The compact SUV segment has become the heartthrob of Indian automobile industry within no time. It all started with Ford EcoSport who is solely responsible for the origin of compact SUV segment which now almost every carmaker wants to own and dominate. India’s largest carmaker Maruti might be the king of small cars but when it comes to highly lucrative segments, it failed to deliver and biggest examples of it are Grand Vitara and S-Cross.
To cash in the volume generator segment, Maruti Suzuki arrives with all new Vitara Brezza which is carmaker’s first attempt in this vary segment. Showcased first at 2016 auto expo, Vitara Brezza is the product designed and developed entirely in India. With close to 98 percent localization, it comes with an aggressive price range of Rs. 6.99-9.68 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). Remember the name Vitara which was first used with Maruti’s SUV the Grand Vitara which was a letdown. William Shakespeare’s quote ‘What is in a name’ seems to be going perfectly with Vitara Brezza despite related name still car already garnered more than 40,000 bookings in just 30 days. So does it have what it takes to rule the segment? Let’s find out:-
As said extensive local content helped Maruti to priced it competitively, the base variant starts at Rs. 6.99 lakh while the feature loaded dual tone color Zdi+ variant which accounts more than 50 percent of total bookings is available at just Rs. 9.98 lakh.
Engine and Performance:
The oil burner Diesel seems to be synonym when it comes to powering a SUV as there are lesser petrol SUV buyers in India. Vitara Brezza is powered by tried and tested 1.3l DDis Multijet motor which develops 89bhp of max power and 200Nm of high torque, matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox. It delivers segment best fuel efficiency of 24.3 KMPL which is better than EcoSport and TUV300. As expected, the car has an initial turbo lag up to 2000rpm with punchy mid range between 2500-4000rpm and decent top end performance.
Thanks to lighter weight, the SUV can cruise to 100km/hr in just 13 seconds which is quicker than EcoSport and even TUV300. As far as NVH is concerned, it is probably the best diesel powered Maruti; there is hardly wind or noise creep inside the cabin and you could hardly feel any vibrations too. When it comes to corner carving, it feels like another hatchback and easy to live it too thanks to excellent braking performance, taller gear ratios and responsive steering wheel. The car absorbs the bumps and potholes thrown at it with ease thanks to McPherson suspension and ground clearance also plays an important and major role in it.
Space and Dimensions:
The Brezza is sub 4m meter car with 3995mm length slighter short than EcoSport but still it scores high in this section. The driver gets a commanding view of the front due to lower dashboard, seat height adjustability and tilt steering wheel function which gives commanding view of the front and it will be one of the selling points of the compact SUV. In addition, front seats are well padded and supportive for long journeys.
Moving to the rear seats, which have ample amount of legroom, shoulder space though but taller passenger especially above 6’1” might find legroom limited. It also boasts decent amount of headroom space even for tall occupants and Maruti could have offered AC vents at rear. The Maruti engineers able to carved out 328 liters of boot space which not be the biggest but still enough to absorb 3-4 backpacks. Though 60:40 rear seat spilt enables you to make more space for the luggage.
Designing a sub 4m vehicle is hell of a task some might out winning hearts while some don’t. In the case of Vitara Brezza, it’s a well proportionate vehicle in the segment as well as market. The Brezza is based on XA alpha concept showcased in 2012 auto expo but apart from Size no other trait is similar to it. There is no particular thing that lifts up the design but things like toothy front fascia flanked by projector headlamps, uniquely placed turn indicators; aggressive front bumper and quadrilateral air dam compliments each other to make SUV cool and stylish.
Moving to the sides, first thing you will notice is the floating roofline and two character lines. The flared wheel arches, neat alloy wheel design, dual tone roof top, black cladding, upright pillars add to the bold stance of SUV. The rear doesn’t get spare wheel unlike EcoSport and TUV300, instead it feature a conventional tail gate that open upwards. It does resembles S-Cross from rear and sport spilt tail lights, chrome bar with Vitara Brezza embedded on it, black bumper with faux scuff plate to add some personality to it. Overall, design may be on the conventional side as it’s not here to win any beauty awards but will grow on you with age and it’s surely one of the better looking cars by the carmaker.
Step inside and there’s an amount of familiarity with previous Maruti model. The quality of plastics and materials isn’t great as Ciaz, Baleno and its arch rival Ford Eco Sport. Despite of Déjà vu elements nothing looks out of place or quirky, you get flat lowered stance black grey dashboard which is more driver centric as compared to complex EcoSport’s. The steering wheel is familiar which now gets more than 10 control button with chrome accents at bottom though leather wrapping is solely miss.
The MID including fuel temperature gauges, outside temperature display isn’t sharp as Baleno though gets five mood lighting options. The SUV gets the premium quotient inside in the form the 7 inch Smartplay infotainment system with Apple car play, mirror link and doubles up by rear view camera with sharp display. Below the infotainment system there is an automatic climate control which feels nice and easy to operate and adds some premiumness to the central console.
Maruti Suzuki is offering driver side airbag on base LDi and VDi variants though one can opt for the optional safety packages that adds ABS and passenger side airbag. The top spec variants feature with reverse parking camera, EBD, engine immobilizer, front seat belt with pre-tensioners and force limiters, rear parking sensors.
Maruti Vitara Brezza is a well rounded package which meets the tastes and requirements of the compact SUV. It is not sporty as Ford EcoSport but still looks cool enough to grab eyeballs. The well proportionate design is Brezza’s strongest points complimented by conventional looks and range customization options. The diesel powertrain offers decent drivability for city and even on highways but it now starts showing its age, though the ‘Kitna deti hai’ factor i.e. fuel efficiency cover it up, we except petrol especially the booster jet engine on Vitara soon.
The deal breaker is very catchy and affordable initial price of Rs. 6.99 lakh while the fully loaded trim is available for just 9.68 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). To Sum up, the SUV has practical and spacious cabin, segment best fuel efficiency, long equipment package, decent performance and above all aggressive pricing making it a great value for money. Finally, Maruti Suzuki has a winner in the compact SUV segment and 40,000 bookings in one month speak enough to justify this statement.