JIMS 2008: THE SUZUKI RANGE Mobility is the key
In addition to some exciting future models and concept cars, Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) will be offering visitors to the Johannesburg International Motor Show a comprehensive overview of its current vehicle line-up.
Since opening its first dealerships in June this year, SASA had launched four model ranges locally. The passenger car offering currently consists of the compact Swift five-door hatchback, and the larger, C-segment SX4 lifestyle hatch.
In September, SASA added two all-terrain contenders to its line-up with the launch of the go-anywhere, gung-ho Jimny mini 4×4, and the sleek and stylish Grand Vitara sports utility vehicle range.
The Suzuki Swift is a contemporary hatchback exuding sophistication and youthful, sporty appeal, matched to a level of quality and refinement previously unheard of in this class.
The Swift’s segment-defining space, comfort and packaging are linked to performance traits that allow this innovative model to punch well above the class standard. It sets entirely new benchmarks, while promising more than its fair share of driver appeal and exhilaration.
The Swift looks the athletic part, emphasised by pronounced shoulders and a unique wrap-around windscreen with blacked out A and B-pillars.
Inside, the focus is on peerless driver involvement. The ambience is appealing, and characterised by a curved dashboard and sporty instrumentation. Interior space has been maximised, with class-leading comfort, functionality and adjustability the result.
There’s no compromise when it comes to safety either, as the Swift boasts an impressive level of standard features and a proven track record. A four-star Euro-NCAP rating places it up there with the best.
Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, with additional side and curtain airbags on the high-spec GLS models, along with ABS brakes with the latest electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist systems.
The Swift’s chassis design places the large-diameter wheels at each corner, creating a deliberately purposeful and poised stance that translates into dynamic, top-drawer handling traits, unflappable stability and a level of ride control and refinement typical of a much larger, more expensive cars.
The Swift’s responsive 1,5-litre fuel-injected engine features variable valve timing to optimise the unit’s power and torque delivery, particularly at the low to midrange engine speeds typical of in-city driving. Maximum output comes to 74 kW at 6 000 r/min, with a 133 Nm of peak torque at 4 000 r/min.
This propels the light and lively five-speed manual Suzuki Swift from 0-100 km in 10,0 sec, and on to a top speed of 175 km/h. Even so, fuel consumption is thrifty at just 6,1 l/100 km in the combined cycle, which underscores its efficiency and allows a useful range on the 43 litre fuel tank.
Each model comes with the ‘Suzuki Complete’ package of after-sales services. This includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan and a three-year AA-supported roadside assistance plan.
Bold and individual, the Suzuki SX4 is a thrillingly unconventional hatchback with an overriding focus on lifestyle that is totally unique in its class.
It is a thoroughly versatile vehicle offering practical, real-world benefits such as greater ride height and slightly raised seating position, while exploiting the agility and driving appeal of a traditional hatchback.
With its proud, head-turning appearance, matched to an extremely versatile, spacious and comprehensively equipped interior, the SX4’s appeal is truly universal. And yet, it is also particularly well suited to the SA lifestyle.
The SX4 is offered in a single, high-specification derivative, but offers buyers the choice of a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. It’s powered by a gutsy 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection.
The rated maximum power output is 107 kW at 5 800 r/min, while the peak torque is pegged at 184 Nm, reached at just 3 500 r/min. A flat torque curve improves performance characteristics in everyday driving conditions.
The manual SX4 is sprints from 0-100 km/h in 9,4 sec, with top speed pegged at 184 km/h. The Suzuki’s combined-cycle performance figure comes to 8,4 lItres/100 km in manual from, while the auto is only slightly thirstier at 9,5 litres/100 km.
Very high levels of torsional and bending rigidity allow for exceptional handling, tautness and controlled agility. The SX4 also offers superior build quality, fit and finish. Add remarkable levels of comfort, luxury and convenience, and the SX4’s value proposition becomes very apparent.
Under the all-inclusive Suzuki Complete programme, the SX4 is sold with a six-year/90 000 km service plan, together with a three-year/100 000 km factory warranty, as well as a three-year roadside assistance package and an Altech Netstar Sleuth tracking device.
The launch of the latest-generation Suzuki Jimny marks the return of a 4×4 icon. A direct descendant of the legendary SJ410 and Samurai mini-4x4s, the Jimny retains the astonishing all-terrain capability and nimble reactions of the original.
At the same time, it adds fresh, contemporary styling, an advanced, more powerful 1,3-litre engine and a comprehensively upgraded interior to the formula.
Core features such as the rigid front and rear axles, coil spring suspension, 4×4 drivetrain with transfer case and robust box-section chassis have been retained, but further refined and improved for this application.
The new Suzuki Jimny’s styling is robust and distinctive, representing a modern interpretation of the original SJ’s shape.
The 1,3-litre engine is a latest-generation, high-efficiency powerplant with variable valve timing, fuel injection and 16 valves. Maximum power comes to 63 kW, with the torque peak of 110 Nm. The combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is a frugal 7,2 litres/100 km.
A five-speed manual gearbox linked to a low-range transfer case allows push-button selection of rear-wheel drive, high-range four-wheel drive, or low-range four-wheel drive.
The Jimny’s kerb mass remains a humble 1 070 kg, which translates into a power-to-weight ratio of 58,8 kW/ton. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 14,1 seconds, while the rated top speed is 140 km/h.
But the Jimny really shines when heading off the beaten track. It is every bit as nimble and agile as it looks, while the 190 mm ground clearance aids overall traversability. The approach and departure angles place it in 4×4’s top league.
Much effort has gone into providing the new Jimny with a comfortable, well-equipped and stylish interior. It features new front and rear seats, revised steering wheel and a redesigned dashboard with clear instruments and well laid out switchgear. The standard equipment list is comprehensive.
The new Suzuki Jimny sets high safety and security standards. Front SRS airbags, inertia reel seatbelts, and progressive front and rear crumple zones are standard, as are side impact protection beams in the doors, and the ABS-equipped braking system.
The Suzuki Jimny is supported by Suzuki’s comprehensive Suzuki Complete package, which combines a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan, and a three-year AA roadside assistance package for extended peace of mind.
A Netstar Sleuth tracking system comes pre-installed, and can be activated at additional cost. In addition, Suzuki Jimny purchasers also receive a free 4×4 driver training package.
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Fully imported, the locally available five-door Grand Vitara compact SUV range consists of three models – two 2,4-litre four-cylinder derivatives, and a 3,2-litre V6 flagship.
The Grand Vitara 2.4 models feature a four-cylinder, 2 393 cc powerplant with twin overhead camshafts and VVT variable valve timing to produce 122 kW of maximum power at 6 000 r/min. The torque peak of 225 Nm is achieved at
4 000 r/min.
The flagship Grand Vitara 3.2’s powerplant is a 3 195 cc V6 with twin overhead camshafts per bank and 24 valves with VVT variable valve timing. It is credited with 165 kW at 6 200 r/min, and 284 Nm of torque at 3 500 r/min.
The 2,4-litre versions offer a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions, while the 3,2-litre V6 is available with a five-speed automatic transmission only. All three models feature permanent all-wheel drive.
Unlike most compact SUVs, the Grand Vitara is a true 4×4 all-terrainer, with an advanced all-wheel drive system that incorporates a low-range transfer case and convenient, electronic switching between 4×4 modes.
Also contributing to the Grand Vitara’s legendary all-terrain talent is its 200 mm ground clearance, short front and rear overhangs, long-travel suspension, and rugged integrated ladder frame monocoque chassis.
The interior of the Grand Vitara is surprisingly spacious for a compact SUV. Positioning the wheels at each corner has created a relatively long wheelbase to boost front and rear legroom, while its generous overall width also boosts interior space.
The use of high-quality materials and close attention to detail – a hallmark of all Suzuki products – is a Grand Vitara highlight.
The specification levels across all Grand Vitara models are impressive. External features common to all models include roof rails, integrated mirror turn signals, a colour-coded full spare wheel cover, front fog lamps and alloy wheels – 17-inch versions in the case of the 2.4 models and 18-inch for the flagship Grand Vitara 3.2 V6.
Inside, even the more affordable 2,4-litre models offer full keyless operation with selective remote central locking, tinted windows, climate control air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio satellite controls.
The standard RDS-compatible FM/AM CD receiver boasts an integrated six-disc CD changer and seven loudspeakers, and is compatible with MP3 playback.
The Grand Vitara 3.2 V6 adds niceties such as leather upholstery, cruise control, a glass sunroof, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, and hill descent/ascent control.
On the safety front, all three Grand Vitara models feature all-disc ABS brakes, ESP stability control, front, side and curtain airbags, front and rear head restraints, and five inertia reel seatbelts, with the front belts featuring pre-tensioners and load limiters. Isofix rear child seat anchors are standard.
The Grand Vitara scored four stars for occupant protection in the Euro NCAP safety ratings, together with three stars for pedestrian protection and three stars for child safety.
Despite is modern powertrains, true 4×4 capability, comprehensive specification and high safety levels, the Suzuki Grand Vitara range boasts value-added pricing that positions it aggressively against its rivals.
All models come standard with a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a six-year/90 000 km service plan, a Netstar Early Warning tracking system which can be optionally activated, a three-year AA roadside assistance package, and free 4×4 driver training.