Suzuki Vitara Hybrid test drive: for economy, for power - for what?

Suzuki Vitara Hybrid test drive: for economy, for power – for what?

So much has been written about the Suzuki Vitara crossover – but again there was a topic for conversation. This time the reason is a small prefix to the name: Hybrid. The prefix is ​​small but important – how will the addition of hybrid technology affect the character and performance of the Suzuki Vitara? Now I will tell you – in the format of “TOP-5 questions and answers”.

Is the hybrid version of the Suzuki Vitara different from the regular ones?

Is that a couple of details. Really a couple. Of course, this is the inscription “Hybrid” on the trunk lid: logical and expected. But there is another difference – these are LED headlights with a different internal content. If the regular versions of the Suzuki Vitara get headlights with rounded lenses and decorative rings, then the hybrid version of the crossover has headlights with a blue horizontal division line.

Seems like a minor difference. But when you know where to look, you instantly identify a hybrid. Well done designers: minimal changes made the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid car more noticeable and recognizable against the background of other versions of the model.

In general, in terms of bodywork, the Suzuki Vitara crossover has not changed for more than five years; but during the release, he managed to survive one large-scale update: the front bumper, the pattern of the lights, the modified interior. The hybrid version added its own headlight design and logo on the trunk lid. This is if we talk about changes outside.

Are there any changes inside? The main changes in the cabin took place during the planned update: they began to install a soft front panel, added control buttons for new driving assistance systems on the steering wheel, and devices with a color LCD display appeared.

So – the hybrid version of the Suzuki Vitara is different in that this very display now has a tab with a diagram of the hybrid system: distribution of energy flows, operation of a gasoline engine or electric motor, battery charging. Unfortunately, the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover did not receive any switch to control the hybrid system. There is only a standard selector for selecting driving modes, which I will discuss below.

The salon is familiar, the trunk too. In all cases, the word “enough” is appropriate: inside it is spacious enough for the driver and passengers, the trunk offers sufficient volume and transformation possibilities. It seems to be nothing special, but the linkers did their best – they competently disposed of the opportunities that they had, given the small size of the car. A planned update once brought a padded front fascia and new gauges, while the hybrid version now brings an additional information screen.

With the appearance and interior – it’s clear. And what kind of hybrid technology is under the hood?

Previously, I recalled the Suzuki Vitara car in general, and now it’s time to recall the Suzuki Vitara S and Suzuki Ignis in particular. Because the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover is a combination of a 1.4-liter turbo engine (we met on the example of Suzuki Vitara S) and the SHVS hybrid system (we met on the example of Suzuki Ignis).

So, the basis is the K14D BoosterJet gasoline engine: turbine, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing. And now they added the SHVS system to him – in fact, a “mild hybrid” (Mild Hybrid). An ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) starter generator is installed here, which can help with acceleration of the car or generate electricity during decelerations.

However, in the case of the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, a more powerful SHVS system is used than in the Suzuki Ignis model: operating voltage of 48 volts, a 10 kW starter-generator, a lithium-ion battery for energy storage.

We have the already well-known 1.4-liter turbo engine, they added a “mild hybrid” SHVS to it – what happened to the power? Ha, you didn’t guess: it went down! It was 140 hp the usual “1.4 liter turbo” – and it became 129 hp. in the hybrid version. However, the torque has grown: it was 220 Nm – and it became 235 Nm. But besides the numbers themselves, the manufacturer focuses on the nature of the power plant: an increase in torque in the low-speed zone, better response speed of the hybrid system at the start of movement.

And how does all this affect the character? How does the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover ride?

On the motor – more measured and calm than before. When starting from a standstill, the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover “takes” actively: no hitches, pleasant acceleration, quick reactions. But the situation was similar for the usual 1.4-liter turbo versions of the Suzuki Vitara. The increase in torque from below is not easy to feel.

At the same time, “acceleration with the pedal to the floor” is already slightly limited in speed: the tachometer needle reaches 5.7-5.8 thousand, but never goes over six. Moreover, the “automatic” switches quite early in the usual driving mode: it just accelerated a little – and now the gear is higher, and the speed is lower (1.5-2 thousand).

Has it gotten worse? No, it’s just different. I repeat once again – the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid drove more measuredly and calmly. But it still provides a good connection to the accelerator pedal: you press it and you quickly get a response in the form of the necessary acceleration.

It still provides the level of this very acceleration quite within the class: the hybrid version accelerates to “hundreds” faster than passport figures. Plus, there was a barely noticeable recovery when the car starts to slow down.

All driving impressions are gathered around the “hero of the program” – a hybrid power unit based on a 1.4-liter K14D engine with the beautiful name BoosterJet. So, acceleration “to hundreds” fits in about 9.8 seconds. Fuel consumption in the city is stable at 8-8.5 liters per 100 km; with congestion and/or a dynamic driving style, it barely rises to 9.5 liters. Total: the 129-horsepower hybrid loses about 10% to the conventional 140-horsepower version in acceleration – and the same amount wins in urban fuel consumption. On the highway at a speed of 90-110 km / h, fuel consumption is 5.8-6.3 liters per 100 kilometers. The SPORT mode eliminates the early switching of the “automatic”: the engine often works in the range of 2.5-3-4 thousand and acceleration seems more active. SNOW and LOCK modes flexibly control all-wheel drive – they will help in winter and off-road.

The driving experience is also centered around the hybrid, as the running gear hasn’t changed much. The Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover is distinguished by a successful suspension setup: unexpectedly energy-intensive (as for small “crosses”), while it does not shake in large pits – a good balance of comfort and elasticity. The steering wheel is light and with medium sharpness, the car’s reactions are quick, clear, unambiguous. Of the comments – only decent rolls in corners: after all, a high narrow body makes itself felt.

What is the price of Suzuki Vitara Hybrid? And how much does a car cost?

If we say “generally”, what crossover price tag Suzuki Vitara starts at 664 thousand hryvnia. (slightly over $16,000) – this is for a front-wheel drive car in the GL configuration with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a 5-speed “mechanics”.

Crossover with a similar 1.6-liter engine, but in the best package GL+ and with a 6-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive will cost 800-880 thousand UAH ($ 19.5-21.5 thousand) – that everything is also an excellent offer for its class. After all, few of the competitors offer all-wheel drive and a full-fledged “automatic” in this segment.

Now let’s move on to versions based on a 1.4-liter turbo engine. Now the price list includes both conventional 140-horsepower versions and 129-horsepower hybrids. Such cars are initially available only in GL + or maximum GLX trim levels, they always get a 6-speed “automatic”, you can choose front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Eventually: price range for Suzuki Vitara 1.4 BoosterJet in the configuration GLX ranges from UAH 960 thousand to UAH 1.015 million. or about $23.5-24.7 thousand; price range for Suzuki Vitara Hybrid 1.4 BoosterJet SHVS in trim levels GL+ or GLX ranges from UAH 950 thousand to UAH 1.112 million. or $23-27 thousand.

Above are standard prices for cars. I would also like to note that there is a special price offer for the warehouse of Suzuki Vitara cars – they are available at a discount of UAH 55,000, depending on the specific engine/configuration/transmission.

The Suzuki Vitara Hybrid test car was presented in the maximum GLX configuration: all-wheel drive and automatic, panoramic sunroof, climate control and multimedia, LED headlights, light-alloy 17-inch 2-color wheels, many driver assistance systems. As a result, its price is UAH 1.112 million; for comparison, the standard price of a Suzuki Vitara GLX with a conventional 1.4-liter engine (not a hybrid) and all-wheel drive is UAH 1.015 million. This is without taking into account a discount of UAH 55,000, so as not to be confused with prices and calculate the cost of hybrid technology – it comes out to UAH 97,000.

In the end: so what is the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover created for?

I would like to say “both for power / dynamics, and for efficiency.” But, as we can see, the emphasis was placed on the second point. Although that might be a good thing. After all, the Suzuki Vitara Hybrid crossover has practically not lost that “live” character that attracts the Suzuki Vitara car in general, but it allows you to save fuel (and money) every day thanks to modern electrification technologies.

Specifications Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Hybrid 4WD 6AT

Body – crossover, 5 seats

Dimensions – 4.175 x 1.775 x 1.61 m

Wheelbase – 2.5 m

Clearance – 185 mm

Trunk – from 375 liters (5 seats) to 1120 liters (2 seats)

Load capacity – 510 kg

Minimum curb weight – 1270 kg

Engine – petrol turbo R4 1.4 l + hybrid SHVS

Power – 129 hp at 5,500 rpm

Torque – 235 Nm at 2000-3000 rpm

Specific power and torque – 102 hp for 1 t and 185 Nm for 1 t

Drive – ALL GRIP 4WD

Transmission – 6-speed “automatic” (classic hydromechanical automatic transmission)

Dynamics 0-100 km / h – 10.2 s

Maximum speed – 190 km / h

Fuel consumption (passport), combined cycle – 6.2-6.5 liters per 100 km

The minimum price of a Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL car is from UAH 664,000. or about $16 thousand.

The price of the test car Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Hybrid GLX is UAH 1.112 million. or about $27 thousand.

Vehicle provided – AUTO International

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