After the S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki takes one other severe stab on the midsize SUV market; we get an early first preview.
Enjoying second fiddle isn’t one thing Maruti Suzuki likes to do, and, to deal with the S-Cross’ lacklustre efficiency within the midsize SUV phase, it’s readying the Grand Vitara. In addition to being the corporate’s newest stab on the thriving phase, the Grand Vitara additionally brings in strong-hybrid expertise in addition to all-wheel-drive – each distinctive on this phase.
So, whereas on a media tour of its R&D services, when Maruti Suzuki requested if we’d like a brief drive, we naturally stated sure. And whereas it actually was a really quick drive – with only a single loop of the banked observe, freeway loop and metropolis simulation – we did collect some fascinating first impressions.
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: engine and efficiency – Sturdy Hybrid
Of the three powertrains we sampled, the strong-hybrid was the one I used to be most interested in provided that it’s a Toyota system built-in into the Suzuki World-C platform that underpins the Grand Vitara. The three cylinder 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle engine develops 92hp and 122Nm of torque and is paired to an electrical motor that makes 79hp and 141Nm of torque. Mixed energy output stands at 115hp. Modest numbers particularly when held towards the Creta 1.four Turbo’s 140hp or the Skoda Kushaq’s 1.5 litre TSI that makes 150hp. And as you’d anticipate it isn’t fast.
Off the road, it strikes rapidly, however tempo drops off as you construct pace. Being the R&D facility, our telephones have been taken away and the one timing tools with me was my wristwatch. Going by that the Grand Vitara’s 0-100kph acceleration time was round 14 seconds, and I don’t anticipate it to dip far more when strapped to our V-Field information acquisition system.
In-gear acceleration can also be sluggish regardless of the kickdown; it’s clear Maruti is chasing gas effectivity and the corporate claims a 27.97kpl determine as per inside testing. And that’s actually the place this SUV will shine: bear in mind Maruti Suzuki has no diesels and, on this phase, diesels are nonetheless fashionable. Thus, a fuel-sipping petrol ought to be a lot appreciated.
The strong-hybrid additionally has a devoted EV mode which you’ll be able to entry through a button on the middle console. If the battery has enough cost and your driving type relaxed, it can motor alongside fortunately with the engine shut. Maruti hasn’t disclosed an electric-only vary, however says that beneath typical Indian driving cycle the engine would solely be operating for 50-60 p.c of the time, which is spectacular.
I attempted EV mode, and, ranging from a standstill, the acceleration is good and clean and I used to be in a position to maintain it going with a tempo comfortable sufficient for a metropolis drive. Nonetheless, put your foot down a bit extra – wish to overtake as an illustration – and the engine does swap on.
There is no such thing as a one-pedal driving mode as you discover on some EVs, however you will have a ‘B’ mode on the gearlever – that is along with the Regular, Eco and Sport engine drive modes – which maximises engine braking to cost the battery faster. Whereas driving within the common D mode, the coast down appears like a standard ICE automobile, whereas in B mode, it appears like a barely robust regen mode in an EV with the automotive slowing fairly quickly, though to not a full cease.
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: engine and efficiency – Delicate Hybrid
We additionally drove the mild-hybrid which makes use of Maruti’s 4 cylinder 1.5-litre Okay15C engine and, just like the Brezza, it makes an similar 103hp and 137Nm of torque. Right here too, as you’d anticipate, it isn’t fast with an eye fixed clearly targeted on effectivity – Maruti claims 20.58kpl for the auto and 19.38 for the AWD.
So long as you drive in a sedate and relaxed method you gained’t be dissatisfied and the Suzuki energy unit does really feel smoother of the 2 with a decrease sound stage too. Within the Toyota system, throughout transient phases like acceleration and deceleration you possibly can hear fairly a gruff notice.
Curiously, in-gear acceleration within the 20 to 80kph section felt faster, although we’ll wait till we will strap it as much as our check tools to lastly say so. What was clear, nevertheless, was the brand new 6-speed torque convertor gearbox, which, like on the Brezza, is clean. What I significantly preferred was that with the paddle shifters you possibly can take management of gearshifts and to a big extent the automotive permits you to do as you please – not second guessing you want another autoboxes do – it can solely double beep and never enable a gearshift or robotically shift, incase automobile and engine speeds are actually far out of sync.
We additionally did get to drive the AWD model, which comes with solely the 5-speed guide, not on any off-road or tough terrain. So, what I can say for now’s that the guide gearbox shifts really feel a bit rubber like, however they’re clean and require little effort.
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: journey and dealing with
There actually isn’t a lot to say at this level given the extraordinarily temporary drive and the particular tracks we drove on, however over the cobble stone part journey high quality was good and pliant. Over pace breakers the physique does heave, however it didn’t really feel uncomfortable.
What actually stood out for me was the steering, the trouble was low and at excessive speeds it felt safe, plus, a lot to my delight, at parking speeds it robotically self-centers. That is in contrast to most Maruti’s that merely keep caught and require you to twirl the wheel again. Thus, with the Grand Vitara, round a nook, you possibly can drive naturally and easily chill out your grip on the wheel to have it transfer again to middle.
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: preliminary drive impressions
Maruti is clearly not taking possibilities with the Grand Vitara. Whereas it misses out on a diesel, it gives mild-hybrid tech that Maruti is understood for in addition to phase distinctive AWD and strong-hybrid expertise, which ought to actually be a giant draw for a lot of, particularly the latter. So, whereas it is not going to fulfill these in search of a peppy SUV, for these with an eye fixed on effectivity it ought to do very nicely certainly. We’ll after all know for certain as soon as we drive it out in the true world which ought to be in a couple of month or two. So keep tuned and incase you’d wish to know extra in regards to the styling and interiors, do take a look at our story right here.