The same only more so – Suzuki
Trickle down technology is a curious thing. Four years ago during a brief stay in Sweden I drove an upmarket, luxury, Northern European (guess which brand) for a Journey of over 2000Km. After Swedish “Midsommar” festival there is almost 24 hours of daylight – Ideal conditions for a road trip. From Goteborg in the South, to Are in Central Sweden is 900km. Mostly beautiful three lane Motorways and 120km/h speed limits, roads we can only dream of here in NZ.
I was driving was a brand new, very expensive Swedish vehicle (RIP Saab). Safety has always the hallmark of this particular brand and I marvelled at the features that made driving feel relaxing and effortless; Cruise control which would match the speed of the car in front, it would sense you were drifting out of your lane and gently guide you back on route. It would even sense obstacles and stationary vehicles ahead, warn you and then brake accordingly.
The Swedish countryside flew by. The miles passed effortlessly and I remember thinking how great it would be to own car like that, however the price tag was just shy of 60,000 Euro. Lycka till (Good luck in Swedish)
Lately though, most of my drives has been in a Suzuki Vitara (Courtesy of Nicholson Autos), which is an excellent car for NZ – Well priced, great performance, lots of features, fuel efficient and fun. A vehicle is part of your life, and like many drivers I get sentimental when it is time to change vehicle. Going from a racing red 2018 Vitara to this year’s model – I didn’t expect major changes – a slight facelift, new alloys and chrome trim were obvious differences in the showroom. That’s usually enough to give sales- folk something to yarn about – nothing like the duck to swan transformation of 2015 when the whole Vitara platform (according to the ad campaign) was reinvented from the ground up.
Driving the 2019 Vitara did feel familiar; It brought back the feel of driving that expensive Swedish vehicle – Lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot alert, de-foggers on the wing mirror: Suzuki has made the new Vitara their most technically advanced vehicle yet, even the dash mounted clock looks better. Performance wise; the already impressive 1.4L Turbo seems more responsive, quicker of the mark than before. Everywhere you look, Suzuki has made subtle improvements, right down to soft-touch material on the dash board. Leave Volvos for the Swedes, you could spend an extra 10k and have bugger-all to show for it.
This is the same great Vitara as before, only even better.