•1.3L mill feels very lively in this car
• Exterior Design Language looks butch yet contemporary
• Well balanced Suspension set-up for comfort & handling
Not So Good
• Rear seat lacks in under-thigh support
• A rear A/C vent would have been appreciated
• Power-Window knobs are again a carryover from Swift
Maruti now looks malaise with their “only small car potent” image and so with the launch of Vitara Brezza they plan to take over those Preconceived Notions. Well, Maruti has launched the Brezza in the price range where previously they fall short of expectations with the Baleno saloon and somewhat with the SX4 too, but considering the kind of response that Brezza got just after the launch, Maruti this time seems to be in right direction.
‘C.V. Raman’, product head of Vitara Brezza, expects it to be a volume driver in the segment and since the Brezza is being 96% localized, Mr. Raman is also eyeing the export market. Designed on Suzuki ‘C’ platform, Vitara Brezza being sub-4 meter is Maruti’S closest contender to challenge Ford’s Ecosport.
Alike the Ecosport, Vitara Brezza too does not looks small and appeals to be an SUV with its imposing stance though is a sub 4-meter compact SUV. Having said that, the Brezza does look butch, yet urban. The face looks notorious housing a single bold chrome slat on the grille adjoining to the HID headlamps with ‘bull horn’ like DRL at the edge. Look below and the sculpted bumper housing silver skid plates intuited in the black cladding seamlessly adds to the SUV characters.
Move to the side and the first thing that strikes your cord is the contrast roof color theme which comes only in the top ZDI+ variant, precisely pearl arctic white roof with cerulean blue and fiery yellow and then the midnight black roof with blazing red. The contrast color theme also highlights the floating roofline which further incorporates the rear spoiler. Up-front, the flown out wheel arches and the black cladding looks purported covering the 16” alloy wheels. The profile is further enhanced by contrast ORVMs with turn indicators and a single profile line running the length of the car.
Walk to the rear, and you will find the profile complementing the urban character of the car and in-fact the Brezza looks even wider from this angle. The tapered windscreen and the wide rear overhang with broad license plate area looks acquaint and the big silver skid plates does nothing but brings some SUV drama for the purpose. Moreover, what adds some more spice is the styling cues like chrome embellishment atop the license plate area and the ‘bull-horn’ layout at the edge of the tail-lamp cluster.
The Ambiance Inside
Being inside the Brezza first thing that becomes apparent is the commanding road view which really facilitates driving. Even the interior feels a definite step-up from what we were used to in a Maruti. The interior of the Brezza feels plush and the material used feels premium. The all black color theme with silver highlights on the dash and the doors looks sporty and the piano black finish fringing the infotainment screen adds some niche appeal to inside the cabin. The overall layout is uncluttered and the texture finish atop dash feels rugged. What further impresses is the smart use of utility spaces like cup-holders in the central console and under-dash storage making it easy to carry knick-knacks. Massive door pockets also looks enough to serve for those big bottles and a hook behind driver’s seat also adds to the practicality quotient. What more looks a smart play is the under-seat storage that can be used for various purpose say keeping valuables. But the cherry on the cake is something that Maruti has added new. It’s the mood- light backdrop of the instrument cluster that can be customized with five different color options (red, blue, orange, Yellow, white). That said, there are bits and pieces taken from older swift such as the power window switch assembly and the gear stick which now feels dated to look at.
The front seat of the Brezza is well bolstered for an ethnic built Indian and the cushioning is also firm enough to keep you comfortable on the long go. Apart, driver seat is also height adjustable and the leather wrapped steering wheel is tilt adjustable and feels chunky to hold. Talking about the rear, the seat feels the same to the one on the current Dzire which lacks in under-thigh support. However, that shave off is seen as a benefit in the legroom which feels enough to sit leg folded. Even the headroom at the rear is decent but what still can be demanded is a rear- A/C vent which is there in compact SUVs that exceeds 4- meter in length, such Renault Duster and Hyundai Creta. Moreover, Brezza has a boot space of 328 liters which looks big enough to carry for four. It can be further extended by flat folding the rear seats for those house shifting duties.
What else, the Brezza is well equipped and has some add on features that are not yet standard in the sub-4 meter segment such as rain sensing wipers and auto-headlamps. Some of the other feature highlights are Engine Start-Stop; Climate Control; Cruise Control; Power folding wing mirror, anti-pinch power driver side power window, reverse parking camera assist and most importantly the Smart-play infotainment system within trend the connectivity features like Mirror-link, remote control app for Smartphone, Apple Car Play and a Navigation System. Apart it has all other features that are standard in the segment.
What powers the car
Performing duty under the hood of the Brezza is the potent 1.3L DDIS 200 engine. It is a 1248cc DOHC 4-Cylinder turbocharged diesel mill that propels a max power of 89 bhp @ 4000 rpm and an impressive peak torque of 200 Nm @ 1750 rpm. This engine is mated to a 5-speed M/T and in combination, it has a claimed fuel economy of 24.3 km/l. We have driven this engine in previous Marutis such as Swift, Ertiga, Ciaz, Baleno and even the 1.3 S-Cross and to be honest, every time we drove, it brought a smile on our face.
But long time after the swift, it’s this time that this engine feels so agile and lively. It seems that Maruti has really pushed hard this time so that this engine feels refined and up a notch in the Brezza. Just with a gentle tug on the gas pedal, this engine swiftly pulls this 1195 kg SUV and as you pedal down the metal, at about 1900 rpm a quick surge of power kicks in and this becomes even more apparent as you shift-up. Moreover, the Brezza has a strong mid-range which allows you to rev post 4500 rpm and the gearshifts besides being responsive also are tall enough to make those overtake maneuvers a breeze. However, as in other Marutis, there is a little turbo lag even here at around 1450 rpm and that sometimes does disappoint while navigating in city traffic.
Overall, the brezza does feel agile and can make a 0-100 drake in 12.96 seconds which makes it faster by 0.71 seconds from the EcoSport. Having said all that, do not mistake it to furiously fast as it’s a compact SUV and will not offer an athletic feel.
Ride and Drivability
This is the area where Maruti actually has marked improvement. The refinement levels are quite apparent as Maruti has seamlessly worked on the NVH levels and that gives Brezza a supple a ride quality. The engine of the Brezza becomes audible only after you rev post 3700 rpm and even the tire rumbles are well restricted till 130 km/h.
Maruti are the ones who have mastered Indian roads which is quite speculated with the suspension set-up of every Maruti launched in last decade and same is the case with the brezza. It offers a well balanced tune of comfort and handling. The Brezza offers brilliant straight stability and even at charging speeds of about 140 km/h, it remains in control while changing lanes. Even while taking sharp corners at about 75 km/h, you does not loose on confidence as it tackles all those corners with humble body rolls. Keeping the occupants in comfort, the Brezza hovers over all rough surfaces without making too much fuss and soaks those big potholes pretty well too.
Now that being said, I would have liked Maruti to have worked little more on the steering feedback as that would have made this ride a perfect package. Now by saying that I no way mean that the Brezza disappoints, even it responses good on the steering inputs. Where it lacks little is in precision to hit the nose of the car exactly on the point. Rest the steering feels accurately weighted while clocking triple digit speeds and that gives you enough confidence while maneuvering on winding roads.
How safe it is
In terms of safety, Brezza comes standard with Driver side airbag and seat-belts with pre-tensioned and force limiter while ABS and passenger side airbag and is an option available across variants. Moreover, something that adds credentials to the car is the fact that ahead of the regulations in the country, Vitara Brezza is certified with off-set and side impact safety norms, thanks to Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) that prevents the car from rolling over.
Now at the end the only thing I ask myself is that why anyone will put their money in the product? Though I really enjoyed being behind the wheels of the Brezza, but still this is not the car for the enthusiasts. But what makes the Brezza to generate volume is the overall package that it offers. It looks masculine and contemporary, feels up a notch inside, has an impressive feature list, feels agile to maneuvers and though steering feedback can be improved, it doesn’t disappoints while cruising at high speeds. So if you are in the market looking for complete balanced product which along with your job duties will also make those weekend highway drives a breeze, the Vitara Brezza is the one for you.