The upgrade also features a factory fitted sunroof. The inclusion of ESP bolsters an impressive list of safety features including driver and passenger airbags, seat mounted side airbags and head protecting side curtain airbags, and ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). "ESP headlines the next generation of vehicle safety systems, by actively intervening when it detects the vehicle is heading out of control and correcting the situation," said Suzuki Australia Automotive General Manager Tony Devers. "Every driver is confronted at some time with critical driving situations such as a truck losing part of its load in front of you or slippery surfaces after heavy rainfall.
Even at moderate speeds these situations can lead to the driver losing control. "ESP prevents possible skidding from the start, by instantaneous interventions of the brakes and engine management." Devers explained the ESP system on the Grand Vitara Prestige utilised the ABS sensors already incorporated into the Grand Vitara range, and added a steering angle and lateral acceleration sensor. The system monitors each sensor every 25 milliseconds, keeping a watchful eye on the angle of the steering wheel and the lateral movement of the car. When ESP recognises the vehicle is threatening to skid off course, it selectively applies braking pressure at each wheel and - if necessary - limits power delivery to 'steer' the vehicle into the desired direction.
The Prestige - available only with a 2.7-litre V6 and automatic transmission - boasts such luxury features as cruise control, leather steering wheel, leather upholstery and leather door panel trims, 6 disc in-dash CD stereo with MP3 capabilities, speed sensing volume control as well as a 7 speaker sound system including subwoofer. The bold and aggressive front face and sleek distinctive styling of the Grand Vitara exterior is further emphasised with the Prestige model, complete with low profile tyres, 17 inch alloy rims and fog lamps. The Grand Vitara Prestige also features a keyless start function, allowing the driver to remotely unlock and start the engine with the push of a button. It was the first compact SUV in Australia offering this as standard.
The 'Prestige' offers buyers a maximum output of 135kW at 6000rpm, linked to a permanent 4 x 4 system which is easily switched between high and low range via a control on the instrument panel. "With the addition of ESP and sunroof at no extra cost, the Grand Vitara 'Prestige' delivers a quality package in every aspect of its design, assembly and attention to engineering detail," said Devers. The Grand Vitara Prestige with ESP is on sale now and is priced from $36,990 and available in automatic transmission.