ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY**

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Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Empty ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY**

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:20 am

Day1

Having been to Iceland several times and hired Suzuki Jimny's, Grand Vitara's i was hoping to find a rental company with the new Vitara to try on Icelands varying roads and weather
After several google searches i came up with nothing so a quick email to Suzuki IS and i received a friendly reply telling me that Procar IS purchased 20 new Vitara's for their rental fleet

Another few emails and the Vitara is guaranteed for collection at Keflavik airport and i'm set to go  bounce

Arriving at Keflavik we were collected at the airport and taken a few kilometres to the Procar office where i am then taken to a Hyundai  affraid
I explained i had ordered a Vitara and the guy tries to suggest the Hyundai is an upgrade to which a raised eyebrow suggested to him i knew the Hyundai wasn't an upgrade, after several Icelandic mutterings under his breath he finds the Keys at last to my Silver Vitara for the next 4 days........

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan10

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan11

The airport is around 45 minutes from Reykjavik where our hotel was which give me some time to compare this Vitara to my SZ5...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan12

Looking around the Vitara it had cloth trim, no sunroof, privacy glass, 17" graphite alloys and indicators in the wings so was the equivalent to a SZ-T here in the UK but a big difference was it being an Automatic
I have mentioned this Vitara in another post and explained the transmission was very reluctant to change up from 4th gear into 5th or 6th unless you manually shifted up using the paddle shifts yet the slightest of inclines and it kicked down into 4th  confused
A quick walk round at the next service station and i think the problem was being winter and Studded/Winter tyres being compulsory the rental company had fitted an oversize tyre (obviously due to cost) which was confusing the Automatic transmission

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Ice_ty10

The studs were a welcome though as this was to be a regular occurrence...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan14

After checking into the Hotel i left my fiancée to settle in and found the main Suzuki importers in Reykjavik to see what 4x4 they have (if you think Suzuki dealers are sparse in the UK you should try Iceland, i have only ever seen two dealerships and i think there are 5-6 service centres across the island)

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan15

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan16

Rare USA spec Suzuki XL7...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan17

Suzuki Kizashi AWD...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan18

Suzuki Jimny Iceland style...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan19

Day2

Todays plan was to head East along Ring 1 leaving the snow in the West behind...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan20

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan21

The main reason for this route was to visit a DC4 plane wreck on the South Beach Sólheimasandur, originally you just had some GPS co-ordinates but it appears people have been getting lost and it is now sign posted to a new entry...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan23

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan24

After the initial tyre tracks it soon turns into a black beach, I have driven this route before in the snow and with low cloud you can soon become disorientated...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan25

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan26

Driving over one of the last dunes before the sea you are then greeted with this on the horizon...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan27

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan28

In 1973 a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sand beach, various rumours surround the crash from bad visibility, icing of the fuel leaving the plane to run out of fuel yet a local Icelandic farmer reported he attended the wreckage soon after and retrieved a vast amount of fuel from the aircraft which as farmers do he ran his equipment on for several months for free Wink

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan29

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan30

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan31

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan32

Heading back from the wreckage towards Ring 1

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan33

A thing I have learnt in Iceland is if you see a fuel station take advantage and fill up, distances between stations can be vast and although most fuel pumps are automated you cannot use a normal credit card and have to use a prepaid N1 fuel card, something not many tour guides or rental companies advise Crying or Very sad  you...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan34

The above mentioned distances should also be taken into consideration when planning your route/itinerary, what you think will take an hour to travel can often take two to three times that, with so much to view/photograph and varying weather conditions it can often add hours onto the journey as we found out arriving at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon just as darkness fell, excuse picture quality but luckily in person the headlights of the Vitara did a great job...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan35

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan36

On the return to Reykjavik that evening I experienced this warning on the dashboard...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan37

...even being 7'c it turned out to be a build up of ice in the S badge/radar on the grille, once removed the RBS was resumed

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan38

In all day 1 was just shy of 1000km from Reykjavik to Hofn then returning to Reykjavik with the added diversions from Route 1...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Day_110

Day 2

Breakfast in the Hotel was a colourful experience...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan40

4WD is such a way of life in Iceland even the Arctic Truck 4x4's feature on the milk for your coffee in the hotel...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan41

Our aim today was to Visit Akureyri in the North for an overnight stop after the previous days marathon, looking at the rental guide we decided to hug the West coast with the central area's being out of bounds or closed due to weather conditions...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan39

This is a typical road condition report from http://www.road.is/ with Red roads being impassable, Pink difficult, Blue slippery etc

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan70

Early Suzuki SJ410 surviving the Arctic conditions better than they have in the UK...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan42

Heading North from Reykjavik is the 5.7km Hvalfjörður Tunnel, this saves over 45km on the journey taking 7 minutes instead of 1 hour, at some points it is 165m below sea level...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan43

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan44

As you can see traffic is a rarity on the roads...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan45

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan46

A feature missing on UK Vitara's but were certainly welcome and turned up to high the further North we travelled...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan47

And the reason why the seat heaters were a blessing only a few kilometres further on...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan48

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan49

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan50

To the left of this hut out of view was one of the many webcams mast that gave you location, current weather conditions/temperature/wind speed etc...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** C_data10

Dropping down from the mountains to the coast we left the snow behind and passed through a typical fishing village Olafsvik...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan51

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan52

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan53

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan54

A common feature on Iceland roads is this sign warning that the tarmac road becomes a gravel surface, this is also the main Ring 1 affraid
The gravel roads can become rutted and with some severe pot holes from frost damage, I braced myself a few times expecting the suspension to jar my back but the Vitara simply glided across some really harsh road conditions that you would have expected to bottom the suspension out ...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan55

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan57

Nearly all bridges are single track even on the main roads but with so little traffic it is rare to have to give way...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan58

Stepping out of the car to take this picture I realised how good the studded tyres really are, I could hardly stand to take the picture and the wind was actually blowing me along the ice, yet the tyres were so good you were confident to be driving at 80-90kmh...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan59

When was the last time you saw a full range of horse shoes for sale in a petrol station?

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan60

Icelandic people take their clothing serious and fashion is a bit different to the UK's Saturday night best....

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan61

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan62

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan63

Arriving in Akureyri was a pleasant surprise, as nice as Reykjavik is you cant help but notice it caters for the tourist yet Akureyri seemed to be more traditional...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan64

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan68

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan69

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan67

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Day210

Day3

Being further North we woke up to...............Snow!!! bounce

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan71

If you look to the top right of the picture you can see the footpath's leading into the city are clear, this is from the heated pavements where the geothermal water is directed underground to give the houses free hot water and clearing the cities pavements along the way

With AllGrip on the Vitara the last thing we wanted was snow clearing so off we went up into the mountains North towards Husavik...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan72

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan73

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan74

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan75

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan76

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan77

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan78

I like my bikes but i'm not sure I would have swapped the comfort and heating of the Vitara?

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan79

Like Akureyri Husavik was a more traditional town which apart from the Astronaut Training museum seemed to rely again on fishing...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan80

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan81

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan82

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan83

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan84

Unlike Reykjavik the cars in the North appeared to be older and more for a purpose rather than show...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan85

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan86

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan87

With the snow falling thick and fast and 500km/5 hours (plus a 10am flight the next day) back to our hotel in Reykjavik we decided to start heading back as there were some high roads to pass and we were not sure if any of the roads would be shut, the Vitara had performed faultlessly and the only reason I ever took the 4wd out of the Auto mode was to try the various settings out of interest, admittedly it was fitted with studded tyres but not once did the Vitara step out of line or give me concern and like I said I could not walk on the icy roads even in dedicated Sorel winter boots without holding onto the door handles down the side of the car so I think it would be fair to say the Vitara coped with some pretty extreme conditions with flying colours

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan88

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan89

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan90

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan91

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan92

Heading back through Akureyri I called in the North Iceland Suzuki dealer BSA HF where the owner told me about selling the first Suzuki LJ80's in Iceland in 1978 and we discussed the way Suzuki had developed over the years to the Vitara we have today, a really nice guy with a passion for the product he was selling rather than some finance guy you find nowadays in dealerships  Rolling Eyes

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan93

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan94

Stopping off for something to eat I saw this advert on the front of the newspaper, not like the press in the UK printing some rubbish about what celebrity is sleeping with who's grandad who used to be a woman but an advert for the full range of Yokohama winter tyres...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Ice_yo10

They really do live in an extreme place yet have adapted and the people are educated to respect the weather and it's extremities they buy the right clothes, the right tyres and the right vehicles for the job realising that the cars they buy are not for show or to impress the neighbours and probably why Suzuki is one of the most popular vehicles you see in Iceland so much so that you want a Dominoes Pizza delivered whatever the weather? then guess what they drive.....

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan96

Excuse the picture quality but -7 and 51mpg, and that is solid ice on the rear of the vitara (Procar had to get a hot pressure washer to remove the ice to check bodywork for damage when I returned the car next day) but everything from the wiper to the rubber tailgate release button worked just as it should and no rattles or squeaks from the trim plastic contracting in the cold...

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan97

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Icelan98

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** Day310

I'm not sure we will ever get to try our Vitara's in the UK to the extremes I was lucky to try the rental one in Iceland, over 4 days I did over 2000 miles without a hiccup (other than the transmission holding 4th which I believe was the wrong tyre size causing it) I did have my doubts about the Vitara going transverse instead of the traditional inline 4wd setup like in previous Vitara/Grand Vitara but I was certainly impressed and glad I chose to own one

Karl

P.s did anyone spot my rental Vitara in the webcam screenshot Laughing

Iceland - ICELAND BY VITARA **CAUTION VERY PICTURE HEAVY** C_data11
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Post by Prokopas on Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:31 pm

Great writeup and photostory Karl
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Post by methedutch on Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:50 pm

Fantastic pictures Karl, and great to hear the Vitara holds its own in severe wintry conditions!
Thanks for a great journeys story!

Henk

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Post by Hadus on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:35 am

Exciting place, and good job with the pics!

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Post by Diemou on Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:37 pm

Great job. I would like to try my Vitara in Iceland now.

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Post by gatoz on Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:47 pm

Wow!!!
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Post by Gar Green on Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:07 pm

Fantastic read. Thanks for the post
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Post by Corsica2b on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:10 pm

Nice !!

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Post by hicky on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:03 pm

after all that karl I will stick to the harsh weather the south east has thanks.lol Shocked

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Post by Admin on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:12 pm

Amazingly the Icelandic take it in their stride, they even had studded tyres on the pushbikes to cycle to work

Karl
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Post by enicky on Wed May 03, 2017 6:54 pm

Congratulations! Great landscapes !!!!! Very Happy
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Post by Admin on Thu May 04, 2017 6:28 am

What a coincidence. I am just about to dock in Rotterdam where i will be driving to the North of Denmark to catch a 3 day ferry (via the Faroe Isles) over to Iceland to deliver a Grand Vitara for a friend.

Will post any Vitara pics en route

Karl
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Post by Neu on Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 am

Very nice photo-story, thanks for sharing.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:03 am

Thank you Neu, i have recently returned from Iceland and have another Drive Report/pictures set to post once i get time, this trip involved a Grand Vitara and an S-Cross but unfortunately no snow Sad

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Post by Ziga Vitara on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:24 pm

Great report and even greater pics. My Vitara looked the same as the one you were driving before I upgraded it with rugged "outfit".

I'm curious about one thing, though:

"A feature missing on UK Vitara's but were certainly welcome and turned up to high the further North we travelled...And the reason why the seat heaters were a blessing only a few kilometres further on..."

Your Vitara doesn't have an option of having heated seats or is this true for every Vitara in the UK?


Last edited by Ziga Vitara on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Gar Green on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:26 pm

Ziga Vitara wrote:Great report and even greater pics. My Vitara looked the same as the one you were driving before I upgraded it with rugged "outfit".

I'm curious about one thing, though:

"A feature missing on UK Vitara's but were certainly welcome and turned up to high the further North we travelled...And the reason why the seat heaters were a blessing only a few kilometres further on..."

Your Vitara doesn't have an option of having heated seats or is this true for every Vitara in the UK?

True, no heated seats for UK Vitaras. Unless you're lucky like myself and Karl.
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Post by Ziga Vitara on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:31 pm

Interesting, good to know.

Here Vitara's range of equipments are labeled differently than in the UK (and I guess that in most other countries too), we don't have SZ4/ SZT / SZ5 / etc but Comfort / Elegance / Premium / S, yet all models except Comfort have heated front seats by default.
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Post by Neu on Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:43 pm

We have new Vitara options GL+, GLX and S in Turkey. Only the GL+ (which I have) comes without heated seats (it also lacks sunroof just like S). To the best of my knowledge, dealer provides them additionally for around EUR500 although it is not listed as an option anywhere.
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