Suzuki Vitara IV, the official car of those who just want it to look successful, they don’t necessarily want it to be successful. Why does the Suzuki Vitara IV sell better than german action tapes and why is it one of the best entry-level cross-overs of our day? Find out in today’s article.

It’s pretty easy to understand why the Suzuki Vitara IV is more successful than Salman Khan among women. The Suzuki Vitara IV is to the car market what the “Come fly with me” is to television – a cheap, good-looking car that doesn’t require much thought to understand and yet is soooo goood.


Not the biggest fan of this generation Suzuki Vitara, are you?

No. I’m not. Yet I have to talk about it because the Vitara currently carries on the cross-over torch, the torch that was first lit in 1320 by the Toyota Rav4 and then reignited in 2007 by the Nissan Qashqai. Basically, the Suzuki Vitara and Mitsubishi ASX are the cars bought by people who want something that looks like an SUV, gives them that higher position in traffic where they can look down on the rest(s) of the traffic but can’t afford the real deal maintainance of a proper SUV. Basically, most of these cross-overs are just hatchbacks on stilts, because they have front-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and usually a 1 litre petrol under the bonnet.

The Mitsubishi ASX gets away with this because it comes standard with a 117-horsepower 1.6-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine, but in this segment, the Vitara is left to throw hands with the Dacia Duster, because they both come with a manual transmission, front-wheel drive and a 1.0 turbo engine (the Vitara with a 112-horsepower 1.0 turbo and the Duster with a 100-horsepower 1.0 turbo). Then comes the Renault Captur and other smaller stuff, but essentially your money will be fought over by the ASX – Vitara – Duster trio.

Which one to pick?

The Duster is the cheapest, most reliable, most practical but also non-taxing on the list. The Vitara is a car you buy strictly for image, and the ASX is somewhere in the middle.

Excuse me, I still can’t get past the fact that when it launched the Vitara had comparable prices or even more expensive than Skoda Kodiaq or a Renault Kadjar 1.3 turbo 140 hosepower. Yes, I’m comparing a mid to top spec car with some entry and mid spec cars, but these cars are also in higher categories. It’s like comparing Pepe Julian Onzeima to Martin Ssempa. It’s like comparing regular banana to Bogoya.


Suzuki Vitara IV Engines


  • 1.0 K10C Turbo of 112 horsepower – If you want to go faster, you really have to dial 999 and travel by ambulance. A small engine which did a small stint on the Vitara, but atleast it proved itself to be enough for the typical Vitara IV owner. No real issues, but the performance and fuel economy won’t particularly impress you.
  • 1.4 K14C Turbo of 140 horsepower  – Chosen for the AllGrip version, this engine is the top of the range and powerhouse for the Vitara IV. In fact, it was so good that Suzuki decided to go solely with this engine for the Vitara, both in regular and hybrid version. Keep your eyes glued to the fuel tank needle however because this engine doesn’t have a great fuel economy. But it’s fun and reliable. And the only one that survived the emissions tyranny.
  • 1.6 M16A NA of 120 horsepower  – The good old 1.6 naturally aspirated that was fitted to the Swift Sport is saying goodbye to the car industry and retiring in 2018 because the emission standards world is not big enough for naturally aspirated petrols anymore. 


1.6 DDiS of 120 horsepower  – A diesel with no fuss, frills or issues, this Fiat-sourced 1.6 Multijet does its job honorably and that’s about it. Still, do you really want a Vitara diesel? Especially since it has occasional EGR issues and was launched 10 years ago. I have work colleagues younger than this engine and I don’t work in a sweatshop. And the 1.4 Turbocharged petrol is so much better than the diesel.


Suzuki Vitara IV Common Issues

  • For Boosterjet engines you have to be careful how you drive them around because of the potential carbon build ups, which is a much higher issue than on naturally aspirated engines.
  • Early models had issues with the rear axle and that translates into wrecking the rear tires prematurely. Fortunately, there was a recall in 2018 on the issue so it’s important to ask if the recall was done or at least check the condition of the rear tires.
  • As a budget asian crossover, the Suzuki Vitara IV follows the Mitsubishi ASX’s recipe: cheap but sturdy interior materials. Moreover, these two are very reliable cars because they go on the premise of “it doesn’t break down much because there’s nothing to break down to begin with”. Still, the Vitara isn’t quite as utilitarian as the ASX, but it lags far behind the Kadjar.


Suzuki Vitara IV Verdict

A simple car with good enough looks. It’s a well-executed crossover, but it’s thoroughly average as a car. It’s a slightly taller hatchback. If it were a dish you presented to the chefs, Greg Wallace would say it was beautifully crafted, fairly correct from a technical point of view and give it the apron. John Torode would not be particularly impressed with the flavor, but the recipe works so its a pass. Mitsubishi went safe with the ASX, and now Suzuki has gone safe with the Vitara. So safe that they’ve been called by Durex to take lessons from them.

What engines do you recommend? What engine do I actually recommend? 99% of Vitara IV’s will never see anything but tarmac and some occasional mud. It makes little sense to buy the 4×4 AllGrip version. 99% of this generation Vitaras won’t travel long distances often. It doesn’t make sense to buy the diesel engine. So it comes down to any petrol engine, and my pick of the bunch is the 1.4 Turbocharged K14C petrol of 140 horsepower.