Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSI) had the perfect game plan for the Delhi Auto Expo . The Vitara Brezza – the trump card of the game “Transformotion” – is all set to do wonders for the top carmaker, considering that the excitement of its looks is now coupled by a magnetic price tag: Rs 6.99 lakh onwards.
Yes, the dynamic compact sports utility vehicle will cost Rs 6.99 lakh for the base variant, and Rs 9.68 lakh for the top one. While the bookings start immediately, the cars will roll out of the Maruti Suzuki dealerships by the end of March.
The Vitara Brezza is set on Suzuki’s global small-car platform, but has been designed and engineered in India. “It’s 98% Made in India,” say MSI executives to underline the point.
The car was one of the most talked about launches at the expo last month, and also the most Googled vehicle on the Internet. MSI learnt some serious lessons from the S-Cross and Baleno to get everything right in this one. Well, has it?
Let’s look at the hits and misses:
1) Looks: The car has a bold and masculine facia like no other Maruti Suzuki offering. It is 3,995 mm long, 1,790 mm wide and 1,640 mm tall. The vehicle’s flamboyance is aptly demonstrated by its broad, aggressive grille with a thick dash of chrome, bullhorn projector lamps and a tall stance due to the 198-mm ground clearance. WOW!
The rear does not look like a design new from scratch, but has hints and dashes of S-Cross all over. The chrome applique with Vitara Brezza engraved on it looks nice.
2) Engine and Mileage: The DDiS 200 heart of this car is a 1,248cc diesel engine that delivers 89-bhp power and 200-Nm torque. While this engine also powered the S-Cross, which claimed to run 23.65 km to the litre, the Brezza will deliver a better mileage of 24.3 because it is lighter! HAPPY POCKET
3) However, if you’re one of those eco-friendly blokes who want a petrol version, MSI says, “Sorry, not now.” However, MSI executive director (engineering) CV Raman had hinted at the Auto Expo that a petrol trim would be available soon. But, as of today, it’s a MISS.
4) Drive: The Brezza is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, and the engine is transversely placed on the platform – negating the chances of an all-wheel drive in the future. Were you expecting this one? MISS
5) Space: The Vitara Brezza is tall yet proportionate enough to fall in the sub-four metre class. The headroom – as the manufacturers say – is good enough for a six-foot Sikh wearing a turban to have adequate head clearance. That’s GOOD.
The 328-litre boot space and the low loading-lip with a wide aperture makes luggage loading and off-loading easy. The rear 60:40 split seats can be folded into a flat bed to make more room. GOOD
6) Safety: The driver’s airbag is a standard accessory in the Brezza, and variants from LDi (O) onwards have dual front airbags, antilock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution technologies to aid you on untrustworthy roads. The vehicle has been certified safe in front and side impact crash tests. These safety norms will be applicable in India from 2017. FUTURE-PROOF, eh?
7) Colours: According to a leaked Brezza brochure, MSI is offering the compact SUV in nine colour options. However, you may get a little disappointed here because your favourite dual-tones – as displayed at the Auto Expo – are available only in the top variant.
8) Interiors: The interiors are all plush and premium, although with a Baleno tinge. The full-touchscreen smartplay infotainment system is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
The storage places are many and convenient, and the sliding front armrest – which houses a good deep storage box – is swoonworthy.
9) To make up for anything that may drive the customers away, MSI has offered features such as cruise control, auto headlamps and auto wipers in the top variant.
10) Competition: Despite its ruggedness, the Vitara Brezza may feel a bit underpowered by the 1.3 litre DDiS engine – which produces just 90 PS. Among its competitors, the Ford EcoSport draws 100 PS from a 1.5-litre TDCi engine while the TUV300’s mHAWK 80 churns out 85 PS. An EcoSport owner will have second thoughts about giving up his additional power for this one.
Watch | The inside-out view of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
However, owing to its popularity, good network of dealerships and after-sales service, Maruti Suzuki’s price tag on the Vitara Brezza (starting from Rs 6.99 lakh) could give the Ford EcoSport (starting at Rs 8.2 lakh) and the Mahindra TUV 300 range (Rs 7.0 lakh onwards) a tough run for their money. (All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)
Wonder why MSI chose to deliver Vitara Brezza from regular Maruti Suzuki dealerships. If cars had emotions, this flamboyant yet sophisticated compact SUV would probably feel a little low about not being sold through those premium Nexa showrooms. We ask again: Why isn’t it there?
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