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Future models - Suzuki - Grand Vitara

New-look Vitara headed to Oz

Grand standing: Suzuki’s long-running Grand Vitara will receive a much-needed update in late August.

Facelifted Grand Vitara to arrive in August, but all-new model still two years off

Suzuki logo13 Jul 2012

By TIM NICHOLSON

A FACELIFTED version of Suzuki’s Grand Vitara will arrive in Australia in late August to freshen up the Japanese car-maker’s aging SUV line-up.

Images of the Japanese-spec Escudo SUV show how the Grand Vitara will look when it arrives in Australian showrooms.

Changes to the styling, including a new front bumper and redesigned grille, differentiate the updated Grand Vitara.

The Vitara will also feature slightly darker headlight surrounds for a more aggressive look and it will come with new wheel designs.

The Japanese images show the spare wheel of the SUV has been removed from the rear of the vehicle, but Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis told GoAuto that all Australian variants will continue to come with the spare on the tailgate.

Mr Ellis would not comment on potential mechanical changes or equipment specifications.

The outgoing Grand Vitara is powered by a choice of three engines, a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol, 1.9-litre diesel and 2.4-litre V6.

The third-generation Grand Vitara was released in Australia in 2005 and received an update in 2008.

Mr Ellis said the next-generation model was “at least a couple of years away”.

While the Grand Vitara was one of the original compact SUVs on the market, the segment has grown considerably in recent years and Suzuki has faced tough competition in the form of the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Nissan X-Trail and Honda CRV to name a few.

In the first half of this year, sales of the Grand Vitara were down 0.8 per cent on the same period last year while the segment (medium SUV under-$60k) overall was up 23.2 per cent.

Suzuki’s overall sales year-to-date are 6.1 per cent down on last year, but the popular Swift light car continues to sell well, capturing 10 per cent of its segment.

Suzuki cut the price of some Grand Vitara models in October last year and added standard equipment such as Bluetooth to the entry-level model.

The three-door Grand Vitara is available in base model only while the five-door includes Urban, Sport and Prestige variants.

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