2023 Suzuki Vitara full-hybrid

Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corporation has launched the 2023 Escudo in its home market. The Escudo, also known in the Philippines and other countries as the Vitara, now gets a brand-new full-hybrid powertrain and a few design updates.

Since its debut in 2014, the Vitara has received a number of updates and overhauls. In 2018, the subcompact crossover received a redesign and a selection of turbocharged engines. Two years later, it gained a 48V mild-hybrid system to start its electrification journey. 

2023 Suzuki Vitara full-hybrid

Then, this year, the Vitara got a 140V full-hybrid powertrain. It’s the only engine option in Japan, but European markets have it alongside the mild-hybrid version. Of course, in the Philippines, the Vitara continues to make do with a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine making 115 hp and 156 Nm of torque.

By comparison, the 2023 Vitara hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) packs a new 1.5-liter DualJet four-cylinder engine delivering 99 hp and 132 Nm of torque. The 140V motor adds 33 hp and 60 Nm of torque for a total output of 132 hp and 192 Nm of torque. Suzuki paired the hybrid system with its six-speed ASG automatic transmission. Suzuki’s AllGrip AWD system is also available, offering power to all four wheels and selectable drive modes to boot.

2023 Suzuki Vitara full-hybrid

As for its looks, the 2023 Vitara has been slightly updated with new front and rear bumpers. It also features blacked-out pillars, multi-spoke alloy wheels, and LED headlamps, DRLs, and taillamps. Inside, the new Vitara reportedly gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel with button controls, paddle shifters, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2023 Suzuki Escudo/Vitara starts at ¥2,970,000 JPY or about P1.6-million. That’s not far from where the gas-powered Vitara is priced locally. However, there’s no word on whether Suzuki Philippines plans to bring over the full-hybrid Vitara to the Philippines. If the price is right, we think the Vitara HEV could get a lot of attention in the local market.

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