The Suzuki Vitara will enter its 31st year on sale in Australia with a fresh look and autonomous emergency braking, but no diesel option.
The Vitara Series II represents a significant update of the current model, which includes a redesigned front end, revised rear-end with LED combination lamps, new two-tone colour options, and higher-quality interior surfaces.
Read next: 2019 Suzuki Vitara Update revealed
The update also belatedly adds active safety to the Vitara range, including forward collision alert, auto braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
The full active-safety suite will be available in higher spec-models, with Suzuki yet to reveal which tech, if any, will be standard across the range.
One thing it has confirmed is that the 1.6-litre diesel engine is being dropped, resulting in the demise of the range-topping Vitara RT-X, due to declining and insufficient demand.
The 1.6-litre petrol and 1.4-litre turbo petrol will remain, however, the punchy 82kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol announced for the European range won’t be an option here despite being available in the Swift GLX Turbo.
Read next: 2017 Suzuki Vitara Range Review
The Vitara Series II range will be reduced to three variants – the 1.6-litre, front-wheel-drive Vitara, 1.4-litre Vitara Turbo and all-wheel-drive 1.4-litre Vitara Turbo Allgrip.
All three variants are expected to arrive in Australia during the first quarter of 2019, with local specifications and pricing revealed closer to launch.
The Suzuki Vitara recently celebrated 30 years since its global introduction. Designed as a more road-focused option to the Sierra, it was a decade ahead of cars such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which are often attributed to kicking off the driver-focused SUV boom here.
Since then, there have been four generations of Vitara, with more than 3.65 million sold in 191 countries.