First drive: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza compact SUV

First drive: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza compact SUV

By SHAMS NAQVI | | 19 March, 2016
Vitara Brezza.
We’re just in the third month of the year, but we already know that the Vitara Brezza is the biggest launch of the year. Such is the attention this compact SUV from Maruti has gained. After showing the car first at the Auto Expo, Maruti wasted no time in launching the car in the market. An SUV that is affordable, coming from a reliable automaker with a proven track record. What more can a buyer ask for? The Vitara Brezza is yet another attempt to use an old Maruti Brand name in a new avatar after the Baleno. It comes straight into a much sought after segment, the compact SUVs. These are cars that take care of your practical needs and are light on the pocket as well. They can take on all kinds of roads and also look good. Basically it has everything that an Indian buyer wants. These factors explain the success of cars like the Ford Ecosport and the Hyundai Creta, and to some extent the S-cross as well. With the Brezza, Maruti is aiming to change the game and give what the segment hasn’t seen before. And that is premium features along with affordability. What we see in SUVs costing under ten lakh rupees are a lot of cost cutting measures, something India’s largest car maker in not keen on doing. This is also a time when the urban buyer doesn’t mind spending a bit extra for more features and safety and that’s why luxury hatches have done well in recent time.


A look at the Brezza confirms the notion that this is a car that speaks of bold aggressive design along with premium features. Maruti says that the designers have worked to create an appealing upright stance to the SUV. The proportions are well balanced; the highlight here is the signature ‘Bull Horn’ LEDs with turn indicators that look distinct. The headlamps are automatic, the tyres are big and the square wheel arches add to the muscular look. And finally, the body kit along with skid plate garnishes and the hood bring in a raised stance which is much required in the SUV. What really surprises you is the width of the Brezza which is almost 1.8 metre, a point where it clearly scores over the Ecosport. The rear too is attractive with split tail-lights with LEDs and an embossed signature chrome bar that adds a distinct personality to the vehicle. Things that somewhat remind of the S-cross. Vitara Brezza is high on personalization. On offer are theme based personalization options - Glamour, Urban, Sporty - that match the personality of the customer, a feature never seen before in the SUV market in India. There are characteristic Dual colour schemes in various combinations and a unique floating roof again a first in segment.


The interiors of Brezza reveal a contemporary dashboard with futuristic layout. It’s an all-black dash, unlike many other cars that now come with multiple color tones. The meter cluster is very cluster and the star here are the 5 different mood lights. The infotainment system works with Apple car play and also has reverse parking camera. The AC has an auto temperature controls setting. The bucket seats look good and are well padded, they can also be adjusted for height. The quality of materials used at certain places though could be a bit better, like in the front center armrest. Some other noteworthy features on the car include rain sensing wipers, auto headlight, air-cooled upper box, and card holder in glove box. Owing to the tall boy SUV design, there’s a lot of space inside the Brezza. The first thing you realize is that ingress-egress is very smooth and there’s adequate leg room to the rear passenger. The boot space at 328 litre is perhaps not ideal, but there’s only so much a company can do when it faces a tough task of making a sub 4-meter car. The good thing is that the boot space can be extended with the unique flip folded seats and 60:40 rear split, maximizing the utility space.

A look at the Brezza confirms the notion that this is a car that speaks of bold aggressive design along with premium features. 


The Brezza gives the driver a very good driving position with a very clear view of the road. It only helps that the car has a ground clearance of 198 mm, making it a safe vehicle over the broken, rocky stretches found mostly in the rural parts of the country.Just like the S-cross the Vitara Brezza has come only in a Diesel avatar and only in manual. It is the acclaimed 1.3 litre 90 PS engine that has been a proven workhorse on cars like the Swift and the Dzire. The best part is that Maruti is promising an impressive mileage of 24.3 km per litre, the highest in SUV category. The engine combined with multiple innovative technologies like intelligent battery management, gear shift indicator, low rolling-resistance tyres ensures the good fuel economy.The selected gear ratios ensure excellent driving pleasure with the predictable power and peppiness of a compact SUV. The peak torque kicks in at 1700 rpm but there are occasions when one does need to downshift to ensure optimum performance. NVH levels are also kept in check due to effective use of acoustic insulation and absorption materials around the cabin and engine compartment.

Ride & Handling

The suspension is well-tuned and that means that the Brezza delivers a stable and comfortable ride. The monocoque body design enhances ride handling and stability even at higher speeds. This despite the SUV shape of the car.The car also comes with an assurance of safety. It is the first car in the country that is certified for offset and side impact crash tests which will be enforced in India in 2017. While driver airbag is a standard on all variants, front passenger airbag and ABS with EBD is offered as an option from base variant onwards. And all that comes for just Rs. 12,000 extra.


The introductory prices of the Vitara Brezza start at 6.99 lakh rupees, ex-showroom, Delhi and going by the number of bookings the company is garnering, this urban SUV is here to stay. The car will not be retailed through Nexa dealerships but through regular Maruti dealerships simply because the company wants the car to have a bigger reach more so to the rural parts of the country. The Brezza already is an assured winner for India’s largest car maker, one that is easy on the pocket, trustworthy and caring.  

Shams Naqvi  is an anchor/producer  for the News X motor show Living  Cars.

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