2021 Suzuki Vitara AllGrip: Paying Homage to the Off-Roaders of Yore

2021 Suzuki Vitara AllGrip

Updated on June 10 2024

One of the big stories in the local automotive scene as of late is the official debut of the 2021 Suzuki Vitara AllGrip. Finally, the Japanese compact vehicle maker brings back the all-weather and all-road-capable version of its erstwhile compact SUV. But why is it such a big deal, you ask?

Compact Yet off-Road Ready

Those old enough may remember the first-generation Vitara that arrived in the country in 1994. Before the city-slicker Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s, Suzuki’s little Vitara offered a compact SUV package with the tough, ladder-frame ruggedness of a true off-roader. This essentially meant that it could tackle trails no car or soft-roader would dare tread.

This was when the term SUV was not even coined. Moreover, the term off-road vehicles were associated with tough rigs with large wheels or equally large trucks that looked like they could eat the car in front of them for breakfast.

But here comes the little Suzuki Vitara, showing everyone that size doesn't matter when going off-road. In fact, it used its compact dimensions to its advantage as it could tread trails and not have to worry that its large flanks would scrape the brush lining these narrow passageways.

As for its tiny 1.6-liter engine, coupled with a simple yet capable four-wheel drive system, it showed everyone that it too could hack it out in the great outdoors.

These, in turn, endeared it to the off-road crowd. Here was a little rig that could play with the big boys and not break a sweat.

Softened Up?

The latest-generation Vitara, however, sort of softened up. Instead of a ladder-on-frame chassis, it utilized unibody construction, just like the CR-Vs and Subaru Foresters. This made it more urban friendly just like the rest of the pack.

Yet Suzuki Philippines seems to know that there’s a small but dedicated community of off-roaders who love taking rigs like the Suzuki Jimny out on the trails. With this in mind, the Suzuki Vitara AllGrip enters the fray. While it’s basically the same (yet slightly facelifted) model that entered the scene a few years back, the huge difference is its off-road ability, thanks in no small part to the AllGrip four-wheel drive system.

This gives it amazing grip on all surfaces, allowing it to tread dirt trials with ease. What this essentially means is that Suzuki Philippines seems to be targeting fans of the 1st-generation model by once again offering compact dimensions, a smallish yet still capable engine, and the legendary grippy four-wheel drive system. This time, however, it is served up in a more urban friendly package with all the creature and modern of comforts of today’s typical soft-roader.

So, are you excited to take your Vitara off-road?