Car Reviews

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara overview: Creta’s most critical rival but | Autocar India

Written by Meera

What you get whenever you mix one of the best of Maruti Suzuki and Toyota in a single well-specified bundle. That is an SUV with a number of USPs.

Two heads are higher than one. Two heads supply extra mixed mind energy, two heads can clear up issues higher and pool sources, put extra palms on the job, and the advantages of sharing solely multiply. That is one thing the automotive trade has been doing rather a lot these days, like Hyundai and Kia, Skoda and Volkswagen, Renault and Nissan, and now Maruti Suzuki and Toyota. 

However this isn’t any outdated synergy. No sir. Nothing lower than the approaching collectively of titans, this affiliation entails the most important carmaker in India and one of many largest, most profitable nameplates globally. And that is their first actual collaborative engineering enterprise. 

The Grand Vitara has a floor clearance of 210mm.

From Toyota comes its distinctive part-electric, strong-hybrid system. One thing Toyota will finally make totally in India, the system gives a large leap in gasoline effectivity to an official 27.97kpl below take a look at situations. From Maruti Suzuki comes the comparatively reasonably priced World C platform within the form of the Grand Vitara, full with an non-obligatory four-wheel-drive system. Manufacturing takes place at Toyota’s plant outdoors Bengaluru, so count on very excessive requirements for meeting; and a lot of the suppliers are from Maruti, which can assist preserve prices down. Pooling sources, yeah, that works. 

Maruti Suzuki and Toyota can even area in a different way styled and geared up variations of the SUV. Query is, simply how effectively does the Grand Vitara stack up in opposition to rivals just like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq and the MG Astor? And the way excessive up must you put it in your shortlist? 

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: design

The design of the Grand Vitara ticks all the best containers. It has each entrance and rear overhangs fleshed out to present it extra of an SUV stance, and the bonnet is flat, particularly when considered in profile. Up entrance, the block-like nostril is stuffed with attention-grabbing particulars – the high-mounted LEDs look cool, and there’s loads of chrome on the nostril. The 2-part grille is each attention-grabbing and fairly completely different: it blends a hexagonal decrease part with a thick bar of chrome. Uniquely, the sturdy hybrid model will get a champagne-coloured grille; word how the color contrasts with the Suzuki emblem. 

The cut up design for the grille and high-mounted headlamps give it nice highway presence.

Alongside the aspect, the sturdy shoulder line provides the design loads of type. The wheel arches have been squared for a extra SUV-like really feel, making the 17-inch wheels look a bit small, and the sloping roofline prevents the rear from wanting too utilitarian. What attracts probably the most consideration, nonetheless, are the linked rear tail-lights and rightly so.    

Constructed on Suzuki’s World C platform, shared with the S Cross, Brezza and the Vitara in different markets, the Grand Vitara, nonetheless, is the longest SUV of the lot at 4,345mm. Whereas it shares its lengthy 2,600mm wheelbase with the S Cross, the doorways, pillars and glasshouse generally appear to have been sourced from the up to date Vitara. What’s good is that the Grand Vitara carries over the strong construct of its sister automobiles. And this could maintain it in good stead in the case of crash take a look at scores.  

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: powertrains

There are two engines. Suzuki’s 103hp, 1.5 Dualjet engine that comes with a light hybrid system is the bottom engine on supply and comes with a 5-speed handbook transmission and a 6-speed computerized. Some variations will also be purchased with four-wheel drive. What makes the ‘All Grip’ system notably efficient is that it comes with a ‘lock’ operate that fixes the facility cut up 50:50 entrance/rear. 4-wheel drive variations additionally get hill descent management for higher stability and management.   

The 1.5-litre delicate hybrid powertrain feels easy and silent.

The opposite powertrain on supply is Toyota’s well-known sturdy hybrid system. Comparable in fundamental performance to the one which powers the Camry and Prius, the system helps ship a report breaking gasoline economic system; one thing Indian automotive consumers will simply love. At its coronary heart is a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol that makes use of direct in addition to oblique injection and runs a extra environment friendly Atkinson Cycle. Most output for the full system (engine and electrical motors) is 116hp. 

This new system, nonetheless, differs from those who preceded it. The brand new AC synchronous electrical motor right here focuses extra on energy moderately than torque. Because of this it spins a lot sooner and helps enhance energy supply at larger rpm, permitting the automotive to function in EV mode as much as 120km/h. The petrol engine compensates for the decreased torque supply when arduous acceleration is demanded.

The sturdy hybrid powertrain is much like those used within the Camry and Prius.

Electrical power is saved within the battery that’s positioned within the boot. Different Toyota autos that use the identical hybrid system have it positioned below the rear seat, the place it doesn’t take up a lot house. However right here, engineers appear to have encountered packaging issues. Boot house, because of this, on the sturdy hybrid is just 255 litres, and that’s even after putting the spare wheel below the ground. 

This fourth-gen hybrid system can also be completely different in one other method. In contrast to Toyota’s different hybrid programs that use a NiMH battery, this new one makes use of a 0.76kWh lithium-ion battery, which is lighter and might push out extra instantaneous energy. Like many sturdy hybrids, this automotive additionally has no devoted reverse gear; you solely run the e-motor in reverse to return.  

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: house, consolation and options

The Grand Vitara creates a powerful first impression on the within too. The dashboard has a gorgeous layered design, the central console is flanked by chunky metallic brackets and Maruti has additionally used chrome, leather-based and double stitching to good impact right here. The padded sprint, partly completed in leather-based, seems notably upmarket. As well as, the large panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with gentle and what’s neat is each the glass panes of the sunroof slide again. The material shroud or sunshade, nonetheless, is kind of skinny and clear and that probably might let in loads of warmth.

The 9-inch touchscreen is straightforward to learn.

As you look across the cabin you additionally see loads of acquainted elements. The chunky AC controls and vents work extraordinarily effectively, and the 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system is positioned in a fashion that makes it simple to learn. The sturdy hybrid model of the Grand Vitara additionally will get a screen-based instrument panel with a number of modes and show choices. Whereas high quality ranges on some much less essential bits on the highest of the sprint and on the decrease half are fairly extraordinary, the sprint and cabin generally ship a strong, strong really feel; and that’s precisely what you need out of your SUV. 

What additionally makes the cabin work effectively is that seat consolation is superb. The entrance seats are effectively suited to tall drivers – they’re broad, effectively bolstered, supply good help and a few variants get cooled seats as effectively. There’s additionally a good quantity of legroom within the rear of the cabin. It isn’t as broad as a Creta and headroom is tight if you’re above six ft tall, however you might be sat at an excellent peak, the seat is beneficiant and the adjustable backrest lets you recline one step as effectively. 

The seat consolation in Grand Vitara’s cabin feels excellent.

Relating to options, the Grand Vitara is extraordinarily effectively geared up, with powered seats being the one extra helpful characteristic provided by rivals. Increased variants of the SUV get options like a 360-degree digital camera, wi-fi charging, heads-up show, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and linked automotive tech with distant aircon begin. You additionally get vents within the rear and one USB A and C socket, and rear seats that cut up 60:40; notably essential for the sturdy hybrid with the small boot.  

When it comes to security options, the Grand Vitara will get rear disc brakes, digital stability management, hill maintain help, 3-point seat belts for all seats, and ISOFIX little one seat mounts. Twin airbags are commonplace whereas higher-spec variations add aspect and curtain airbags.

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: engine, gearbox and efficiency

The Grand Vitara, powered by Suzuki’s 1.5 Dualjet, places out 103hp – a good quantity. It’s down on torque, nonetheless, when in comparison with rivals, and what torque there may be, a most of 135Nm, solely is available in totally at 4,400rpm. What skews efficiency even additional is that it’s clearly tuned for gasoline effectivity. 

Sq. wheel arches add to the SUV enchantment however make the wheels look a bit small.

Preliminary responses are literally fairly good and as you are taking off, the engine feels easy and silent. It’s jerk free to drive at low velocity and the regular development means you’ll be able to get pleasure from a soothing drive. However try to up the tempo, and the engine is sluggish to reply and feels laid again. What’s worse is that there isn’t any actual sense of urgency even whenever you press down more durable. Previous 3,500rpm, the 1.5 Dualjet-powered Grand Vitara does speed up with extra power, however there’s no actual surge in efficiency and that punch you count on from a turbo engine is lacking. To prime it off there are not any drive modes; the choice of a sportier tune would have helped. 

Whereas the six-speed computerized is easy and shifts well, particularly whenever you use the paddles, the automated soaks up much more energy, and so the Sensible Hybrid model of the Grand Vitara works greatest with the handbook. As ever with Maruti, the 5-speed handbook is gentle, correct and really nice to make use of, and the clutch is effectively judged too. 

The 5-speed handbook is just accessible with the mild-hybrid powertrain.

The Clever Electrical Hybrid, as Maruti calls its Toyota hybrid geared up system, is clearly the powertrain to go for when you can stretch your funds. A part of the allure is beginning off in electrical mode. Swap on the automotive and other than the tiny prepared signal on the sprint, you get no indication that the automotive is able to be pushed. This takes some getting used to. Electrical propulsion from a standstill, nonetheless, is pleasantly easy, the Grand Vitara responds effectively to a faucet on the throttle, and as long as the battery has sufficient juice and you might be gentle together with your proper foot, you’ll be able to run in electrical solely mode for fairly a bit, even at common driving speeds. The battery, nonetheless, is small and this implies the three-cylinder engine has to fireplace as much as cost the battery and/or enhance efficiency. 

After operating silently in EV mode, the engine does make its presence felt. The direct injection three-cylinder engine is easy and comparatively vibration free, but it surely sounds throaty at instances, particularly whenever you put your foot flat and ask for a burst of energy. For probably the most half although, and in most situations, efficiency is refined, and with roughly 80hp of electrical enhance to help the combustion engine (or the opposite method round), the Grand Vitara responds very sharply to even massive prods on the throttle. The addition of prompt torque, in actual fact, feels nice to make use of and what feels nicer nonetheless is that you just don’t want to make use of a lot proper foot to make fast progress.

As speeds construct and also you hit freeway speeds, the Grand Vitara takes a bit longer to reply to a stomp on the best pedal. With the mechanical CVT operating the present and the engine enjoying catch up, there’s a little bit of wait earlier than you get full thrust. As soon as the facility arrives, the change in tempo is gratifying. Nonetheless don’t count on the punch of a turbo engine right here. The sturdy hybrid will do 0-100kph in roughly 12 seconds, and that’s not less than a few seconds shy of the 1.Four and 1.5 turbos. And that is in probably the most responsive ‘energy’ mode.  

The strong-hybrid variants solely get an e-CVT gearbox.

After all, what the turbos can’t fairly offer you is the startling gasoline economic system. We acquired greater than 18kpl after some combined driving that included loads of arduous runs. Anticipate in extra of 20kpl in actual world situations, and extra when you drive with restraint. 

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: journey, dealing with and off-road

What Maruti has acquired spot on is journey and dealing with. Bump absorption generally is great, it may be pushed with abandon even over actually unhealthy roads, after which, whereas the set-up is supple, there isn’t an excessive amount of up and down motion both.

The steering on the Grand Vitara has a pleasant quantity of weight.

The Grand Vitara can also be gentle and straightforward to drive in site visitors. The steering has a pleasant quantity of weight, not an excessive amount of, visibility is sweet and it’s a straightforward SUV to string out and in of site visitors. It’s additionally particularly completely happy at velocity on a freeway and feels secure and confidence inspiring. 

The effectively weighted steering and good physique management additionally pay dividends on winding roads. In actual fact, for a automotive that has 210mm of floor clearance, the Grand Vitara feels surprisingly agile. It feels completely happy to show into corners, the steering masses up properly and as if this weren’t sufficient, the Grand Vitara additionally manages to exude a enjoyable and playful manner from behind the wheel. What a pleasing shock. Want it had extra punch although – much more – this chassis deserves it. 

The four-wheel-drive system is out there as an choice with mild-hybrid powertrain. 

Throughout our two-day drive, we additionally acquired to attempt the 4 wheel drive model over a set course. Whereas a few of the obstacles created have been extra for leisure, we did drive over some actual slush and a few slippery inclines. Right here the four-wheel drive ‘lock’ proved its price and the Grand Vitara additionally executed the steep climbs fairly effortlessly, as soon as the rear axle was equally locked.   

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: first impressions 

The Grand Vitara appears like the best SUV on the proper time. The sturdy hybrid system, borrowed from Toyota, has the power to ship excellent gasoline economic system, the know-how and the engine is seamlessly built-in into the Grand Vitara and with the non-obligatory four-wheel-drive system accessible on with the 1.5 Dualjet engine, house owners trying to go off-piste have an actual choice. 

Sloping roofline and linked rear tail-lights add character to Grand Vitara’s rear.

Then the Grand Vitara additionally seems the half. Its upright stance and bonafide SUV dimensions are simply what the physician ordered. The insides really feel suitably upmarket and cozy, the Grand Vitara is effectively geared up and it even comes loaded with tech, the sort Indian automotive consumers in the present day demand. It even rides and handles effectively and efficiency on the sturdy hybrid at low speeds is ample. 

Extra space within the rear would have been welcome; the sturdy hybrid has a small boot and the Grand Vitara is lacking the punch driving lovers count on from an SUV at this value. As well as, the sturdy hybrid – the one to purchase– can also be more likely to be priced at a little bit of a premium. Anticipate to pay round Rs 19 lakh for the top-end Alpha+ model (according to the place Toyota has priced the Hyryder), which is roughly Rs 40,000-95,000 greater than comparable Creta turbo-petrol DCT or diesel-automatic. Whereas it will take a look at simply how excessive the Maruti model can go, let’s not overlook the truth that Maruti already has 53,000-plus bookings. The Creta and Seltos have actual competitors, finally; preserve this one in direction of the highest of your shortlist.

About the author