Suzuki Vitara 1.6 Panoramic Roof - Premium Review
C'est la Vitara

Story and Photos by Alvan Sio
12 Jul 2016


It’s no secret that the Vitara has enjoyed some good success on our shores.

The recipe is really quite simple – provide a reliable, value for money vehicle that looks halfway decent and drives without complaint whilst being able to take on most people’s daily needs with ease.

And we come to what the Vitara has been all along. It’s compact and easy to operate (I tried going to some ridiculously narrow carparks with steep ramps and parking lots strategically placed so that you’ll have to be extremely careful to avoid a parked car as you turn round the carpark) and comes with the guaranteed Japanese quality and reliability.

With this all new version, Suzuki has continued along those same lines with an emphasis on fun and modernity, which is a much needed x-factor in today’s market where car buyers ask for more than just the basic things I laid out earlier.

The word ‘lifestyle’ is thrown around about as loosely as the word ‘passion’ these days both of which mean little of what they originally did. But for our intents and purposes, let’s just say that this car is supposed to be more than a just a means of transport. It’s supposed to be fun, set your heart alight and put a smile on your face.


Many cars these days feature some ridiculously complicated sheet metal work with curves and lines and cutaways here and there and everywhere.

I’m not saying that those are bad things; look at what Hyundai did with the Tucson and marvel at what Korean cars have transformed into. Yet with the Vitara, Suzuki opted for a less-is-more approach, and it really works.

There are no shouty bits about this car; it has muscular lines where they should be such as on the shoulders and fenders but keeps the overall feel very straightforward and simple without any complex flowing lines or 3D whatever. Sprucing things up are appropriate dashes of contrasting colours such as in the front bumper where there’s a rugged looking intake cover and two small (by today’s standards) rows of LED daytime running lights that keep things modern and up to date.

Headlamps are also LED projectors that feature a blue cover which makes it look more eco-friendly than it actually is. Other than these little modernistic hints that Suzuki isn’t behind the times, there’s something fresh and rewarding about a car that looks honest and not trying to steal your heart away with push-up bras and high heel shoes; if you know what I mean.


It’s the same story on the inside.

I love how Suzuki likes to come up with two-tone seats in suede and leather combination but not do it in a BMW M or Mercedes-AMG kind of way. It feels sport; but without the hard edged racing feel that can sometimes make a car feel too focussed for general use.

The dash and steering are simple and easy to read; it won’t take your mother ten thousand years to figure out what is what having not been driving regularly and forced to pick up your kindergarten going son because your boss was having a bad day.

You get a panoramic sunroof that actually opens up all the way – it’s the world’s first double panel sunroof that actually let’s rear occupants see more sky than glass unlike on conventional set ups. All the amenities you’d want are present and accounted for including keyless entry and start/stop, automatic climate control, lights and wipers.

Cruise control is also available together with paddle shifters on the steering wheel that are beginning to disappear with the drop in COE prices. Luggage space you won’t complain about at a decent 375 litres and fold down rear seats; there are also plenty of little cubbies to stash all kinds of stuff which is something that most people take for granted until they climb into say a Mazda MX-5.

The only down side to this car’s interior would be rear space, because it isn’t the most spacious car in class nor will cease to feel a little bit cramped especially with an all blacked out interior like the one we have here. It’s not appalling by any stretch, but it could certainly be bigger.

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