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by Tim Beissmann

Suzuki UK has launched a revised version of the Suzuki Grand Vitara four-wheel drive, with neater rear styling and a cleaner diesel engine the key improvements.

Both three- and five-door models have done away with the rear-door-mounted spare wheel for a more sophisticated, car-like appearance, leading to an overall reduction in length of 20cm.

In place of the spare is a tyre repair sealant kit and an inflationary device, and Suzuki says the changes do not affect the Grand Vitara’s 4×4 and off-road capabilities.

The 1.9-litre DDiS diesel engine (available in five-door models only) now meets Euro V regulations. Emissions are down from 185g/km CO2 to 179g/km, while combined cycle fuel consumption has also decreased to 6.8 litres/100km from 7.6 litres/100km.

But Australian customers will not be able to get their hands on the upgraded Grand Vitara any time soon, with Suzuki Australia’s Bridget O’Conner admitting there are no changes planned for the range at the moment.

“It’s not something in the foreseeable future that has been discussed in too much detail. We certainly always weigh up our options in terms of availability of stock, but no, not at this point,” she said.

Ms O’Conner said the updates were targeted primarily at the European market where urban styling and cleaner engines were a priority.

“If it becomes available of course we would consider it, but at this point it’s not available for Australia.”

The Grand Vitara accounted for 4.0 percent of the Compact SUV segment in the first five months of 2010 (down 1.8 percent year-to-date). Sales are so far on par with 2009 – 1647 this year vs 1678 last year.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara range starts at $25,990 for the three-door 2.4-litre petrol and peaks at $40,490 for the 3.2-litre V6.




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