Suzuki Vitara SUV nelson

The practical and versatile Suzuki Vitara SUV, which is offered in either two- or four-wheel-drive modes, is the recipient of two more awards.

These announcements come on the back of new Vitara sales in New Zealand rising 16.9 per cent in the January to November period, compared to the same eleven months last year. At the same time, total sales of new SUV models are unchanged.

In the 2019 Honest John website awards announced recently the Vitara was named Small Crossover of the Year. Cars selected for the British Honest John awards are judged by consumers actually buying cars rather than celebrities or panels of experts.

The website said, “The Vitara represents extremely good value for money, and is likely to be a very satisfying long-term purchase. The BoosterJet engine and heavily revised interior make the Vitara a better buy than ever.”

“Vitara offers a great deal of practicality for the money and it also has a well-deserved reputation for reliability,” said the website.

Dan Powell, managing editor of Honest John said, “The small ‘Crossover’ market has never been more competitive but the Vitara’s qualities shine through and take it to the top of the table at the Honest John awards.” Vitara was picked as the most popular small SUV with readers of the Honest John website.

In a separate award, the Vitara is named Best Crossover by on-line automotive website CarGurus UK in its latest Best Used Car awards. Nominees are selected from car models that are at least two years old and then shortlisted on criteria including availability and search interest.

Projected 12-year value retention using CarGurus data is also considered and an expert judging panel then weighs up the pros and cons of each shortlisted model in the class to determine the winner.

Chris Knapman, CarGurus editor, said, “The Vitara took the victory in the best used small Crossover class due to its appealing blend of practicality, comfort, equipment, and a wide range of powertrain options that make it possible for buyers to choose between two or four-wheel-drive. Our judges also noted the CarGurus data shows the Vitara holds onto its value better than many other small crossovers, too.”

While surprisingly light for a compact four-wheel-drive SUV - the JLX 4WD version trims the scales at just 1,185 kg while the Turbo 4WD is 1,235 kg - the Vitara recently won a UK tow car award for small vehicles.

In last year’s Royal Automobile Club of Queensland accolades, the Vitara claimed the award for the most economical small SUV to own and maintain.

Five versions of the 5-door Vitara are available in New Zealand, ranging from the 1.6 JLX with manual transmission at $27,990 plus on-road costs to the 1.4 Turbo All Wheel Drive automatic at $37,990 plus on-road costs.

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