What you get if you mix the very best of Maruti Suzuki and Toyota in a single well-specified bundle. This is an SUV with a number of USPs.

Two heads are higher than one. Two heads provide extra mixed mind energy, two heads can clear up issues higher and pool assets, put extra arms on the job, and the advantages of sharing solely multiply. This is one thing the automotive business has been doing so much recently, like Hyundai and Kia, Skoda and Volkswagen, Renault and Nissan, and now Maruti Suzuki and Toyota. 

But this isn’t any previous synergy. No sir. Nothing lower than the approaching collectively of titans, this affiliation entails the largest carmaker in India and one of many largest, most profitable nameplates globally. And that is their first actual collaborative engineering enterprise. 

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The Grand Vitara has a floor clearance of 210mm.

From Toyota comes its distinctive part-electric, strong-hybrid system. Something Toyota will finally make absolutely in India, the system presents a large soar in gas effectivity to an official 27.97kpl beneath check circumstances. From Maruti Suzuki comes the comparatively reasonably priced Global C platform within the form of the Grand Vitara, full with an elective four-wheel-drive system. Production takes place at Toyota’s plant exterior Bengaluru, so anticipate very excessive requirements for meeting; and most of the suppliers are from Maruti, which can assist maintain prices down. Pooling assets, yeah, that works. 

Maruti Suzuki and Toyota can even area in another way styled and outfitted variations of the SUV. Question is, simply how nicely does the Grand Vitara stack up towards rivals just like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq and the MG Astor? And how excessive up do you have to put it in your shortlist? 

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: design

The design of the Grand Vitara ticks all the correct bins. It has each entrance and rear overhangs fleshed out to offer it extra of an SUV stance, and the bonnet is flat, particularly when considered in profile. Up entrance, the block-like nostril is filled with attention-grabbing particulars – the high-mounted LEDs look cool, and there’s loads of chrome on the nostril. The two-part grille is each attention-grabbing and fairly totally different: it blends a hexagonal decrease part with a thick bar of chrome. Uniquely, the robust hybrid model will get a champagne-coloured grille; be aware how the color contrasts with the Suzuki brand. 

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The cut up design for the grille and high-mounted headlamps give it nice highway presence.

Along the aspect, the robust shoulder line offers the design loads of type. The wheel arches have been squared for a extra SUV-like really feel, making the 17-inch wheels look a bit small, and the sloping roofline prevents the rear from trying too utilitarian. What attracts the most consideration, nonetheless, are the linked rear tail-lights and rightly so.    

Built on Suzuki’s Global C platform, shared with the S Cross, Brezza and the Vitara in different markets, the Grand Vitara, nonetheless, is the longest SUV of the lot at 4,345mm. While it shares its lengthy 2,600mm wheelbase with the S Cross, the doorways, pillars and glasshouse usually appear to have been sourced from the up to date Vitara. What’s good is that the Grand Vitara carries over the sturdy construct of its sister vehicles. And this could maintain it in good stead relating to crash check scores.  

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: powertrains

There are two engines. Suzuki’s 103hp, 1.5 Dualjet engine that comes with a gentle hybrid system is the bottom engine on provide and comes with a 5-speed handbook transmission and a 6-speed automated. Some variations may also be purchased with four-wheel drive. What makes the ‘All Grip’ system significantly efficient is that it comes with a ‘lock’ perform that fixes the facility cut up 50:50 entrance/rear. Four-wheel drive variations additionally get hill descent management for better stability and management.   

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The 1.5-litre gentle hybrid powertrain feels clean and silent.

The different powertrain on provide is Toyota’s well-known robust hybrid system. Similar in fundamental performance to the one which powers the Camry and Prius, the system helps ship a document breaking gas economic system; one thing Indian automotive consumers will simply love. At its coronary heart is a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol that makes use of direct in addition to oblique injection and runs a extra environment friendly Atkinson Cycle. Maximum output for the whole system (engine and electrical motors) is 116hp. 

This new system, nonetheless, differs from those who preceded it. The new AC synchronous electrical motor right here focuses extra on energy somewhat than torque. This is why it spins a lot sooner and helps enhance energy supply at larger rpm, permitting the automotive to function in EV mode as much as 120km/h. The petrol engine compensates for the decreased torque supply when onerous acceleration is demanded.

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The robust hybrid powertrain is just like those used within the Camry and Prius.

Electrical power is saved within the battery that’s positioned within the boot. Other Toyota automobiles that use the identical hybrid system have it positioned beneath the rear seat, the place it doesn’t take up a lot area. But right here, engineers appear to have encountered packaging issues. Boot area, because of this, on the robust hybrid is simply 255 litres, and that’s even after putting the spare wheel beneath the ground. 

This fourth-gen hybrid system can be totally different in one other method. Unlike Toyota’s different hybrid methods that use a NiMH battery, this new one makes use of a 0.76kWh lithium-ion battery, which is lighter and might push out extra instantaneous energy. Like many robust hybrids, this automotive additionally has no devoted reverse gear; you solely run the e-motor in reverse to return.  

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: area, consolation and options

The Grand Vitara creates a powerful first impression on the within too. The dashboard has a pretty layered design, the central console is flanked by chunky steel brackets and Maruti has additionally used chrome, leather-based and double stitching to good impact right here. The padded sprint, partly completed in leather-based, appears significantly upmarket. In addition, the large panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with mild and what’s neat is each the glass panes of the sunroof slide again. The fabric shroud or sunshade, nonetheless, is kind of skinny and clear and that doubtlessly might let in numerous warmth.

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The 9-inch touchscreen is straightforward to learn.

As you look across the cabin you additionally see loads of acquainted elements. The chunky AC controls and vents work extraordinarily nicely, and the 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system is positioned in a way that makes it simple to learn. The robust hybrid model of the Grand Vitara additionally will get a screen-based instrument panel with a number of modes and show choices. While high quality ranges on some much less vital bits on the highest of the sprint and on the decrease half are fairly odd, the sprint and cabin usually ship a sturdy, strong really feel; and that’s precisely what you need out of your SUV. 

What additionally makes the cabin work nicely is that seat consolation is superb. The entrance seats are nicely suited to tall drivers – they’re extensive, nicely bolstered, provide good help and a few variants get cooled seats as nicely. There’s additionally a good quantity of legroom within the rear of the cabin. It isn’t as extensive as a Creta and headroom is tight if you’re above six ft tall, however you might be sat at an excellent peak, the seat is beneficiant and the adjustable backrest means that you can recline one step as nicely. 

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The seat consolation in Grand Vitara’s cabin feels superb.

When it involves options, the Grand Vitara is extraordinarily nicely outfitted, with powered seats being the one further helpful characteristic supplied by rivals. Higher variants of the SUV get options like a 360-degree digital camera, wi-fi charging, heads-up show, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and related automotive tech with distant aircon begin. You additionally get vents within the rear and one USB A and C socket, and rear seats that cut up 60:40; significantly vital for the robust hybrid with the small boot.  

In phrases of security options, the Grand Vitara will get rear disc brakes, digital stability management, hill maintain help, 3-point seat belts for all seats, and ISOFIX little one seat mounts. Dual airbags are commonplace whereas higher-spec variations add aspect and curtain airbags.


Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: engine, gearbox and efficiency

The Grand Vitara, powered by Suzuki’s 1.5 Dualjet, places out 103hp – a good quantity. It is down on torque, nonetheless, when in comparison with rivals, and what torque there’s, a most of 135Nm, solely is available in absolutely at 4,400rpm. What skews efficiency even additional is that it’s clearly tuned for gas effectivity. 

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Square wheel arches add to the SUV enchantment however make the wheels look a bit small.

Initial responses are literally fairly good and as you are taking off, the engine feels clean and silent. It is jerk free to drive at low pace and the regular development means you may take pleasure in a soothing drive. But try to up the tempo, and the engine is gradual to reply and feels laid again. What’s worse is that there isn’t any actual sense of urgency even if you press down more durable. Past 3,500rpm, the 1.5 Dualjet-powered Grand Vitara does speed up with extra power, however there’s no actual surge in efficiency and that punch you anticipate from a turbo engine is lacking. To high it off there aren’t any drive modes; the choice of a sportier tune would have helped. 

While the six-speed automated is clean and shifts well, particularly if you use the paddles, the automated soaks up much more energy, and so the Smart Hybrid model of the Grand Vitara works finest with the handbook. As ever with Maruti, the 5-speed handbook is mild, correct and really nice to make use of, and the clutch is nicely judged too. 

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The 5-speed handbook is simply out there with the mild-hybrid powertrain.

The Intelligent Electric Hybrid, as Maruti calls its Toyota hybrid outfitted system, is clearly the powertrain to go for should you can stretch your finances. Part of the allure is beginning off in electrical mode. Switch on the automotive and aside from the tiny prepared signal on the sprint, you get no indication that the automotive is able to be pushed. This takes some getting used to. Electric propulsion from a standstill, nonetheless, is pleasantly clean, the Grand Vitara responds nicely to a faucet on the throttle, and as long as the battery has sufficient juice and you might be mild together with your proper foot, you may run in electrical solely mode for fairly a bit, even at common driving speeds. The battery, nonetheless, is small and this implies the three-cylinder engine has to fireplace as much as cost the battery and/or increase efficiency. 

After working silently in EV mode, the engine does make its presence felt. The direct injection three-cylinder engine is clean and comparatively vibration free, however it sounds throaty at occasions, particularly if you put your foot flat and ask for a burst of energy. For the most half although, and in most situations, efficiency is refined, and with roughly 80hp of electrical increase to help the combustion engine (or the opposite method round), the Grand Vitara responds very sharply to even massive prods on the throttle. The addition of prompt torque, in actual fact, feels nice to make use of and what feels nicer nonetheless is that you just don’t want to make use of a lot proper foot to make fast progress.

As speeds construct and also you hit freeway speeds, the Grand Vitara takes a bit longer to answer a stomp on the correct pedal. With the mechanical CVT working the present and the engine enjoying catch up, there’s a little bit of wait earlier than you get full thrust. Once the facility arrives, the change in tempo is gratifying. Still don’t anticipate the punch of a turbo engine right here. The robust hybrid will do 0-100kph in roughly 12 seconds, and that’s at the least a few seconds shy of the 1.4 and 1.5 turbos. And that is within the most responsive ‘energy’ mode.  

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The strong-hybrid variants solely get an e-CVT gearbox.

Of course, what the turbos can’t fairly offer you is the startling gas economic system. We obtained greater than 18kpl after some combined driving that included loads of onerous runs. Expect in extra of 20kpl in actual world circumstances, and extra should you drive with restraint. 

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: journey, dealing with and off-road

What Maruti has obtained spot on is journey and dealing with. Bump absorption usually is superb, it may be pushed with abandon even over actually unhealthy roads, after which, whereas the set-up is supple, there isn’t an excessive amount of up and down motion both.

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The steering on the Grand Vitara has a pleasant quantity of weight.

The Grand Vitara can be mild and simple to drive in visitors. The steering has a pleasant quantity of weight, not an excessive amount of, visibility is sweet and it’s a simple SUV to string out and in of visitors. It’s additionally particularly blissful at pace on a freeway and feels steady and confidence inspiring. 

The nicely weighted steering and good physique management additionally pay dividends on winding roads. In reality, for a automotive that has 210mm of floor clearance, the Grand Vitara feels surprisingly agile. It feels blissful to show into corners, the steering hundreds up properly and as if this weren’t sufficient, the Grand Vitara additionally manages to exude a enjoyable and playful manner from behind the wheel. What a nice shock. Wish it had extra punch although – much more – this chassis deserves it. 

The four-wheel-drive system is offered as an possibility with mild-hybrid powertrain. 

During our two-day drive, we additionally obtained to strive the 4 wheel drive model over a set course. While a number of the obstacles created had been extra for leisure, we did drive over some actual slush and a few slippery inclines. Here the four-wheel drive ‘lock’ proved its value and the Grand Vitara additionally executed the steep climbs fairly effortlessly, as soon as the rear axle was equally locked.   

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: first impressions 

The Grand Vitara looks like the correct SUV on the proper time. The robust hybrid system, borrowed from Toyota, has the power to ship excellent gas economic system, the know-how and the engine is seamlessly built-in into the Grand Vitara and with the elective four-wheel-drive system out there on with the 1.5 Dualjet engine, house owners seeking to go off-piste have an actual possibility. 

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Sloping roofline and linked rear tail-lights add character to Grand Vitara’s rear.

Then the Grand Vitara additionally appears the half. Its upright stance and bonafide SUV dimensions are simply what the physician ordered. The insides really feel suitably upmarket and comfy, the Grand Vitara is nicely outfitted and it even comes loaded with tech, the type Indian automotive consumers at this time demand. It even rides and handles nicely and efficiency on the robust hybrid at low speeds is enough. 

More area within the rear would have been welcome; the robust hybrid has a small boot and the Grand Vitara is lacking the punch driving fans anticipate from an SUV at this value. In addition, the robust hybrid – the one to purchase– can be prone to be priced at a little bit of a premium. Expect to pay round Rs 19 lakh for the top-end Alpha+ model (in keeping with the place Toyota has priced the Hyryder), which is roughly Rs 40,000-95,000 greater than comparable Creta turbo-petrol DCT or diesel-automatic. While this can check simply how excessive the Maruti model can go, let’s not overlook the truth that Maruti already has 53,000-plus bookings. The Creta and Seltos have actual competitors, eventually; maintain this one in the direction of the highest of your shortlist.

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