The new model has been confirmed for an Australian debut next year, where it will compete in the small SUV class against the Trax and Juke, along with the Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, Ford EcoSport and the segment-leading Hyundai ix35.
The Vitara's vital statistics include a height of 1610mm, width of 1775mm and length of 4175mm. Minimum ground clearance is 185mm.
Full Australian specs are yet to be confirmed, but the Vitara will feature two engine options in overseas markets; one petrol and one diesel.
Both powerplants are 1.6 litre four-cylinder units, with the petrol engine producing 88kW/156Nm while the diesel is good for the same 88kW power output, but torque increases to 320Nm.
The diesel is matched exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, while the petrol unit is available with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Two- and four-wheel-drive are available with all engine and transmission options, and all get stop-start fuel-saving technology.
The four-wheel-drive system is dubbed ‘ALLGRIP’ by Suzuki (which is also available on the S-Cross) and the Japanese carmaker claims the Vitara has “plenty of off-road capability”; arguably lacking in many of its small SUV competitors.
ALLGRIP uses torque-vectoring to send power when needed to the rear wheels, depending on the driving mode selected. Those driving modes are Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock.
Buyers in overseas markets will have many opportunities to customise their Vitaras, with no less than 15 paint combinations available along with five other selectable options - including the front grille and instrument cluster appearances.
Two option packs are also available, with the ‘urban pack’ adding chrome exterior highlights and the ‘rugged pack’ adding skid-plates, body side mouldings and more.
Other features include radar brake support (a form of autonomous emergency braking), tyre pressure monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof with “one of the largest openings in the class”.
The 2015 Suzuki Vitara is due to arrive in Australia early next year, with pricing and local specifications still to be confirmed.
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