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New Grand Vitara – Performance

Maruti Suzuki’s new Grand Vitara is a big car and, with a choice of reasonably powerful yet incredibly frugal powertrains, there is a balance of refinement, efficiency and adequate performance. It’s large, spacious, comfortable, and feature-rich and offers a lot of kit for an everyday a family SUV.

New Grand Vitara Action

1.5 Petrol Smart Hybrid Manual AllGrip AWD
We sampled the manual-AllGrip all-wheel drive variant first on the specially-curated course that demonstrated the capability of the new Grand Vitara when the going gets tough. While this isn’t a selectable 4×4 system with lockable diffs and a low range ratio, it does combine the reactive virtues of an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system with the proactive locking centre differential, hill descent control and dynamic torque distribution. It enables good traction over all surfaces, thanks to the Sand, Snow, Auto and Lock modes. There is a good degree of approach, breakover and departure angles, and the new Grand Vitara felt able on the rather demanding course with a steep ascent and descent, pits, articulation, side slope and slush course all demonstrating its capabilities well. The light and smooth clutch action is appreciable as is the steering wheel calibration.

New Grand Vitara AWD Modes

1.5 Petrol Smart Hybrid Manual FWD

Next up, a quick drive in the surrounding hill roads. The five-speed gearbox drives the front wheels. The acceleration from the 103-hp, “K15C” four-cylinder engine is sprightly but not particularly brisk; nothing to complain about, though, until there’s a steep incline for the 1,185-kg weight to deal with. Revs climb and efficiency drops. Even so, I could still see 16-18 km/l flashing on the display. The ride quality is excellent and the steering set-up is commendable. It handled changes of direction with ease and felt nicely weighted with a quick response. On those tight bends, the new Grand Vitara felt planted and light on its feet.

New Grand Vitara Side

1.5 Petrol Smart Hybrid Automatic FWD

The six-speed automatic version of the Grand Vitara has the same output as the manual but the new six-speed torque-converter automatic fluid coupling sends the power to the front wheels. This makes for a refined feel and a smoother and more progressive power delivery. Step on it and the transmission shifts down a couple of ratios and gets going as revs rise steadily. There’s an “M” mode on the shifter as well which holds revs and makes using the shift-paddles on the steering wheel more fun. It’s the most friendly of the lot and definitely the one to have if you happen to be looking for city convenience or a relaxed daily commuter.

New Grand Vitara Rear

Intelligent Electric Hybrid

Finally, the Hybrid. Yes, this also happens to be a 1.5 but it has two motors: a 92.4-hp petrol engine and an 80-hp electric motor. The e-motor does most of the driving while the engine is primarily a generator; depending on how much pressure one puts on the accelerator pedal. It starts in electric mode and can move in silence under gentle pedal input. This engine, the “M15A-FXE” naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol, comes from Toyota’s TNGA family. It’s a hybrid-spec, Atkinson-cycle, high compression unit (14.0:1) with a thermal efficiency of 41 per cent. It produces 92.4 hp and 122 Nm but it’s the 59-kW (80-hp) e-motor that does most of the driving. The combined output is 85 kw (116 hp) and, together with the instant electric torque on tap, it is quicker than its four-pot, mild-hybrid counterpart. Not bad for  what is a 1.3-tonne car. I managed to see a consistent 26-29 km/l on the displays on Rajasthan’s open highways and it’s only under hard acceleration that the efficiency drops. That’s good. Lower emissions and cleaner performance.

New Grand Vitara

New Grand Vitara Front

New Grand Vitara – Features

There is a lot that makes the new Grand Vitara a hugely practical car. It’s offers a spacious cabin with lots of storage spaces and a generous boot. The front seatbacks could use better lower back support or perhaps adjustable lumbar but, other than that, it was all smooth sailing. It’s quiet, refined, nice and stable on the brakes with great steering response. Anything I’d change? Maybe give it 50 more horsepower, or that 1.6 DDiS320 diesel…

New Grand Vitara

New Grand Vitara – Pricing

(updated 26 September 2022)

The pricing for the new Grand Vitara starts at Rs 10.45 lakh for the 1.5 Smart Hybrid Manual Sigma variant. The Delta, Zeta and Alpha trims will follow with both Manual and Auto variants, priced at up to Rs 16.89 lakh. The AllGrip AWD will only be offered in Alpha Manual trim, priced at Rs 16.89 lakh. The Intelligent Hybrid is offered in either Zeta+ or Alpha+ trim, to top the range, priced at Rs 17.99 lakh and Rs 19.49 lakh (ex-showroom), respectively, with dual-tone finishes available for an additional Rs 16,000.

New Grand Vitara

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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