4X4OTY - Four wheel drive of the year
The Suzuki Vitara DDiS is not available in India, people expected it, but it wasn't to be.
The Suzuki Vitara DDiS (Fiat's Multijet engine) version earned itself the title of Australia's best compact SUV at the 4X4OTY contest, judged by the reputed 4WD magazine editors in the country.
The competition was no where near easy, some of the tough and proven vehicles sold here in India too - Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan X-Trail, Jeep Wrangler, Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V.
Judges loved its steering, suspension, seating as they ruthlessly carefully put the cars through the off-road evaluation course.
The diesel model is powered by Fiat's 1.9-liter Multijet engine, which is expected to make an appearance on the SX4 sedan in India in the future.
|LAVERTON NORTH, AUSTRALIA – June 23, 2009: Suzuki’s class leading Grand Vitara DDiS turbo-diesel has been confirmed as Australia’s Best Compact SUV.
Australia’s toughest judges – the 4WD experts from 4x4 Australia and Overlander 4WD magazines – have this week named the Grand Vitara the best compact SUV in the country for the second year in a row.
“Its low-range gearing, tough ladder frame chassis and all-independent suspension quickly impressed 4X4OTY judges on a mixed on and off-road test route that few other compacts could have completed,” said the 4x4 Australia judges.
“The suspension is well sorted, steering is direct and the driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive – ideal for long-haul trips.
“The Grand Vitara DDiS’s $35,990 asking price makes this compact a steal – and a worthy Best In Class winner once again.”
The 4x4 Australia award comes close on the heels of the judges at Overlander 4WD picking the Grand Vitara turbo-diesel as its best compact SUV, lavishing the car with praise.
“The DDiS’s closest rival for this award is one of the two petrol variants of the Grand Vitara. If we were to split this category so that we have separate diesel and petrol winners, there’s no doubt that one of the two petrol Grand Vitaras would get the nod.
“For now, the single Compact Wagon category is owned by the DDiS, thanks to its unique combination of performance, economy and off-road ability.
“What’s even better is the way that it sips fuel. Drive it hard and you’re unlikely to use more than 10 litres/100 km, while easy driving will see the consumption drop into the eights or even the sevens.
“The Suzuki’s on-road handling is also a highlight. This is a vehicle that’s stable at higher speeds on crook roads, yet agile and zippy in the tighter stuff. In fact, there’s very little we don’t like about the DDiS.”
The Grand Vitara was judged Best Compact SUV from a highly competitive field, including the Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan X-Trail, Jeep Wrangler, Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V.
Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers said the domination by the Grand Vitara in Australia’s leading 4x4 magazines confirmed the Grand Vitara as the best compact SUV on the market.
“We were confident of the Grand Vitara’s performance potential when we launched it in 2008, and winning coveted awards from the toughest judges in the business is proof there is no better compact SUV available.
“That’s the reason why the Grand Vitara has performed so well in awards like this, and why its one of the few vehicles showing an increase in sales in 2009.
“It’ is a testament to Suzuki’s unwavering philosophy to retain true off-road capability with the refinement of a passenger car in its Grand Vitara range,” Devers said.
Grand Vitara has been one of the shining lights in 2009 sales figures, with year on year sales of the GV3 up 72 per cent, while the five-door version is up 23 per cent.
The Grand Vitara line-up consists of the 2.4-litre 3-door, the 2.4-litre 5-door, the 2.4-litre Prestige 5-door, the 3.2-litre V6 Prestige 5-door and the 1.9-litre turbo-diesel 5-door.
Every model in the Grand Vitara range comes standard with six airbags, including head protecting side curtain airbags, ESP stability control and climate control air-conditioning.