Third Generation Vitara will be a huge hit with yummy mummies and singletons too
If looks can be deceiving then that's precisely what Suzuki set out to do.
You see, to the untrained eye one would swear that the all-new Vitara was actually bigger than the SX4 S-Cross on which this Crossover SUV is based.
Not so. In fact, it's considerably smaller - 125mm in overall length and 100mm in wheelbase - yet it looks far more imposing.
This is a very clever pincer-type movement from the Japanese car giant on the two most lucrative car segments - the Compact SUV and the C-segment (family hatchback).
Ask any busy mammy in Ireland to describe their ideal car and it's either a five-door hatchback or a soft roader with that all-important elevated driving position and, of course, with a reasonable price tag.
Well, the new Vitara ticks all the right boxes especially with an entry price of €19,995 (a special offer until October).
Produced at its Magyar plant in Hungary, its rugged looks coupled with the option to personalise the life out of it is sure to be a winner with both singletons and growing families alike.
The aggressive styling gives the Vitara a 'go anywhere, do anything' feel which is backed up by real 4X4 credentials should you want them.
The thick, chrome grille - which runs in line with the raised headlights - elevates the whole nose of the car while the high clearance skid plates front and rear give it an air of invincibility.
Inside, its a little more business-like with a simple, easy-to-use cockpit dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen which is home to the infotainment system and all the vital stats. A very retro clock situated in the middle air vent gives the bland cockpit a real lift, as do the coloured inlays which you can pick yourself as an option.
There's no shortage of goodies either and standard kit is pretty generous with the entry level GL getting 7 air bags, 16 inch alloys, Bluetooth, cruise control, air-con, electric windows all round and projector headlights.
Opt for the GL+ and you also get 27-inch alloys, rear privacy glass and smartphone audio and navigation. The top of the range GLX will treat you to suede seats, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof and radar brake support (automatically stops car in low speed collisions).
Drive-wise we couldn't really fault it bar the slightly noisy diesel on start up, but get it on the tarmac and the Vitara is up there with the best of them.
Available in either a 1.6 litre diesel or petrol (both 120bhp)road tax is €190 and €200 respectively with emissions of 106 (diesel) and 123g/km.
Prices for the Vitara start at €19,995 for the 2WD while the top end Allgrip (4WD) kicks off at €27,995.