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Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Introduction

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Without a doubt, the compact SUV segment is one of the most difficult to crack. To start off with, manufacturers have to work on a chassis which is shorter than four metres, yet it should look macho enough to pass off as an SUV and should have enough cabin space to please the ever sceptical Indian car buyer. As you can get sedans for the same money, performance shouldn’t be lacking too. Now that is a hell lot of demand from a segment which has loads of restrictions. 

But if there is one manufacturer that can fully exploit this segment, it has to be India’s largest car maker. Maruti Suzuki has been on an unprecedented run for the past decade and almost every segment they have touched, have turned to gold. With immense experience and customer understanding, it is next to impossible that Maruti will get it wrong (S-Cross is an exception). Meet the Vitara Brezza, a grounds up SUV developed in India for India. The Brezza is already a huge success with Maruti picking up massive 40,000 plus bookings in just over a month’s time. That figure is even more staggering considering the Vitara Brezza comes only in diesel manual guise.

Design and Style

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

As far as looks are concerned the Vitara Brezza, tries hard to pass off as an SUV. The boxy door panels, long bonnet, large 16 inch wheels, near vertical front windshield and the floating roof design shouts SUV. In the top ZDi+ you can opt for dual tone exterior colour too. Maruti has chosen colour combinations quite wisely with the blue and yellow shades getting a white roof while the red comes with a black one. The large front grille, front bumper with large air intakes and stylish projector headlamps gives it an in your face look. Unlike the Ford EcoSport, Brezza’s spare wheel is neatly tucked away in the boot so from the rear it looks more like a jacked up hatchback. The ruggedness comes from the black cladding that hugs the lower portions of the bumper. 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Brezza is based on Suzuki’s global C-platform which also underpins the European Vitara. Its wheelbase of 2500mm is identical to its European cousin and that’s where the similarities end. Where the European car comes with AWD, the Indian Vitara is designed to be a front-wheel-drive only. So there are no intrusions inside the cabin from the transmission tunnel and you get a flat floor at the rear. Maruti has been at the forefront of making light cars and the Brezza is no exception. At 1170kg it is more than 100kg lighter than the EcoSport which contributes to the exceptional fuel efficiency which we will come to later. 

Interior

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

On the inside the Vitara Brezza might fool you into thinking that you are sitting inside a conventional hatchback. After the busy exterior, the interior paints quite a calm picture.The dashboard looks minimalistic and we wish Maruti employed some chunky knobs or other bits to compliment the exterior. Like in all modern Maruti’s the CarPlay enabled touchscreen infotainment system takes centrestage and the high quality display feels very modern. Plastic quality and fit and finish are at par and it does feel slightly better than its chief rival the EcoSport. Lower down and on the door pads it’s apparent that Maruti has cut corners and plastics feel hard and shiny. In pursuit of saving weight the Brezza also doesn’t feel as solid as it should. The light doors shut with a shallow thunk and it lacks the solidity of the EcoSport. There are many bits shared with the cheaper Swift too, like the power window switches, steering wheel, stalks etc. 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Considering Brezza’s compact footprint, Maruti has done a commendable job of generating maximum cabin space. The engineers have cleverly used vertical space and unlike an SUV you sit quite low in the Brezza. This means getting in and out through the large doors is extremely easy. The front seats are big and have acres of legroom. But, the Brezza really surprises as far as rear space is concerned. There is enough kneeroom for an average sized adult and even headroom is generous. The backrest is set quite upright and there is enough thigh support to make you comfortable. On the downside, the seat cushioning is too soft which makes long drives a bit uncomfortable. The boot at 328 litre, though slightly smaller than the EcoSport’s, feels much more convenient thanks to the hatch opening and well-shaped bay. You also get 60:40 split seats for added convenience.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Safety and Equipment

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

In the top ZDi + trim the Vitara comes loaded with features. It gets a touchscreen infotainment system which houses Apple CarPlay, navigation, auto climate control, key-less go, reverse camera with sensors, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, daytime running lamps and a comprehensive trip computer with five different mood lighting for the instrumentation. In terms of safety, Maruti offers two airbags and ABS as option across the range. We just wished it was standard as in the Baleno.

Engine, gearbox and performance

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Twist the key and the familiar 1.3-litre, 89bhp engine settles into a smooth, albeit gravely idle. In this higher tune, the Brezza employs a Variable geometry turbocharger. Despite that you’ll discover a bit of hesitation at low revs, but this engine’s power delivery has been tuned to be far less spiky than on the Ertiga or even the Ciaz. As a result power comes in more smoothly when the turbo comes on. Still, it’s not as immediately responsive as the 1.5-litre Duratorq motor in the Ford EcoSport, so you do need a bit of planning when you slot in and out of gaps.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Post 1800rpm is where the action is, and the strong mid-range is where you should aim to be when you are driving. The engine, which is quite refined and smooth at low and mid-rpms, gets quite vocal at higher revs and it doesn’t like being stretched to the redline. So it’s best when you use the mid-range, upshift early and power on. The short throw manual gearbox though could have been a bit smoother in operation. Maruti has also employed a shorter final drive gear ratio 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 and make it much faster than the EcoSport. Again its lean shape does come in handy here.

Ride and handling

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Although its lightness helps its performance, it also makes the ride a bit jiggly at low speeds and the suspension is 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 and it is something you can live with.

On the contrary, its high speed ride is fairly flat and even road undulations doesn’t bother this Maruti SUV. 

Thanks to its rigid monocoque construction, the Brezza behaves like a normal hatchback around corners. 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 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. 

The brakes, on the other hand, offer good bite and stopping power and it just takes 38.29 metres to come to a dead halt from 100kmph. But the initial pedal feel is wooden and a more linear feedback would have been welcomed.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Price and fuel economy

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Thanks to 98 per cent localisation, Brezza’s killer price of Rs 9.54 lakh for the top ZDi plus variant is just an icing on the cake. For now, the Brezza just comes in diesel manual guise and prices start from Rs 6.99 lakh for the base LDi variant. 

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Brezza’s lightweight has a big role to play. It returned 14.1kmpl in the city and 19.2kmpl on the highway. This gives a fantastic range (75 per cent city and 25 per cent highway) of around 680km before you need to refuel the large 48-litre tank.

Verdict

Final Rating: 3.87/5

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Vitara Brezza doesn’t shine in any particular area but instead it comes across as a very well rounded package. It has a right mix of look, tech and practicality but it does have its shortcomings. The proven 1.3-litre diesel engine is on the nosier side, the typical Japanese light build doesn’t go very well with it being an SUV and the stiff low speed ride is not the most comfortable. But these are very small shortcomings for an otherwise well thought out and engineered product. The fact that it is very well priced is just an icing on the cake.

Pictures by Kapil Angane

Click here to read our Maruti Suzuki First Drive review

Click here to read our Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza vs Mahindra NuvoSport vs Ford EcoSport vs Hyundai i20 Active: Comparison test

Click here to read our Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: First Look Review

Click here to read our Mahindra TUV 300 vs Ford EcoSport: Comparison Test

Click here to read our Ford Ecosport 1.5l diesel road test

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Specifications

CAR NAME Maruti Suzuki Brezza
Variant ZDI+
ENGINE  
Fuel Diesel
Installation Front, Transverse
Displacement 4 cyls, 1,248cc
Bore/stroke 69.6/82mm
Valve gear 4 valves per cyl, DOHC
Power 88.5bhp at 4000rpm
Torque

200Nm at 1750rpm

Power to weight 74.05bhp per tonne
Torque to weight 167.36Nm per tonne
Gearbox 5-speed manual
CHASSIS & BODY  
Kerb weight 1195kg
Tyres 215/60 R16
Spare Full-size
STEERING  
Type Rack and pinion
Type of assist Electric
Turning circle 10.4m
BRAKES  
Front Ventilated discs
Rear Drums
Anti-lock Yes

Test Data

CAR NAME Maruti Suzuki Brezza
Variant ZDI+
PERFORMANCE & BRAKING  
0-20kph 1.02s
0-40kph 2.72s
0-60kph 4.97s
0-80kph 8.46s
0-100kph 12.78s
0-120kph 19.14s
   
20-80kph in 3rd gear 12.87s
40-100kph in 4th gear 15.98s
   
80-0kph 24.04m
FUEL ECONOMY  
City 14.1kmpl
Highway 19.1kmpl
Tank size 48 litres
Range 683km
INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS  
Front  
Legroom(Max/min) 820/610mm
Headroom(Max/min) 975/900mm
Shoulder room 1455mm
Backrest height 630mm
Rear   
Legroom(Max/min) 790/580mm
Ideal legroom 650mm
Headroom 950mm
Shoulder room 1420mm
Seat base length 475mm
Backrest height 600mm
Boot 395litres
Length/width/height 795/1000/500mm
Loading lip height 740mm
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Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 9.2 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 9.35 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 8.69 Lakhs onwards
Pune₹ 9.15 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 9.14 Lakhs onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 8.59 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 9.35 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 8.76 Lakhs onwards
Chandigarh₹ 8.53 Lakhs onwards
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