The pictures suggest that Suzuki has got the Vitara’s cabin about right: legible and sturdily fetching, with a big, glossy infotainment screen and even that automotive rarity – a reasonably likeable clock.
But, like David Gandy in Tesco’s jeans, bone structure carries you only so far. With its eye clearly clamped on the bottom line, Suzuki has deemed it necessary to clad the Vitara in less than brilliant trim materials. If the reasoning is iron clad, so are the repercussions. The dashboard, in particular, positively glows with the unwanted lustre of cheap plastic.
Granted, few prospective owners will march into a Suzuki dealership with a premium finish in mind but, equally, even the laziest of window shoppers will know that many, if not most, rivals offer a more sophisticated fingertip experience than this.
It doesn’t get any better acoustically, either. Although a degree of hollowness is par for the course, the huge, van-like impact felt in the front seats when the rear doors are closed will only add to the stress levels of those condemned to the school run every day.
For buyers with adult-sized children, the compromises of the range-topper may already be too much to bear. Although our 5ft 8in tester fitted into the back quite contentedly, those approaching 6ft found themselves folding to fit under the roof lining. It may very well be, as we’ve seen in several competitors, that this is a symptom of the panoramic roof, which is a standard item in the range-topping SZ5 trim on test.