Maruti Vitara Brezza Review
Car Tested: Maruti Vitara Brezza Diesel; Road Test No. 671
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8.49 – Rs. 11.53 lakhs
The Maruti Vitara Brezza is a practical yet feature loaded compact SUV that makes it an appealing package amongst its few rivals
Within no time the concept of a compact SUV gained a lot of traction in the Asian market. That is because one gets the feeling of driving an SUV sitting high up along with its practical size for urban driving conditions and most importantly it doesn’t cost a bomb. We are seeing this segment getting crowded year after year but Asia’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki didn’t have anything to offer, until now. The Vitara Brezza has been engineered and developed entirely by the Maruti Suzuki team in Asia achieving high localisation. Looking at the price positioning and features offered, we are quite sure it’ll sell in big numbers but how does it perform in terms of drivability and practicality? We find out.
Motor Quest: Maruti Suzuki has invested Rs. 980 crores for the Vitara Brezza project lead by the Chief Engineer C.V. Raman. They have managed to achieve 98 percent of localisation on the Vitara Brezza which makes it the most affordable car in its segment. The Maruti Vitara Brezza competes with the Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300.
Exteriors – The styling of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is quite straightforward and simple, which means typical Suzuki design language. The front grille gets a thick chrome slat connecting the two projector headlamps that integrate daytime running lights on the edges. The bumper looks sporty having honeycomb grille, faux silver skid plate and having fog lamps and blinkers placed in a neat housing. The bonnet hood is straight and flat which gives a typical SUV look along with the big wheel arches.
The Vitara Brezza has a tall and well proportioned design language
The dual tone colour variants really add to the visual appeal of the Vitara Brezza. Our test car had a white and blue combo that looks quite bright and fresh. The lower half of the side profile gets rugged cladding and sporty looking twin five spoke alloys. A strong crease runs across the length of the Brezza connecting the headlamps to the tail lamps. The rear profile looks well done because of the perfectly styled horizontal tail lamps, dual tone bumper with black cladding and faux skid plate. The overall silhouette of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is like an SUV and not like that of a crossover.
Interiors – First thing you would notice about the cabin is the comfortable ingress and egress. You just walk inside the cabin, which is also a boon for people having knee problems. The three spoke steering wheel looks familiar but the dashboard is entirely new. There is a neat looking centre console which is enclosed with a gloss black outline. The dashboard is all black but gets silver elements in the middle. The air vents are sizeable and the auto climate control works really well to cool the cabin quickly. The lower half of the centre console has well laid out uncluttered buttons which feel nice and premium to use. Overall quality of the cabin is good but in some places you might find hard plastics and components (window controls, steering stalks) that are shared with older Maruti cars.
The interiors of the Maruti Vitara Brezza have a squarish theme that goes well with its compact SUV character
You get a neat looking instrument cluster which has some fancy tricks up its sleeve. You can change its colour to white, orange, blue, red and yellow. The infotainment system is well kitted up having a nice big touch screen with good touch quality. It offers Apple CarPlay connectivity along with MirrorLink so you can seamlessly stay connected with your phone through the car. The audio quality is above average and many won’t feel the need of changing the speakers. It also offers navigation system which isn’t intuitive to use if you have a habit of using Google Maps. The big screen also doubles up as a reverse parking camera display that is very convenient in congested situations.
The best part about the cabin of the Vitara Brezza is the driving and upright seating position that adds to the confidence while driving. The steering and seat is height adjustable and has a good range so both tall and short people will find a comfortable position to drive. The large glass area ensures that the cabin feels airy despite having a dark interior theme. Maruti has offered clever storage spaces across the cabin including two gloveboxes, the upper one is a cool box while the lower glovebox is the conventional storage to keep documents and essentials. There is a front sliding arm rest with storage, front passenger side under seat storage, 1-litre bottle holder on all the doors, coat hanger, seatback pockets and hook, front cup holders, sunglass holder, rear arm rest with cupholders and more.
The seats are quite supportive and well padded for long trips. There is a good sense of space at the rear too and you have ample amount of legroom for average height adults but tall passengers might find the legroom limited to some extent. Shoulder room is decent too for three passengers at the rear. Head room is excellent, even for tall people. Maruti could have added air vents for the rear passengers but the AC works quite well and you won’t feel the need of it. The engineers have carved out excellent boot space of 328-litres in the Vitara Brezza which can accommodate your luggage for weekend getaways. The best part about luggage space is that the rear seat folds flat down and it is flexible too with 60:40 split. Some of the key features of the Vitara Brezza include cruise control, auto headlamps, auto wipers, keyless entry with push button start, reverse camera and sensors, power foldable ORVMs and more.
Performance – Currently, Maruti Suzuki is offering the Vitara Brezza with a single diesel engine option, which is the popular 1.3-litre MultiJet motor that produces 90 PS of power at 4000 RPM and max torque of 200 Nm at 1750 RPM. There is linear progression from the word go which gets quite strong in the punchy mid-range and tapers out as you reach the redline. You won’t feel much turbo lag while accelerating off the line but on the move when you are on ghats or planning to overtake on the highways without downshifting, you would come across significant turbo lag under 2000 RPM. NVH levels are well controlled but there is wind noise from the A-pillars at high speeds. The 5-speed gearbox is slick and smooth along with a light clutch. The oil burner redlines at 5300 RPM and cruising at 100 km/hr in top gear is quite relaxed at 2100 RPM. Maruti claims best in class 24.3 km/l of fuel efficiency but expect 17-18 km/l in real world conditions.
Driving Dynamics – The Maruti Vitara Brezza is a compact SUV and you don’t expect it to be as fun to drive as its closest rival Ford EcoSport. However, the Vitara Brezza is surprisingly quite engaging to drive on the ghats and confidence inspiring on the straights with its balanced suspension setup. The handling is very predictable as the car follows your steering inputs quickly but not as sharply as the EcoSport. The electric steering is a bit numb in the centre and offers neutral feedback. It is light at slow speeds and weighs up enough for highway cruising. The ride quality is a big USP of the Brezza as it glides over potholes and bumps without getting juddery. Both low speed and high speed undulations are taken care of very well by the suspension setup. Braking is very effective too, we stood on the brakes and it came to a halt without any fuss.
Safety and After Sales Service – Maruti Suzuki is offering driver side airbags as standard on LDi and VDi trims while buyers can also opt for safety package that includes passenger side airbags and ABS for these lower end variants. The ZDi trim is loaded with dual airbags and ABS as standard. The Vitara Brezza is being retailed through Maruti Suzuki’s mainline dealership network and not NEXA. Hence, the reach will be huge and buyers across Asia will be able to buy the new compact SUV without a hitch. The after sales service of Maruti Suzuki as we all know is the best and since the Brezza is heavily localised and sharing parts with its siblings, the maintenance cost should also be light on your pocket.
Verdict – The Maruti Vitara Brezza is a game changer for the automaker as it has all the traits of becoming yet another volume spinner for the company. The price positioning is very aggressive in the segment, the amount of features on offer will woo buyers, the SUV stance is quite appealing, it has a fuel efficient motor and the Maruti badge further attracts a lot of trust on this product. The only drawbacks we could find out were turbo lag under 2000 RPM and cabin noise at high speeds. Otherwise the Brezza is a good all rounder and ticks the right boxes for different types of buyers in varying age groups. After a good while there is a serious threat to the compact SUV segment and an uphill battle for other players to keep up the volumes.
* SUV design cues adds to the presence on the road, dual tone colours look cool
* Interiors are well loaded and look good in terms of styling
* The cabin is very practical having loads of storage space and a flexible boot
* Driving position is upright and confidence inspiring
* Ride and handling balance is well calibrated
What’s Not So Cool
* Considerable turbo lag under 2000 RPM
* NVH levels could have been better at high speeds
Alternatives: Ford EcoSport, Mahindra TUV300
Maruti Vitara Brezza Specifications
* Engine: 1248cc, DDiS 200, 4-cylinder, Turbocharged, DOHC
* Power: 89 HP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 200 Nm @ 1750 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* 0-100 km/hr: 13.3 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 18 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Strut (Front), Torsion Beam (Rear)
* Tyres: 215/60/16 (ZDi & ZDi+), 205/60/16 (LDi & VDi)
* Brakes: Ventilated discs (front), drum brakes (rear), ABS
* Safety: Dual Airbags, ABS, EBD
Maruti Vitara Brezza Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 3995 mm X 1790 mm X 1640 mm
* Wheelbase: 2500 mm
* Ground clearance: 198 mm
* Turning radius: 5.2-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 48-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1195 kgs
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