Maruti Suzuki Ritz

The Ritz is another small car from Maruti launched in 2009. It is based on the Swift and is developed as a global car by Suzuki. In India it comes with the competent and modern K-12 series petrol engine and the 1.3CRDi engine sourced from Fiat. It will compete against the Ford Figo, GM Beat, Hyundai i20 and Fiat Grande Punto

2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz

India’s biggest autimobile manufacturer has got it right again with the Ritz

We’ve lost count of the number of cars that Maruti Suzuki has in the small car segment. The Ritz is probably number nine. Developed as a global car by Suzuki, the Maruti Suzuki Ritz was launched in 2009. Globally sold as the Suzuki Splash and also as the Vauxhall Agila, in India it has been positioned between the Wagon R and the Swift (the new Swift will be launched in August or September of 2011). With pricing starting form Rs4,13,130 to Rs4,70,769 for the petrol and Rs4,93,337 to Rs5,48,498 for the diesel variant ex-showroom New Delhi, it remains a strong contender despite new launches.

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Sure the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati, Jaguar so on and so forth are desirable brands and so are their cars. And why shouldn’t they be aspirational, rather they better be since you’re paying through your nose. But here’s the thing. Small cars can be desirable as well. And no one knows that better than Maruti Suzuki. The company is after all the best in the world in making small cars and if I may add, make good small cars. And hopefully along the way they hope to make their small cars aspirational. It’s a tough ask but it is possible, take the Swift for example.

It’s important for manufacturers in the small car market of having their cars seen as aspirational. After all the lions share of all cars sold is in this segment. The brand positioning and advertising of the Ritz suggests that. And from what the name suggests, it is meant to convey an upmarket image; that of elegance of style.

Design

Stylish you may say it is to an extent. First thing you notice is the tall-boy proportions but the height is well disguised by the pulled back roof, large smart headlamps, flared wheel arches but the part that we like the most is the rear with the boomerang shaped tail lamps. Other good design elements are the steeply raked windscreen, tipping forward stance and the rising beltline. The Ritz is the company’s sixth global car and in India it is vying for supremacy in an already crowded small car segment. The cutthroat completion in this segment requires cars to be distinctly styled and the Ritz delivers on that front.

Interiors

The interiors are well designed, the petrol variants get blue inserts on the dashboard and doors, with the same colour used for the seat fabric. The silver surrounds of the air-con vents and the central console with the incorporated gear lever make for impressive interiors. There are some nice touches like the large white coloured speedo and the tachometer which is mounted on the dashboard. The ergonomics are good and while there is a lot of use of plastic, quality is an improvement from previous Maruti Suzuki cars.

The tall-boy design translates into a high driving position which is good for city driving and also lends an airy feel to the cabin. There is sufficient space for the front and rear seat passengers, knee room by small car standards is generous but interior space is nowhere close to the Tata Indica Vista. The Ritz has a large 236-litre boot which is bigger than the Hyundai i10 and it also has a 60:40 split rear seats.
The top-of the-line ZXi petrol comes loaded with steering mounted controls, front airbags, music system, ABS, and alloy wheels with 185/70- R14 tyres. There is no option for climate control like in the case of the Swift and the diesel version has no ABS.

Engine and performance

This is the area where the Ritz is sure to score over its competitors. When launched the Ritz was equipped with the all new K-series petrol motor. With its all-aluminium twin cam 16-valve design, throttle-by-wire, an offset crankshaft, and lightweight pistons and connecting rods, the engine is smooth with almost Honda like refinement.

Making use of the tax benefits the 1.2 litres produces 85PS of power at 6000rpm and 113Nm of torque at 4500rpm. 100kmph is reached in around 14seconds which makes the Ritz faster than its main competitor the Hyundai i20. With a claimed top speed of over 150kmph this predominantly city car is well capable of stretching its legs on the highway. The engine is matched to a 5-speed gearbox and it delivers an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 17.7kmpl, the figure is marginally less than the i20.

The diesel unit is the all familiar 1.3CRDi motor used in the Swift, SX4 and many Fiat cars. Though the engine is originally a Fiat unit, Maruti Suzuki has tuned it to be more refined, efficient and responsive. The diesel clatter is minimal, it revs and is enjoyable to use. Generating 75PS@4000rpm and a torque figure of 190Nm@2000 the Ritz reaches 100kmph in a little over 15seconds. This is faster compared to the Fiat Grande Punto, Ford Figo and the GM Beat. The 5-speed gearbox is nice and slick and the Ritz gives an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 21.1kmpl making it one of the most fuel efficient diesel hatches in India.

Ride

The ground clearance is high owing to the tall boy dimensions and the damping works well on all road conditions. With McPherson struts upfront and a torsion beam with coil spring at the rear, the slightly stiffer setting feels compliant and composed even when the car is fully loaded.

In the handling department while the Ritz is not as sporty as the Swift’s (shares the same underpinnings) it still manages to strike a good balance without compromising the handling. Body roll exists but the precise steering gives you a sense of control at all speeds

Competition

The current favourite is the Ford Figo with its diesel and petrol options. With its attractive pricing, interior space and ride, the Figo is the car from which Ford India has made the maximum money. The GM Beat now comes with a diesel unit and it has to be on your radar. Then there is the i20 from Hyundai which is still selling in large numbers and the Fiat Grande Punto with its awesome styling and ride quality.

Verdict

The Ritz blends a super combination of a strong petrol and diesel engine, good interior space, practicality and fuel efficiency. We were impressed with the balance achieved between ride and handling which the company isn’t particularly good at. The build quality is better than what we have seen. The Ritz makes a sensible buy without being a boring car to drive.

what is your take

Latest Maruti Suzuki Ritz news and reviews articles:

Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India

Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India

Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India
Maruti-Suzuki Ritz Elate Edition Launched In India

Honestly the Maruti Suzuki Ritz hatch is dying a slow death and to revive its sales figures Maruti has announced a special edition of the Ritz and christened it as the Ritz Elate. But just like every other special edition cars sold in the Indian market this hatch too received only some cosmetic upgrades both on its exterior and interior.

The cosmetic upgrades comes in the form of a new body graphics on the exterior of the new Ritz while the interior gets a new 2Din music system with USB, CD, Aux and powerful speakers. The Ritz Elate cabin also gets new colorful seat covers, new floor mats which match with the overall theme of the car and lastly a multipurpose bag in which you can store various important documents and things. The special edition Ritz Elate also gets reverse parking sensors which also comes with digital display it will help the person reverse the car in tight spaces by alerting them with sound alerts. The Ritz Elate also gets a Bluetooth Kit along with the car.

The special edition Ritz Elate is based on the VXi/VDi trim and thus powering the Ritz Elate is a 1.2 Liter K series Petrol engine while there is also a 1.3 Liter Multijet diesel engine. The 4 cylinder petrol engine generates 87 Ps of peak power at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm while the 1.3 Liter 4 cylinder diesel engine produces 75 ps of peak power at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. Both the Petrol and diesel engine are offered with a 4 speed automatic transmission beside a regular 5 speed manual transmission.

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10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India

10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India

10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India
10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India

The star in our list of the 10 most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in India is the Fiat manufactured 1.3-litre multijet engine. Used by Tata, Maruti Suzuki, Chevrolet and of course Fiat, this engine is featured in 6 different cars. Ironically the Fiat Punto only features in our list in number 10. Maruti, Tata and Chevrolet engineers have all managed to get better figures than Fiat engineers which is an irony. Also is a surprise that unlike 5 Maruti Suzuki’s which made it to our list of petrol hatchbacks, only 2 were able to make it in this time around.

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2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi

2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi

2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi
2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi
2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi
2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi
2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi
2012 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz ZDi

The last couple of years have been eventful for Maruti Suzuki. Last year the manufacturer struggled with labour strikes which disrupted production and seriously affected sales and this year things turned even uglier which resulted in Maruti stopping production and firing hundreds of workers who were responsible for the mayhem that led to the loss of life of a manager at their plant in Gurgaon. Competition from Hyundai, Toyota and Ford has significantly affected Maruti sales of small cars but amidst all this Maruti Suzuki has also crossed the 10 million mark for car sales in India. The manufacturer is the first to achieve such a target and it has taken in over 28 years since it first entered the Indian market. Maruti’s Gurgaon factory has started production and Maruti is also seriously considering the option of shifting operations to Gujarat. The manufacturer meanwhile has launched a facelift version for the Ritz hatch but for the moment only for the diesel variant and prices for the Ritz diesel now start from Rs5.31 lakh to Rs 6.23lakh ex-showroom New Delhi which is an increase of around 20000 from the existing prices. Maruti has also introduced an all new ZDi variant for the diesel variant which was earlier only available with a petrol engine.

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2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz

2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz

India’s biggest autimobile manufacturer has got it right again with the Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz
2010 Maruti-Suzuki Ritz

We’ve lost count of the number of cars that Maruti Suzuki has in the small car segment. The Ritz is probably number nine. Developed as a global car by Suzuki, the Maruti Suzuki Ritz was launched in 2009. Globally sold as the Suzuki Splash and also as the Vauxhall Agila, in India it has been positioned between the Wagon R and the Swift (the new Swift will be launched in August or September of 2011). With pricing starting form Rs4,13,130 to Rs4,70,769 for the petrol and Rs4,93,337 to Rs5,48,498 for the diesel variant ex-showroom New Delhi, it remains a strong contender despite new launches.

Read more
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