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Thursday, 24 January 2019
TELEVISION advertising is still the most powerful marketing tool available today.
Carmakers know this, of course, and use the medium avidly. Yet often TV car ads are too slick and sophisticated for their own good and the message can get lost.
Suzuki, on the other hand, has enjoyed some exceptional and accessible TV ad campaigns featuring this week’s drive — the 2019 model Suzuki Vitara.
I particularly liked the ads where the car is shown together with other Suzuki models as fairground dodgem cars.
The background song has a fairground ring about it. It is Far Out by Sonz of a Loop da Loop Era, a breakbeat house/rave track that made the UK top 40 in 1991. Perfect.
There is also an excellent Vitara ad where the eagerly awaited new model suddenly appears in droves to acclaim by locals in a dusty out of the way village somewhere on the continent.
Well, we know this is all fantasy but then the world of advertising was ever thus.
But what these clever ads do in reality is considerably raise the marketing profile of the Vitara.
And it so happens that the new Vitara I have been driving actually goes a long way to backing up this high expectation generated by the TV ad campaigns.
I think one of the most important aspects of new car design is what you see when the car first appears before you.
The exterior design of the 2019 model Vitara has definitely taken a turn for the better.
Suzuki says it is keen to “express Suzuki’s SUV styling heritage” in a “strong looking design”. This may be what gives the new Vitara an
There is the clamshell bonnet (a hallmark of Vitara models) that succeeds in giving the front end a look of solidity. There are design lines that are reminiscent of the first generation Vitara from 1988.
The 2019 model incorporates a new front face with redesigned grille and lower bumper. The rear lamps have been redesigned with a LED display.
Inside, there is a new seat trim design for the range. Suede seat fabric is fitted on SZ5 models; the upper instrument panel is upgraded to a soft touch material; and the instrument cluster now features a central colour information display.
Standard equipment for all Vitara models is comprehensive. The SZ4 model includes seven airbags, alloy wheels, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with speed limiter, auto air conditioning and front and rear electric windows.
The SZ-T adds new-design
17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, white stitching for seat trim fabric, smartphone link audio and navigation system.
Moving up, the SZ5 adds LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Traffic Sign Recognition (also fitted on ALLGRIP models), blind spot monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control, Dual Sensor Brake Support and Panoramic sunroof.
The 2019 model is available in two new dual-tone colours which are Solar Yellow Pearl and Ice Greyish Blue.
A total of 11 different shades are available in the Vitara range, of which one is a solid colour, four are metallic finish and six are dual-tone metallic finish with Cosmic Black roof colour.
After the debut of the 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet in Baleno, S-Cross and Swift, this engine technology is now extended to the Vitara. It offers the same level of power and torque of a much larger capacity normally aspirated engine (1.7-litre to 1.8-litre).
All in all, a car that backs up the expectation generated by one of the best car ad campaigns around.
Words: Nigel Wigmore
Test car: Suzuki Vitara 1.4 SZ5 Allgrip
• Priced from £16,999 for SZ4 1.0-litre Boosterjet model
• Colour: Galactic Grey/black roof
• Styling upgrades, advanced levels of safety technology and equipment
• Three grade line-up of SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5 models.
• 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engines with Boosterjet technology
• Allgrip Select four-wheel drive available as option on SZ-T and SZ5 models
The 2019 model Vitara is now on sale in the UK
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