The facelifted Suzuki Vitara has officially arrived in South Africa, with the make-up of the local range unchanged at launch. That said, the Japanese firm has confirmed the so-called “Boosterjet” turbocharged 1,4-litre petrol engine will join the line-up later in 2019.

So, what's new? Well, the updated Vitara gains a fresh frontal design, new alloy wheel options, revised rear styling and extra standard equipment. Refreshingly, though, pricing has not increased (see full pricing at the bottom of the story).

Up front, new headlamp clusters (flagship GLX models boast full-LED items) flank a redesigned grille with bold vertical bars and a large “S” logo. Round back, new LED taillamps have been added, while optional silver scuff plates and side mouldings are still offered.

While Suzuki says it added various “new creature comforts” inside, it claims to have spent the “most time and attention on the fit and feel of the interior”. For instance, the upper instrument panel is now finished in a soft-touch material, while GLX models feature a new seat trim combining suede and faux-leather. Mid-tier GL+ models, meanwhile, now feature contrasting white stitching on the pews.

GL+ and GLX models furthermore gain a new 4,2-inch full colour information display (with the entry-level GL model featuring a 3,5-inch monochrome LCD). These two trim levels also score the brand’s “Smart Linkage Display Audio system”, a touchscreen-based arrangement complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality and a reversing camera. The base GL derivative, meanwhile, retains the old system.

The GL+ and GLX spec levels now feature climate control and cruise control, with the GLX boasting model-specific instrument panel trim, keyless access (with push-button start) and a panoramic sunroof flanked by chromed roof rails. As before, all derivatives feature a full complement of seven airbags plus a full-size spare wheel.

Until the arrival of the aforementioned turbocharged engine later in the year, all variants retain Suzuki’s familiar naturally aspirated 1,6-litre petrol engine, which delivers 86 kW and 156 N.m (an increase of five units over the pre-facelift model) and is mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

The facelifted Vitara is offered with what Suzuki describes as a “promotional” five-year/200 000 km warranty, along with a standard four-year/60 000 km service plan.

Pricing:
Suzuki Vitara GL: R281 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+: R318 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ auto: R337 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX auto: R359 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip: R374 900