Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Although the driver still benefits from a commanding driving position, it’s lower than before, which gives it a feeling that’s akin to a large family hatchback. It’s comfortable, although the steering wheel adjusts for height only and not reach. There’s good forward visibility and large wing mirrors, however the rear view can be a bit restricted in the five-door because of the large rear pillars.

The dashboard is attractive and clear with large, chunky buttons for the heating and stereo controls (there are also steering wheel-mounted stereo buttons). The instruments are easy to read and backlit even in daylight. A trip computer in the centre of the dash shows the time, current mpg consumption and the outside temperature.

The new model is longer and wider than before and as a result the interior is much roomier making for improved Suzuki Grand Vitara comfort levels. Both the three-door and five-door versions have plenty of headroom, but while rear legroom is good on the five-door, the space in the rear of the three-door is acceptable only for children. The seats in the rear of the shorter car+ lack side support and aren’t suitable for longer trips.

Road and wind noise are kept to acceptable levels, but engine noise can be intrusive, especially under heavy acceleration. Changes for 2009 models include improved noise suppression, so the Grand Vitara is much quieter on the road.