Suzuki Grand Vitara: update

Suzuki sticks with the tried and tested

Suzuki has unveiled the new Grand Vitara and with a first glance it is easy to see one of the changes. Gone is the trademark spare wheel with its colour-coded cover from the back door and in comes a can of sealant and inflator as a get-me-home measure.

Given that so many manufacturers now offer this puncture repair solution rather than a spare wheel it isn't news. Indeed, Suzuki is somewhat late to the party on this one but it is a shame to see the trademark spare wheel go.

Of all the solutions for carrying a spare wheel it's one of the better ones as it both frees up the boot space and protects the spare wheel from the elements. However, there will be those who prefer the cleaner look of the uncluttered rear door and parking should be an easier affair, even though the parking sensors fitted to our car took the distance of the spare wheel into account.

There are also some welcome changes to the diesel engine which has reduced emissions from the current 185g/km of CO2 down to 179g/km. Sadly, that doesn't drop it a road tax band so it stays in band I, currently £200 a year road tax.

More useful is the improvement in fuel consumption with claimed average rising from 40 to 41.5mpg - not a major jump but heading in the right direction. Suzuki is keen to tempt buyers with the new model so has extended its 0% finance on the new Grand Vitara until the end of September.

Current mileage: 10,549

Average mpg: 33.8