Suzuki stopped selling cars in North America after 2013. That was a shame, because the company’s SX4 really was mostly OK, and the AWD Kizashi was very much a budget Audi in the same way that Kia is now positioning itself to be. Still, the real reason Suzuki is missed over here is that the cars it sold overseas were always worlds better than the second-class-citizen stuff we got Stateside. That trend will continue into 2015, at least, with the launch of the all-new 2015 Suzuki Vitara shown here.
Like the updated, hydrogen fuel-cell Kizashi concept shown earlier this year, the new Vitara SUV is being built with a big nod towards efficiency, thanks to a frugal (yet, torquey) 1.6 liter direct-injected turbo diesel engine mated to a wide-spread CVT and lightweight construction. That power will be put to good use on or off-road, as well, thanks to Suzuki’s newly revised ALLGRIP 4WD system.
The company is promising that the new ALLGRIP will help the 2015 Suzuki Vitara live up to the grand tradition of off-road Suzukis that began with the original Jimny/Samurai back in the 1960s and continued on through the Pike’s Peak dominating Escudos driven by Monster Tajima in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Suzuki has plans to put the 2015 Vitara into production at their Magyar, Hungary factory early next year, with plans to export the vehicles built there to Russia, India, and China. JDM models will, it’s believed, continue to be built in Japan.