Home / Reviews / First Drive / 2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza BS VI Petrol Test Drive Review

 

The new Brezza come powered by a 1.5-litre BS VI petrol engine and hopes to retain the top spot of the compact SUV segment of India. Here’s everything you need to know about the car.


The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has been a runaway success. In less than four years of its launch, this compact-SUV has sold over five lakh units. Now with the strict emission BS VI norms in the picture, the company has decided to shelve the popular FIAT-sourced 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine in the new Brezza for a cleaner 1.5-litre K-series petrol unit. We drive it in Goa to see if the change is for the good.


Design
The design of the new Brezza hasn’t been changed completely but has been given tweaks to make it appear more SUV-like and more appealing. There’s a new chrome grille with a larger Suzuki badge upfront, along with a restyled bumper and a nice silver-finished faux skid-plates. Our ZXi+ test car came with new LED projector headlamps, where the integrated DRLs also act as indicators. The fog-lamp housing has also grown in size and holds bright LED fog-lamps. The entry-level LXi gets simpler projector headlamps and separate indicator units which make that variant look more like the older Brezza. There’s a new dual-finish alloy 16-inch wheels and Maruti have also introduced a few dual-tone body colour options like red with black roof, grey with orange roof, and blue with black roof. At the back there’s a roof-mounted spoiler, satin-finished faux skid-plates and new LED tail-lamps, giving the car an overall refreshed appearance.

Cabin
The dashboard design of the new Brezza remains unchanged, so there’s a good mix of textures and useful storage like a cooled compartment above the usual glove-box. There are a couple of coffee mug holders and a sliding front arm-rest. The seat comfort remains the same but the ZXi+ now gets new upholstery and height-adjustable seat-belts. The height of the driver’s seat can also be adjusted and the steering comes with tilt-adjust only. It’s good to have split rear seats, so you can fold part of the back-rest to accommodate luggage of various sizes.

Features
To make the entire package of the new Brezza more appealing, Maruti have introduced several new features. Though the infotainment system might look similar to the one in the older model, it’s been upgraded with the new SmartPlay Studio which can seamlessly connect with your smartphone (Android or Apple) and it provides turn-by-turn navigation and call assist. In top variants, the screen also acts as the display for the reverse camera. However, the touchscreen isn’t the most intuitive and sometimes doesn’t respond as quickly as one would wish. You also get multi-function steering voice command and even cruise control in the new Brezza. Adding to the convenience are the auto-folding wing mirrors, self-dimming in-car rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, and climate control.

Safety
To keep the occupants safe the new Brezza gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, seat-belt pre-tensioner, and Isofix child seat, to name a few. Some might be disappointed that the Brezza still doesn’t offer the option of a sun-roof. It could have compromised the structural rigidity of the car and would have forced Maruti to redesign the entire roof. The Brezza, if you remember, had received a four-star rating in the Global NCAP crash test, making it one of the safest cars in the Maruti Suzuki line-up.

Engine
We got to drive both the versions of the new Brezza: the manual, which is priced between Rs 7.34-9.98 lakh, and the automatic one, ranging between Rs 9.75-11.4 lakh (ex-showroom). As you know, there’s no diesel engine on offer and you only get the 1,462-cc four-cylinder petrol unit which already can be spotted in other Maruti Suzuki cars and makes 105 hp and 138 Nm. Similarly, the gearbox options are a five-speed manual or a four-speed torque converter with mild-hybrid tech. This is a smooth motor with linear power delivery, making it quite likeable and feels premium to drive compared to competition which depends on smaller 1.2-litre engines.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Petrol Automatic
The automatic version of the new Brezza gets that additional thrust from the mild-hybrid system in lower revs, making it very impressive for basic city driving. The extra push comes handy in situations like when you get on the gas after crossing a speed-breaker or overtaking slow-moving cars around the street. This system makes the new Brezza an easy-to-use everyday car, as mild-hybrid does a decent job of compensating for the relatively slow four-speed automatic ’box. Things are just fine as long as you’re not in a tearing hurry because that’s when the engine starts to feel stressed as it has to rev itself really hard to deliver the desired performance. Part of the challenge is that there’s no way to control the shifts since there are no steering-mounted gear-shifters or manual control. So, you’ll have to simply adapt and drive with a lighter right foot.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Petrol Manual
If this bothers you, then you should consider the manual version. Yes, of course you have to deal with the regular gear-shifts and clutch modulation, but it gives you full control and amplifies the sheer driving pleasure. Since you now have the option of holding on to each gear higher up the revs, you can extract more punch out of the 1.5-litre engine. The only hiccup is that the motor’s mid-range tapers off early. That’s why you’re forced to downshift every time you want to spool up the motor in a hurry. This is where you miss the hefty torque that diesel engines offer. Rev the K-series hard enough and it carries three-digit speed with ease and sporty sound from the engine adds to the thrill. And it’s efficient, too, as the manual version claims to return 17.03 km/l, while the frugal AT with its mild-hybrid system stretches a litre of petrol for 18.76 km.

Ride and Handling
The MacPherson struts and torsion beam combination continues to shoulder suspension duty and does a fine job of it. As before, the new Brezza remains fairly planted over broken roads and remains composed at highway speeds. In fact, its pliant ride quality is one of the reasons why we liked the first-gen car so much. Handling, on the other hand, could do with a more communicative steering wheel. It’s light and ideal for city use but those who like to drive fast through corners would desire some more feedback.

Price and Conclusion
With only one petrol engine on offer now, Maruti also misses out on the Excise benefit offered by the government to sub-four-metre cars with petrol engines up to 1.2 litres only.

The entry-level Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza LXi manual is priced at Rs 7.34 lakh while the top-end ZXi manual costs Rs 9.75 lakh (ex-showroom). If you want the dual tone roof colour option then be ready to pay about Rs 25,000 more. For those who are interested in the automatic variant the prices range between Rs 9.75 lakh and Rs 11.40 lakh (ex-showroom).

So, this makes the base variant of the new Brezza about Rs 45,000 to Rs 70,000 more expensive than its competitors like the Tata Nexon and Hyundai Venue respectively.
The Brezza is a proven model and now has upped the game in terms of features and styling to provide better value. But you miss out on things such as wireless phone charging and better connected-car features which the newbies already offer and the soon-to-be-launched Kia Sonet will surely have more in store. Having said that, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza remains a safe, efficient, and very dependable option which you cannot ignore.

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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