Suzuki Vitara Hybrid delayed for Australia

Suzuki Australia will introduce the Vitara Hybrid in the early stages of 2025, based on the facelifted version of the compact SUV revealed for overseas markets earlier this week.

Following the reveal of the updated model, a spokesperson for the Japanese brand’s local division said: “Our Vitara Hybrid model is expected to be launched Q1 2025.”

This means an arrival during the first quarter of 2025, or January to March inclusive. The spokesperson said final specifications for the local lineup have yet to be confirmed.

It will be the first time Suzuki has offered the Vitara with an electrified drivetrain in Australia, despite mild-hybrid and ‘Full Hybrid’ options being offered in overseas markets like Europe. However, it’s a delayed launch following a previously communicated late-2024 launch for the electrified Vitara.

The Vitara Hybrid for Australia is expected to be based on the Vitara Full Hybrid currently sold in Europe and the UK, which combines an 85kW/138Nm 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with a 24.6kW/60Nm electric motor-generator.

Driving either the front or all-four wheels via a six-speed automated manual transmission, the Vitara Full Hybrid uses as little as 5.2 litres per 100km on the combined WLTP cycle (5.8L/100km 4WD) with CO2 emissions as low as 119g/km.

UK specifications quote a 12.7-second 0-100km/h time for the 2WD, and 13.5 seconds for the AllGrip 4WD version. Top speed is 180km/h.

The European and UK markets are also offered the option of a Vitara Mild Hybrid, which features the 1.4-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol available in Australia but teamed with a 48V mild-hybrid system and detuned to 95kW/173Nm.

Where the Full Hybrid is auto-only, the Mild Hybrid is manual-only, though it still offers the option of 2WD and AllGrip 4WD. Fuel consumption for the MHEV is rated between 5.3-5.9L/100km depending on the variant.

By comparison, Australian-delivered Vitaras, which are sourced from the same Hungarian factory as EU models, are offered with a choice of a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with 86kW and 156Nm or a turbocharged 1.4-litre four with 103kW and 220Nm.

Both are offered with a six-speed automatic transmission, with the 1.6-litre also available with a five-speed manual. The Vitara Turbo additionally offers the option of an AWD system.

Currently, entry versions of the Suzuki Vitara continue to lack active safety systems available higher up in the range, namely autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing in Australia currently starts from $29,990 plus on-road costs for the entry Vitara 2WD with a five-speed manual, climbing to $40,490 before on-roads for the flagship Vitara Turbo AllGrip 4WD.

While specifications for the second Vitara facelift are still to be confirmed for Australia, it’s expected that headline changes like enhanced safety technologies and a new infotainment system should filter across to the local lineup.

The updated Vitara’s autonomous emergency braking system, called Dual Sensor Brake Support II, has an expanded detection area and can detect vehicles, motorcycles and pedestrians directly or diagonally ahead of it.

The updated Vitara also includes a driver monitoring system, using a camera attached to the instrument panel, as well as lane-keep assist. The adaptive cruise control system uses millimetre-wave radar and a monocular camera, and is linked to a traffic sign recognition system.

Inside, there’s a new 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. European-market Vitaras also feature Suzuki Connect, allowing owners to monitor their vehicle remotely via a smartphone app.

Externally, the updated Vitara is distinguished visually by a new grille, with chrome strips connecting visually with the headlights and bookending the Suzuki logo.

There’s a restyled front bumper with C-shaped indents incorporating the fog lights, while below the grille is a black trapezoidal area.

Vitara sales in Australia plunged 35.3 per cent in 2023 to 2016 units. It occupies the same segment as the S-Cross, which at 598 sales was up 66.1 per cent.

So far in 2024 the Vitara is up 46.6 per cent to 620 units delivered to the end of March, leading the S-Cross which has registered 334 units (up 221.2 per cent) over the same period.

The current Vitara entered production back in 2015, arriving in Australia later that year. That means it’s close to celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it remains unclear when a new generation will debut.

Suzuki Australia is also planning to launch an S-Cross Full Hybrid either late this year or early next, running the same 1.5-litre hybrid system as the Vitara Full Hybrid.

The new-generation Swift hatchback is also due to launch sometime this year, though it’s unclear whether the mild-hybrid version is on the cards for Australia.

Only the non-hybrid 61kW 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has been listed in a government filing, with either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

According to Japanese specifications, the Swift Hybrid is capable of the equivalent of 3.9L/100km on the combined WLTC cycle with a five-speed manual transmission, or 4.08L/100km with the optional CVT.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for the latest.

MORE: Suzuki Vitara facelift revealed with tech, safety upgrades
MORE: Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid review – International drive
MORE: Everything Suzuki Vitara

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