Suzuki Grand Vitara: service

First service is simple affair

With many modern cars now requiring a first service at 18,000 miles it is somewhat surprising that the Grand Vitara requires its at a youthful 9,000. Admittedly, it is a diesel but a Mazda 6 diesel we had on test required its first at 12,000 miles.

One advantage of an early service, though, is that it can spot any potential problems that might crop up and stop them from developing into a major issue. Given Suzuki's reputation for reliability this seems unlikely but an early check is no bad thing especially when the car is fitted with a four-wheel-drive system as well as the usual mechanical parts of engine, gearbox and suspension.

The first service on the Vitara includes myriad checks including the transmission oil level in both the four-wheel-drive system and gearbox. Loss of oil here speeds up wear and tear at best, and smashed mechanicals at worst.

Apart from an oil change and new filter the Grand Vitara sped through its service with flying colours. The booking-in of the service at the Suzuki dealership in Peterborough was simple and customer service included a lift to work having dropped the car off. I was offered a return lift to pick the car up, but I didn't need it. One ticked check sheet and £177.68 later, and I could drive the Vitara away three hours after dropping it off - a quick turnaround.

The whole experience was notable for not being notable, which when having your car serviced is ideal. You don't want the memory of a repair bill an arm-length long. Even the invoice was a pleasant surprise for being less than I was expecting (the Mazda 6 diesel's first service cashed in at £343) and the Suzuki dealership staff was both helpful and accommodating in sorting out the service. Next service stop is 18,000.

Current mileage: 9875

Average mpg: 33.4