For now, the Brezza packs the familiar 1248cc diesel motor in 89bhp guise. Press the starter button and the engine settles into an accustomed smooth albeit gravely idle. Like experienced before there is initial turbo lag at low revs and you need to constantly shift gears at slow speeds to keep the motor on the boil.
Post 2000rpm though, the engine really awakens and the strong mid-range makes driving effortless. The motor feels free revving too but past 4000rpm power starts to tail off and there is no point stretching it to its 5200rpm redline as the engine becomes really vocal. Maruti has also employed shorter gear ratios as compared to the Ciaz to aid drivability. As a result, the Brezza recorded some decent figures in our acceleration tests. 100kph is reached in a brisk 12.7 seconds and even its in-gear times of 12.87 seconds for 20-80kph in third and 15.98seconds for 40-100kph in fourth are quite impressive too. The short throw gearbox though could have been a bit smoother in operation.
Around corners the Brezza behaves like a normal hatchback which is a good thing. It displays good stability at speed and handling is very safe and predictable, with no nasty surprises. As a family car, meant for sedate driving, the direct and precise steering and easy controls make it a stress-free car to drive. But the steering feels over assisted and it weighs up inconsistently as you pick up speed. Though body-roll is well contained, it doesn’t have the willingness to change direction as the EcoSport and it’s certainly not a car that enjoys being hustled.
As for the ride, due to the light weight it does feels a bit jiggly at low speeds and not very adept at handling sharp bumps, and you can feel the suspension thump through the light body especially at the rear. Though it never gets to the point of being uncomfortable, it is something you can live with. However, as you go faster, it settles down to offer a fairly flat and consistent ride. The brakes, on the other hand, offer good bite and stopping power, but a more linear pedal feel would have been welcomed.