Can the Suzuki Grand Vitara succeed where the Vitara failed in PH?
The Suzuki Vitara may no longer be available in the country but elsewhere the Vitara name is still alive and kicking. Just over in India, Maruti Suzuki revived the Grand Vitara name as a brand new crossover.
Essentially the twin to the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, the all-new Grand Vitara not only looks sleeker and more dynamic, but it's also available with a hybrid powertrain under the hood. With the Vitara already out of the picture, could Suzuki Philippines bring the brand new Grand Vitara in order for it to compete in the lucrative crossover market?
To see how it fares against models in the market, we spec-check the Grand Vitara vs the Vitara AllGrip that Suzuki used to sell in the Philippines. Will it be a close fight between these two crossovers?
Roll out the measuring tape
First and foremost, we have to see their size difference. Starting with the Vitara AllGrip, it measures 4175mm long, 1775mm wide, and has a height of 1610mm. It also has a 2500mm wheelbase plus a ground clearance of 185mm. Not bad, but the Grand Vitara is the bigger (and taller) vehicle in this comparison.
With a length of 4345mm, a width of 1795mm, and a height of 1645mm, the Grand Vitara is longer, wider, and taller. Wheelbase, on the other hand, comes in at 2600mm which makes it 100mm more than the Vitara AllGrip. Last but not least is its ground clearance which is 210mm.
Size-wise, it's clear that the Grand Vitara is the larger crossover in this comparo. It's also more spacious thanks to the longer wheelbase. And should you need to go over uneven terrain or floodwaters, the Grand Vitara offers more peace of mind thanks to its higher ground clearance.
Hybrid Hearts vs Good Ol' Internal Combustion
As mentioned earlier, the Grand Vitara is the latest Suzuki to be available with an electrified powertrain. But unlike most automakers that only offer a single hybrid option, the Grand Vitara is available with two hybrid powertrains – Smart Hybrid and Intelligent Electric Hybrid.
First, we have the Smart Hybrid mild-hybrid system which comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's helped along by an integrated starter generator (ISG). It makes a total of 103 PS with 137 Nm of torque and can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. There's even an all-wheel drive (AWD) version that's exclusive only to the 5-speed manual variant.
Next is the Intelligent Electric Hybrid which is a traditional parallel hybrid system that's derived from Toyota. It too has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine but it's helped along by an electric motor. It has a total system output of 115 PS and 122 Nm of torque. This particular hybrid is only available in 2WD and is paired to a CVT.
As for the Vitara AllGrip, it only came with a 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four that makes 115 PS and 156 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. While this Vitara does make more power, the Grand Vitara is more fuel efficient and produces fewer emissions thanks to the electrified powertrains.
Plenty of amenities
When it comes to equipment levels, Suzuki is no stranger to fitting their vehicles with plenty of features. The Grand Vitara is no different since its chock-full of it. For starters, high-grade variants can come with an all-black interior, leather seats, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a wireless phone charger, a heads-up display, rear USB charging ports, cruise control, a digital instrument panel, automatic climate control with rear A/C vents, and a push-button start.
When it comes to infotainment, the Grand Vitara comes with a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also has Bluetooth and USB connectivity, along with the Suzuki Connect safety app. With it, drivers can remotely control certain functions of the vehicle like the automatic climate control, remote locking/unlocking the doors, remote immobilization, and activating the hazard lights. In addition, Suzuki Connect can also notify owners if their car has been stolen or towed and keep track of it, help the drivers locate where the car is located, and even monitor battery health.
The now-discontinued Vitara AllGrip also came with plenty of amenities. It's equipped with leather-suede seats, a panoramic sunroof, cruise control, automatic climate control, and a push-button start. In-car entertainment comes in the form of a touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, and Aux connectivity. Unfortunately, the Vitara doesn't come with the new Suzuki Connect safety app.
Looking at the features Suzuki put on the Grand Vitara, the Vitara AllGrip can only wish it came with more amenities. Sure, it's packing quite a lot, but since it lacks Suzuki Connect, it doesn't come with the smart remote systems the Grand Vitara currently has.
Will the Grand Vitara come here to PH?
So we've already compared what the Grand Vitara and the Vitara AllGrip have. We also got to see what powers the two crossovers, as well as see which of them is the bigger vehicle. All in all, it looks like the Grand Vitara would make for a great spiritual successor to the recently axed Vitara AllGrip. But will Suzuki Philippines actually bring it here?
Perhaps, since Suzuki no longer has a crossover in their lineup. With the automaker already sourcing models like the S-Presso, Celerio, Dzire, and the Jimny from Maruti Suzuki, they could take advantage of the partnership and bring the Grand Vitara as their new B-segment crossover. If Suzuki is actually serious about this, they need to price it competitively in order to take on other B-segment stalwarts like the Geely Coolray, Ford Territory, MG ZS, GAC GS3, Toyota Corolla Cross, and the Honda HR-V.
Based on this spec check, do you think the Grand Vitara has what it takes to make Suzuki a highly-competitive B-segment fighter in the local market? Let us know what you think in the comments.