One Thousand Miles

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One Thousand Miles Empty One Thousand Miles

Post by theforestdweller on Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:19 pm

My SZ5 DDIS Allgrip today clocked up its 1000th mile in 6 weeks of ownership, so time for first impressions Smile . This can be summed up as the car far exceeding my expectations Very Happy .My trade in vehicle was a 1.7 SE diesel Mokka, so this is really my comparison vehicle. I can still dimly remember its predecessors so can hopefully rank the SUV style vehicles I've owned. I would put the Vitara in my top 3, sharing the honours with my SEAT Freetrack and Hyundai iX35. So, what's to like:

The Vitara looks far better in the flesh than in pictures. I like the classic simplicity of the styling compared with some of the other smaller SUVs.

It seems far larger than it actually is, both inside and outside. This is a "B" segment car that compares very favourably with a number of "C" segment vehicles.

The seats in the SZ5 with their false suede Alcantara both look good and are extremely comfortable. SWMBO prefers these to the heated slippery leather of the Mokka. I agree although I still think the top of the range vehicle should have heated seats.

The driving position is good, just high enough for a small SUV. The steering wheel and seat adjustments make it easy ti get a comfortable position. Wing mirrors are large and give good rear visibility. Not so impressed with the rear view mirror - it's big enough but should be auto dimming on this specification vehicle.

Probably pushing my luck with this one - but no squeaks, groans or rattles. The whole thing seems to be well screwed together. The interior plastics have come in for some criticism and were one of the negatives when I was researching a new vehicle. Now I've changed my mind. How often do you tap the door cards or dashboard to see how soft they are? I'm quite happy they will stay the course and keep their looks. The only thing that really jars with me is that it is obvious that the designers of the dashboard and door cards never spoke to each other. There is no continuity between the ends of the dashboard and the door cards. They just don't merge as they should (IMHO!).

Really like the 2 floor boot arrangement. By using storage around the spacesaver spare wheel and the first level cover for lighter articles I can keep everything out of sight and have the whole of the "second floor" free do daily use - Excellent!

OK, so how does it drive? Answer - Very well!

The engine is remarkably quiet in comparison with my Mokka, indeed it's quieter than I remember any of my diesels being. A bit of rattle at tickover when it's cold, but other than that its quieter than some petrol engined vehicles I've owned.

Have been running quite gently for the first 500 miles and then worked things a little harder until it tripped over the magic 1000 miles today. As a motorway cruiser I think the diesel Vitara is brilliant. At speeds that match those in the outside lane the engine is almost inaudible at 2000 rpm in 6th gear. I also don't get the wind noise from the mirrors that reviewers seem to obsess about. Road noise is all I hear, and for that I blame the Continental branded tyres - which I've moaned about before on this forum.

Acceleration through the gears is good and even though the engine still has some loosening to do, the torque and power is very favourable and better than my Mokka. My only niggle is with the gearbox. Everything is quiet, slick and positive with exception of the 1st to 2nd upshift which is decidedly notchy. Changing gear more slowly helps, but I even find myself double de clutching just on that shift to ensure a smooth change! How long ago has it been since I've had to do that! (Answer - Series II Land Rover some decades ago). To be fair though I think this is improving as the miles go by.

The steering surprised me. All my cars have always gone where I pointed them, but the Vitara just seems to be more positive and accurate. The weighting is also just right. It makes the car so much more pleasurable to drive.

I'm not one who religiously check that MPG of their vehicle through tank to tank fillups - we all know that the MPG that the vehicle displays is going to be on the optimistic side, but to date am showing 58.8mpg average, against a lifetime 49.2mpg for my Mokka, so the Vitara gets brownie points for frugality as well.

Not everything is in perfect harmony however. As a matter of habit I always turn the "Stop-Start" system off, but now I also turn off the "Frontal Collision Warning system". The car and myself just don't agree on when close is too close or what a sensible closing speed should be. The car is just too cautious - I mean, it can't be me can it? I'm also not sure about the "Adaptive Cruise Control", but I'll persevere with that one.

I'm a great fan of the LED dipped headlights. Bright, good spread and reach and a remarkably sharp cutoff at the edges rather than just fading to darkness. Makes the main beam light look positively yellow, but still well up to the job in hand.

Have not played with the drive selector yet. I decided to leave it in "Auto" until the vehicle had a few miles on the clock, so will be playing with that now. I already feel though that the vehicle inspires confidence that it will cope well with any of Mother Natures more alarming tantrums.

All in all I'm very pleased with my choice. Almost every aspect of the car exceeds my expectations. I really look forward to driving it, and find it a totally relaxing experience. So for anyone even vaguely thinking of a "B" segment SUV - try the Vitara - in any guise - you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Posts : 175
Join date : 2015-07-28
Age : 73
Location : Forest of Dean

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