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The original compact SUV rolls into Russia with some cosmetic changes to keep it fresh in a highly competitive market segment.
Some of us may be too young to remember, but back in the day before every automaker was in the compact SUV game, Suzuki was a pioneer. When it launched the Escudo in 1988, it stood as the world's first compact sport-utility vehicle. 24 years later, its successor still soldiers on, and now the Japanese automaker has released an updated version. Debuting this week at the Moscow Auto Show, the new Grand Vitara benefits from updated styling inside and out.
A new grille caps a sturdier-looking bumper made from Suzuki Super Polypropylene (SSPP). The plastic is not only 10 percent lighter than other resins, it was also found by Suzuki's designers to be so pleasing to the eye in its raw form that they've left it unpainted. That may be a bunch of marketing gobbledygook, but the rest of the vehicle is painted, with two new colors available: Bison Brown Pearl Metallic and Gaia Bronze Pearl Metallic. New eight-spoke 17-inch and 10-spoke 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels also feature, while the interior has been spruced up with a sporty knit pattern for the three-door model and striped fabric for the five-door.