Give a Filipino a deal, and no matter what they’ll take it. Buy 2 tires get 1 free. Buy 2 and get 50% off the 3rd item. The most loved of all, fly for a Piso. Which realistically we know isn’t one peso, but nonetheless we still bite on for the deal. Now days with all the new tax laws coming in effect, we don’t feel like we get the most value for our Peso. With the 2018 Suzuki Vitara you’ll get more than what you came for.
Here Comes the Comeback
Back in 2017, Suzuki invited a number of motoring journalists for a drive to La Union, to experience first hand the All New Suzuki Vitara. I remember first getting into the Vitara, and thinking, “This isn’t your hairdresser’s Vitara anymore.” The main theme of the campaign was ‘It lives.’ After being absent from the Philippine market for a number of years, the Vitara was overshadowed by other compact SUVs, but still had a cult following. This time the Vitara comes to us from Turkey. You read that correctly, Turkey in Europe. Looking back to that somewhat of a long drive to La Union really gave me a taste that the All New 2018 Suzuki Vitara really is back, and with a bag of new toys.
Styling of the All New 2018 Suzuki Vitara is very fluid. You could imagine the front fascia as a vehicle giving you a sinister smile, with the beautifully chromed out grille, and large emblem. Sharp aggressive lines encase the fog lights, and the daytime running lights, which are LED. Your headlights, which are also LED are seamlessly styled into your front fascia, unlike the previous generation. On the side you can see the muscular lines rising from the bottom front quarter, making its way through the rear, and then into the rear bumper. This vehicle will give you that European styling, but for the price you would want to shell out for. This specific trim we tested was the GLX, which comes in two tone Red body, and Black roof. The black roof hides the panoramic sunroof from unknowing eyes. I said in another review that, the Ford Explorer reminds me of the Jordans, and I couldn’t be more wrong. This literally looks like Jordans. Most in this GLX trim come with the Black roof, except for the Orange body, which then comes in White. Your GL and GL+ trims come in a single body colour. Another difference between trim lines are the wheels. Our tested unit has the beautifully painted 17” alloy wheels, while in the GL+ has 16” alloys in a different design, and the GL has wheels covers.
I can’t speak about the interior without mentioning the toys. Lets start with the first thing you will notice when you enter this vehicle, and that is this large entertainment system, which rivals an iPad. It’s funny, because basically it actually is a tablet running off of the Android platform. A 10” Infotament system connected to 6 speakers gives you all the “info” and “tament” you will ever need. You could connect it to your pocket Wi-Fi and have Waze, or Google Maps run natively in the system. Download apps, which help you further in your day-to-day commutes. Used also as your backing camera monitor, you will surely see all the backing cameras will see.
Your dashboard is predominantly plastic, but with faux aluminum trim inserts. Another stand out in your dashboard though, is the analog clock dead center of the whole thing! It gives the vehicle this retro-esq vibe, which makes it really cool. Your center console includes little storage areas perfect for your phone, since there is a USB slot made available, and most of you little knickknacks. What I love though is underneath the shifter a little storage area was made, for what I’m guessing is the key. This really told me, they were thinking of the end-user while coming up with the littlest of details.
The seats are in this beautiful leather, and suede. Though it has no lumbar supports, the seat is comfortable enough for me during the drive to and from La Union. The suede is more function, than styling, because going around corners quite quickly; it will keep you planted in your seat. Above as mentioned before is a Panoramic Sunroof. For some it may be an annoyance, but the cover to the roof is a cloth screen, rather than a plastic cover like most vehicles. I personally like it, because I like to have the sunlight in the vehicle, but on hot days, I may have to give you another opinion. The Vitara’s steering wheel is wrapped, and stitched in supple leather. You can also find your cruise control settings and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Other toys you can add from your wish list.
Sips even when you Zip
The All New 2018 Vitara is powered by a 1.6L, 115horsepower engine. Unlike the 1.6L engines in previous Vitaras, this one is as frugal as your cheapest friend. During my week’s review of the All New Suzuki Vitara I struggled to even get it to half a tank. Mind you, this was during all the crazy rains, which flooded the metro, and caused gridlocks. In addition to that, the ridiculous HOV dry run on EDSA. In the city I averaged about 10.3km/L of gas, and during our media drive to La Union we topped off at 17km/L. I was in traffic most of my review, but when I did have room I opened her up. The Vitara is not short of breath, easily taking on quick overtaking with a downshift via the paddle shifters.
What’s stopping you?
2018 is an exciting year for the Philippines Automotive market. New releases left, and right, and deals enticing you to purchase vehicles, even after the excise tax. The All New Suzuki Vitara might just be the answer Suzuki is giving to you. The sporty ‘get up and go’ attitude of this car is perfect for younger buyers, and perhaps even families which don’t want to stray too far from a sedan. The interior is simple, but ergonomic. The trunk can easily swallow three 20kg large bags, and the engine will be friendly at the pumps. Most of all you can have the 10” Android Infotament system, Backing camera and Parking Sensors, Cruise Control, Push-to-Start, Keyless Entry, Panoramic Sunroof, Automatic Headlights, and Rain sensing wipers. These are a long list of wish list features you could be getting at a higher price range, but for the All New 2018 Suzuki Vitara, you get it for PHP 1,098,000 (as of date tested). Personally, I would go for the GL+, and wait for the dealerships to have the 10” screen as an option. I could live without some of these toys, but I have never felt like I’ve tested a vehicle perfectly suitable for my current life style, till I tested the All New 2018 Suzuki Vitara.