The Suzuki Grand Vitara: More than just utility
() - September 11, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Suzuki Grand Vitara is known as the range topper of Suzuki Philippines’ four-wheeled line up. But what you may not know is that the Grand Vitara is more than just a good-looking hauler.

The Grand Vitara is a styling icon. A new front fascia incorporates a sportier front grill and a bumper with a larger lower inlet for the radiator, making the SUV look bigger than it really is. Sportier-looking five-spoke, 17-inch alloy rims and 225/65R17 tires further add to the Grand Vitara’s potential athleticism on tarmac. The easy-to-open-and-close, swing-type rear door saves interior space by housing the spare tire on its back and makes it look like a potential off-roader. Its available colors – Silky Silver Metallic, Pearl White, and Bluish Black Three – enhance the aforementioned styling cues and gives the Grand Vitara a looming sense of casual chic.

Inside-wise, the Grand Vitara is a potential living room. The cabin is roomy, with plush, comfortable and supportive front buckets and a reclining or 40/60-split-folding rear bench that can cozily fit three average folk. The cabin look and feel has a futuristic layout, with attractive and well positioned ergonomics (particularly for the air conditioning, driver’s gauge cluster and the audio entertainment) and brushed aluminum trim creating harmony with the predominantly black interior. Numerous places abound in the cabin for storing small items such as drinking bottles and mobile phones. The air conditioning has an automatic feature that quickly dissipates heat and keeps the cabin cool constantly. Keeping occupants entertained is a four speaker audio entertainment system – with steering wheel-mounted audio controls – that can broadcast sound from FM or AM stations, or from six high-quality audio CDs or six CDs full of pre-loaded MP3 tracks.

One must not forget that the Grand Vitara can haul or store almost any item. With the rear bench upright the cargo area can accommodate a “balikbayan” box and three pieces of travel luggage. When the rear bench is folded, the Grand Vitara can handle even the occasional odd-shaped cargo. However, Suzuki didn’t forget that the Grand Vitara is also meant for hauling purposes, and utilizes an easy to-open-and-close, swing-type rear door that saves interior space by housing the spare tire on its back.

The Grand Vitara moves via a 2.4-liter, 16-valve double overhead cam straight four. Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and multi-point fuel injection for the said powerplant helps the Grand Vitara get into the powerband quickly, yet be economical on fuel. A tap on the accelerator pedal gives a preview of the 2.4-liter’s 164 horses and 225 NM of torque, and the four-speed automatic transmission always gets you in the proper gear ratio for any maneuver. In addition, matching the engine with a 4x2 rear wheel drive setup assures you of smooth yet fast acceleration.

An independent MacPherson strut front suspension and independent multilink rear suspension – plus a low stance and body on-ladder frame chassis construction – keep the Grand Vitara planted through turns. The resulting athleticism from the Grand Vitara’s suspension setup keeps all occupants placed firmly on the comfortable fabric seats, yet never sacrifices ride comfort. The power-assisted steering makes the unit move quickly through corners, or helps the driver execute parking or long backing motions with ease.

The Grand Vitara is also about safety. Ventilated front and rear disc brakes shed speed quickly, and get rid of unwanted heat from the rotors. Rear door child safety locks prevent your young ones from accidentally messing with the rear doors and tumbling about. The bright halogen projector headlights and fog lights show you what’s ahead during night driving, and gives you extra time to react should an entity suddenly show up in front of you. In case an accident occurs, the Grand Vitara totes dual airbags to envelop occupants in a safe cocoon.

Whether it’s the outside, inside, forward motion, lateral motion, deceleration or safety, the Grand Vitara is grand in all aspects, making it more than just a utility vehicle.

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