Home / Reviews / Shootout / Maruti Ritz – Urban Zipper


After the amazing success of the Swift, Maruti introduces the Ritz with the intentions of winning hearts once again. Does it succeed?

Story Adhish Alawani

Photography Sanjay Raikar


I have always been fond of small cars. The reason for this is quite straightforward. When you reside in a country like India where the roads are narrow, potholes are in abundance, parking spaces are inadequate and the traffic is as disciplined as stray cattle roaming around in search of hay, small cars offer a practical solution. To support my theory are the sales figures of the last fiscal showing that the Alto has been the highest selling car in the Indian market. It is one of the cheapest and decent cars available in the country today. However, recent trends indicate that while the masses are still buying small cars, they want more than just a vehicle to go from point A to point B and are ready to pay a bit more for it. Maruti Suzuki has been the strongest player in the small car segment in India. Nevertheless, the company has been facing competition from other manufacturers who have also started exploiting this segment. The Swift worked wonders for Maruti in the medium segment hatchback; however with time, its inadequacies as a small family car cropped up and being in the market for four years, prospective customers now wanted something fresh from the carmaker.

From the inside, the Ritz gets the typical grey treatment to the dashboard. A shelf above the glovebox and another one with a lid above the central AC vents give you the option to stow away your stuff at various places. The single dial central instrumentation console packs in a lot of tell-tale lights across its circumference. The ZXi gets a neat integrated audio system similar to the Swift. Interestingly, the real surprise comes in the form of the interior space of the Ritz. I call it interesting considering the fact that the Ritz is built on almost the same platform as the Swift, in fact with a slightly shorter wheelbase, and yet has plentiful interior space. The tallboy design not only frees up a lot of space, giving an airy feel on the inside but is also a boon for taller people.

Now that we know what the Ritz is like from inside and outside, let us see what drives it from its bay. Maruti offers the Ritz with a couple of engine options in the form of a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel. The petrol motor powering the Ritz is the brand new K12M engine masterminded by the boffins at Suzuki with new age technologies ensuring a refined drive with better fuel efficiency. The powerplant produces 85PS of peak power at 6000rpm and a peak torque of 113Nm at 4500rpm. Lending the car an extremely tractable character, the petrol engine ensures a comfortable drive through the urban chaos. However, rev it hard and the car disappoints. This isn’t an enthusiast’s car but in any case, the Ritz was never really made to be like that. It is for the levelheaded family guy who wants a comfortable drive through the traffic and at the same time expects decent fuel efficiency. The 17.4kmpl overall economy ensures just that and makes the Ritz a definite class leader. Pulling comfortably right from under a thousand revs, the 1.2-litre petrol engine is a wonder in the stop and go traffic situations witnessed across most of the cities in the country. The oil burner unit on the other hand comes in the form of the highly successful and extremely loved 1.3-litre oil burner from the FIAT’s stable. This is the same engine that does duties in an array of vehicles in the country today including the Swift. However, once again, the Ritz diesel fails to impress the enthusiast in me as much as the Swift diesel did. In spite of having the same motor in the bay, the Ritz didn’t excite me as much as the Swift did. The reason for this lies in the weight of the car. The Ritz is 30 kilos heavier than the Swift which hampers the power-to-weight ratio leading to a slightly sluggish feel. Apart from this, the engine has been retuned to meet the Bharat Stage IV norms and this could also be a reason for the motor loosing out on the peppy feel. A slight surge of torque is experienced after 2000 revs, however, it isn’t as much as the Swift’s, thus giving you a feel of a more linear delivery and ascertains a rather uneventful drive for the torque fanatic. However, with a phenomenal fuel efficiency of 20.8kmpl overall, the Ritz diesel bypasses the benchmark set by the Swift in this segment and makes it a dream machine for everyone looking out for their first car.

Ritz has sound stability at high speeds. Without a hint of uneasiness, it manages to be rock steady on highways. However, go fast around corners and you start experiencing prominent body roll. Push her more and the car starts feeling nervous, making the driver back out. With the top end petrol Ritz running on the 185 section rubber, the grip is adequate and gives you a lot more confidence than all the other variants (top end diesel VDI included) which run on the 165 section tyres. The tyres, it seems are biased towards a longer life than outright grip and keep screeching all through the hard cornering maneuvers. With the marginally shorter wheelbase as compared to the Swift, the Ritz has lost a bit on the handling front. The right hander – left hander switchbacks, or vice versa, are scary at high speeds, once again proving that the Ritz is not meant for the enthusiast. On the other hand, the drive in the city on the bumpy and pothole laden roads of Pune was a lot more comfortable in the Ritz with the softened suspension damping, probably being up there with the best in the segment. The aim was to make the Ritz a better car to drive in the city and Maruti has certainly struck the right chord with it.

So what do you get from the Ritz as a complete package? A smooth and refined drive, a peaceful cabin, ample room, class leading efficiency and everything you’d desire from an urban tool. Where does it lack then? Apart from the slightly heavy steering which is a bit of a concern when it comes to parking the car in tight slots, the Ritz it seems is perfect for the city and the occasional highway runs. Pricing has always been Maruti’s USP and further tilts the scales in the Ritz favors. To say the least, our long term petrol variant is already winning our hearts.


About the author: admin



Recent posts in Shootout


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code

four × = 32

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *