I'm not going to lie, I was very pleased the team picked me as the custodian of the long-term Vitara. I was extra-pleased when it turned out I'd be getting what I consider to be the best of the three-tier range, the Turbo.

The all-wheel drive one is only useful if you need that off-road capability and this front-wheel drive is fine on gravel. The all-wheel drive one is only useful if you need that off-road capability and this front-wheel drive is fine on gravel.

I reckon it's the best because the all-wheel drive one is only useful if you need that off-road capability. The front-wheel drive is fine on gravel.

The Vitara Turbo 2WD lands on your driveway at $31,990 drive-away (the usual price is $30,490), a solid $5500 more than the 1.6-litre base model. The extra $5500 is worth it alone for Suzuki swapping the gasping naturally aspirated four for a smaller capacity turbocharged four-cylinder with the charmingly '80s tag 'BoosterJet'.

Power may only be 103kW and torque a respectable 220Nm, but it weighs just 1100kg, give or take. Power may only be 103kW and torque a respectable 220Nm, but it weighs just 1100kg, give or take.

Power may only be 103kW and torque a respectable 220Nm, but it weighs just 1100kg, give or take.

Worth noting Matt Campbell and I disagree on the merits of that base engine (and I don't mind that he's wrong), and Richard Berry agrees that it's not that bad, unless you've driven the two engines back-to-back.

Inside there's plenty of Alcantara and fake-leather trim. Inside there's plenty of Alcantara and fake-leather trim.

Standard are 17-inch alloys shod with excellent Continental tyres, Alcantara and fake-leather trim, six-speaker stereo, auto wipers and headlights, climate control, adaptive cruise, heated and folding rear vision mirrors, LED headlights, keyless entry and start, hill-descent control, sat nav and a space-saver spare.

The modest 7.0-inch screen runs the system you'll find across most Suzukis and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2019 model year brought a stronger safety package, with forward AEB, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitoring, weaving alert and reverse cross-traffic alert, bringing it up to speed on that front.

Over the next few months we'll be looking at how the Vitara performs. Over the next few months we'll be looking at how the Vitara performs.

Over the next few months we'll be looking, as much as we can in this COVID-restricted world, at how the Vitara performs. It has a never-ending stream of competitors throwing the kitchen sink at this price point so a few months in the Alcantara-trimmed saddle, where the Vitara will meet many of its rivals, should prove its mettle.

Acquired: August 2020

Distance travelled this month: 220km

Odometer: 398km

Average fuel consumption for [month]: 8.3L/100 (measured at the pump)