Until Maruti equips the facelifted Brezza with a diesel, it will pack the familiar 1.5-litre K-series 103bhp/138Nm BS6 petrol engine; in either a five-speed manual or a four-speed auto avatar, and we’ve reviewed the manual version for this story. On paper at least, this engine’s output figures look appropriate to tug the 1110-1140kg (kerb) Brezza around.
Now, as you crank the engine, there’s hardly any noise at idle, and is the case till about 2500rpm. As we got going, we noticed that the response from this motor isn’t exactly sprightly, but it's far from lacking. There’s just about enough uninterrupted power hitting the front wheels at slower speeds to prevent it from bogging down, and is helpful while keeping up with traffic.
In fact we eventually discovered that this engine is quite flexible. We never had to downshift from fourth gear, even at 20kmph; which says a lot. Once this motor revs over 2100rpm, the response quickens noticeably, and post 2500rpm, it comes into its own.
Thankfully this exciting mid-range response is a pleasant deviation from the earlier character, and essentially makes for some swift motoring. So it picks up from ideally 2500rpm and holds strong all the way to the 6400rpm rev-limit. This permits for some quick overtakes or to maintain speeds on those highway trips.
Now, although the engine decibels increase with the rising rpms, it doesn’t get harsh and the superior sound insulation dials down the related NVH significantly. As for the manual five-speed gearbox, although it feels rubbery to go through, the shifts can be accurately performed due to the well-defined gates, and the short stubby lever. This is further complemented by a clutch action that’s not only light, but also progressive.
The Brezza’s ride quality tilts more towards taut at slower speeds. Although far from soft, it isn’t jarring over small bumps at all. But yes, there’s some up-and-down motion as the going gets rough. On the other hand, bump absorption from the dampers improves as you go faster, as a result of which, the ride quality gets flatter. Furthermore, we appreciated the lack of suspension noise which just ups the comfort levels.
When it comes to the Brezza’s steering, it is light and reasonably responsive, with two and a half turns from lock-to-lock. However, it isn’t as direct as, say, the Nexon’s steering response, and still feels vague around the centre. Similarly, the Brezza may not be as surefooted as some of its segment rivals, but the chassis setup allows it to keep its composure around bends since it is quite light. This trait sucks the effort out of driving the Brezza, making it feel like a hatch at the wheel.
As for the brakes, there’s a good bite, but we’d have appreciated more feedback at the pedal.