I see so many Suzuki Grand Vitaras buzzing around the roads and I’ve always been intrigued to drive one. To me, they look like a little safari jeep that is waiting for an adventure! As I'm a mum who's unwilling to give up her adventuring days, I was very eager to see how practical it would be as a BabyDrive.
The Grand Vitara did have some good BabyDrive features. It had very good legroom in the front even when rear-facing child seats were installed behind.
The spare wheel is mounted on the outside of the boot door, which means as a BabyDrive it has a great deep boot space. Storage in the boot was very good and it held as much as most mid-size SUVs but with the extra option to lay more on top as the boot is so deep!
The seats are comfortable and although there is some shaping to the seatbacks and bases, their basic nature worked in our favour so we could fit three child seats across the rear! I was very surprised in a small car like this. I could fit the Britax Unity infant capsule on one side and the Britax Graphene (rear facing) on the other with the forward-facing Britax Maxi Guard Pro in the central seat. It was a squeeze and you do need to level out the two outer seats to make their passengers comfortable.
There are ISO Fix points in the two outer rear seats and top tether for all three rear seats. The connection bars for all of these were just bare metal bars and had no labelling at all. It was fine for the ISO Fix, which were situated between the seat base and seat backs, but the top tether points were right at the bottom of the seatbacks and looked more like handles for bringing the rear seats forward rather than top tether points. To add to the confusion there were three black plastic hooks at the top of the rear seatbacks (also unlabelled) that were connectors for the cargo shelf. I would hope that no one would get them confused but I'm sure it is possible.
Visibility was good for the driver, so parking and manoeuvring were fine. It was also great for rear passengers, who enjoyed the elevated view.
The storage in the cab is limited and basic and things aren't lined with rubber or carpeted, they're just raw plastic and rattly!
Suzuki has kept doing updates to modernise the Grand Vitara, like adding the touch screen and sat-nav. The screen is still basic and feels dated but it is simple to use and did the job!
I’m pleased to say this little off-roader did not disappoint! The Grand Vitara is an old school car that just keeps on going! It feels basic in an exciting way! I felt like I could name it and take it on so many road trips!! It comes from the days before lane departure warnings, parking sensors or many safety features existed!
The Suzuki Grand Vitara scored a four-star ANCAP safety rating way back in 2006 and has six airbags as standard.