The two players
Maruti Suzuki has launched an all-new version of the Dzire compact sedan. This is the third major update for the automaker’s highly successful sub four-metre sedan and looks to be the most comprehensive one since the car came into existence 10 years ago. This generation change arrives at time when the market is undergoing an SUV revolution and Maruti Suzuki being the market leader already has a lead in the game with the Vitara Brezza. It’s a compact SUV, and is well ahead of the competition. But then, so also is the Dzire which with this new car has raised the bar of what to expect in that segment. So if you are someone looking to spend some good money on a new car and want to go for Maruti Suzuki only here is a comparison of its current biggest hits in the market. Here we have picked the top-of-the-line diesel powered ZDi Plus AMT variant of the Dzire and the ZDi Plus variant of the Vitara Brezza.
We first examine the new Dzire. It is now a fully loaded creature and gets all the bells and whistles that you can find in this part of the market like automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system, dual front airbags, rear AC vents, leather wrapped steering wheel, button start, projector head lamps with LED DRLs, reverse camera and 15-inch alloy wheels. In addition to the dual airbags you also get ABS with EBD. These are features that were standard on C-segment sedans just a few years ago which gives us an idea of just far ahead the game has come.
Given the small difference in pricing there isn’t much to separate the Brezza from the Dzire. Let us begin with the cabin where as compared to Dzire, the SUV loses out on the rear vents, leather wrapped wheel, dual tone interiors, cooled glove box, driver arm rest storage, multi-function display and ISOFIX anchor points for a child seat. On the outside it loses out on the rain sensing wipers, roof rails, automatic head lamps and cruise control. Now these may seem like a lot of features are missing but when you take it as a whole it is not actually a deal breaker.
Under the hood
Moving on to the mechanicals, they are both powered by the four-cylinder 1.3-litre Multijet diesel but in the Dzire it produces 75bhp/190Nm while in the Brezza the output is 90bhp/200Nm. The Dzire does have an advantage here and a pretty obvious one at that which is that it is offered with an AMT (automated manual transmission) while the Brezza gets a five-speed manual. It may be a slightly old two pedal setup but it’s a two pedal setup nonetheless and on our increasingly congested roads, that is a boon which relieves the burden on the left leg as well as the mind.
The whole picture
Now that we have poked around in the details and discovered their similarities and differences, let us take a step back and consider the cars for what they are. Both have been born out of regulations meant to encourage the creation and existence of small cars. They push to the very limit what is permissible in the rule book and are the products of experienced hands in budget maximisation. Underneath they are both front wheel drive monocoques but here one is a compact sedan with a boot while the other is a mini SUV with ground clearance to match the looks. In a market driven completely by customer demands these represent the latest choices among buyers.
The Dzire AMT ZDi Plus is priced at ₹9.40 lakh while the Vitara Brezza is priced at ₹9.69 lakh - a difference of ₹29,000 which exists because SUVs are currently the flavour of the market and charging a marginal premium of this nature only adds to the car’s stature and positioning.