Suzuki Vitara – Up close and personal

  • We take a closer look at the features on our long-term Vitara
  • After three months on test, some systems are starting to play up
  • Find out which features we like the best

The Suzuki Vitara has well and truly settled into life on the Parkers fleet and after three months we think now is a good time to reflect on what features we really like and which are proving frustrating rather than functional.

One of the key systems fitted to our long term test car is Radar Brake Support which sends an alert if it believes a collision is likely and will even apply the brakes if you fail to do so in a timely manner.

Although the system works well, especially if the car in front of you suddenly stops, we’ve found it to be a little over-sensitive at times, sending alerts when you’re already braking with enough space in front or beeping like crazy when you’re sat in traffic when an adjacent lane is moving. A colleague borrowed the Vitara over a weekend recently and ended up turning the system off as it annoyed him that much.

When it comes to parking, our car is kitted out with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard, the latter offers good resolution and both systems work really well day-to-day and are particularly useful when you’re trying to squeeze into a space at your local multi-storey.

Adaptive cruise control is another system which we’ve found to be a little over sensitive at times, often slowing too soon when a car is in front, unlike the Radar Brake Support you can alter the settings and we’ve been using the system often, especially on the motorway once we got the settings right.

Another issue is the boot, which although practical and spacious, doesn’t seem to be able to close itself properly and can sometimes take three or four attempts before the warning light turns off.

The media system can be a little temperamental when it wants to connect my iPod too, sometimes choosing not to be able to read it despite it being plugged in constantly, that said the sound system, four speakers and two tweeters offer really good quality even on more base-led tracks on my playlist from Sigma and Disclosure.  

We are big fans of the panoramic sunroof which is large and makes the cabin feel light and airy, it opens too which has been ideal for this summer. Another of our favourite features is the analogue clock in the cabin which lights up at night.  

Keyless entry and start is really useful when you’re laden with bags after shopping, you don’t need to worry about fishing your keys out, just simply press the button on the door handle and the car will open, you don’t need the keys to start the car either.

Getting comfortable in the driver’s seat is easy too thanks to the large front seats although I do miss dual-zone climate control which was included on my last long-termer – my husband seems to always need the temperature set at low meaning I have to wear a coat most of the time I’m in the car with him.

So apart from a couple of over-sensitive safety systems and a temperamental boot, the Vitara is proving to be an impressive all-rounder and a popular addition to the Parkers fleet.

I’ll be putting our long-termer's practicality and comfort credentials to the test in our next update when me and the family travel 200 miles down to Somerset for a holiday.

Mileage: 1659.5 miles

Fuel economy: 48mpg (Calc)