Maruti Grand Vitara long term review, 10,500km report


I have been driving our long-term Grand Vitara for the past few months, and the more I drive it, the more I appreciate it. Strong-hybrid technology is relatively new to our market and especially so in the lower segments, so it leaves people quite confused. ‘How is it moving even without you turning the engine on?’ ‘Why is there no noise?’ are a couple of questions my family had when they sat in the SUV for the first time. Obviously, they weren’t aware of the technology, but after I explained how it worked, they were rather impressed.

Seat cushioning is comfortable, especially for long drives.

The Grand Vitara is a comfortable SUV whose fuel efficiency figures are way better than any hatchback; it has been returning an impressive 18-25kpl! No matter how I drive it, it does not drop below the 18kpl mark. I also like how silently and seamlessly the strong-hybrid tech works, but what I like even more is the instantaneous power delivery thanks to the combination of the electric motor and engine. It shoots into gaps with great enthusiasm and feels effortless to drive in the city. I like using the ‘B’ mode (Brake) on the gearbox, which provides stronger regenerative braking that’s quite close to one-pedal driving, but it doesn’t bring it to a full halt. There are three driving modes as well – Eco, Normal and Sport. I have been driving it in the Normal mode for the most part and found that performance was sufficiently peppy.  

Hybrid’s battery sits under boot floor; eats into storage space.

Seat cushion quality is something I am very particular about in a car and I must say that the Grand Vitara has just the right mix of firmness and softness. There are only a handful of cars I am comfortable driving long distances in, and this is one of them. What makes it even better are the ventilated seats, which are a big favourite of the family and for good reason – it cools the seat surface instantly on a sweltering summer afternoon.

Another plus about the Grand Vitara is the fact that the rear seat can be folded flat, opening up more luggage room, something that the battery eats into unfortunately. But with the seats folded, I was able to transport a 65-inch television recently.

The 360-degree view’s helpful in tight parking spaces.

Our long termer is the top-of-the-line Alpha Plus variant and comes with a host of features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charger and a 360-degree camera. It’s also equipped with a heads-up display, which provides info like speed and navigation. However, l am not a big fan of it and keep the screen tucked away most of the time. The large sunroof is another favourite, but I have a gripe with its sunshade: it’s very thin and lets in too much heat. Maruti has taken note of it and is now providing a tinted film for the sunroof, which can be installed at any dealership for Rs 5,490.

Phone loses contact with the wireless charging pad easily.

The one thing that annoys me a bit is the wireless phone charger: it stops charging if the phone moves or bounces on the tray, and it also heats up the phone very quickly. Hence, I still prefer using the cable to charge my phone. Another small yet irritating bit are the doors, which don’t shut very easily and need a strong push/pull. The driver’s seat adjust is also manual instead of electric, which I think should have been a standard fitment at least on this top variant. I also find the EV mode button redundant as it doesn’t allow the Vitara to go into pure EV mode most of the times.

These few niggles aside, the Grand Vitara is a comfortable, practical and, more importantly, very fuel-efficient SUV. Hopefully, I will be able to save on my fuel bills in the coming months and help the environment too with a relatively smaller carbon footprint.

Also see:

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara long term review, 6,500km report

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara long term review, 8,000km report

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