The new Suzuki Vitara was teased late last August, with a single full-body shot from the front three-quarter view. Now, it has finally been unveiled in full at the Paris Motor Show, slotting below the soon-to-be-axed Grand Vitara (but slightly above the new SX4) to directly tackle B-segment crossovers like the Ford EcoSport, the Peugeot 2008 and the Honda HR-V.

Reviving a nameplate that was dormant since the original was discontinued 16 years ago, the new Vitara features styling that has stayed relatively faithful to last year’s iV-4 concept. There are some classic Vitara touches – such as the clamshell bonnet, the fender vents and boxy rear wheel arch flares – that have been interspersed with new details like the LED projector headlights with blue lenses.

The interior is dominated by a full-width contrasting trim piece on the instrument panel, which together with the U-shaped trim around the gearlever is said to relay the toughness of an SUV. Round air vents and a large round clock – both “motifs of the Grand Vitara”, according to Suzuki – sit at the top of the dashboard and give the car a “youthful and sporty look.”

Options include an SX4-esque panoramic roof with two sliding panels – which Suzuki claims is a world-first – as well as a seven-inch touchscreen audio system that can be operated with gloves.

As is becoming the norm with small cars, the new Vitara has apparently been designed with personalisation in mind. Apart from the 15 exterior colour choices (plus two roof colours), buyers can also choose different front grilles, fender garnishes, instrument panel trim pieces, air vent rings and even clock faces.

They can also opt for one of the two styling packages – an urban package with chrome fog light bezels, chrome body-side mouldings and a rear spoiler, as well as a rugged package with skid plates, black fog light bezels, black body side mouldings and protection for the loading edge.

Powering the new Vitara are a choice of two engines, both displacing 1.6 litres. The petrol unit develops 118 hp at 6,000 rpm and 156 Nm at 4,400 rpm; the diesel mill produces the same amount of power but at 3,750 rpm, as well as 320 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

Manual transmissions come as standard for both motors – a five-speeder for the petrol, six speeds for the diesel – but the petrol model also gets an optional six-speed automatic with an expanded lockup range and paddle shifters. In addition to standard front-wheel drive, Suzuki’s four-mode ALLGRIP four-wheel drive is also available as an option.

Under the skin, the new Vitara comes with MacPherson strut suspension at the front, while the torsion beam suspension at the rear incorporates a U-shaped design first seen on the SX4. In addition to seven airbags, the Vitara also comes with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) as well as Radar Brake Support (RBS) that applies automatic emergency braking at speeds above 5 km/h.