Vitara moniker has earned quite a name for Suzuki globally though here in India, the response of masses to original Vitara was a cold one. Despite being capable SUV, original Vitara lacked in vitality and uber-cool quotient and failed to cut ice. Further, the absence of diesel exaggerated the negativity and Maruti was forced to call it a day. However, little did we know that the same name would come back with vengeance and make such a solid start for itself? Garnering the bookings upwards of 2600 units within 24 hours of launch testifies the emotional chord Vitara Brezza has struck with the buyers. For now, this compact SUV comes only in diesel guise with 1.3-litre multijet DDiS diesel engine putting out 90 PS and 200 Nm of performance. Company has planned to introduce the petrol later and if the speculations are to be believed, the new 1.0-litre boosterjet engine will be on its way to power Brezza. That said, for the moment the we got behind the wheels of fully loaded ZDi+ variant and here's what we think about it.
Design, Style & Interiors
Vitara Brezza is a well-rounded design. Its balanced proportions and significant cues make it look rugged though sub-4m dimensional parameter somewhere dents into rugged character. In fact considering the overall stretch from head to toe, the car feels more like a large hatchback than SUV.
Upfront the turnout is aggressive thanks to the new chrome grille and dynamic bumper. Skid plates at front and rear add to the aggression though rear design is average at best. Profile has got some nice detailing with high 198 mm of ground clearance backing the credibility claim of the car.
Thankfully Vitara has not fallen for beige interiors and all-black with cues of yellow make up the cabin of our test car. Simply placed vast expanse of black interiors is added by silver inserts. Quality and material choice is of top-notch and though some plastics could have been better, overall scheme is worth applaud. There is abundance of storage spaces and all door pockets have got dedicated bottle holders. Glove box is deep and got cooled feature in Zdi trims. Front seats are impressively comfortable with right contouring and bolstering. Driving position offers good outside view and height adjustment further makes the matter more comfortable.
At the back, there is a mixed bag of feelings. Space is good although two six feet persons sitting behind each other will face the issue with knee room. Further, the raised transmission tunnel makes the things difficult for the third passenger. Boot space however is decent for a car of this size and in fact very well laid out.
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
NVitara Brezza is powered by ubiquitous 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine that also provides grunt to range of other Maruti cars. Its 90 PS is enough on the highways though you won't be able to escape the turbo lag low-down the rev range. In traffic-choked city, need for continuous shift of gears is warranted. 5-speed manual transmission is precise which alleviates the constant shift. Gates are well defined and feel sufficiently oiled through the cogs.
Underlying firmness in Brezza suspension gives it very European like driving manner. Slow-speed ride is not very absorbing but then it's not jittery either. Suspension is biased towards the handling and it shows in the way this SUV comfortably hugs the corners. It is in the leagues of Swift though due to weight on the heavier side, Brezza tends to sway in extreme circumstances.
Brezza is well equipped too as the driver side airbag is standard across the variants. There is optional upgrade of passenger airbag and ABS-EBD on each variant. Further, the features like touchscreen infotainment system, Apple carplay, rain sensing wipers have also got their mention in the list with top trim getting cruise control.
The death blow to competition is served by prices of Brezza ranging between Rs 6.99 and Rs 9.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is hard to fault Brezza as it ticks all the right boxes. It may not be able to emerge exceptionally well on any of the virtues but then it comfortably performs well on all critical considerations. It looks good, has spacious and well laid out cabin and powered by very reliable and fuel-efficient diesel motor. No wonder Maruti has already started minting the money and will keep up this momentum by adding new petrol variant in the upcoming the festive season.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power-Plant &Transmission 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5