Suzuki Grand Vitara 3-door

Customers opting for a diesel powered Suzuki Grand Vitara have until now been restricted in their choice to the larger 5-door bodystyle, but a new 3-door model joins the range from April, priced at a competitive £14,999 on-the-road.

Unlike its petrol-engined 3-door sibling, which is essentially a ‘soft roader’, the new 1.9 DDiS Grand Vitara adopts the drivetrain of the manual transmission 5-door models and supplements permanent four-wheel drive with a centre differential lock and a low range to ensure serious and outstanding off road capability. It can therefore tackle tough, muddy off-road conditions with ease, while the system’s four different modes are easily selected via a dash-mounted rotary switch.

Power output from the Renault-supplied intercooled and turbocharged engine is 129 PS, and a hefty 221 lb ft (300 Nm) of torque peaking at 2000 rpm delivers reassuring ability in both on and off-road driving situations. Such output doesn’t penalise fuel economy either, and the 1.9 DDiS 3 door Grand Vitara achieves 38.2 mpg on the combined cycle, while carbon dioxide emissions are 195 g/km.

In line with other Grand Vitara models, equipment levels are generous, and include climate control air conditioning, front electric windows, an integrated radio/CD player with steering wheel mounted audio controls, tinted glass, tilt adjustable steering, reclining rear seats, heated and folding door mirrors, immobiliser, alloys and front fogs. Outstanding safety credentials include front, side and curtain airbags for front seat occupants, plus curtain airbags in the rear.

Thanks to a unique lightweight monocoque body combined with a stiff, built-in ladder frame, rigidity matches the most traditional of off roaders. In contrast to the 5-door model’s understated elegance, the 3-door with its ‘crouched’ muscular form projects a more sporty persona. A relatively long wheelbase has permitted a roomy cabin with front and rear legroom comparable to that of models from a higher segment.

The 1.9 DDiS 3-door joins a line-up comprising 1.6-litre VVT and VVT+ 3-door manual models; 2.0-litre 16v 5-door manual and automatic models; and 1.9 DDiS 5-door manual model.