The Turbo effectively replaces the LTD in the Vitara line-up, with the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre model eventually being phased out. As such, the Turbo comes in a single high-spec version that gets the same levels of equipment as the LTD, apart from that model’s panoramic sunroof, which has been dropped from the Turbo.
This means it comes standard with such equipment as a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone and media streaming and Apple CarPlay integration, as well as a leather steering wheel with shift paddles and controls for the audio, phone and cruise control, artificial leather and suede upholstery on the sports seats, red stitching on the steering wheel and seats, red trim highlights around the air vents, clock and gauges, keyless entry, push button start, aluminum accelerator and brake pedals and a reversing camera.
On the outside the Turbo is differentiated from the standard Vitara by a unique five-slot grille, LED headlights with red trim highlights, LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass, satin silver door mirrors and roof rails and 17-inch gloss black alloy wheels.
Where the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in the standard Vitara packs a slightly underwhelming 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque, the Turbo’s new 1.4-litre “BoosterJet” direct injection turbo four-cylinder petrol unit pumps out a far more satisfying 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque.
Despite boasting more power and needing 95 octane petrol, the new turbo engine is actually more economical than the naturally-aspirated engine, with Suzuki claiming an average combined figure of 5.9L/100km for the 2WD model (6.2L/100km for the AWD) compared to 6L/100km for the 2WD LTD and 6.3 for the AWD.
The Vitara Turbo has a lovely big wave of torque that comes in at 1,700rpm that it sits on nicely when out on the open road.
Around town the Vitara Turbo is brilliantly responsive and nimble, being both small enough to easily navigate around tight urban areas and powerful enough to take full advantage of gaps in traffic.
The turbo range starts with the 2WD version priced at $33,990, while the 4WD version costs $37,990. Both variants can be optioned with a sporty two-tone paint job that adds an additional $1,200.
For more information go to www.suzuki.co.nz/vitara-turbo/