2016 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza- Driven
We were able to get our hands on the top end ZDI+ variant
We all have at least one single nostalgic moment attached with the Maruti 800. After all, for all the kids, youth or middle age men belonging to the era of nineties, this one car happened to be their first ever family car, thus being a part for most of their memorable moments. However, over all these years, the Indian car market as well as Maruti Suzuki itself have evolved a lot, which not only has made the average Indian car buyer mature as well as picky, but at the same time, has made the Indian car makers competitive enough to make cars which are better and modern in one way or the other.
Speaking of Maruti Suzuki, the manufacturer has come a long way from being a maker of small mini hatchbacks to a name which now makes everything from an entry level hatchback to a premium crossover. And yes, it now also has a significant contribution in the fastest growing segment of today’s times – that of the compact SUVs. Now, the combination of Maruti Suzuki and SUVs never happened to be popular in the past, with its only offering in the SUV segment in the form of Grand Vitara being a big flop in India in the past, due to the image of Maruti Suzuki as only a small car maker.
But that’s now a thing of the past, and as Maruti Suzuki too is being perceived as a maker of value for money premium car makers, it has made its debut in the compact SUV segment in the form of Vitara Brezza. Developed fully in and for the Indian market, the Vitara Brezza since its launch in August 2016 has been shattering all the records and benchmarks of the sub-four meter SUV segment and is consistently finding a place in the top ten selling cars in the Indian market, thus putting Maruti Suzuki as a prominent name in the highest UV seller in India, one title which nobody would have thought it would bag.
Now, for a compact SUV which is consistently raking in 8000-10000 units per month and at the same time, commanding a waiting period of nearly six to seven months, the Vitara Brezza needs to be special. What all things are making the Vitara Brezza this popular and special, which is managing to outsell its competition? Let’s find out:-
- Year: 2016
- Make: Maruti-Suzuki
- Model: Vitara Brezza
- Engine: inline-4
- Transmission: 5 speed
- Horsepower @ RPM: 90
- Torque @ RPM: 148
- Displacement: 1.3 L
- Top Speed: 112 mph (Est.)
- Price: INR 966000
- Price: Affordable
- car segment: compact cars
- size: Compact
- Purpose: Family Cars
- body style: suv
- Overall: 7.7/10
Like all the other prominent names in the compact SUV segment, the Vitara Brezza too has the muscular and stubby stance which makes it larger than what it actually is. The lifted off frontal stance with a boxy design with clear lines make it look a bit old school, but then, there are some clear details in its design, which makes it an SUV of today’s times. The Vitara Brezza is actually based on the XA-Alpha concept which Maruti Suzuki previewed few years ago at the Delhi Auto Expo, and while it isn’t as flashy as the latter and has got a much toned down design in its production guise, it gets a number of design cues and features, making it a contemporary vehicle.
Starting off from the front, the Vitara Brezza gets a lifted off stance with a chunky looking chrome grille, which gets squared off fins within it clearly inspired from the XA-Alpha’s front grille. The headlamps have a simple rounded rectangle like design, but then, they do get funky looking projector bulbs with daytime running LEDs. The front bumper too has a bulgy design, with black claddings and prominent positioning of fog lamps with turn indicators placed above them, which is something other vehicles in its segment are not having.
The side profile of the Vitara Brezza does get a rather clean profile with two sharp creases – one running from the front headlamp and ending up on the rear door, and the other being below of it which starts on the rear door and ending up in the rear tail lamp. The black colored body cladding form the front bumper is extending all the way onto the sides as well, giving it a lofty stance, which is further complemented with its high 200mm ground clearance. The top most variant of ZDI+ gets a dual tone treatment for its roof, which gives it a stance of a floating roof. The doors and mirrors have got very mild design, making the overall side profile appear boxy. However, the 5-spoke alloy wheels have been given a very nice and upmarket design treatment.
At the rear, the Vitara Brezza has got a bulky stance, thanks to the wide profile accentuated by two big trapezoidal tail lamps and a big thick chrome bar with the name of the car embodied on it, much like what we have already seen on the Renault Duster. These tail lamps do get the same kind of LED light guides as on the front headlamps.
|Overall Length (mm)||3995|
|Overall Width (mm)||1790|
|Overall Height (mm)||1640|
|Turning Radius (m)||5.2|
On the insides too, the Vitara Brezza has got a boxy treatment with the squared off dashboard, which gets complemented with the detailing and lines on the door panels and center console. matching with the exterior color. While most of the bits like steering wheel, power window switches and the large 7-inch touchscreen are something which we have already seen on the S-Cross, the center console has a different looking rounded rectangle design, which ends up with the Auto AC controls and cup holders. The left portion of the dashboard gets two glove boxes, with the lower of the two being a cooled box.
Where the Vitara Brezza excels is the clever space management it offers. Despite being a sub four meter car, the Vitara Brezza doesn’t feel short on space, and has more than required leg room, head room and boot space of 328 liters, making it quite a spacious car. The rear seats have got the provision of 60:40 split pattern, which can be helpful in extending the boot space, while carrying additional luggage. In terms of features, the Vitara Brezza gets almost everything which we have been seeing in a car of this segment, like projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs, alloy wheels, push button start, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, 7-inch touchscreen music system which gets reverse camera, navigation, voice command system and Apple Carplay, automatic climate control, cruise control, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, steering wheel with audio, bluetooth and cruise control buttons, cooled glove box, tilt adjustable steering, electrically adjustable, front center sliding armrest and foldable rear view mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat.
All in all, the Vitara Brezza does look boxy and not as outstanding or European as its rivals like Ford Ecosport and Hyundai Creta, but then, the features and detailing on the car make it look modern and upmarket.
For the time being, the Vitara Brezza is being offered with a choice of only one engine – the tried and tested Fiat-sourced 1248cc, four cylinder, DDIS 200 diesel engine, which we have already seen on other Maruti Suzuki offerings like Ciaz, Ertiga and S-Cross as well. Here on the Vitara Brezza, the engine develops a healthy power output of 90 PS, while the peak torque is rated at 200 Nm.
Like on the other offerings from Maruti Suzuki which come with this very engine, the Vitara Brezza pulls off in a linear fashion with a minimal turbo lag, which is quite impressive, however, it could have done with slightly more amount of power, as even with the full force on the throttle, the engine doesn’t pulls off instantly. Though, the car begins to pick up some pace once the rev counter crosses the 1500 rpm mark, with a nice linear surge of torque flowing across the rev range. The engine is not something which an enthusiast will love, and it lacks the punch and adrenaline rush of the 100 PS Ecosport, but then, it has an adequate amount of power, decent enough for your daily duties and occasional highway runs, without feeling underpowered anywhere.
Fuel efficiency has always been a big trump card for Maruti Suzuki, and here on the Vitara Brezza, the 1.3 liter engine delivers a claimed fuel economy of 24.3 kmpl. Though, on the test runs, we did obtain a combined fuel efficiency of 21.4 kmpl, which is pretty impressive for a car of this size.
|Engine Type||DDiS 200|
|Engine Capacity (cc) / No. of Cylinder||1248 / 4|
|Bore x Stroke (mm)||69.6 x 82|
|Max Power (kW@rpm)||66 @ 4000|
|Max Torque (Nm @ rpm)||200 @ 1750|
All the offerings of Maruti Suzuki, whether it’s the entry level Alto 800 or the premium crossover S-Cross, are known for imparting a perfect balance of ride quality and driving dynamics, and the Vitara Brezza is no exception. This mini SUV has got a setup of McPherson struts with coil springs at the front and a torsion beam with coil springs at the rear, much like most of the other cars of this segment. However, the car excels in delivering smooth ride quality, with the car moving over all kinds of tarmacs and rough sections with ease.
Despite its height, the nice weight distribution and monocoque chassis translates in a negligible body roll, making it an able handler. The steering is adequately light for the city, but gets perfectly weighted at higher speeds, and never feels vague at any point. The turning radius of 5.2 meters is also decent enough, making it very maneuverable in city peripherals, and at the same time, its high ground clearance of 200mm enables it to glide over all big obstructions. In terms of braking, the Vitara Brezza does misses out on rear disc brakes as that on the S-Cross, but then, the brakes are adequate enough and get the assistance of ABS, EBD and BA.
VARIANTS AND COLOUR
The Vitara Brezza is being offered in six different – LDI, LDI(O), VDI, VDI (O), ZDI and ZDI+. All the variants get driver airbag as a part of standard equipment, with the (O) variants adding in passenger airbag, ABS, EBD and BA over their regular variant. The prices for the Vitara Brezza start at Rs. 7.19 lakh for the LDI variant and Rs 9.66 lakh for the ZDI+. The dual tone roof treatment is available only on the ZDI+ as an option, which is available as the top-most variant priced at Rs. 9.88 lakh. Following is the complete bifurcation on the basis of variants:-
|Features||LDI||LDI (O)||VDI||VDI (O)||ZDI||ZDI+|
|ABS with EBD and BA||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Body colored door handles and ORVMs||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVMs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (Foldable as well)|
|Push button start||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Features||LDI||LDI (O)||VDI||VDI (O)||ZDI||ZDI+|
|Rain sensing wipers||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|60:40 rear split seats||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cooled glove box||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Rear wiper and washer||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Dual tone roof||No||No||No||No||No||Yes (O)|
|LDI||LDI (O)||VDI||VDI (O)||ZDI||ZDI+|
|Price (in lakhs)||7.19||7.32||7.74||7.87||8.67||9.66 – single tone|
9.88 – Dual tone
After a very mild response to the S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki thought that the Vitara Brezza has to be more accessible to the Indian masses, which is why it launched the Vitara Brezza in its regular channel and not NEXA, which is present only in selected cities. This move was one perfect shot by Maruti Suzuki, as since its launch in the Indian market, the Vitara Brezza is selling like hot cakes, and from day one, it has been commanding long waiting periods, proofs which are enough to seal the fact that it is another superhit product from Maruti Suzuki.
But then, there are several reasons which make the Vitara Brezza such a successful product. Firstly, it has got a true blue SUV stance, which makes it feel much larger than what it is, despite its small dimensions, thus making it a win-win situation for those who want size but at an affordable cost, and the ratio of such people is now much larger than before, proved by the increasing sales of compact SUVs. Secondly, it has got an impressive list of features, with many of its features not available in its competitors like Ford Ecosport and Mahindra TUV 300, giving it an edge over the latter. Thirdly, it is the most spacious sub four meter SUV on sale right now, and kudos to Maruti Suzuki for managing out clever space management for the car, as usually sub four meter cars are blamed for being tight on legroom. Fourthly, the Vitara Brezza has got the very successful 1.3 liter diesel engine, which is not only decent in terms of power, but also is high on fuel efficient. And lastly, thanks to its monocoque frame, the ride quality is supple, while the handling is also great as well.
But then, there is another side of the story, with the Vitara Brezza having a fair number of shortcomings as well. Firstly, the Vitara Brezza is available with only one option of a diesel engine, and with the increasing number of petrol car buyers in this segment, the Vitara Brezza is losing out to competition a bit, as they offer petrol engines as well. Secondly, the power delivery is predictable and suffers a lack of power in bottom end of the rev range. Thirdly, the ride quality and driving dynamics of the car are decent, but then, it isn’t as enthusiastic to drive as say, Ford Ecosport. But then, all the advantage aforementioned above, and adding in the huge service network and low maintenance costs of Maruti Suzuki make sure that Vitara Brezza keeps on writing new records in the segment for many more months to come.
- * Styling
- * Features
- * Ride and handling
- * Price
- * No petrol engine option
- * Bottom end power