into a parked car, or a lamppost. On a motorway things were extremely scary, because in an accident the car could bounce and then land sideways, which would cause it to roll over. Happily, the top speed was very low.

    Or at least I think it was. And then we get to the steering. There was a wheel, which gave you hope, but any attempt to use it as some kind of directional control device was pointless.

    And the prospect of driving back to London and possibly ending up by mistake in Paignton was so awful that I seriously considered staying there for ever. A lifetime in Hull? Weirdly, however, on holiday I would often rent an SJ. It was a cheap way of putting some wind in my hair. And around town, on a sunny day, it was an unusual and rather endearing alternative to the hatchback norm. It was cheaper, too. So there was nothing to break. But it was honest.

    Today, the spirit of the SJ lives on. The modern Suzuki Jimny is certainly safer. But it has a permanent roof, so the main appeal of the original is gone. There are glimmers of the spirit in the larger Vitara, too.

    But even in the apparently sporty 1. This car is wilfully boring. Partly because the exterior of my test car was red. I pretty much hate all the small SUVs.

    The Ford with the sliding doors. The Vitara has another problem. It feels quite astonishingly flimsy and cheap. And that means it is more fuel-efficient and faster than it would be if it felt heavy and durable. My car came with a reasonably sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, so it actually could go into gymkhana car parks.

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