Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Maruti Suzuki is one such manufacturer who has had many first achievements to its credit. But somehow when it comes to SUV’s, they have had mixed results to this extent that until recently the home grown automaker played the waiting game in the highly lucrative compact SUV segment. Thus Maruti Vitara Brezza is totally inspired, conceptualized and built in India under the supervision of C V Raman – Executive Director Engineering Maruti Suzuki. One of the most awaited compact SUV’s to be received in the Indian market the Vitara Brezza offers looks along with functionality.

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Exterior
We first got the glimpse of this SUV in February this year during Delhi Auto Expo 2016 and one must say that it created quite a stir. Now that we have right here in front of our eyes, one must say that this machine is very imposing in the manner in which it has been designed. What comes together is a chrome finished honeycomb grille upfront, merging almost seamlessly are a pair of headlamps. The lower half that comprises of an imposing bumper with elements like a pair of turn indicators and fog lamps give it the muscular appeal. Presence of a wider air-dam and silver skid plate provide the much need SUV look that is accentuated by a raised hood. Its side profile gives rise to aggressive shoulder lines which run right across, the presence of OVRM’s with turn indicators and 16 inch alloy wheels make its very appealing to the naked eye. Twin paint scheme (Blue & white) further accentuates the overall design of this compact SUV. While the rear brings together a pair of two-piece LED tail lamp clusters with a significantly provident Vitara Brezza insignia finished in chrome sitting right in the centre of the tailgate. The bumper is a blend of blue and black that houses reflector inserts plus the rugged skid plate completing its SUV look.

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Interior
Hop on board and a familiar cabin will greet you identical to the one available in the Baleno. It is an all black interior with splashes of silver inserts visible here and there throughout the cabin. Like the exterior, the interior too is unique with the front dash featuring a cockpit style instrument cluster that offers different mood lighting (orange, blue, yellow, white and red). It also comprises of a digital information display that furbishes elements such as fuel gauge, temperature, a tachometer and tells the kilometres along with time. Above it is a three-spoke steering wheel with mounted controls for the infotainment system and Bluetooth telephone connectivity. The top end spec which is what we got to sample during the review had a Start/Stop button.  What is more on offer is a SMARTPLAY infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and a built in Navigation which can be found located in the centre console. Connect your i-phone and the system allows one to listen to their favourite music along with the facility of making/receiving calls. It also caters to the option of receiving messages while on the go. Other features include an AUX-in and USB port. On the whole, the sound quality is pretty good for this system. From a convenience point of view, this SMARTPLAY infotainment system also doubles up as a Reverse Parking Camera Display whose resolution is low but does the job nevertheless.

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Chrome strips incorporated within the climate control panel gives the cabin a premium appeal. Its digital display is added benefit to the experience. There are two glove boxes located in the dash, one on top and the other one towards the lower end onto the left hand side to store important vehicle documents and other articles. In fact the one on the top can be utilized as a cool box for that keeping water or that essential cold drink especially during summers. For more storage, there is  a front sliding arm rest and a concealed seat undertray that would come handy. Rest cup and bottle holders can also be found in Maruti Vitara Brezza. Moving to the all important question of comfort, this compact SUV offers all black upholstery in the form of fabric seats. They look sporty but when used they feel a bit hard especially for the buttocks and for long distances could pose an issue. There is ample of head, shoulder and leg room up front while the rear has decent room for occupants. As for boot space its offers 328 litres that is good for carrying luggage for a weekend getaway. Safety features on board comprise off Dual airbags, ABS with EBD and Suzuki TECT (Total Effective Control Technology).

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Engine and performance
Built on new generation C platform, Vitara Brezza currently only comes in diesel. Referred to as DDiS 200, this diesel unit produces 89 bhp of power along with 200 Nm of torque. Transmission duties are carried out by a 5 speed manual gearbox that is relatively easy to use and provides smooth gearshifts. Push the ‘Start Button’ and the engine comes to life, within the first instance its quite cabin will take you by surprise despite being a diesel. Slot it into gear and there we go, the initial impression here is that this diesel power plant does have a bit of lag towards the lower but once in the mid range the engine delivers with ease. The steering is fairly light and does not make your feel as if you’re driving an SUV it is more like a hatchback. The brakes are a bit soft and therefore take a bit of time getting used to especially if you drive another diesel car for daily commuting.

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Considering that there are McPherson Strut with Coil Spring upfront and Torsion Beam with Coil Spring towards the rear, the suspension is a bit stiff for Indian road conditions. In fact going over potholes and broken surfaces this SUV does just about alright to soak in the jolts.  With section 205/60 R16 rubber provided in the top end Brezza, one can say that this one handles well however the lower grades stand to offer 205 section tyres that would compromise its ability. Under 80 kmph this vehicle feels well grounded but the moment you reach triple digits it tends to get unstable. Try to hit the 120 kmph mark, the engine starts to feel restraint and running out of steam indicating that it might not be an ideal highway performer but cruising along without doubt is a worthy option. While city use is what ideally it would be used for.

Maruti Vitara Brezza - First Drive Review

Verdict

With the coming of Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki
India has filled in the much needed gap for its presence in the highly lucrative compact SUV segment. Priced between INR 6.99 – 9.68 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), Maruti Vitara Brezza is a good looking SUV that offers attractive paint scheme bringing out the overall design, which would give competition some to think about. The cabin is up-to-date with the build quality living up to expectations while the power train is slightly underpowered, would have preferred a bigger configuration engine for better performance output nevertheless it will still do the job. On the whole, this new offering have definitely got the market excited as currently the Brezza has got itself more than 40,000 bookings since its launch indicative of its popularity. When compared with the likes of Ford EcoSport whose prices have recently been lowered in comparison to the Brezza, Mahindra’s TUV300 that had created a stir among SUV enthusiasts in the country, this SUV has a lot going for it. The only question is whether you’re a loyalist or the types who does not mind experimenting, then the Maruti Vitara Brezza could be a viable option.