Demand runs hot for
The Suzuki Vitara’s reign as New Zealand’s best-selling SUV under $40,000 risks being cut short by supply problems of the new model, the Vitara Turbo.
The 1.4-litre Turbo is now Suzuki NZ’s premium SUV, but the plant in Hungary that makes it can’t keep up with worldwide demand.
Suzuki NZ managing director Tom Peck describes continued supply of the Turbo as a “horrendous problem.”
“It’s starting to bite quite badly now,” he said. “The Hungarian plant is the only one making it for the whole world. It can’t keep up with supply because the vehicle is in demand pretty much everywhere.”
Peck expects the two 1.4-litre variants to sell “incredibly well” at a starting price of $33,990 – as long as they keep arriving from Hungary. “We launched the Sport version about a month ago and they just sailed out the door,” he said.
The latest Suzuki model builds on the early success of the naturally aspirated Vitara five- door SUV introduced late last year. At the end of last month, 664 Vitaras had been registered in 2016.
The Vitara Turbo is available in 2WD and 4WD and replaces the 1.6-litre Vitara Limited. The 1.6-litre entry-level JLX model remains in the mix, priced at $27,990 for the 2WD manual, $29,990 for the 2WD automatic and $33,990 for the 4WD ‘auto.
The advantage the boosted 1.4-litre engine has over the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre is more power and torque and improved fuel economy.
The smaller capacity engine delivers 103kW and 220Nm – 20 per cent more power and 41 per cent more torque than the 1.6-litre. The 220Nm is available between 1500-4000rpm.
“It gives the Vitara Turbo great on-road performance in both urban and highway use,” says Suzuki NZ marketing manager Gary Collins.
“Not only that, but since the Vitara is one of the lightest SUVs with a class-leading power-to-weight ratio, the Turbo’s fuel economy is outstanding.” Suzuki claims town-and-around fuel use of 5.9 litres/100km, or 48mpg.
Both the 2WD Vitara Turbo and 4WD get six-speed ‘auto boxes. The 4WD has four drive modes – Auto, Sport, Snow, Lock – for different terrain.
Standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, satellite navigation, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, automatic wipers, keyless entry and push button start.
Safety gear runs to parking sensors front and rear, reversing camera, auto-levelling and dusk-sensing LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, seven airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist.