Updates make the Suzuki Grand Vitara eligible to be tested again this year. The styling has been refreshed, there’s a proper spare wheel and emissions have been lowered.
That’s all positive, but in most respects the Grand Vitara feels its age. The 1.9-litre diesel engine is noisy and takes a leisurely 20.7 seconds to pull car and caravan from 30-60mph. Wind and road noise add to the din at speed and the ride is too firm for comfort.
The picture is far from all bad, though. The Grand Vitara has always handled well, so it’s more fun than you might expect driven solo. Although the Suzuki struggled with strong crosswinds it handled the lane-change test rather well, with far more grip and composure than the SsangYong Korando, for example.
There’s plenty of kit as standard, but then SZ5 is the top-spec model. If you want diesel power this is your only choice, which is a shame. It leaves the Suzuki perched uncomfortably between budget 4x4s like the Korando and far more polished, sophisticated SUVs like the Honda CR-V.
Our practicality judges were more impressed than the drivers, thanks to the roomy boot and external spare wheel.