Suzuki Vitara: We’re all going on a summer holiday

  • We travel to Somerset for bank holiday weekend
  • Vitara proves capable on 400-mile round trip
  • Split folding rear seats help squeeze everything in

August bank holiday weekend is the perfect opportunity to get away for a few days and enjoy the last spell of summer.

My family and I usually spend the weekend having a mini break somewhere in the UK and this year we were heading to Pontins Brean Sands down in Somerset.

Although it was only a three night break, it felt like we needed everything but the kitchen sink with bedding, sleeping bags, towels, toiletries and kitchen accessories all required, plus travelling with a 13-year old girl means packing more clothes then she could possibly wear, shoes for every occasion and bags of make-up and hair accessories.

“You’ll never fit it all in there,” my husband exclaimed.

Well I do love a challenge, and having been with our long term Vitara for the past three months, I was more than confident it was up to the challenge.

Although 375 litres of boot space doesn’t sound that impressive, the rear seats can be split in a 60/40 formation so we easily managed to squeeze everything in.

Having three people in the car travelling on a five-hour journey means three smartphones, iPads and an IPod for music; all of which needed charging at some point so it became frustrating that there was just one USB port available. Many cars today offer two and the Vitara would have benefited from that as a teenager without Snapchat is apparently the end of the world.

We stopped several times at service stations during the journey and needed plenty of space for coffees and snacks. Luckily the rear doors have bottle holders, plus two decent sized cupholders upfront meant everyone had a place to put a drink, plus there are other useful cubbies around the cabin to store your various items on the move.

The majority of the journey (around 140 miles) was spent on the M5 and systems like Adaptive Cruise Control on our test car proved crucial, especially as traffic built up around the Bristol area. We’ve talked before about how overcautious it can be but adjusting its settings is easy and it makes motorway travel far more relaxing - and safer too.

Comfort levels overall really impressed. Everyone had plenty of space to stretch out, the large panoramic roof helped the cabin feel airy and the air-con - although my husband likes to set sub-zero temperatures - proved good at circulating air around the cabin.

It’s nice to open the sunroof on those rare sunny days, but we wouldn’t recommend doing it when travelling over 30mph as the cabin becomes a very noisy place. Ideal if you want to stop an arguement, though.

The last 15 miles of the journey we drove into deep countryside with some twisty country lanes and single lane bridges to tackle. We’ve driven off-road in the Vitara before and know how capable it is in trickier terrain and it impressed again. When the muddy tracks got a little rougher, switching to Snow & Mud mode meant the car effortlessly drove over the terrain with excellent grip and traction. The steering, although a little numb, is well-weighted and the car's small turning circle made getting round the tightest of corners a breeze too.

Brean is like middle earth so it came as no surprise the sat-nav struggled when we got closer to the destination. We did end up at one dead end, but after a little improvising, it quickly got us back on track and to our campsite.

So the Vitara got us to our holiday and we all felt relaxed and comfortable ready to enjoy time together as a family. The old-fashioned resort was not such a successful story though...

Mileage: 2,706 miles

Fuel economy: 48mpg