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Old 10th April 2016, 14:50   #1
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Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review

The Maruti Vitara Brezza has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 6.99 - 9.68 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• An all-rounded compact SUV. A neutral package at the right price
• Clean & proportionate styling. Dual-tone paint shades look nice
• Well-mannered suspension riding on big 215/60 R16 tyres. 198 mm of GC!
• Good cabin space for a sub-4 meter car. Lots of storage & a powerful air-con too
• 1.3L 89 BHP diesel is quick as well as fuel-efficient
• Driver airbag is standard. ABS + EBD and passenger airbag are available on every variant
• Features: Cruise control, touchscreen ICE with navigation, auto headlamps & wipers, projector headlamps & LEDs, reversing camera etc.
• Maruti's excellent after-sales support network

What you won’t:

• No petrol engine offered. Boosterjet turbo-petrol is still sometime away
• Ordinary interior quality. EcoSport has better quality & a more solid build
• Missing features vs cheaper Baleno (bi-xenons, telescopic steering, auto-dimming IRVM, leather steering)
• Diesel engine has some turbo-lag below 2,000 rpm (though not excessive)
• Boot has a practical layout, but is still the smallest in the segment at 328 liters
• Forget LDi, even VDi is basic & poorly equipped. ZDi & ZDi+ are the only recommended variants
• Waiting periods rapidly closing in on 6 months

The 1.5L Petrol variant:

Link to Review

This review has been jointly compiled with GTO. Thanks to him for the expert observations!

Last edited by GTO : 16th March 2020 at 11:09. Reason: Linking to petrol
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Old 10th April 2016, 14:50   #2
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Slow in responding to market trends - it's not a statement that'd make you think of Maruti Suzuki. Despite having nearly half of the Indian automobile market, since the last 4 - 5 years, Maruti has been quick to bring out new models, technologies and options. However, the giant has been surprisingly late to the compact SUV space. All these years while the EcoSport & Duster raked in the moolah, Maruti could do nothing, but frown & watch from the sidelines. Its compact SUV was still years away. Truly shocking how Maruti (& Hyundai) were unprepared for the country's SUV craze.

A lot of models and updates from rivals later, Maruti Suzuki has finally launched its first contender for the sub-4 meter SUV segment; though late to the game, this is a nightmare come true for its competitors. After successfully reviving the Baleno brand, Maruti decided to continue with the "throwback nomenclature" of reviving model names of the past, christening its baby SUV - Vitara Brezza. Brezza is an Italian word for breeze, but marketing aside, this is nothing more than an intelligent name-play. The Grand Vitara was far from Maruti's best-selling model, yet the name "Vitara" still has recall value in the Indian car buyer's mind as an SUV. It was an expensive SUV too, so there is some premiumness around the nameplate. Since the Grand Vitara was a non-seller anyway, using its name on a cheaper mass market product has no negative repercussions.

The Vitara Brezza has already driven in 20,000+ bookings (many of which were placed without so much as a test-drive!) and production has been increased from the original 80,000 to 1,00,000 units per annum. In fact, soon after the Vitara Brezza's launch, Ford dropped prices of the EcoSport by Rs. 53,000 to 1,12,300 (depending on the variant). God bless competition .

As Mr. Randhir Singh Kalsi (executive marketing and sales director - MSIL) said, "Unchi is the new lambi." i.e. SUVs today enjoy the same status & desirability as long sedans did at one time. Codenamed 'YBA', the Vitara Brezza is based on Suzuki's global C-platform, which it shares with the full-sized Vitara. Nope, it's not based on the new Baleno platform as work on the Vitara Brezza started before the Baleno's platform was even ready. One look at the kerb weight and you'd know it. While the Baleno is lightweight, for a sub-4 meter Maruti, the Vitara Brezza is on the heavier side. At 1,170 kg (1,195 for the top variant), it's just 10 kg lighter than the S-Cross DDiS 200. The Dzire, with a similar footprint weighs 1,050 kg, while the Baleno diesel tips the scales at just 960 kg. The SUV's structure uses high-tensile steel. Maruti says this is the first car to be certified for the Indian offset & side impact crash tests that are coming in 2017.

The Vitara Brezza has been designed and engineered entirely by the Maruti Suzuki development team in India, led by Chief Engineer Mr. CV Raman. Development began in 2012 and it took around 3.5 years to become the final product that debuted at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo. The company has invested Rs. 860 crore into this project and 98% of the Vitara Brezza's components have been locally sourced. It could have easily been 100%, but the 2% is perhaps to appease Suzuki Japan.

Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review-maruti-vitara-brezza-specifications.png

At 3,995 mm, the Vitara Brezza is 4 mm shorter than the EcoSport. However, not only is the 1,790 mm width greater than the EcoSport's (1,765 mm), it also makes the Vitara Brezza 15 mm wider than the SUV it's based on i.e. the full-sized Suzuki Vitara! But the 1,640 mm height makes it shorter than the EcoSport (1,708 mm) and considerably shorter than the TUV300 (1,839 mm). The 2,500 mm wheelbase is shared with the full-sized Vitara and is 20 mm short of the EcoSport (and incidentally, the Baleno hatchback as well!). The XA Alpha concept was supposed to be a preview for Maruti's new compact SUV, but this mini-Vitara evidently takes its styling cues from the iV-4 concept that was presented at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.

The Vitara Brezza's exterior somehow defines the car as a package - nothing to really complain about, nothing to really exclaim about. BHPian thatsdileep unveiled the Vitara Brezza to the world before its Auto Expo debut. Maruti played it safe with a clean & conservative design that will please all & offend none. The large front bumper has aggressive contours around the indicator and foglamp clusters, while the chrome grille + dull silver faux skid plate combo works well to add a premium yet utilitarian touch. The pilot lamps (that can be used like DRLs) add some character, but they aren't as bright as the ones in the S-Cross or Baleno. During the day, you'll easily miss them.

The side profile is where Maruti's designers have pulled off a masterstroke. As a term, "compact SUV" lands up being synonymous with "glorified hatchback", but that just isn't the case here and the Vitara Brezza looks like a cohesively styled S-U-V. It doesn't have the imposing presence of the TUV300 though. The black cladding along the lower half, blackened pillars, sporty roofline and healthy 198 mm of ground clearance add some appeal to the car.

Looking at the rear, the design looks very familiar, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first. Yes, it does look a lot like the S-Cross, but it also is a bit reminiscent of the old Baleno Altura station wagon, mainly because of the tail light design. The black cladding continues to cut the bulk at the rear and another faux skid plate reminds you of this car's positioning as an SUV. Maruti wouldn't do it because the Japanese are fanatical about weight, but a tail-mounted spare wheel would greatly add to the Vitara Brezza's SUV credentials. The "Bull-Horn" L-shaped LEDs in the tail light cluster bring some novelty and the only thing that's a little off-putting is the plus-sized chrome appliqu้ above the number plate with 'Vitara Brezza' engraved on it.

Like other Marutis, the paint quality is smooth and consistent with a nice sheen under daylight. The Vitara Brezza's styling isn't the most daring, yet in the dual-tone colour options, it is more snazzy and embodies the look many will associate with Minis. The dual-tone option was a smart way of dressing up an otherwise conservative design. The more subtle, but better selling colours (grey, white and silver) are available across the range, while the dual-tone shades (blue/white, yellow/white and red/black) are offered only on the range topping ZDi+. You also get the Vitara Brezza in single tone red (LDi to ZDi), blue (VDi to ZDi) and yellow (ZDi only).

Fit and finish quality is good too, with no glaring panel gaps that will grab the attention of the layman. Build is typical Maruti stuff. The metal feels light at places and doesn't give you that solid feel of a Euro car. The doors aren't as feather-light as the Baleno's, but they're not like an EcoSport's either. Somewhere in between. Shut the Ford's doors after the Maruti's and you know why the American weighs more. The Vitara Brezza's build is acceptable, but nothing else. Must add, the bonnet & boot feel heavy & substantial though.

All variants of the Vitara Brezza get a driver airbag as standard, and Maruti also offers the option of a passenger airbag, ABS with EBD and pre-tensioner + force limiter seatbelts at the front via the LDi (O) and VDi (O) variants. We strongly recommend this safety package.

Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review-maruti-vitara-brezza-features.png

Overall, this SUV shares the same ethos as the Hyundai Creta i.e. it is an all-rounder in its segment, doing most things well, albeit without excelling in any single area. What's important to the market - as the Creta has shown - is there's no deal breaker. However, there are a few elephants in the room that have to be addressed:

Why isn't Maruti offering a petrol?

It's evidently a big goof up to not offer a petrol at a time when the market is swaying toward petrols! Maruti says SUVs are primarily diesel-powered in our country, but that's only for the heavy body-on-frame UVs. Among lighter compact SUVs, petrols have b-i-g potential.

This must have been done to avoid any further delay in the Vitara Brezza's launch. Maruti doesn't have any petrol engine that would work with the car. We saw this on the S-Cross too. The 1.2L K-series petrol would be too puny for this SUV's kerb weight. On the other hand, the lackluster 1.4L from the Ciaz & Ertiga could have offered enough grunt, but would put it beyond the small car excise benefit cap. The higher excise slab would place a Vitara Brezza 1.4's pricing in the ballpark of the 1.3L diesel!

What Maruti will do is offer the 1.0L Boosterjet turbo-petrol later this year. You will remember that Team-BHP fan Naren Konamme broke the scoop on the turbo-petrol at this link. The 998cc, 3-cylinder, 12-valve turbo-charged and intercooled petrol engine makes 110 BHP @ 5,500 rpm and 170 Nm of torque @ 2,000 - 3,500 rpm. Too bad it wasn't ready in time for the Vitara Brezza's launch.

Why was the SHVS system skipped?

Simple economics. The excise duty on hybrids is 12.5%. The Vitara Brezza is already in the 12% bracket (sub-4 meter and <1.5L diesel).

In the 2016 Budget, the government implemented an 'infrastructure cess'. Citing pollution & traffic concerns, the government has imposed an infrastructure cess of 1% on sub-4 meter petrol, LPG & CNG cars with an engine <1.2 liters, 2.5% on sub-4 meter diesel cars with an engine <1.5 liters and 4% on all other cars (i.e. bigger cars & SUVs).

The Ciaz & Ertiga are over 4 meters in length. Hence, they are eligible for a higher excise slab as well as the 4% infrastructure cess. SHVS brings their excise duty down to 12.50% and also exempts them from this 4% infrastructure cess. An SHVS for the Vitara Brezza would bring lesser $$$ benefits than the cost of the mild hybrid system! This is why you don't see SHVS in any other compact Marutis. Makes economic sense in bigger cars, but not the sub-4 meter ones.

Why isn't the Vitara Brezza sold through NEXA?

Because the NEXA strategy is confused to begin with. The Baleno is hardly premium, yet sells out of the supposedly premium NEXA channel. Then, Maruti's regular dealerships sell more expensive cars too (Ciaz, and now the Vitara Brezza).

The real reason that the Vitara Brezza is sold through the regular channel (apart from NEXA's limited reach) is that Maruti dealers were livid after they not only missed out on the success of the Baleno, but also lost many would-be Swift buyers because of the Baleno.

What about AWD?

As is typical of this breed of compact urban SUVs, the Vitara Brezza is available with FWD only. AWD isn't even on the anvil. Remember, this is the same platform as the international Vitara and can run an AWD system, but in the segment, that's hardly a priority. The engineers haven't bothered as the AWD would form 1% of orders at best.

The Vitara Brezza's face is the most eye-catching part of the car!

Similarities with the S-Cross are apparent at the rear. A tail-mounted spare (เ la EcoSport) would've greatly enhanced its SUV credentials:

A very proportionate sub-4 meter SUV. In plain colours like silver or grey, the safe design is really please all and offend none - it's neutral. Unfortunately, the Vitara Brezza looks even more ordinary in the lower variants. Definitely not funky or futuristic like the EcoSport was when it was launched, and not butch or imposing like the TUV300 or Terrano either. That said, in the dual-tone exterior shades, the car looks snazzy and brings an Evoque or Mini-like vibe to a much more affordable segment. Our choice is the red + black dual-tone combo:

Despite the small footprint, it pulls off the SUV look convincingly when viewed from the front. Doesn't look like a bloated hatchback:

The generous ground clearance & butch cladding give it the right aesthetics, but make no mistake - this is an 'on-road' SUV:

Pilot lamps (NOT DRLs) or 'bull-horn' LED light guides as Maruti calls them. They're not as bright as the S-Cross's and are difficult to spot during the day:

Sweet-looking projector headlamps are offered with the ZDi and ZDi+ grades:

Halogen projector for the low beam & a regular reflector for the high beam. Xenon headlamps aren't offered here, even though the cheaper Baleno gets them (image link)! Go figure:

Prominent chrome grille. Toothy top looks somewhat similar to the pattern we saw on the Mahindra Imperio:

Large honeycomb mesh air-dam is split by a black plastic strip that houses the number plate:

The mesh grille is blocked off at certain spots:

Vertically mounted intercooler on the right:

Faux skid plate is finished in matt silver in the ZDi and ZDi+. Other grades get it in black. Application is only on the front side (unlike the Duster whose skid plate extends below). Aesthetic value only, no purpose:

Front tow hooks (on both sides) are nicely integrated:

Partial protective cladding underneath (doesn't even cover the oil sump). Still, 198 mm of ground clearance means we aren't that worried. Took it off the road a couple of times and she breezed through without any complaint:

Indicator is housed independently in the bumper - looks neat. Very old-school layout. Round foglamps below are recessed and get a black surround:

No aggressive contours or lines on the bonnet. Rather clean, just like the overall design:

Headlamp is nicely tucked into the body line:

Egad! Through the bonnet panel gap, you can see the parts inside. Incredibly u-g-l-y:

Windshield washers are placed out of sight (under the bonnet). Tri-nozzle spray action per washer gives them a wide spread:

DDiS badging on both front fenders. It'll be a while before you see booster-jet badges here:

Blackened A-pillar like the Swift. This is a sticker (not paint). Also, lower variants don't get it (body-coloured A-pillar in their case):

Light sensor for the automatic headlamps and rain sensor for the automatic wipers:

Ugly radio antenna is far too outdated. It's inexplicable why Maruti would choose such an old design. The Swift's antenna (image link) is far more contemporary:

Wing mirrors get integrated blinkers:

Yes, they're India friendly. No concerns if a biker side-swipes them:

Both front doors get request buttons for the passive keyless entry system. Driver's handle gets a keyhole too (for use when the smartkey's battery dies out):

Squarish wheel arches for that tough SUV look. Fat tyres greatly enhance the stance. The ZDi / ZDi+ ride on 215/60 rubber (wider than even the S-Cross!), while the lower variants are shod with 205/60 section tyres. 16" rims add to her personality. These rims, like the body styling, are clean & conservative. Nothing too funky:

Front wheel wells don't get full cladding inside:

Mudguards blend into the body-cladding:

Black cladding across the entire car to bump up the butch SUV appeal. Plastic quality isn't flimsy here:

Roof rails sit flush. ZDi / ZDi+ get them in 'gun metal grey', while the VDi / VDi (O) get them in black:

Yes, the roof rails have functional mounts:

Shiny black plastic panel at the base of the pillar for that floating roof effect (seen on the VDi and above):

Tail light bulges out a fair bit outside the bodyline:

Sub-4 meter packaging means a namesake bumper. Negligible gap between the bumper and tail gate. Possibility of body damage is high in a rear-ender:

Drum brakes at the rear. The Vitara Brezza weighs almost the same as the S-Cross 1.3L and has the same power, yet only the S-Cross gets four discs:

Rear wheel-well gets better cladding than that at the front:

Two-part tail lamps. Check out the 'Bull Horn' LED light guides:

Variant badging on the tail:

Rear washer is integrated into the HMSL console. The HMSL lens is white (mostly red in other cars):

Well-sized rear wiper does a good job of clearing the windshield:

Vitara Brezza branding across the fat chrome appliqu้. Bit flashy, but forgivable for what is otherwise a dignified design. Notice how the font size of the new brand Brezza is triple that of the existing brand Vitara:

4 rear parking sensors. Rear bumper has a faux skid plate as well. No rear foglamps, just reflectors:

Exhaust end-can looks hideous. It's easily visible when you're standing behind the car. Should have been properly concealed:

198 mm of ground clearance will inspire confidence on tricky roads. We're getting back on the road here and, as you can tell, it's quite an elevation. She didn't scrape at all:

Witness how the dual-tone paint shade transforms its personality. Will attract a lot of eyeballs:

A look at the Vitara Brezza in white - another colour that will be a popular seller:

The EcoSport was launched back in 2013. Even though it sits next to a brand new car here, the Ford doesn't look older:

The EcoSport does however have more of a hatchback vibe than the Vitara Brezza:

A tail-mounted spare wheel like the EcoSport (or TUV300) would add to the SUV appeal:

The custom dual-tone paint jobs are available on the ZDi+. For Rs. 14,000 more, you can have a contrast coloured roof & wing mirrors. Here's a personal favourite - the Blazing Red with Midnight Black combination:

The Cerulean Blue with Pearl Arctic White combination looks very Mini like (image):

Not a big fan of the Fiery Yellow with Pearl Arctic White combo, but have seen a lot of dealers using this shade for their demo cars:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd August 2018 at 08:16.
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Old 10th April 2016, 14:50   #3
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Interior - Front

Hit the soft request button on the door handle (with the smartkey in your pocket) to unlock the Vitara Brezza and enter the cabin. Ingress and egress are easy. Yes, the 198 mm of GC does raise the floor-line, but you don't have to climb into the car. The seats are at just the right height and even senior citizens can simply sit down and get going.

Once at the wheel, the first thing you'll notice is the great driving position. Both front occupants can see the bonnet, including those of an average height. Many people will particularly love this aspect and we feel it was a deliberate effort by Maruti's engineers.

Roll your eyes onto the dashboard and like the exterior, you're presented with an interior that has been designed to be safe & neutral in its appeal. This is a straightforward and functional cabin layout. It's not as funky as the EcoSport's and, I have to admit, I did like the cheaper Baleno's ambience more. Still, the interior is very user-friendly and all the controls are logically laid out - they're just where you'd expect them to be. We were at home in the car in less than 5 minutes of driving.

Maruti has gone with a classy all black palette and it's cut with eloquent doses of chrome & silver that add a nice touch to the understated arrangement. The black dashboard is smartly styled. You get a nice texture on the plastic, piano black finish around the air-con vents + centre fascia and brushed silver accents to boot. Very tasteful and neutral. However, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to pick out parts from Maruti's common components bin. For instance, the power window console is now long in the tooth (first seen in the Swift ages back) and the steering is all too familiar. Makes you wonder how many more models we will see these parts on, before Maruti decides to try something new.

Fit & finish are acceptable, but nothing more. Plastic quality is what you'd expect of a Maruti. The quality is better than a Swift, but don't expect Hyundai-level finesse in here. Far from it! Even the EcoSport's interior quality feels superior. While you certainly won't praise the quality, neither will you complain about it. Again, the key term here is 'acceptable'. All parts are properly fitted and we didn't spot one misaligned piece or panel gap. You get well fitted, albeit hard and scratchy plastics. The silver touches on the dashboard & doors not only add to the interior aesthetics, they also feel premium, especially when compared with the rest of the cabin plastics. Overall, the quality doesn't feel upmarket, yet you'd be hard pressed to find any serious flaws.

Despite the black interiors, the Vitara Brezza's cabin doesn't feel claustrophobic. Apart from the contrasting chrome and silver bits, the roof-line is finished in grey to brighten things up. The glass area is generous as well and gives you a good view of the world outside. Space on the inside is impressive for a sub-4 meter car. There's a healthy amount of legroom on offer even for taller drivers and the footwells are wide. The dead pedal is well-sized, well-angled and usable even for people with big feet (speaking as someone with size 15 shoes). The Vitara Brezza is 15 mm wider than the full-sized Vitara and shoulder room is healthy too. Additionally, the centre fascia won’t interfere with your knee when you're operating the clutch (Swift / Dzire owners will know what I'm talking about). Headroom is great even for someone who's 6.5 ft tall. As CV Raman mentioned, the roof-line has been designed to be comfortable for a tall Sikh with his turban, among 18 types of Indian headgear.

Fabric seats come as standard across the range; sadly, unlike the EcoSport, leather seats aren't offered on the top variant. The fabric quality is nice, but the EcoSport's seat support is superior. The seat cushioning is just right - not too soft nor too firm. One annoying trait was how front occupants can easily feel the knees of rear passengers in their back, if the rear occupants push their knees just a little into the seat. Under-thigh support is average for tall occupants. Both the seat base and backrest have bolstered edges and offer satisfactory lateral support. On the flip side, larger drivers will find the seats to be too snug. If you are a healthy adult, be sure to thoroughly test the front chair & ascertain whether it's comfortable for you.

The driver's seat has a healthy range of height adjustment. Short driver? No problem. The adjustment levers for the backrest and seat height though, don't feel great to use and their action is ratchety. The center armrest is wide enough for both front occupants and it offers fore & aft adjustment too. Right below is space for storing a few items. The padding on the armrest could have been a little thicker, as you can feel the hard plastic underneath at times. The door armrests are nice to use even for those of us with long arms.

As we've seen in new age Marutis, the ergonomics are perfect. 2 minutes in the driver's seat and you know where everything is. The stalks, gear lever and buttons all fall to hand easily. Evidently a solid reason why Maruti has employed an "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" approach to the cabin layout. In the ZDi+ with the Smartplay infotainment system, the centre fascia is uncluttered. If you are a fan of simplicity, you'll love it. You just have the infotainment screen and climate control at the bottom - no excessive buttons or knobs.

One thing that is a letdown is the steering. The dashboard is uncluttered, but the steering isn't. With the controls for telephony, voice commands, cruise control and the audio system, you have 13 buttons in all. Additionally, at least on the million-rupee ZDi+ variant, I would have expected some premium leather wrap. A 10 lakh rupee car without a leather wrapped steering wheel!! The rim also feels a size too thin and there aren't any thumb contours on it. Using the same, slim and old steering from the Swift is just not done. Another sore point is that the steering only offers tilt adjustment. This is particularly shocking as the cheaper Baleno's steering has telescopic adjustment.

The instrument cluster has a simple layout and is easy to navigate through. We did find the meters to be a size smaller than they should have been though. You get analogue dials for the tachometer & speedometer, outlined with mood lights - there are 5 colours to choose from (yellow, orange, red, white & blue). In the middle sits a well-sized MID that displays data including bars for the fuel-level and engine temperature, with digital readouts for the odometer, time, outside temperature, two trip meters, average + instant fuel economy and range / DTE counter. Then, you get a gear indicator with arrows to prompt upshifts or downshifts. Sweet touch - it shows you a dot when you are in the right gear.

Frontal visibility is good and the A-pillars don't hinder visibility; much easier than the EcoSport whose tree-trunk A-pillars create massive blind spots. The power foldable / adjustable wing mirrors are big enough, although we found the IRVM to be small. It isn't auto-dimming either. Rearward visibility is hampered by the thick C-pillars and large rear headrests (when pulled up). Thankfully, parking sensors are offered with the VDi and above, while the ZDi+ tops that up with a reversing camera. The lack of a tail-mounted spare wheel does make it a bit easier to park.

As expected, the Vitara Brezza isn't starved for niceties and you get the Smartplay infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink on the range-topping ZDi+. Good move in giving the Vitara Brezza the touchscreen ICE which started off in the more expensive Marutis. The system is no longer buggy & laggy as it was in the initial Ciaz batches. 4 speakers come as standard, while the ZDi+ gets an additional two tweeters on the front doors. The system offers USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, plus navigation and voice commands. iPhone owners will be pleased with the CarPlay support & Android Auto is said to be in the works. Navigation is via pre-loaded maps from an SD card by Nokia HERE. Sound quality through the system is competent by OEM standards and most won't find the need for an upgrade, but it's nothing to write home about for sure (we found the EcoSport's sound quality to be superior). The screen is easy to use with good sensitivity, though like most touch-sensitive systems, it can be tricky to use on the move. Chauffeur driven owners can use the Suzuki remote control app (available on Android & iOS) to use the entertainment system. Mahindra's Blue Sense App lets you adjust the climate control system too, but that's not offered here.

The climate control's buttons are logically laid out and feel pleasant to use. The air-conditioner is very powerful! Temperatures soared to nearly 40 degrees Celsius outside, yet we were cool as a cucumber inside. On the flip side, none of the vents get air volume control and Maruti has skimped on rear A/C vents as well. While the air-con is very effective, there's no doubting the value of rear vents which help to equalize temperate across the cabin.

Practicality is not an oversight in the cabin and there's a fair number of storage spots. All 4 doors can hold 1L bottles, with some space to spare for the knick-knacks. The central armrest can be opened up to access a deep storage area underneath. On the passenger's side, you get a cooled upper glovebox that can hold a few small cans, in addition to the regular, medium-sized glovebox below. There's a storage tray under the front passenger's seat where valuable items can be kept away from view. In the dash center, there's space to place your cellphone below the USB/AUX ports. Next to the handbrake, you'll find two cup-holders. Lastly, near the driver's right knee is a cubby hole with a sloping bottom (so that things don't slide out).

User-friendly cabin layout. No 'wow' factor, yet everything is logically placed. Quality is acceptable, but that's it - nothing more. Black interiors will be liked by a lot of folk; however, there's no denying they take away that 'extra' feeling of roominess. Some people will miss their beige. Ingress & egress are easy:

Commanding view of the road ahead. Bonnet is easily visible and gives you the feel of a proper SUV. This will win over a lot of people in the showroom itself:

Steering wheel from Maruti's D้jเ vu collection. One too many models from the Maruti stable have the same steering wheel (including the Swift). At the least, it should have been thicker and come with thumb contours. No leather wrap in a 10 lakh car!! 13 integrated buttons in all make for a busy layout. Subtle chrome accents improve the look:

Same functions as the S-Cross' steering, including cruise control. Buttons are well-sized. You can press and hold the arrow keys to fast forward & rewind tracks. Mute button is very practical (it pauses the track):

Pull-type telephony controls are located behind the steering wheel. Some will like this arrangement, others won't:

Steering is only height-adjustable! Strange as the cheaper Baleno's steering offers reach adjustment. This feature is important as it adds to that 'perfect driving position':

Instrument cluster is easy to understand. However, we found the dials to be a size smaller than what they should've been. Love having the revv counter on the left and the speedometer on the right:

The 5 different mood light options - take your pick from white, orange, yellow, blue and red:

Twist the RHS instrument cluster stalk (to the left or right) and it will show this mood lighting menu on the MID. Push the stalk in to shuffle between the 5 colour options available. If you have the headlamps on, the illumination control display will also be shown on the MID and you can adjust it by twisting the stalk (left to reduce brightness, right to increase). The 7-step illumination control manages the brightness of the instrument cluster, MID, ICE, backlighting of the climate control console + steering mounted controls + buttons near your right knee (parktronic, headlamp leveller, push button start etc):

MID isn't as sweet as the Baleno's (link to image). Provides adequate information, including bars for the fuel and engine temperature gauges, with digital read-outs for the odometer, time, outside temperature, two trip meters, average + instant fuel economy and a range / DTE counter:

Ugly Honda City-like stalks sticking out of both sides of the cluster. Push the left one to shuffle between trip A and trip B. Very silly: such a prominent stalk and only one basic function:

Push the right stalk in to shuffle between the displays of the average fuel economy, instant fuel economy and range/DTE counter, apart from the mood light + illumination control functions mentioned before:

Rain sensing wipers and auto-headlamps are offered on the ZDi+. Sadly, rear wipers + washer + demister only on the ZDi & ZDi+:

Push button starter gets a nice chrome outline. You need to press the clutch pedal & this button to fire up our national diesel engine:

The 'disable parking sensor' button, ORVM controls and headlight leveller. Would prefer the conventional placement of the ORVM controls on the driver armrest instead. You have to stretch to access them in the Vitara Brezza. Incidentally, the ORVM controls look very similar to the old Baleno's (link to image), with the only exception being the ORVM-folding switch:

Cubby hole right below. It is angled, so whatever you place in here won't fall out:

All-black doorpad gets a premium silver accent and chrome door handle. All 4 doors can hold a 1L bottle, with space left over for the knick knacks:

Zooming in on the texture of the plastics:

Maruti Swift power window controls are an eyesore - we've been seeing them since ages. Can Maruti please change this console! Only the driver's button gets one touch up / down, illumination and anti-pinch functionality. Door also has fabric padding on the side where you'd rest your arm. The armrest is accommodating:

Storage space for a 1L bottle + a few knick-knacks:

4 speakers come as standard. ZDi+ gets additional tweeters on the front doors:

Fabric upholstered seats are comfortable. Larger frames will find them to be narrow though. Leather seats aren't offered on any variant, unlike the EcoSport:

Headrest cushioning is on the firmer side. On our test car, the slim headrests weren't perfectly mounted - they moved around a bit:

Classy seat fabric design:

ZDi and ZDi+ get a height-adjustable driver's seat. These adjustment levers don't feel nice to use and their action is ratchety:

Height-adjustment range is healthy. Shorter drivers will face no problem:

Headroom is fantastic! The cabin has been designed to accommodate the frame of a 6 ft tall Sikh wearing his turban:

OBD port just above the pull-type bonnet release lever:

Padded dead pedal, well-spaced A-B-C pedals and a wide footwell mean your feet will be happy. Both footwells are illuminated:

Fuel lid release isn't tucked into the floor mat like in the Baleno (reference image):

Chrome tipped vent adjusters add a subtle premium touch. No air volume controller for any of the vents. You can also see the piano-black surround here:

ORVMs offer a sufficient field of view:

IRVM isn't auto-dimming - you have to do it manually. Unnecessary cost cutting really. We also found the IRVM to be a size too small:

Thick C-pillars and large headrests eat into the rear view. Upper variants get reverse parking sensors + camera:

Piano black surround for the centre fascia looks neat. Touchscreen ICE leads to a cleaner centre fascia. Takes away a lot of the buttons you'd normally see here:

Hazard light button is chunky. Below is the light that flashes when the security system is armed:

Climate control buttons are logically placed and well-sized. AUTO button is sensibly the largest. After all, it's the one you'll be most frequently using. Display is crystal clear to read:

Deep storage space for your smartphone below the USB/AUX ports & 12V power socket. Should've ideally had some rubber padding to prevent scratches to your device & hold it in place:

Two cup-holders sit between the front occupants. Notice how the handbrake is placed closer to the passenger like in a left-hand-drive car:

Center armrest is adjustable and has a healthy travel range. It gets leather cladding (unlike the steering)! Comfy to use:

Armrest has a deep storage bucket underneath:

Brushed silver panel looks & feels premium. Very tasteful:

Upper glovebox is cooled and offers decent storage. The lid has a partially damped effect, but it's poorly executed. When you open it, it won't go up all the way by itself. Same goes for when you close it:

Illuminated primary glovebox is standard issue and offers adequate space for the vehicle papers, chargers, cables etc. Note the card holder to the right:

TUV300 gets it under the driver's seat (link to image), while the Vitara Brezza gets a storage tray under the front passenger's seat (like the EcoSport). Load bearing capacity = 1 kg. Preferred place to carry cash or valuables - out of sight for any thief. In case you were wondering, 1 kg means ~8 lakh rupees in 1,000 rupee notes:

Front cabin lamps can be operated individually by pushing them in:

Sunglass holder is the same unit you get in the S-Cross:

Only the front passenger gets a vanity mirror & lamp on the sunvisor. However, the lamp doesn’t automatically switch on when you open the vanity mirror flap like in the Quanto or S-Cross. You have to manually switch it on by pushing the right side of the lamp in. Driver merely gets a flap to hold tickets:

Only the ZDi+ variant gets height-adjustable seatbelts:

A driver airbag comes as standard across the range. A passenger airbag, ABS with EBD and pretensioner + force limiter seatbelts can be added to the LDi and VDi via the option kit. Added safety kit costs around Rs. 13k - it's a no brainer. Don't buy a Vitara Brezza without it!

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st April 2016 at 18:32.
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The Smartplay Infotainment System

Good to see Maruti's Smartplay head-unit here; it initially started off with the expensive Marutis. Familiar interface is simple to navigate through and lag free. No longer buggy as we'd seen in the early Ciaz examples:

Proper font size makes the screen easy to read on the move:

Wide range of media sources to choose from (including SD card):

Pairing your smartphone is a breeze:

Sound quality is decent by OEM standards, but nothing to write home about. If you want purer SQ, refer to points 2 - 5 in this post:

Dial a number from your recent calls, contact list or use the dial pad. Interface is consistently sweet, no matter what the screen:

Wide range of navigation entry options, including a search for Maruti outlets close by:

SD card-based navigation interface is standard-fare. Maps by Nokia HERE. To know more about updating your maps, click here:

Reversing camera is quite clear (nope, guidelines aren't adaptive). Rear parking sensor display is shown on the MID. With the limited rearward visibility, you'll do well in using these aids:

Here's the Suzuki remote control app for the media only. Mahindra's Blue Sense app is way more comprehensive (related link). Note that the VDi & ZDi get a physical remote control for their non-touchscreen conventional head-unit:

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st April 2016 at 18:35.
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Interior - Rear

Access to the rear is also a convenient affair. Apart from the raised seat height, CV Raman highlighted the fact that the B-pillar has been pushed ahead to give 2nd row passengers more space for ingress/egress. Moving the B-pillar opened up more of a gap between itself & the seat.

The backrest angle at the rear isn't relaxed. While we didn't have a problem with that, there are some who'll find it a little too upright. Nope, the recline angle isn't adjustable like the EcoSport. This car is brilliantly packaged and the legroom is very good for a sub-4 meter car. At 5'10'', GTO could easily sit behind a driver of his height, with space to spare! Rear legroom & width are superior to the EcoSport. Fitting 3 here is a much more realistic proposition than in its American competitor, although the middle passenger won't have it easy due to the unlevelled backrest (area of the center armrest) and prominent floor hump. The TUV300's seat is wider and it is still the best "people carrier" in the segment, if that's what you are looking for. There is space to tuck your feet in under the Vitara Brezza's front seats, but the floor isn't level. Push your feet in and the front half of your foot will be up in the air! This is the first car that we've experienced such an uneven floor in.

Like the front seat, the seat padding is not too soft nor too firm, and the compound should be comfortable on those weekend highway trips. On the downside, the seat is on the flatter side and doesn't have any contours to speak of. GTO found the under-thigh support to be lacking; tall occupants will want for more. The EcoSport's rear seat is noticeably more supportive for sure. Passengers on either side get large, adjustable headrests, but they suffer from the same problem as the S-Cross - many occupants will find them to be poking into their neck. You'll either have to adjust the neck restraint, your seating position (a bit) or both.

The rear window isn't too tall, yet runs acceptably long. It's medium sized, but due to the rear quarter glass, there's a fair amount of light coming in. Black interiors don't give you the airy feel of beige; here, thanks to the generous headroom and grey roof fabric, you won't feel claustrophobic.

The rear armrest is well-sized and gets integrated cup-holders. It's a comfortable spot for you to rest your arm. For storage, apart from the two very useful seatback pockets, you get a nifty bag hook behind the driver's seat that can take loads of up to 3 kg. Perfect place to hang the grocery / food bag. Like the front doors, there's space for a 1L bottle & knick knacks on the doorpad. Look up and you'll see coat hooks on both grab handles.

We'll mention again that rear air-con vents are missing. Not only do they help to equalize the temperature across the cabin, they also cool the rear half quicker if the car has been parked under the sun. There isn't a charging socket for your smartphone either (yes, you can use the one in the boot, though it's hardly convenient to access from the second row).

If you want to open only the boot, there's a request button above the number plate that will unlock the 5th door (only). Unlike the EcoSport, the tail-gate opens up vertically like a regular hatchback. The boot's on-paper '328 liter' spec will disappoint you, but there is no denying that Maruti has given it a very practical layout. Useable space is definitely more than its on-paper spec would have you believe. There aren't large wheel arch bulges eating into the boot like in the EcoSport. It's accommodating enough for the weekend luggage though, of course, you can't compare it to SUVs like the Duster. The loading lip is set at a good height and it isn't much higher than the boot floor. Further, the boot's mouth is wide to aid easy loading.

There are two deep storage bins on either side of the boot floor with removable flaps. Apart from a light to illuminate the boot, you get a 12V charging socket (useful for refrigerators, portable vacuum cleaners, air-pumps etc.). The top-end variants (ZDi, ZDi+) are equipped with versatile 60:40 splitting seats, while the rear seat flip & fold feature is standard across the range.

Doors open wide enough. Taller stance will get a thumbs up from senior citizens. B-pillar was pushed a bit ahead on this platform for the Vitara Brezza:

All-black doorpad with a classy silver insert. Door armrest is long & usable. Doorpad is sculpted in where the armrest is mounted, so that it doesn't reduce cabin width:

No back-lighting for the power window controls! Black fabric padding on the side:

1L bottle holders on the rear doors as well. Separately partitioned space for the odd items:

Rear bench is flat! No contours to speak of - EcoSport's rear seat is much more supportive. Vitara Brezza's rear seat could definitely have been more richly padded:

5'10'' tall Aditya is sitting behind his own driving position. Legroom is good for a sub-4 meter car. Scooped-out seatbacks liberate knee room and there's adequate space below the front seat for your feet, even if you're wearing boots. Under-thigh support is poor for tall dudes though:

Legroom is manageable even with the seat pushed all the way back:

Two seatback pockets, unlike the Baleno which gets one. We're big fans of the utility offered by seatback pockets:

Li'l baggage hook behind the driver's seat can be used for bags that weigh up to 3 kg. You can fold it in when not in use:

Floor underneath the front seat isn't flat. Feels very awkward when the front half of your foot is in the air! This is a unique problem that we haven't experienced in any other car:

Prominent floor hump; remember, the same platform runs an AWD on the bigger Vitara. 5th occupant will have to place his feet on either side of the hump:

Rear armrest gets integrated cup-holders. It's well-sized and positioned at a comfortable height. Can accommodate 2 forearms:

Headrest cushioning is on the firmer side. It suffers from the same design flaw as the S-Cross' rear headrest and pokes into your neck. Most people will have to adjust the headrest, their seating position or both. No neck restraint for the middle passenger:

As you can see here, the lower edge juts into the nape of the passenger's neck. Even though the vehicle has a sloping roofline, headroom at the rear is adequate:

Good to see a cabin light console in the center of the cabin (over & above the one at the front):

Slot to park the seatbelt when it's not in use. Provided on both sides of the rear seat:

Upper half of the cabin is finished in grey. Cuts the black monotony and provides a welcome contrast to the black interior. Roof liner feels durable. It isn't flat however (notice the hump on which the cabin lamp is fitted):

Tail gate opens upward like a regular hatchback. EcoSport and TUV300 have tailgates that open sideways. One issue is that the boot needs to be slammed shut. It doesn’t seem to lock in place very easily. Lost count of the number of times we had to stop the car during our test-drive because whoever shut the boot didn't do it with force:

Full cladding on the inside:

Small 328 liter on-paper spec, but it has a practical layout. Useable space is better than its specification would have you believe. Loading bay is low enough & wide:

Backrest can be folded down by pulling this strap:

You get a splitting rear bench:

To fold it flat, you have to pull on this strap & flip the seat base forward:

Carpeting hasn't been skipped underneath the seat base either :

With the seat base flipped, you get a flat floor for hauling cargo:

Boot has a 12V power socket and light:

Baggage hook on the left:

Storage trays on either side of the boot floor:

Med kit parked in the right boot tray:

Dual-side operable parcel tray can be flipped from the rear seat or tailgate side. Nifty if a passenger wants to fetch something from the boot:

Spare wheel inside the vehicle, like a regular hatchback (not under the car or on the tail-gate). Definitely easier to mount & dismount than the other arrangements. It's a full-sized spare, but sadly...

...a regular steel wheel. No alloy wheel = cost cutting. Hard to believe this is the same company that once gave away alloy spare wheels to existing Swift ZXi owners related link. EcoSport also gives you a 5th alloy wheel:

Tools are beautifully housed in a Styrofoam case:

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st April 2016 at 18:32.
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An engine we're well acquainted with by now, running the higher state of tune:

Maruti is expected to go all-new with the 1.0L Boosterjet turbo-petrol later, but for now, we get the tried and tested, Fiat sourced, 1.3L, DOHC, 4-cylinder diesel with a variable geometry turbo (VGT) that we've seen in the S-Cross, Ertiga and Ciaz. The power and torque figures are familiar i.e. 89 BHP @ 4,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque @ 1,750 rpm. Because of the Vitara Brezza's kerb weight, Maruti decided to give it the higher state of tune (not 74 BHP like the Swift & Baleno).

Press the clutch, hit the engine start / stop button to fire her up and there's no getting away from the fact that she's an oil-burner. Vibrations at start-up are well managed, albeit you'll always know she's a diesel thanks to the familiar clatter. Revv it and the diesel gets audible inside the cabin. There's no comparing it to the refined Hyundai 1.4L CRDi (as an example).

If you've driven an Ertiga, you've pretty much experienced the Vitara Brezza. Their behaviour has a lot in common and perhaps, that's a good thing for those upgrading from the Swift / Dzire as there's no learning curve. At low rpms and within the city, the 89 BHP diesel does have some amount of turbo-lag. It isn't excessive though, nor is the engine dead below 2,000 rpm like the Duster 110 FWD used to be. Things are acceptable in the 1,500 - 1,800 revv range and you can still push on in the same gear. It didn't bother us at all and we were happily driving the Vitara Brezza around in Pune traffic. However, when the revv needle drops too low or you need instant punch, you'll have to downshift. No two sides to that. Driveability isn't as good as the EcoSport 1.5L diesel which offers stronger low-end torque & linear power delivery. You'll also be downshifting more when climbing up mountain roads where the lag can catch you out, as we discovered on the beautiful Khambatki Ghat.

Open-road acceleration is adequate, but not exciting. Once the turbo is spooling, there is a noticeable spike and you'll find the mid-range to be punchy. Highway performance is competent - overtaking is easy as long as the revv needle is hovering over 2,000 rpm (else you need to downshift). The high seating position helps too, giving the driver excellent visibility. This 1.3L diesel is free-revving in nature and willing to go beyond 5,000 rpm when you need to hold a gear. In terms of cruisability, 100 km/h in 5th gear sees the tacho kiss 2,400 rpm, while 120 km/h comes up at ~2,900 rpm. Not as relaxed as the EcoSport diesel which does the same speeds at 2,100 rpm & 2,500 rpm (respectively). Still, the engine is inaudible when cruising at 100 km/h and you won't even know it's a diesel under the hood. While the Vitara Brezza is no speeding rocket, it can be a decent inter-city traveller. Equally, we might add, the SUV is more suited to those with a calm driving style than enthusiasts. Let's see if the boosterjet turbo-petrol changes that.

The 1.3L diesel is known for its efficiency and it's no different under the hood of the Vitara Brezza. The ARAI rating is 24.3 km/l. Its fuel-economy should keep owners happy.

The NVH package is strictly average, and you aren't aloof from the world outside or even the engine. The diesel's clatter can be heard at idle and on the move too, even if the air-con and music system are running. Within the city at low rpms, things are alright. As the rpm needle climbs, it's far from being whisper quiet. There is a fair amount of wind & road noise that filters into the cabin. On the other hand, vibration and harshness levels are well under control.

The 5-speed gearbox is the same as the Ciaz / Ertiga and behaves the same too. The gates are properly defined and the lever is sure slotting. It's a good gearbox to use, even if it's not the slickest of units around. The clutch is light enough. The pedal has just the right amount of weight and is never cumbersome to use (stating this after spending several hours in crawling Pune traffic).

Ride quality is compliant at the front & rear and the SUV handles uneven roads well. On large potholes or sharp edges, you'll definitely feel the firmness of the suspension, although it's nowhere as stiff as the EcoSport. On bad roads, the Vitara Brezza is more comfortable than the Ford (neither is as absorbent as the Duster or Creta though). Ride comfort improves with speed and on the highway, you might not even slow down for moderately broken roads. Bumps at 100 km/h are absorbed well. That big tyre size is surely a contributor; its sidewall height is 129 mm (for reference, Ertiga = 120.25 mm). On undulating roads at speed however, the rear end isn't as planted as the EcoSport. There is some amount of bounciness at the back over wavy roads, although it's not as noticeable as in the Creta. The suspension is audible when doing its work, unlike the EcoSport whose hardware is silent.

The Vitara Brezza is a clean & neutral handler with very predictable behaviour. Grip levels from those fat 215 Apollo Alnac tyres were confidence inspiring when we were pushing the SUV on the ghat section. At the limit, understeer starts to come in a gradual manner. Not scary at all. Body roll is also under control, though of course, it's more than in a regular hatchback or sedan. You'll feel the height, yet it's not unnerving in any way. This is a sorted machine and feels planted, even if the EcoSport is the sharper handler with decidedly richer dynamics. The Vitara Brezza is sufficiently stable at high speeds. There's no nervousness and it feels like it can cruise at 120 km/h all day long. Because the Vitara Brezza feels so much like a regular car, first time SUV drivers will find it to be an easy drive. Certainly not like early Duster 110 owners who complained about the steering's aggressive comeback action, heavy clutch, funny ergonomics and significant turbo-lag.

The steering is standard Maruti fare. It's light enough at parking speeds, but not one-finger light. Within the city, the EPS is very convenient to use & fairly direct in its operation. As the speedometer climbs, the steering weighs up enough and there's no nervous feeling or twitchiness at all. Enthusiasts shouldn't expect much feedback from it though - got nothing to offer in that department. This is a typical Maruti mass-market steering. We mention again that the steering wheel should have been thicker, and the lack of leather-wrapping at this price is alarming!

The ground clearance of 198 mm is more than enough to tackle potholes and the mini-trekking attractions that our municipality calls speed breakers! We took the Vitara Brezza off the highway to a photoshoot location and she cleared the rough terrain without breaking into a sweat. Just don't get carried away as this is a FWD SUV meant to stay on the road.

The Vitara Brezza's brakes work as is expected of them & stopping ability is par for the course. Under hard braking too, the SUV doesn't lose its composure. On the silver test car that we drove from Pune to Wai, we found the brake pedal to be fine. However, in the white test car that we ran around Mumbai, the brake pedal needed more bite - we wish it was sharper. The Mumbai car's brake needed to be pushed a little more than expected. Also, on both cars, sponginess was evident on the pedal. Nose dive is noticeable at the front end, even under moderate braking.

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your mobile phones on silent and rise for the national diesel engine of India

Friendly 5-speed MT:

Gearshift indicator prompts you with arrows to upshift or downshift. A dot is displayed when you're in the right gear:

Full insulation sheet underneath:

Vertically mounted intercooler:

Black firewall cladding:

An inside look at the engine guard:

"YBA" project code labelling on some parts:

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st April 2016 at 18:33.
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Other Points:

• We don't think the XA Alpha had anything to do with the Vitara Brezza. (related link ). It was merely a concept to send the message that Maruti's compact SUV is coming.

• Turning radius is unimpressive at 5.2 meters i.e. identical to the bigger S-Cross. The Dzire with the same 3,995 mm length has a 4.8 meter rating. Expect that many more 3-point u-turns. EcoSport is even wider at 5.3m!

• The Vitara Brezza is as much of a neutral all-rounder in its segment as the Creta is in the 15 lakh space. There are a lot of similarities in the way the two are positioned in their respective segments. Both do most things alright, without excelling in any single area....equally, neither of them have a serious deal breaker. The two are also backed by 'can't go wrong' brands. Clearly, a successful formula.

• This compact SUV is being produced at Maruti's Gurgaon plant.

• Horn has a nice ring to it. Very urban SUV-like tone. Suits its personality.

• This is the second 'diesel only' Maruti after the S-Cross. Strange time to begin such a trend when the market is moving toward petrols! But then, Suzuki doesn't have a competent 1.3 - 1.5L petrol. No doubt, their turbo-petrol has overshot its deadline.

• Know how some manufacturers skip the HVAC's dust & pollen filter for cutting costs - related thread? The Vitara Brezza doesn't. All variants get one.

• Why do we say that the VDi is too basic? Here's a document listing some missing features - VDi Missing Features.docx!

• Maruti's ever-growing dealership network is now up to 1,800 outlets! Will it touch 2,000 in another year or two?

• All-black body colour missing! Available in 9 options: Blazing Red, Cerulean Blue, Fiery Yellow, Pearl Arctic White, Premium Silver, Granite Grey, Blazing Red with Midnight Black (dual-tone), Fiery Yellow with Pearl Arctic White (dual-tone) and Cerulean Blue with Pearl Arctic White (dual-tone).

• No independent boot release inside the cabin. Boot is linked to the central locking system.

• 48 liter fuel tank capacity.

• The Vitara Brezza was unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo, launched within a couple of weeks, and the media drives happened soon after. Tata needs to learn. The Zica / Tiago media drives were in December 2015 and the launch has taken place in April 2016! Enough time for the car to exit public memory. We saw the Hexa at the Auto Expo - when is it coming??

• We were told at the media event that the Ignis will be a NEXA model (related thread).

• As of now, Maruti has no plans to launch the full-sized Vitara & take on the Creta.

• Service intervals = 1 month / 1,000 km (1st service), 6 months / 5,000 km (2nd service), 12 months / 10,000 km (3rd service and all those after that).

• Maruti's dealerships aren't installing the side skid plate properly. Thanks to Leoshashi for the tip in this post !

• Standard warranty is for 2 years / 40,000 km. Extendable to the 4th year. An excel sheet with pricing is attached to this post. Can't figure out why the dual-tone variant should have a higher warranty cost though! Shouldn't it be the same as the ZDi+?

Disclaimer: Maruti invited Team-BHP for the Vitara Brezza test-drive. They covered the hotel expenses for this driving event.
Attached Files
File Type: xlsx Vitara Brezza Warranty.xlsx (9.6 KB, 5108 views)

Last edited by GTO : 12th April 2016 at 08:31.
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The Smaller yet Significant Things:

Classy smart-key. You never really need to take it out of your pocket:

Side storage areas in the boot have removable flaps:

'Bull Horn' LEDs activate with the pilot lights. Cluster on the fender houses the brake lights & blinkers, while the part on the tailgate has the reversing lamp:

Ugly gap between the tail-light and tailgate:

Tailgate has to be slammed shut for the lock to engage. Lost count of the number of times we stopped the car on our test-drive because someone hadn't closed it hard enough:

As long as the smart-key is in your pocket, simply press the small request sensor (on the right) to unlock the tailgate (only). Bigger one on the left is the electromagnetic release:

Like the S-Cross, the reversing camera is placed on the left side. It is clearly visible when you're viewing the car's rear profile:

Diesel only for now. No confusion for pump attendants. Area is in full-black (not body-coloured as most Marutis are - related image):

Recommended tyre pressure is identical to that of the S-Cross:

With the afternoon sun right above, the instrument cluster suffers from heavy glare:

Rear window rolls down almost all the way:

Climate control sensor is neatly integrated, unlike most cars where it pops out:

Hold the clutch down and this green icon prompts you to push the starter button to fire up the engine:

Front passenger's vanity mirror is illuminated, but the light doesn't come on automatically when the flap is opened. Your girl has to manually switch it on:

Ugh! The sunglass holder's mechanism is an eyesore. Should have been covered:

Hooks to lock the floor mat in place. They're only there on the driver's side:

The SD card used for navigation. Data by Nokia HERE:

Very easy to mount / unmount the parcel tray. Simply push it in:

Notice the black eyelid above the headlight:

VIN plate on the B-pillar (driver's side):

Both rear grab handles get coat / bag hooks:

An interesting sight at a Maruti service centre. Says a lot about Maruti's after-sales philosophy:

Last edited by GTO : 11th April 2016 at 17:50.
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Chief Competitors of the Maruti Vitara Brezza

Ford EcoSport

What you'll like:
• Snazzy, futuristic styling makes the EcoSport a head-turner. Solid construction too
• 3 engine options, including the impressive 1.0L EcoBoost & economical 1.5L Diesel
• Loaded to the gills with technology & equipment (SYNC, keyless entry & go, cooled glovebox, leather seats, parking display...)
• Smartly packaged interior. Adequate space for 4 adults. Lots of storage and practical features
• Dynamically sorted. Competent handling by SUV standards
• City-friendly! Great ergonomics, driving position, manoeuvrability and size for urban India
• Safety kit includes 6 Airbags, ABS + EBD, Emergency assistance phone call, Emergency brake warning etc. AT variant gets ESP and Hill-Hold

What you won't:
• Hyundai-esque light electric steering on the Highway
• Ride quality isn't as plush as that of the Renault Duster. Underlying stiffness obvious
• Narrow cabin width makes a 5th occupant unwelcome. Best for 4 onboard
• Sub-4 meter size and compact dimensions take street cred away
• Tree trunk thick A-Pillars result in severe blind spots

Mahindra TUV300

What you'll like:
• 7-seater SUV at a price comparable to budget sedans
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction. Great street presence too
• Nice & roomy cabin. 1st & 2nd seat rows are spacious
• 1.5L diesel offers good city driveability & fuel economy
• AMT available. The cheapest automatic SUV in India
• Dual airbags & ABS offered on every variant
• Features such as static bending lamps, 2 front armrests, adjustable lumbar support, Blue Sense App, economy modes etc.

What you won't:
• 3-cylinder diesel has no top-end. Slow expressway performance
• Mediocre NVH levels, especially in the area of vibrations
• Ride quality is nowhere as cushy as its car-based rivals. Does get bouncy
• Steering is on the heavier side at parking / low speeds
• 4x4 not available, even as an option
• Mahindra's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
• Some important features missing (rear a/c vents, seatbelt height adjustment, dead pedal etc.)

Maruti S-Cross

What you’ll like:
• Solid build & good quality, inside out
• Powerful 1.6L diesel with 320 Nm of torque. Superb mid-range and top-end performance
• Mature ride & handling package. High speed behaviour is exceptional
• Practical interiors, spacious cabin and supportive seats
• Maruti's excellent after-sales support network
• All variants get 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS & dual airbags
• Feature loaded: Bi-xenon headlamps, leather seats, cruise control, 7" touchscreen ICE etc.

What you won’t:
• Unappealing styling. Looks like a big hatchback (not a crossover / SUV)
• 1.6L diesel variant has a hefty premium over the 1.3L
• 1.6L diesel suffers from turbo-lag until 1,750 rpm
• No petrol engine, no automatic transmission, no AWD
• 353 liter boot - though well shaped - is small for a car of this size & positioning
• Sold only through ~35 NEXA dealerships, thereby limiting its availability
• Noise insulation is below average for a premium car

Renault Duster

What you’ll like:
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction
• AMT variant is a convenient city commuter. Also the cheapest diesel AT in the segment
• A competent softroader. AWD system can take you places no 2WD can. 210 mm GC (FWD = 205 mm)
• 109 BHP turbo-diesel is fast as well as fuel efficient. 84 BHP diesel offers excellent driveability
• Outstanding ride quality. Comfortable over any kind of road
• Balanced handling & dynamics. Stable at high speeds too
• Safety kit: Dual Airbags, ESP, ASR, ABS, EBD, BA, Hill Hold & Understeer Control
• Practical boot (475 - 1,064 liters of cargo capacity)

What you won’t:
• AMT is jerky and suffers from slow gearshifts. Creta AT, in comparison, is butter smooth
• Higher variants are too expensive for what is a dated model. Felt old at launch, feels even older today
• Interiors look cheap in many areas. Cost-cutting is very obvious
• Mediocre rear seat legroom. More like C1 segment sedans than C2
• Poor NVH insulation. Engine, road & wind noise are prominent inside the cabin
• No 3rd row of seats. You can buy 7-seater SUVs at the same $$$
• AMT unavailable with the AWD; Scorpio & XUV500 both offer 4x4 / AWD ATs
• Renault's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2016 at 14:52.
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Old 10th April 2016, 15:29   #10
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Re: Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews!

Going by the buzz & the bookings, Maruti has obviously gotten the formula spot on! As you rightly said, the overall positioning is very similar to the Creta (even though their segments are different). Both are all-rounders doing most things well, in a neutral inoffensive manner.

Equally, while the Vitara Brezza is a competent Maruti, my pick would be the EcoSport. The EcoSport has solid build quality, noticeably more so than the Brezza. In terms of equipment, I get 6 Airbags, telescopic steering adjustment, better sound quality from the ICE, more supportive leather seats...(these are important to me). The EcoSport's diesel offers superior driveability & refinement. Petrol or AT is a no-brainer as the Vitara Brezza doesn't have either. Period. The American also holds the handling advantage (although the Maruti is good and doesn't leave any room for complaints).

The Vitara Brezza rides better, offers more room at the back & has the trustworthy Maruti support network. It's probably a better product for the mass market. Those who know their cars though might be pulled in the direction of the Ford whose depth of engineering simply feels richer.

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2016 at 15:30.
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Old 10th April 2016, 15:48   #11
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Re: Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review

Finally much awaited review of brezza is out. Really deserve 5 stars. Congratulations Tushar, GTO and other members for such appreciative work.

Last edited by GTO : 11th April 2016 at 13:40. Reason: Typo
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Old 10th April 2016, 15:49   #12
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Awesome. Was looking forward to this thread for quite sometime now. I feel a void if I don't read a T-bhp review of a car. Thanks for filling up the void.

As usual, what an attention to detail.

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Old 10th April 2016, 16:05   #13
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Re: Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review

Finally the much awaited review is out . I have never waited so anxiously for a tbhp review. The Breeza is definitely another block buster by Maruti. The review is completely in lines of what I felt about the Breeza. Regarding comparison with the scross, one has to compare both simultaneously. The winner is obvious.
Rated the review a well deserved 5 star.
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Old 10th April 2016, 16:06   #14
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A very well written and detailed review which was worth the wait. I have driven the car and found everything good except seats and interior plastic quality. Sales manager of my local dealership said that many creta bookings are getting converted into Brezza which is little surprising considering both are different segment cars. But it is true and sales figures for next few months will clearly reflect the impact of Brezza.
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Old 10th April 2016, 16:16   #15
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Re: Maruti Vitara Brezza : Official Review

Thank you team for coming up with the most awaited thread. Feeling happy
I guess this thread will see most of the action when compared with competition. Excellent compilation as always. Rated well deserved 5 stars.
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