A larger SUV to sit above the newly unveiled Suzuki Vitara appears an unlikely prospect, according to the Japanese company’s executive vice president, Toshihiro Suzuki.
Speaking exclusively with CarAdvice earlier this month at the Paris motor show, Suzuki suggested the company is still thinking about the concept of a larger SUV to replace the current Grand Vitara.
“We are still in consideration,” Suzuki said.
The current-generation Grand Vitara has been around since 2005, and while it was unclear if the new Vitara would be joined by a fourth-generation Grand Vitara, Suzuki indicated there was little chance for a bigger SUV, let alone a seven-seat model.
“I don’t think so,” he said when asked if the brand had any plans to introduce a replacement for the now-defunct XL7 model.
The new Vitara model is considerably smaller than the existing Grand Vitara. The latter model measures 4.50 metres long, 1.81m wide and 1.68m tall, while the Vitara measures 4.17m long, 1.75m wide and 1.61m tall. The smaller model also rides on a shorter 2.50m wheelbase, compared with the Grand Vitara’s 2.64m wheelbase. Its size puts it closer to the likes of the Skoda Yeti, Peugeot 2008 and soon-to-arrive Renault Captur than, say, the Nissan Qashqai or Holden Trax.
We asked if this new model would be too small to fill the shoes of the Grand Vitara, given the future of that model is unknown.
“I don’t think so,” he said of the Vitara’s miniscule dimensions. “It’s a little bit smaller than current one.”
The all-new Vitara is powered by a choice of a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol (as seen in the S-Cross, producing 86kW/156Nm) or a 1.6-litre turbo diesel with 88kW/320Nm. It's unclear what configurations will be offered in Australia at this point in time, though both petrol and diesel models are expected. As can be seen in these images, the car can be optioned with different coloured roof panels (black, white or body-coloured).
Suzuki confirmed the new Vitara will only be built in Hungary at the Magyar Suzuki manufacturing plant alongside the S-Cross, and that it will not be built in Japan.
The new model will arrive in showrooms from the second quarter of 2015.