Australia gets a two wheel drive, cut price version of the Suzuki Grand Vitara crossover
The Australia-spec 2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara crossover has now gotten a brand new variant in the form of the two wheel drive version. The two wheel drive version of the Grand Vitara drives the rear wheels of the SUV. The 2WD Grand Vitara is available with both the manual transmission as well as the automatic gearbox. The two wheel drive version of the Grand Vitara is cheaper than the four wheel drive model by $3,500, which is quite a sizeable amount. In India though, the Grand Vitara is sold in a solitary variant, which comes with a 4 wheel drive layout and a 4 speed automatic gearbox.
Recently, Japanese automaker Suzuki gave the Grand Vitara crossover a mid career facelift with minor cosmetic changes on the exterior like new bumpers, grille design and alloy wheels, being the main points of the refresh. The SUV is also sold in India as Maruti Suzuki’s flagship model. Though quite capable both on the road and off it, the Grand Vitara, which is imported into India as a completely built unit(CBU) is a market dud to say the least. The main downside of the Grand Vitara is the fact that the SUV comes only with a petrol engine option.
The Grand Vitara SUV comes with a 2.4 Liter, four cylinder petrol engine that puts out a peak power of 165 Bhp with peak torque rated at 225 Nm. The highlights of this naturally aspirated petrol engine are the variable valve technology and the drive-by-wire system. Indians love their SUVs, albeit with a diesel engine powering them. This crucial bit is where the Grand Vitara differs in and therefore has struggled to find takers. Petrol SUVs and crossovers have traditionally found minimal takers in India, more so in the current situation where diesel is cheaper than petrol by over 70%.
For instance, almost every crossover with petrol engine only variants, like the Suzuki Grand Vitara, the Chevrolet Forester and the Honda CR-V, have all struggled to sell in India. That said, expect the facelifted 2013 Grand Vitara to be launched in India in the coming months given that the model is a CBU version, which is why it is expected to reflect changes in the international model. Given that Australia gets the 2WD version of the 2013 Grand Vitara along with a manual gearbox to make for a cut price version, we wonder if Maruti Suzuki too would be thinking on similar lines. If indeed Maruti Suzuki plans to launch the cut price version in India, the 2013 Grand Vitara could be nearly INR 3 lakhs cheaper. A Grand Vitara at 15-16 lakhs could be quite a compelling option indeed.