Suzuki Vitara: Sport mode

  • We put our Vitara's sporty credentials to the test
  • Adapted throttle response makes the car surprisingly agile
  • Impressive grip in the corners ideal for your favourite B-road

According to my nephew, Superman is the ultimate superhero - Spiderman, Iron Man and even Thor haven’t got a patch on Clark Kent.

It was also my nephew who noticed that the Suzuki badge closely resembles his favourite superhero's symbol – coincidence? I think not.

Although the Suzuki is renowned for its excellent off-road superpowers,  the drive-mode selector in our car promises to reveal the Superman beneath the mild-mannered Clark Kent exterior at the twist of a dial.

Many cars today come with some kind of sportier driving mode which will alter the steering, throttle and sometimes the suspension set-up too. However, when you flick the switch the changes can be so subtle that you barely notice the difference.  

Happily this isn’t the case with our long-termer.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to note that the Vitara is no sports car, so those expecting supercar speed and strength are likely to be disappointed – my nephew included.

That said, the grip on offer courtesy of the ALLGRIP four-wheel drive system fitted to our Suzuki, coupled with the sportier steering and adapted throttle response, makes the Vitara surprisingly agile. Like when Clark Kent takes off his famous specs, the change in the Vitara when Sport mode is activated is instantaneous and what is already a characterful drive becomes even more fun.

Torque is distributed to the wheels that have the most grip to enhance cornering ability and the car inspires a surprising amount of confidence when tackling winding country lanes at speed.

The light steering also helps make driving around city streets easier, although there’s not much extra feedback offered over Normal mode.

Sport mode is also ideal if you’re tackling an overtaking manoeuvre as the extra throttle response helps gain speed quicker, and the engine has enough high-end torque to continue accelerating past 60mph effortlessly too.

Another plus is the lack of body roll, surprising given the car's shape and height, its characterful engine note doesn’t get too vocal when accelerating either.

We’ve only got two months left with our long-term Vitara and it’s a car which is continuing to surprise us with its hidden talents. Offering impressive strength off-road, sportier performance away from the lights if needed and the ability to sense accidents before they occur thanks to onboard safety systems - that all adds up to superhero status in our book. 

Mileage: 2936.9

Average fuel economy: 50mpg (calc)