Need To Keep Moving This Winter? You Need ALLGRIP From Suzuki
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Suzuki has been making cars with four-wheel drive for many a year. The company also produces an excellent range of small, affordable cars. Put the two together and you have a winning recipe for those motorists who need to remain mobile even in the very worst driving conditions.
Suzuki currently produce seven different models, five of which either have ALLGRIP four wheel drive capability as standard or as an option.
Clearly UK motorists are warming to the concept as some 25 per cent of UK Suzuki sales are for ALLGRIP models.
My history with 4x4 Suzuki cars goes back to the 1980s. I owned several SJ410 'Jeep' models with folding soft tops. Great in summer for topping up the suntan and unstoppable when the very worst winter weather arrived, they left a lasting impression.
In order to showcase their latest 4x4 cars, Suzuki assembled their full range at a 1,000 acre motorsport complex in South Wales. I duly headed south for some hardcore off-roading!
First up was a drive in the diminutive Jimny, classified by Suzuki in the 'ALLGRIP PRO' category.
This is a genuine off-roader and its chunky looks and purposeful stance signal intent. Powered by a willing 1.3-litre petrol engine, the Jimny now boasts push-button selectable four-wheel drive and high and low gear ratios. Manual or automatic gears are offered in the higher spec SZ4 version.
Being the most compact SUV on sale has distinct advantages when you venture off terra firma. Narrow pathways and tracks are easy to negotiate and light weight means that softer ground can be traversed without the risk of bogging down.
Our five car convoy was lead round a series of challenging obstacles, giving us the opportunity to try out the full range of gearbox settings. It came as no surprise to find the likeable Jimny conquered the challenging terrain with ease.
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On sale since January 2017, the SZ5 spec Ignis ALLGRIP is fitted with Suzuki's 90PS Dualjet engine and mild hybrid system. CO2 emissions of just 106g/km and combined fuel economy of 60.1mpg are the headline figures. Who said 4x4 models have to be thirsty and polluting?
The Ignis offers a surprisingly roomy cabin with plenty of space for occupants and luggage.
The Ignis makes use of Suzuki's ALLGRIP 'Auto' technology. This well proven system is fully automatic and offers a permanent four-wheel drive layout. When the system detects slippage, more torque is rapidly fed to the rear wheels for maximum traction. Ideal for the rural motorist who lives a little off the beaten track.
Once again we set off in convoy, keen to explore the compact car's off-road credentials.
Our test route was reasonably challenging and gave us the opportunity to try out the Hill Descent and Grip Control systems.
The former is fairly self explanatory and once activated by the driver at under 15mph in either first or second gear, allows a controlled descent of scarily steep hills. It works well and is simple to use.
The Grip Control can be activated on slippery surfaces at speeds of less than 18mph. The system focuses on the torque on the driven wheels that have grip and can quickly apply braking to the wheel that is spinning.
During an especially steep and muddy ascent it proved its worth, with the Hill Descent guiding us safely back down.
Also on hand to try was the ever popular Vitara model. Suzuki says that 30% of buyers of this SUV specify ALLGRIP.
Sadly I did not have time to try the model on this occasion, but from previous experience on and off-road in Yorkshire I can vouch for the model's capabilities.
Boasting and ALLGRIP Select system, the Vitara has four driver-selectable modes.
Auto mode prioritises fuel economy and uses two-wheel drive by default, switching to four-wheel drive if it detects wheel spin.
Sport mode is optimised for twisty roads, making use of four-wheel drive in accordance with accelerator inputs.
Snow mode uses the four-wheel drive by default and is to be used on all low friction surfaces.
Lock mode is used for extricating the car from snow, mud or sand. A limited slip differential is fitted which helps brake any slipping wheel and transfer power to the gripping wheels.
It should be noted that Suzuki's S-Cross model also has the same system available as in the Vitara - I prefer the more rugged looks of Vitara but feel free to disagree.
Last but by no means is least the Swift with ALLGRIP Auto. The all-new Swift has been on sale since 2017, being 10 per cent lighter, 19 per more powerful and 8 per cent more efficient than the outgoing model.
Of more importance is the fact that it is one of the best small cars currently on sale in the UK. I was lucky enough to spend a week behind the wheel in August and came away most impressed.
Although not an ALLGRIP model, I have no doubt that the system, as tried in the Ignis will prove to be more capable than most will need.
So there you have it - a comprehensive range of capable ALLGRIP models with prices starting from just £12,999.
Why not pop along to your friendly local dealer and take a look. When the first snow of winter arrives you might be glad that you did.
Jimny with ALLGRIP PRO from £12,999
Ignis with ALLGRIP Auto - £14,499
Swift with ALLGRIP Auto - £15,499
Vitara with ALLGRIP Select from £18,799
S-Cross with ALLGRIP Select from £21,549
ALLGRIP accounts for 25%+ of UK Suzuki sales
Need To Keep Moving This Winter? You Need ALLGRIP From Suzuki, 9th October 2017, 11:36 AM