Last Chance To Buy: Suzuki Grand Vitara

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Indy Lifestyle Online

WHEN IS IT GOING?

The new Grand Vitara will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will probably arrive here in late 2005. Is there any point in bothering with an old one?

WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?

Vitaras are capable, rugged and a riot to drive at the price. Off-road it is no plaything, but a proper mud-plugger that can do all the dirty stuff. The larger 5-doors are slightly more comfy.

WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?

Not a huge amount, although it is looking a little bit dated. It is badged as the Grand Vitara now, but that name is misleading because the specification is not that generous. The 1.6 engine struggles and the side-hinged rear door means you have to think before you park.

HOW MUCH?

You can buy a basic one from £9,999, which is £2,000 off. The bigger models come with 0 per cent financem, but you'll need a 50 per cent deposit. Factory Outlet Cars in Durham (0191 520 8202) are offering an unregistered 2.0TD XL 7-seater at £4,295 off the list price.

ANY SNAGS?

No. Look after a Grand Vitara and it will look after you, both on- and off-road. In general, a full-service history equals no trouble.

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