The new flagship Suzuki Vitara RT-X diesel variant gets a 1.6-litre DDiS direct-injected turbo-diesel engine with 88kW of power at 3750rpm and 320Nm at 1750rpm — 100Nm more than the 1.4 turbo-petrol and more than double that of the base 1.6 petrol offering.
The new diesel engine is only available with Suzuki’s dial-operated four-mode AllGrip 4WD system, matched to a new dual-clutch TCSS six-speed automatic transmission with paddles.
Claimed fuel consumption is 4.9L/100km. Towing capacity remains 1200kg braked trailer, though no doubt the diesel will do it easier than the others.
At $35,990 plus on-road costs, the Vitara RT-X diesel costs $3000 more than the equivalent Vitara S Turbo 4WD, and bisects the diesel-powered Mazda CX-3 sTouring AWD and Akari AWD rivals.
Offsetting the rather steep premium is the strong list of standard features including dual panoramic sunroof, leather seats with suede inserts, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, privacy glass, Apple CarPlay and in-built satellite navigation.
Suzuki Australia general manager of automobiles Andrew Moore the addition of a diesel option was in response to customer demand (in a petrol-dominated part of the market).
“The addition of turbo engines to the exciting Vitara has seen demand for the vehicle grow even further. We’ve listened to our customers who have been asking for a diesel option, so are excited we can deliver.”
The Hungary-built Suzuki Vitara is the company’s second-biggest selling model this year in Australia with 1538 units, compared to the Swift at 3246. It has a market share in its Small SUV segment of almost 5 per cent.
2016 Suzuki Vitara pricing (before on-road costs):
Vitara RT-S 1.6 2WD petrol manual - $21,990
Vitara RT-S 1.6 2WD petrol auto - $23,990
Vitara S Turbo 1.4 2WD auto - $28,990
Vitara S Turbo 1.4 4WD auto - $32,990
Vitara RT-X diesel 1.6 4WD auto - $35,990