It was back behind the wheel of the Suzuki Vitara with the latest addition to the range; the 2016 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo.
Introduced by Suzuki later than the others in April, the Vitara S Turbo is positioned between the RT-S/RT-X and the top of the range RT-X diesel, reasonably priced from $32,990.
It’s a no-brainer this Vitara model contains a turbocharged engine enhancing the measly 1.4 litre capacity to produce a max of 103kW and 220Nm.
Like the RT-X, the S Turbo is 4WD capable complete with Suzuki’s Allgrip system with a diff-lock button and a snow terrain selection. Hill descent control is fitted only in this specification.
But the main difference in the cluster of controls is the Sport selector, amping up the acceleration curve and properly utilising the turbo engine.
Power in its normal capacity is noticeably greater than in the base model RT-S or diesel with small hints of lag but in Sport mode is as you’d envisage it to be for a small sporty SUV – punchy and eager.
It just fits the model so well leaving you wishing the other variants were the same.
Mind you, the S Turbo is no powerhouse but certainly gives you that little extra oomph you may need around town or whilst overtaking.
Surprisingly even with this fit out, I still registered the same fuel economy as the Vitara RT-S a 6.7L/100km after a week of cruising.
Another winning point is the noise; or the lack thereof. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was especially when stationary.
The Suzuki Vitara S Turbo doesn’t possess auto start/stop function but it sure acted like it did, turning down the engine noise without turning off the engine.
Comfort inside the cockpit is also aided by the plush seats covered in leather and soft suede inserts just like a couch.
The rest of the cabin is pretty much the same though as the other variants, constructed with hard black plastic that doesn’t add to the refinement but is not so noticeable after a while.
What is obvious is the highlight inserts along the dash which, in the case of my particular vehicle, were presented in a gaudy bright glossy red.
This is painted across the dashboard, on the wheel, the floor console, and the rings around the air vents.
It’s not so much tacky as it doesn’t complement the car especially given the all black exterior with black body, black top, black pillars and black 17” alloys.
The good thing is these colours are customisable and you can choose your own to suit.
The red theme in this Vitara doesn’t end there though with red stitching on the steering wheel and on the seats and doors.
I would say the 2016 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo is the pick of the bunch. A good combination of performance, practicality and price.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo
Engine: 1.4 litre turbo petrol producing 103kW and 220Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic 4WD
Safety: Five Stars
Price: from $32,990