Here it is. The car I almost certainly would have quested after 30 years ago.
The Suzuki Vitara S Turbo. Straight up cool.
For starters, it looks like something I would have singled out in the big plastic tub of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars I had back then (that tub is a bit bigger now thanks to the fact the tin lid shares one of her dad’s interests).
It’s turbocharged. It combines chunky toughness and sleek styling effortlessly. It’s a subtle show off.
There’s LED headlights, front and rear sensors, a rear view camera, Apple CarPlay and built-in navigation unit and tap shifters for manual control of the six-speed auto transmission.
It gets sports leather seats and steering wheel and has red highlights throughout, in the stitching and around the cabin air vents.
It has the look.
And it provides the driving performance to match.
The Vitara S Turbo – with it’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing 103kW and 220Nm of torque and pushing it to a claimed 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds – may not have the greatest boy racer credentials but it is an impressive high-riding hatch.
It’s real strengths come in the handling, ride comfort and fuel economy.
You’ve got to fill this little beast with premium unleaded, but the return is a rewardingly low fuel economy of 5.9 litres/100km.
It corners with precision, bumps are well ironed out and it is a quiet and smooth operator.
Now, had this car been around 30 years ago when I almost certainly would have quested for it, I would have only had to put $1000 away each year (the equivalent value of about 285 Matchbox cars) to be able to now own one of my own.
The front-wheel-drive auto comes in at $29,990 drive-away. The all-wheel-drive version is $32,990 plus on-road costs.