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.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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