More safety tech for the Vitara Turbo models offset by price rises between $500 and $1000, as the new crossover starts arriving at Suzuki dealerships

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara Series II update has lobbed in Australia, with a focus on improving the active safety credentials of range-topping Turbo variants.

The revised version of Suzuki’s edgy Hungarian-made little crossover SUV now comes in only three variations, the base model with front-wheel drive (FWD) and either manual or auto transmissions, the auto-only Turbo with FWD and the auto-only Turbo with AllGrip all-wheel drive (AWD).

Headlining the tweaks is the addition of camera/laser autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning and weaving alert that works above 60km/h, radar- and camera-guided adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and finally rear cross-traffic alert.

This tech is not available on the entry models, even as part of an options package, though the range retains its (2017) five-star ANCAP crash rating.

Said Turbo variants also get seats covered with ‘premium suede’, embossed with geometric patterns. Vitara Turbo AllGrip also gets a panoramic sunroof standard.

All versions get a new front sliding arm rest, a softer-touch dash (though the cabin ambience and trim quality is still a little low-grade) and an improved 4.2-inch colour LCD in the instrument cluster.

There are no mechanical changes of note. The base Vitara gets a 1.6-litre petrol engine making 88kW and 156Nm, sending torque to the front wheels through either five-speed manual or six-speed paddle-shifter auto transmissions. Offsetting the low outputs is the light 1075-1120kg kerb weight.

The Turbo models get a 1.4-litre force-fed petrol engine with 103kW and 220Nm, that latter on tap between 1500 and 4000rpm. The standard gearbox is the 6AT. Claimed fuel consumption actually improves compared to the 1.6 (5.9L/100km versus 6.0L/100km), but the Turbo requires 95 RON premium petrol.

The AllGrip variable AWD system shuffles torque between the axles, while the Snow and Sport modes switch up torque flow, ESC tuning and throttle response to suit your driving type. Lock mode sends more torque to the rear axle at low speeds. There’s also a hill-descent control system. Ground clearance is 185mm.

The briefly-offered Fiat diesel has been dumped, since it was too expensive and sales were negligible.

All models retain the MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, have space-saver spare wheels, and key dimensions of 4175mm long, 1610mm tall and 2500m between the wheels.

Matching that nifty design, there are a heap of colour choices: Cool White is standard, Silver Metallic and Black Pearl cost $500, and Bright Red, Atlantis Turquoise, Savannah Ivory, Galactic Grey and Solar Yellow all cost $1250, because they add a contrasting black roof colour.

The Vitara comes with Suzuki’s five-year capped price service (CPS) and warranty plan, and in a first for the brand, will also incorporate roadside assist. Welcome to that club, Suzuki.

For background, the Vitara is Suzuki's second most-popular car in Australia, chalking 5023 units last year (the Swift led with 7785).

Its market share in the hotly contested Small SUV segment, where it competes against the Mitsubishi ASX/Eclipse Cross, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai, Subaru XV, Hyundai Kona etc. was a respectable 4.1 per cent in 2018.


2019 Suzuki Vitara pricing

  • Vitara manual $22,490 (up $500)
  • Vitara auto $24,490 ($up $500)
  • Vitara Turbo auto $29,990 (up $1000)
  • Vitara Turbo AWD auto $33,990 (up $1000)

All prices exclude on-road costs.

Vitara standard features

  • 1.6 engine, FWD
  • Seven airbags
  • 7.0-inch touchscreen
  • 4.2-inch LCD cluster
  • Satellite-navigation
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Rear-view camera
  • Bluetooth/USB
  • Climate control
  • Keyless entry, button start
  • ISOFIX x 2
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Daytime running lights

Vitara Turbo extras

  • 1.4 turbo engine, FWD
  • Leather/suede seats
  • AEB
  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Lane-departure alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Suede door inserts
  • Silver dash inserts
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Front/rear parking sensors
  • 17-inch polished alloys
  • LED low-beam headlights
  • Auto high-beam assist
  • Electric-folding door mirrors

Vitara Turbo AllGrip extras

  • AWD
  • Hill-descent control
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Sunglasses holder