Suzuki Vitara

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Suzuki Vitara
2015 Suzuki Vitara (New Zealand).jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Suzuki
Production 1988–present
Assembly Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan
Bekasi, Indonesia (Suzuki Indomobil Motor)
Razavi Khorasan, Iran (IKCO)
Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada (CAMI)
Linares, Spain (Santana Motor)
Quito, Ecuador (Omnibus BB)
Alvear, Santa Fe, Argentina
Body and chassis
Class Mini SUV (1988–1997)
Compact SUV (1997–present)
Compact crossover SUV (2015–present)
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive (1988–2015)
Front engine, front-wheel-drive / four-wheel drive (2015–present)

The Suzuki Vitara is a compact SUV produced by Suzuki in four generations since 1988. The second and third generation models were known as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, with the fourth and current series eschewing this prefix. In Japan and a number of other markets, all generations have used the name Suzuki Escudo.

The original series was designed to fill the slot above the Suzuki Jimny. The first generation was known as Suzuki Sidekick in the United States. The North American version was produced as a joint venture between Suzuki and General Motors known as CAMI. The Sidekick was sold in various badges such as the Geo Tracker (Chevrolet Tracker after 1998) in the United States, and as the GMC Tracker, Chevrolet Tracker, Asüna Sunrunner and Pontiac Sunrunner in Canada. It was also sold as the Santana 300 and 350 in Spain. In the Japanese market, it was also sold as the Mazda Proceed Levante.

The second generation was launched in 1997 under the "Grand Vitara" badge in most markets. It was accompanied by a still larger SUV known as the Suzuki XL-7 (known as Grand Escudo in Japan). The third generation was launched in 2005.

The fourth generation, released in 2015, reverted back to the original name "Vitara" in most markets, but shifted from an off-road SUV towards a more road-oriented crossover style. It shares the platform and many components with the SX4 S-Cross, a compact crossover in a similar class.[1]

First generation (1988–1997)[edit]

First generation
1992-1994 Suzuki Vitara (SE416C Type2) JX softtop 01.jpg
Overview
Also called Asüna Sunrunner
Chevrolet Tracker
Chevrolet Vitara
Geo Tracker
GMC Tracker
Mazda Proceed Levante
Pontiac Sunrunner
Santana 300/ 350
Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Sidekick
Production 1988–1997
Model years 1989–1999
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
3-door wagon
5-door wagon
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L G16A I4 (petrol)
1.6 L G16B I4 (petrol)
1.8 L I4 (petrol)[citation needed]
2.0 L H20A V6 (petrol)
1.9 L XUD I4 (diesel)
2.0 L RF I4 (diesel)
Transmission 3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 3-door: 86.6 in (2,200 mm)
5-door: 97.6 in (2,479 mm)
Length 3-door: 143.7 in (3,650 mm) (1996–98)
142.5 in (3,620 mm) (1989–1995)
5-door: 158.7 in (4,031 mm)
5-door Sport: 162.4 in (4,125 mm)
Width 3-door: 65.2 in (1,656 mm) (1996–98)
64.2 in (1,631 mm) (1989–1995)
5-door: 64.4 in (1,636 mm)
5-door Sport: 66.7 in (1,694 mm)
Height 3-door: 64.3 in (1,633 mm) (2WD, 1992–93 & 1996–98)
65.6 in (1,666 mm) (1989–1991)
65.1 in (1,654 mm) (4WD, 1992–93 & 1996–98)
64.4 in (1,636 mm) (2WD 1994–95)
65.2 in (1,656 mm) (4WD 1994–95)
5-door: 65.7 in (1,669 mm) (2WD)
66.5 in (1,689 mm) (4WD)
66.3 in (1,684 mm) (Sport)
1989–1991 Suzuki Sidekick 3-door (US)
1992–1994 Suzuki Vitara JX softtop (Australia)
Suzuki Sidekick JX 5-door (US)
Suzuki Sidekick Sport 5-door (US)
Mazda Proceed Levante (Japan)

Escudo was first introduced in the Japanese domestic market in July 1988. The name is derived from the "escudo", the monetary unit of Portugal until the Euro was adopted. North American Sidekick became available for model year 1989 as a two-door convertible or hardtop. The construction was based on the Lada Niva.[2] An 80 hp (60 kW) 1.6-litre, eight-valve, four-cylinder Suzuki G16 engine was available on the JX and JLX. 1990 brought the deletion of the upscale JLX version. In 1991, a five-door Sidekick with a lengthened wheelbase was introduced. 1991 also brought the introduction of rear antilock brakes. It was thought that the five-door would overlap with the shorter three-door in the market; instead it appealed to a whole new segment and sales in the domestic Japanese market doubled as a result.[3]

For the 1992 model year a 95 hp (71 kW), 1.6-litre, 16-valve Suzuki G16A engine was introduced to the United States. The original Sidekick was updated in 1996 with a new Sport version available with 120 hp (89 kW), 1.8-litre 16-valve four-cylinder Suzuki J18 engine. The Sport also had dual airbags, two-tone paint and 16-inch alloy wheels. 1993 brought an update of the dash in conjunction with the exterior. There is also a very limited edition factory special named the Vitara Rossini which came in metallic pink with a cream leather interior, only 250 of this model were produced worldwide,

In 1996, Suzuki introduced the Suzuki X-90 which was mechanically identical to the Sidekick but had a much rounder body, a trunk, and removable T-bar roof.[4] The Suzuki X-90 disappeared from Suzuki's lineup after the 1998 model year. The Sport variant was replaced by the Grand Vitara in 1999.

In Spain, production went on at Suzuki's partner Santana with the Vitara nameplate. After a facelift in 2005 the name was changed to Santana 300/350.

In Australia, there were two models available. The Vitara JX and the Vitara JLX. The JLX featured mainly with powered windows. Both versions featured the 1.6 Litre engine. In May 1997, Suzuki introduced the 1995 cc 2.0 Litre 4 Valves/Cylinder Double Overhead Cam engine with both soft-top and hardtop three-door models. This engine was rated at 97 kW (130 hp) at 6300 rpm. At the same time the five-door models received the 1998 cc 2.0-litre V6. Engine power rated for the five-door V6 models was at 100 kW (134 hp) at 6500 rpm. The 1.6-litre variant for the three-door models were named the Suzuki Vitara Rebel. All models in Australia were sold as four-wheel drives.

The naming scheme, engines and trim options available in Chile, closely follow that of the Australian market. In 1998, there became available models featuring 1.9-litre turbodiesel engines from PSA, built in Spain by Santana Motors, all of them were 4WD vehicles equipped with manual transmissions. Since 2001, all diesel 1st Gen Vitaras are to be imported from Argentina, built by General Motors in Argentina, featuring 2.0-litre HDI engines from PSA, all of them with 5-speed manual transmissions. Automatic transmissions are only available on Japanese built models with gasoline engines.

In Indonesia, Indomobil Suzuki International (later Suzuki Indomobil Motor) as the Suzuki sole agent introduced Vitara in 1992. While the Vitara was still in the market, Suzuki added 4x2-version and labelled as the Escudo in 1994 to gain urban-driver market. In 1996, Suzuki introduced Sidekick, as a spec-down version of Escudo, as the entry level model. Indonesia is the only market in the world which receive three different names of Escudo in a time. Only 5 door models, 1.6-litre petrol engine were offered with no automatic transmission. In 1995, Vitara received fuel-injection system and marketed as Vitara EPI (Electronic Petrol Injection). However, due to much higher price, Vitara EPI sold poorly in the market and later considered become collector item since its rarity. For also 1995, the Vitara got new interiors. Official production for this generation ended in 2006 with the end of the Santana 300/350.

Second generation (1997–2005)[edit]

Second generation
99-01 Suzuki Grand Vitara.jpg
Overview
Also called Chevrolet Tracker
Chevrolet Grand Vitara
Mazda Proceed Levante
Suzuki Escudo
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Production 1997–2005
Model years 1999–2005
Assembly Japan: Iwata, Shizuoka
Canada: Ingersoll, Ontario
Indonesia: Bekasi
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
3-door wagon
5-door wagon
Related Suzuki XL-7
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L G16B I4 (petrol)
2.0 L J20A I4 (petrol)
2.5 L H25A V6 (petrol)
2.0 L RF/RFM I4 (diesel)
2.0 L RHW/RHZ I4 (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 3-door: 86.6 in (2,200 mm)
5-door: 97.6 in (2,479 mm)
Length 2002–05 5-door: 164.5 in (4,178 mm)
1999–2001 5-door: 163.0 in (4,140 mm)
Width 3-door: 67.3 in (1,709 mm)
2002–05 5-door: 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
1999–2001: 70.0 in (1,778 mm)
Height 2002–05 5-door AWD: 67.8 in (1,722 mm)
2002–05 5-door 2WD: 67.3 in (1,709 mm)
3-door: 66.5 in (1,689 mm)
1999–2001 5-door AWD: 68.5 in (1,740 mm)
1999–2001 5-door 2WD: 68.0 in (1,727 mm)
Suzuki Grand Vitara 3-door (Australia)
Suzuki Grande Escudo (XL-7) 5-door (Japan)
Mazda Proceed Levante (Japan)

Suzuki announced the second-generation model on 7 November 1997 for 1998. Now slightly larger, pricier and more powerful, it uses a light-duty automobile-type rack-and-pinion steering box instead of the recirculating ball truck unit used in the first generation. The class was moved from mini SUV to compact SUV. In most international markets the name "Grand Vitara" was adopted.

It was facelifted in 2002 and again in 2004. A rebadged version was sold in North America by General Motors as the Chevrolet Tracker. The Tracker is sold in Latin America, excluding Mexico, as Chevrolet Grand Vitara. In Mexico, Grand Vitara and Tracker are different vehicles, sold by Suzuki and Chevrolet respectively. In Chile, the five-door Grand Vitara is known as Grand Nomade. In Japan, an OEM deal with Mazda meant that the wagon was also sold as the Mazda Proceed Levante.

As of 2003, the smaller Suzuki Vitara has been withdrawn from the North American market. Sales were slow, with just 4,860 sold in 2004 for the United States. In Canada, sales were strong. All North American Vitaras were built at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, while the North American Grand Vitaras were built in Japan.

The 2001 model Suzuki Grand Vitara comes standard as a 2.0-liter 4WD vehicle in New Zealand.

Grand Escudo[edit]

Main article: Suzuki XL-7

In 1998 The Grand Escudo was a longer, slightly larger, pricier and more powerful version of the regular five-door. The Japanese market Grand Escudo was sold in North America and Chile as the Suzuki XL-7. In Australia and Europe it was marketed as Grand Vitara XL-7.

Third generation (2005–present)[edit]

Third generation
2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited 2 -- 05-12-2010.jpg
Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited (US)
Overview
Also called Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Suzuki Grand Vitara JP (Taiwan)
Suzuki Grand Nomade (Chile)
Suzuki Grand Vitara SZ (Ecuador)
Production 2005–present
Extended production continues for some markets
Assembly Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan
Linares, Spain (Santana Motor)[5]
Razavi Khorasan, Iran (Iran Khodro)
Bekasi, Indonesia (Suzuki Indomobil Motor)
Quito, Ecuador (Omnibus BB)
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door SUV
3-door SUV
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L M16A I4 (petrol)
2.0 L J20A I4 (petrol)
2.4 L J24B l4 (petrol)
2.7 L H27A V6 (petrol)
1.9 L F9Q I4 (diesel)
3.2 L N32A V6 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic (AW 03-72LE)
5-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 5-door: 2,639 mm (104 in)
3-door: 2,440 mm (96.1 in)
Length 2009– 5-door: 4,501 mm (177 in)
2006–08 5-door: 4,470 mm (176 in)
3-door: 4,005 mm (157.7 in)
Width 5-door: 1,811 mm (71 in)
3-door: 1,810 mm (71.3 in)
Height 5-door: 1,694 mm (67 in) & 1,684 in (42,774 mm)
3-door: 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Interior
Suzuki Grand Vitara Prestige
Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.6 GLX

The second generation was replaced in the (northern hemisphere) autumn of 2005 by a new vehicle using some components of the GM Theta platform, and is built in Japan. The 2006 Escudo was developed independently by many of the same Suzuki engineers who developed the Theta. Although it uses some Theta componentry, especially in the suspension, it is quite different and should not be considered a Theta vehicle. Notably, it uses a longitudinally mounted engine and is at least rear-wheel drive with a 103.9 in (2639 mm) wheelbase, while all other Theta vehicles are transverse engined, defaulting to front-wheel drive. While the other Theta vehicles can be ordered with a front-drive biased 'all-wheel drive', the Escudo instead offers off-road capable selectable four-wheel drive.[6] The contemporary generation Suzuki XL7 (starting in model year 2007) was a true Theta vehicle, and was built alongside the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

The vehicle is highly regarded for its offroad capability, made possible by a lockable central differential along with low ratio gears and adequate ground clearance and its purposeful outdoor form factor and styling. The reason why it is so popular is that aside from it being one of the very few SUV's capable of competitively going offroad on the market, it doubles as a practical family car.

The most widely available Escudo is the 5-door version, but a three-door version is also available in some markets. In some markets the three-door variant drops the "Grand" to be branded simply "Vitara". In some countries, including Chile the 5-door version is named "Grand Nomade".

The vehicle is also mass-produced in Iran by Iran Khodro Manufacturing Co.[7]

In Ecuador, this version of the SUV is known as Suzuki Grand Vitara SZ.

2005–2008[edit]

Until 2008 the standard gasoline engine for the five-door model was an updated J20A (4 cyl. 2.0L 140 PS); with an optional Suzuki H engine H27A (V6 2.7L 185 PS) in higher specified models. Pre 2001 turbo diesel models were fitted with Mazda's type RF engine, with later models fitted with a 1.9 L 4-cylinder turbo diesel featuring 129 PS (95 kW), manufactured by Renault. The only engine fitted to the three-door model before 2008 was the M16A (4 cyl. 1.6L 106 PS (78 kW)).

2008–2011[edit]

In the second half of 2008, the Suzuki Grand Vitara was given a facelift and two new engines. A 2.4L inline four is offered producing 122 kW (166 PS; 164 hp) of power and 225 N·m (166 lb·ft) of torque. The new V6 is only offered in the flagship prestige model which produces 165 kW (224 PS; 221 hp) of power and 284 N·m (209 lb·ft) of torque. Fuel economy has also been improved with the addition of VVT to both engines and the 1.9L Turbo-Diesel has also received some mechanical work improving its economy. Safety has also been improved with more air-bags and traction control being standard on all models. The four mode four-wheel-drive system is also available on all models. It features a lockable central differential along with low ratio gears. Subtle improvements were made on the exterior of the car such as indicators in the door mirrors and a more pronounced front grille and bumper. The interior also saw a lot of more aesthetically pleasing changes.

Suzuki Grand Nomade facelift (Chile)

In November 2011, the American branch of Suzuki filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Owing to its focus on small cars, a strong yen and stringent US safety regulations which have hurt growth, Suzuki Motors announced it will discontinue building cars for the US market and focus instead on motorcycles, ATVs and marine equipment.

The Grand Vitara discontinued from production in Indonesia in late 2012 to focus on the production of the Ertiga.

2012[edit]

In the second quarter of 2012 for the 2013 model year, Suzuki unveiled a facelift Escudo with new wheels, a new grille and front lights. The V6 engine was discontinued from here on. Starting with this facelift, the Grand Vitara in Indonesia is now a rebadged Escudo, imported from Japan.

Fourth generation (2015–present)[edit]

2015 Suzuki Vitara
2015 Suzuki Vitara

The fourth generation of Vitara was presented at 2014 Paris Motor Show.[8] Its production (by Suzuki Magyar) parallels the third generation. The fourth generation Vitara went on sale in Japan as the fourth generation Suzuki Escudo on 15 October 2015. The all-new fourth generation model is 125 mm (4.9 in) shorter, 85 mm (3.3 in) lower, 35 mm (1.4 in) leaner, it is now a compact crossover, and has a wheelbase 140 mm (5.5 in) shorter than the previous generation Grand Vitara, making the Vitara easier to drive on narrow roads and tight parking spaces. The engine displacement is also down by 0.8 liters.[9][10]

Suzuki Vitara Boulevard Edition

Several New Zealand dealerships offered a special Boulevard Edition. The special trim was based on the 1.6L JLX 2WD trim level. Features included full leather seats, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler, heated front seats, branded carpet mats, special badging and decals.

Suzuki released a special version of the fourth generation Vitara called the Vitara S or Vitara Sport in some markets. The Vitara S features a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, which delivers 20 percent more power and 40 percent more torque over the standard 1.6-liter petrol engine. The Vitara S was available in 4WD Allgrip only until summer 2016, starting with autumn 2016 the 2WD system is available for the S variant. The Vitara S also comes with several cosmetic changes over other Vitara trim levels including leather/suede sports seats with red stitching, aluminum sports pedals, red LED headlamp surrounds, distinctive five-slotted grille and black alloy wheels.

Motorsports[edit]

In 1998, Suzuki produced the Escudo Dirt Trial for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event in North America, which has two twin-turbocharged 2.5-liter V6 engines driving the front and rear wheels respectively. With a combined output of 732 kW (981 hp) at 9000 rpm, this variant has a top speed of 336 km/h (209 mph). It remained four-wheel drive and weighed 800 kilograms (1,800 lb). It was driven by Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Suzuki Vitara review". Auto Express. 14 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "The "Father" of the best Russian SUV". gm-avtovaz.ru. 
  3. ^ Anderson, Donn, ed. (April 1993). "Making more out of small cars". New Zealand Car. Vol. 7 no. 17. Auckland, New Zealand: Accent Publishing Cnr. p. 8. ISSN 0113-0196. 
  4. ^ Asia Spy Report, Popular Mechanics, July 1995, p. 29 
  5. ^ "Al volante del Suzuki Grand Vitara". El Periódico del Motor. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara". Eric Peters Autos. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "®ط¨ط±ع¯ط²ط§ط±ظٹ ظپط§ط±ط³". FarsNewsAgency. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Nuevo Suzuki Vitara - Salón del Automóvil de Parí 2014". 
  9. ^ "Suzuki Announces Exhibits for the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015". 30 September 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "スズキ、コンパクトSUV 新型「エスクード」を発売". 15 October 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Carbonare, Dino Dalle (18 April 2014). "Twin-Engined & Terrifying: A Monster Suzuki". Speedhunters. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 

External links[edit]