This car is by no means a performance SUV the 1.6L Is just adequate for city driving and it will not complain if you push it. If you need any more performance than that you need to be looking at the 1.4L Turbo. The price for what you get is hands down the BEST value small SUV on the market. The closest in price was the Mitsubishi ASX but it was thirsty, ancient, heavy and that horrible CVT auto is subpar in my opinion.
One thing that the Vitara excels at and a lot of people complain about in modern cars is visibility, is that it has excellent visibility all around with big windows! It is so easy to park and drive around the city!
The Suzuki has a good conventional auto which it is an excellent little unit, gear changes are smooth and it is very responsive from the get-go. It is a breath of fresh air when comparing it to most other Japanese manufacturers who offer CVT as standard.
It has inclusions that feel ''premium" and most other brands WILL NOT give you in their entry level variants; such as DLR LED lights, GPS, reverse camera, paddle shifters (for the auto), nice looking alloy wheels, darker privacy rear windows and even LED welcome illumination on the front driver's and passenger's foot wells (Mazda charges over $200 just for the welcome illumination!)
The infotainment is excellent, the touch screen is very responsive and it comes with standard android auto/apple car play. I am comparing this to the horrible MAZDA MZD Infotainment system which is laggy, outdated and the touch screen cannot be used once the car is moving! Oh and they will charge you $500 for Android auto/Apple carplay (Shame on you Mazda)
The speakers are only average but for the audiophiles there is an premium upgrade speaker option! which I have not tried so I cannot tell if it actually improves the audio quality.
The interior is very basic but very well thought out with ample space for what it is and excellent rear leg and headroom for its class which is better than a Mazda CX-3 or a Hyundai Kona (And those cars are more expensive).
Boot space is also one of the largest of its class (375L vs Kona 361L) which is a plus for a small family and it has the added dual floor for extra storage underneath!
It has accessories galore and even though a lot are very expensive at least you get the option to customize your vehicle if you wish to do so. How far you go will depend on your budget.
The warranty is 5 years which is a plus but there is a catch - you need to have all the services done by a Suzuki dealer otherwise it reverts to a standard 3 yr which I found a little bit unfair as I think for this to be a money-grabbing exercise by Suzuki.
Service intervals are very short 10,000 or 6 months - for those who do not do many Kms like myself it means I will have to visit the dealership more often and they are not cheap averaging $250 per service which is over $500 per year (However I am a big believer of good maintenance so I find this to be a plus in a way for me). I think one year or 15,000kms others offer is pushing it for modern engines especially for stop/go city driving which causes extreme wear on the engine.
All in all this vehicle should be selling way more than it currently is however I believe a lot of people do not make informed decisions and get caught up in the hype buying what is ''trendy'' without thinking of practicality. Also a lot of ''expert" review I see online are very unfair on the Vitara as a lot of scores are very low, I used to own a Mazda CX5 and I can honestly say this is a better product, less gimmicks, no istop or other electric gimmicks you don't need and way more practical and easy to drive around the city (even though the CX-5 is on a different category).