Ever since its introduction in 2016, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has undisputedly ruled the sub-four metre SUV segment. It won the coveted ICOTY award in 2017 and its average monthly sales never dropped below 12000-13000 units. Introduced with a single diesel engine, it later received an AMT option with the model year update. Now with the newer competition arriving at the scene, Maruti Suzuki has introduced a facelift for the Vitara Brezza. Apart from the tweaked exterior and revised feature-list, the updated Vitara Brezza also gets a new 1.5-litre K-series BS6 petrol engine. So let us take a detailed look at what has changed in the new Vitara Brezza compared to the outgoing model.
Although changes on the exterior are quite restricted, the tweaked nose is now adorned with a new chrome grille replacing the toothed design seen on the older one. This chrome slat grille is flanked by a redesigned headlamp signature. And housed in the headlamp units are a projector and LED DRLs which look quite striking compared to the plain-Jane design of the older model. Even the front bumper is reworked with larger, circular fog lamps and a prominent bash plate design.
Part of the update are those dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels. We think this alloy wheel design is much more appealing and adds the necessary styling quotient which was lacking in the older car’s silver (and later black) finished alloy wheels. At the back, there’s only a mildly restyled lower bumper and a new lighting design for the LED tail lamps. Also part of the update is the new paint scheme (including the ‘torque blue’ you see here) and more dual-tone combinations.
Maruti has tried to play safe with design changes on the new Vitara Brezza. After all, you don't fix something that's not broken, right? However we wish, the styling changes were a bit more substantial. This is the first major update for the Vitara Brezza since its introduction and with the looming competition, a bit more effort in terms of design would have helped the sub-four metre SUV to soldier on for few more years.
If you think the exterior changes are limited, there are no changes on the inside except for the seat upholstery and new touchscreen infotainment system. So, the Brezza continues with an all-black cabin with piano-black inserts around the centre console and air vents. The silver trim on the passenger side above the glove box and on the door pads breaks the monotony. All the buttons and switchgear are shared with other Maruti models and none of them give a chance to complain about.
Taking the centre-stage is the seven-inch touchscreen which now features Maruti’s new ‘Smarplay Studio’ system. This new system is a big improvement over the one offered in the older model. Not only does it get more connectivity options, but it also has a better and modern interface which is intuitive to use as well. The new fabric seat covers are a welcome change as well while the cabin remains quite practical with ample storage space and well-sorted ergonomics. Both the front and back seats offer good all-round support. Also, the substantial headroom makes the cabin feel large and airy than it actually is. On the flip side, the plastic quality remains the same which is acceptable for this segment but its competitors like the Hyundai Venue offer better quality material.
For the first time since its introduction, the Vitara Brezza is offered with a petrol motor. The engine in question is the familiar 1.5-litre K-series four-cylinder unit which makes 103bhp and 138Nm. The BS6-compliant motor is available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox. Since the 90bhp/200Nm 1.3-litre DDiS diesel of the older Vitara Brezza won’t be reincarnated into the BS6 avatar, we could expect the larger 1.5-litre diesel to arrive later. This new in-house developed diesel currently powers the Ciaz and Ertiga and has proven to be quite refined as well as frugal.
Coming back to the petrol motor of the new Vitara Brezza, the K15 unit is quite flexible and packs enough power to tug the 1110-1140kg (kerb weight) of the compact SUV. Where the 1.3-litre diesel of the older car suffered from turbo lag, noisy diesel clatter, and lack of power; the new petrol motor is refined and has a strong mid-range. You can read how the new Vitara Brezza drives in our detailed First Drive Review over here. When it comes to fuel efficiency, the diesel was one of the most frugal motors on sale, but the new 1.5-litre unit isn’t a guzzler either with a claimed fuel efficiency of 18.76kmpl.
Apart from the change of heart and subtle design tweaks, the Vitara Brezza remains fairly unchanged. Which isn’t a bad thing at all since Maruti’s compact SUV has managed to hold on to the segment crown for so long and has retained all its USPs with the update. As for the new powertrain, the petrol-powered SUVs are gaining popularity and the Vitara Brezza shouldn’t find it difficult either. But we do expect the diesel variant to arrive soon to continue its lead over the competition like the Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport.
Pictures by Kapil Angane