Suzuki Grand Vitara: practicality

Grand Vitara's practical touches

It's always the small details that can make or break the ownership of car. In terms of family transport, flexibility and practicality is one of the Grand Vitaras strong points. One moment it's a trip to Cadbury's World with the nieces and nephews, the next I'm down the DIY store picking up a bike storage shed.

The little off-roader impresses with both its load capacity and flexibility. The boot is a good size and the hidden storage area under the boot floor is ideal for stashing shopping bags as it stops them spilling their contents as soon as you drive round the first corner.

The boot lid opens unconventionally from left to right rather than opening up vertically. In one respect it means you get full access to the boot opening, this is handy when loading flat-packed furniture. However, the downside is when I park in a multi-storey car park I have to remember to park nose first otherwise I can't open the tailgate unless I leave a big gap at the back to swing the boot door open.

Another helpful feature is the parcel shelf that pops out easily and has soft covers that clip on to the back of the rear seats. The hard main shelf is strong enough to support weighty objects such as full bags of shopping, and it folds back to allow easy access to the boot space.

The rear seats are equally easy to fold out the way to increase load space. The 60/40 spilt rear seats can be collapsed and flipped out of the way with one hand. It leaves a good-sized space and a flat floor as well so sliding in flat-pack furniture is nice and easy.

Current mileage: 6719

Average mpg: 35.0