Suzuki Vitara Strong Hybrid: no Toyota help

Cars and mobility

After taking advantage of its collaboration with Toyota to enrich its range of hybrids worthy of the name, Suzuki continues in this momentum, but this time with its own system. This is the cheapest Vitara ever produced.

By Stephane Wamat

We have presented them to you on these pages: the Swace hybrid van and the Across plug-in hybrid SUV are, in fact, more or less profoundly redesigned Toyota Corolla and Rav4 respectively. When Suzuki announced the imminent arrival of a 1.5 hybrid engine under the hood of its great classic Vitara, we thought a little quickly that, in turn, would take over the Toyota system. Well no: Suzuki engineers have developed their own.

Rest assured, this is not where we will embark on a detailed description of what distinguishes the two systems. We will be content with the most tangible difference: where Toyota has always been faithful to the CVT automatic transmission (known as continuous variable, or “Daf”), Suzuki is committed to a 6-speed robotic mechanical gearbox.

© Toyota

For the rest, the system is a classic hybrid: a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, an electric one capable of running the car on its own (and recharging the battery by slowing down, for example), and a small battery of 840 Wh installed below. the floor of the trunk. Nothing to connect at night: the car is achieved to maximize the use of electricity. The system develops a total of 115 horsepower. Finally, as always with Suzuki, 4×2 and 4×4 versions are offered.

Other than that, the Vitara is still the Vitara as we know it since 2015. And let’s be honest, despite the improvements in interior materials and some details of the equipment, the overall aesthetics of the Suzuki bears some weight of the year. On the road, however, it remains just as compelling. The adoption of hybridization does not detract from its natural qualities: a very moderate weight (just 1.3 tons) and an excellent chassis.

Despite its rather modest power, the Vitara is still a real driving pleasure. Especially because the mechanical gearbox, which can be controlled by the paddles of the steering wheel, allows the engine to sometimes run in a more “unpleasant” way. Offered from the second level of finish, the new Suzuki Vitara Strong Hybrid starts at 27,849 euros with VAT included.

© Suzuki

The opinion of the Lamarche family

“We understand what Stéphane says about the aesthetic aspect of the Vitara. At the same time, we don’t think he’s gotten so old! We see it as a classic and it inspires confidence because it has an excellent reputation. At the wheel, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the impression of lightness – which is becoming rare -. The price is more than right for a hybrid SUV of this size, but we have only one concern: the Vitara is one of the most compact in its category and therefore its trunk was no longer fantastic. There, with the battery underground, there are 280 liters left. Okay, the forms are handy, but we get to the end quickly! »

The opinion of the expert in ecological driving

Weight is one of the keys to energy efficiency and this Vitara hybrid proves it directly. Despite its fairly old SUV status, so not necessarily very streamlined, it plays this card. Between this and its highly efficient system, we recorded an average of 5.3 l / 100 km during our test, which is exactly the average announced. However, our course did not pass in the city, where one believes that this Vitara will still improve his score. Great job Suzuki engineers!

© Suzuki

Technical data

L / w / h (mm): 4,175 / 1,775 / 1,610 – 5 seats – 1,245 kg 4 cyl. 1.5 l hybrid petrol – Power: 115 hp Torque: 138 Nm – WLTP consumption: 5.3 l / 100 km – CO2 WLTP: 121 g / km – Price: 27,849 euros VAT included

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