Maruti Vitara Brezza Expert Review

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Introduction

Maruti Vitara Brezza
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With the 2018 update, Maruti has introduced the AMT transmission in the Vitara Brezza. And though Maruti cars with the 1.3-litre diesel engine have had an AMT before in models like the Swift and the Dzire, this is the first time the same is being coupled with the more powerful DDiS200 tune. Alongside the AMT addition, there have been some feature updates as well. Does this combination work well enough for you to say goodbye to your traffic woes? And what else has changed?

Pros
  • Feature loaded: comes with features like Android Auto and CarPlay integration, cruise control, projector headlamps, auto climate control
  • A well proportionate, understated and mature styling makes the Vitara Brezza likeable for the majority of buyers
  • A high ground clearance of 198mm is at par with even bigger SUVs such as the Creta
  • Plenty of customisation options through Maruti's iCreate allows buyers to deck up their SUV in numerous ways
  • Powered by a tried and tested diesel engine that is fuel efficient too
  • Safety features like dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX seat mounts and rear parking sensors are now available on all the variants.
  • Despite being a diesel-only offering, the Brezza is priced at par with petrol-powered rivals
Cons
  • Maruti Suzuki could have added more features to the Brezza given the fact that the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, which is priced below the Brezza, gets features such as bi-xenon headlamps, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, and leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Interior quality does not feel upto the mark as the competition, and the hard plastics hold it back from feeling premium.
  • The absence of a petrol engine is arguably the Vitara Brezza’s biggest drawback and it is heightened further with the fact petrol offerings are getting back in the game
  • The ride of the Vitara Brezza is set up on the stiffer side. Broken roads and potholes are filtered through to the cabin, especially while driving slow.

Stand Out Features

  • Dual-barrel headlamps with LED guide light and projector for low beam light up the road well

    Dual-barrel headlamps with LED guide light and projector for low beam light up the road well

  • Instrument cluster with five customisable ambient lighting options

    Instrument cluster with five customisable ambient lighting options

  • Fancier dual-tone option: Instead of wraps, the Brezza gets proper painted contrast roof options right from the factory

    Fancier dual-tone option: Instead of wraps, the Brezza gets proper painted contrast roof options right from the factory

  • 7-inch infotainment system offers capacitive-based touch and packs both Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivities

    7-inch infotainment system offers capacitive-based touch and packs both Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivities

CarDekho Verdict

The Vitara Brezza is one of the last compact SUVs to get an automatic transmission. But, though Maruti is late to the party, they have done it right. The AMT has been tuned beautifully for city use. It keeps you in the powerband to avoid turbo lag and doesn't change the gears too often to give you a smooth ride experience. Not to forget the conventional SUV looks and the super efficient engine which keep it the best selling SUV of the country.

"Attractive pricing, features and efficiency make the Vitara Brezza a practical compact SUV. There's still no petrol engine but the AMT adds convenience to everyday drives"

There are still some drawbacks to the Vitara Brezza though. Maruti could have gone a little softer with the suspension to offer a plusher ride, which would have made it an even better urban package. The stiff ride, tacky plastics and the lack of a petrol variant still hold it back.

Now, though, with the convenience offered by the AMT, the Brezza presents an even stronger case for itself. And because the AMT makes the performance more usable in the city, we'd recommend it over the manual as well.

Exterior

As far as the looks are concerned, the only difference in the 2018 update are the black alloy wheels, which are now available in the Z and Z+ variants. They replace the older gray ones but the shape and size remains the same. In our opinion, the black ones do look better. Also, this orange colour is a new addition, replacing the older blue. 

Maruti Vitara Brezza

Then there is the chrome strip on top of the license plate, which was earlier available only in the top end variant but is now available across the range. 

Everything else like the boxy SUV shape, LED light guides, floating roof design and the large glass area which made the Brezza a hit in the first place is still the same.  

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The floating roof design adds oodles of character to the Brezza.

Exterior Comparison

Renault Duster Maruti Vitara Brezza Ford EcoSport Mahindra TUV 300
Length (mm) 4315 3995 3999 3995
Width (mm) 1822 1790 1765 1835
Height (mm) 1695 1640 1708 1826
Ground Clearance (mm) 205 198 200 184
Wheel Base (mm) 2673 2500 2520 2680
Kerb Weight (kg) - 1210 - -
 

Over to the side, you’d instantly notice the floating roof effect Maruti is trying to pull off. The A, B and C pillars are blacked out, thereby giving the impression that the roof ‘floats’ over the car. There’s a fair bit of part sharing you’ll notice too. For e.g: the outside mirrors and the door handles are the exact same ones found on the Swift / Dzire / Ertiga. 

Maruti Vitara Brezza

Boot space is rated at a respectable 328 litres. While it isn't as much as the TUV3OO, it still is a decent amount of storage space for something that is as compact as the Vitara Brezza.

Boot Space Comparison

Mahindra TUV 300 Maruti Vitara Brezza Renault Duster Ford EcoSport
Volume 384-litres 328-litres 475-litres 346-litres

Interior

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Inside, again, things remain exactly the same. You get a neat looking all-black dashboard with the SmartPlay infotainment system. It supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. You further get bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity as well. In this top variant, you also get 6 speakers and the audio quality, though a little bass heavy, is impressive.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

You sit in a commanding position, one of the advantages of the Vitara Brezza. But as the advantages stand as they were, so do the niggles. The plastic quality and the textures feels cheap and the overall interior quality does not feel premium. In the AMT variant, you further lose out on cruise control, a feature which is present in the manual variant.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

As a part of the 2018 update, Maruti has removed the ‘optional’ variants from the lineup. You now get safety features like dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking sensors and seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters as standard in all variants. 

The biggest change in the AMT variants is the AMT gear shifter. It's simple to use and you can push the lever to the left to get into manual mode. 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Performance

Engine and performance

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

No modifications have been made to the 1.3-litre DDiS200 diesel engine. It still makes 90PS of max power and 200Nm of peak torque. It continues to suffers from turbo lag below 2,000rpm and delivers good performance beyond that, till about 4500rpm. What the AMT transmission does is reduce the effect of the turbo lag. 

The gearbox does not shift the gears too often, be it up or down. Also, it hold the revs in lower gears to keep the car in the meat of the powerband. As a result, you get a smooth ride without worrying about getting the revs up. Even for overtakes, the gearbox downshifts only when the throttle action is sudden and strong, otherwise it keeps the car in the same gear to complete the manoeuvre. On highways, the change from 4th to 5th gear can barely be felt, and the car clocks miles happily. 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The throttle response has been dialed back a little. As a result, you will have to provide more input to get noticeable performance. Gear shifts are smooth, as long as you are gentle with the throttle. If you like to drive fast in traffic, it's better to shift to the manual mode and control the shifts yourself.

But the act of the gearbox holding revs has taken a bit of a toll on the efficiency. Where the manual returned a mileage of 21kmpl in the city in our tests, the AMT returned 17.6kmpl. Even on the highway, the efficiency went down by around 5kmpl, to 20.9kmpl. But even these figures are well ahead of the competition and even on its own, they are nothing short of impressive.

Overall, the AMT has been tuned for city use and because the gearbox keeps you in the powerband for most of the time, driving the AMT feels even better than the manual! 

Ride and handling

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Vitara Brezza has always had a stiff ride. Though it feels like the stiffness has been reduced a bit now, it still transmits the vibes from broken roads and potholes to inside the cabin. Especially when you are driving slow, the undulations of the surface can be felt inside the cabin quite easily. Going over bumps a little faster does take the sting out a bit.

This ride gets better on the highways and the body roll, especially considering the boxy shape, remains well under control. The ride remains stable even at speeds close to 120kmph. 

The steering is light to turn and it’s a breeze to use in the city. On the highways, it does weigh up but the feel remains a little lacking. Even the brakes are well tuned and the action is progressive and predictable

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Safety

All variants of the Vitara Brezza get dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution and reverse parking sensors as standard. The range-topping ZDi+ gets reverse parking camera as well. Overall, the SUV does seem to have a good safety package

 

Variants

  • Diesel
Variants Features Price
Vitara Brezza LDi Rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD, Dual airbags, 7.58 Lakh*
Vitara Brezza VDi [ In adition to LDi ] Keyless entry system, Anti-theft security system, Electric boot release, [ Variant LDi price ] + 52,000 =  8.1 Lakh*
Vitara Brezza ZDi [ In adition to VDi ] Auto AC, Steering-mounted audio controls, LED light guides, [ Variant VDi price ] + 77,500 =  8.88 Lakh*
Vitara Brezza ZDi Plus [ In adition to ZDi ] Reverse parking camera, Smartplay infotainment system, Smart entry with push start/stop, [ Variant ZDi price ] + 95,500 =  9.83 Lakh*
Vitara Brezza ZDi Plus Dual Tone [ In adition to ZDi Plus ] Automatic headlamps, Voice control, Navigation system, [ Variant ZDi Plus price ] + 15,810 =  9.99 Lakh*

Driver airbag is offered as a standard feature right from the base variant onwards.

The VDi (o) variant offers you the most bang for your buck! This compact SUV is offered in six variants namely LDi, LDi (O), VDi, VDi (O), ZDi and ZDi +. Going further into the details, the range topper ZDi+ gets best-in-class features like cruise control, SmartPlay infotainment system along with inbuilt- navigation. 

 

Maruti Vitara Brezza similar cars to compare & consider  
*Ex-showroom price

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