The Suzuki Vitara is one of the very few subcompact crossovers that are available with a hybrid engine and all-wheel drive. In 2020, the model received new mild hybrid tech, which replaced the previous pure petrol mill for the European market. It isn’t a very quick vehicle, obviously, but you’ll be surprised by how good the electrified Vitara is in the corners.
The folks over at km77.com recently moose-tested a new Vitara equipped with that engine. The 1.4-litre mild hybrid powertrain under the bonnet is good for 129 bhp (95 kilowatts) and 173 pound-feet (235 Newton-metres) of torque. As a side note, the only other subcompact crossover with all-wheel drive and a hybrid engine in Europe is the Toyota Yaris Cross. There’s also the Suzuki S-Cross, but it is slightly bigger and more expensive than the Vitara.
Gallery: 2019 Suzuki Vitara
This particular car rides on Continental EcoContact 5 tyres in 215/55 R17 size. These are purely road tyres with no off-road aspirations, which means they should give the Vitara proper grip around the cones in the moose test.
In the first attempt, the driver doesn’t hit any cones with a speed of 46 miles per hour (74 kilometres per hour). The Vitara remains composed and the driver says it is easy to maintain the direction with the crossover’s direct steering. The electronic stability system also does a great job of slowing down the vehicle and making it even easier to be controlled.
In the second attempt, the speed is increased slightly – and while there’s more notable oversteering – the car still manages to cover the test without hitting the cones. This is actually the highest achieved speed – 47 mph (75 kph) – at which the test is passed with flying colours. Even in the failed attempts, however, the Vitara continues to have predictable reactions and to feel safe in general. The subcompact crossover does an even better impression in the 18-metre slalom.