2020 Suzuki Vitara (car review)

FUEL efficiency, value for money, comfortable driving – qualities such as these seem to be often overlooked in the making of vehicles.  But not at Suzuki, and not with the 2020 Vitara. The Japanese car maker has also not forgotten the importance of simplicity.

It may not be the fanciest car at the party, but what it lacks in glamour, it makes up with practicality, durability, and affordability. Declaring it’s not glamourous may be harsh too, as it’s actually not a bad looking car.

It’s just the fact that the SUV market is saturated, meaning it’s up against some hard competition. That being said, Suzuki has proved that you don’t need to over complicate a vehicle to get the job done. Humble and sturdy, the Vitara ticks all the boxes.

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This year’s range comes in three variants, starting with the Vitara tested here, and priced from a modest $24,990 drive away. If you’re looking for more ‘oomph’ from your pedal though, you also have the choice of either the Turbo or Turbo ALLGRIP.

Our test vehicle was painted in Savannah Ivory and featured a Cosmic Black roof. And yes the initial struggle over the combination is real, but trust us when we say this shade will grow on you.

From the outside, the Suzuki Vitara features a bolstered up look, that, thanks to its designers, makes it look larger than it actually is. That impression is helped by its robust styling, tapered roof line and distinctive shape.

The alloy wheels are nothing special, but they do complete the package, giving the SUV a real sense of confidence, which we think is its appeal.

It’s powered by a 4-cylinder 1.6-litre engine that provides 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque. This is reasonable for your average dirt road adventure, but if you want to head off-road, the ALLGRIP variant is almost essential.

You can choose a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto on the base model though, and both deliver impressive numbers in terms of fuel economy, at 5.8-litres/100km for the former, and 6.0-litres/100km for the latter. Either way, the Vitara is exceptionally efficient.

Substantial work has been put into the driving experience too, with all models featuring Macpherson Strut coil spring suspension on the front and Torsion beam coil spring suspension on the back.

It makes taking corners and bumps exceptionally smooth, perfect for transporting a sleeping baby or a full cup of coffee. Inside too, the driver’s seat has been nicely planned out, catering for every shape and size.

The leather steering wheel and a front sliding armrest provide extra comfort. We’d almost call it the ultimate road trip car, fitting five people comfortably, with a boot that can hold anything from a pram to a set of golf clubs.

It’s a mix of old school and modern when it comes to technology too, with the dash featuring a centre-mounted 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

On the flip-side, despite having key-less entry and push button start, Suzuki has stayed with a mechanical handbrake, buttons and dials for the air conditioning controls and there’s even a CD player. They’ve done a similar thing with the S-Cross Turbo Premium.

There is no chance you are going to find it complicated, and the design of the dials, screen, and dashboard are a little bland, but very simple to navigate.

The 2020 Suzuki Vitara also feels safe, almost like you’re never going to crash when driving it. And to make sure you don’t, there’s a reversing camera, parking sensors, and electronic stability control with ESP.

The standard Vitara has all the basics you need, but you can add some handy features if you want to take the vehicle on some off-road or sporty adventures too. Suzuki has a range of accessories that includes roof racks, and bonnet and boot-lip protectors.

If Savannah Ivory, with its Cosmic Black roof, isn’t your thing, there’s also Cool White, Silky Silver, and Cosmic Black Pearl Metallic. For other options also come with the same Cosmic Black roof too.

These include Bright Red, Atlantis Turquoise Pearl Metallic, Galactic Grey Metallic and Solar Yellow. The 2020 Suzuki Vitara comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and capped price servicing.

Our test vehicle was provided by Suzuki Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Suzuki Vitara, contact your local Suzuki dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - suspension; comfort; interior space; colour range.
Cons - simplistic technology; plain Jane interior.
Jacinta Counihan
Jacinta Counihan
Jacinta Counihan is an up and coming journo who has grown up surrounded by cars and loud machines. As a little girl, all she wanted was a red Mini Cooper S. Now she's older and has broadened her horizons. Next on the list is a red Ferrari (when she can afford it).


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<strong>Pros -</strong> suspension; comfort; interior space; colour range.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> simplistic technology; plain Jane interior.2020 Suzuki Vitara (car review)