The year 2015 was a roller coaster for Maruti Suzuki. They rode the crests while launching Nexa premium showrooms, S-Cross and Baleno, but hit the troughs when it came to sales and successes at major motoring awards.
But the Delhi Auto Expo 2016 has got them kicking again. With two concepts and a new compact SUV, they’ve shown their intent to transform into a good premium carmaker, with the “Transformotion” philosophy.
Their new compact SUV, Vitara Brezza, looks like a good spearhead for the new mission. From the stance to the plans, the car is far from what a standard Maruti Suzuki vehicle is expected to be.
Developed 98% in India at the cost of Rs 860 crore, the new Vitara Brezza has a bold new hexa-grille slot with a broad chrome line. The “bull-horn” LED headlamps are aggressive, while the rear looks a bit S-Cross-ish. Brezza is shorter than S-Cross, but wider which makes it look a bit bigger than the smoothly cut crossover.
What adds class is the dual-tone colour scheme which the company offers with personalisation options like Glamour, Urban, Sporty. This dual toning also brings some memories of the Mitsubishi Pajero.
Once inside, you find good headroom for a six-foot-tall person, and can see the bonnet line right till it drops down. Interiors are of the customary Maruti Suzuki feel-good materials – the glossy black linings, steel grey dashes, etc., on the textured black dashboard.
The low-lip boot with a flat-bed make luggage loading and off-loading easy.
Watch | The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza at the Delhi Auto Expo
While the company plans to marry the SUV body with a 1.3 litre DDiS engine as of now, Vitara Brezza may also have a petrol variant later. The diesel engine will churn out 66kW power and 200 Nm of torque.
A five-speed manual gearbox is slated, but as the new Duster gets the easy-R automated manual transmission (AMT) and so is the Creta ruling with the good options of transmission, Maruti Suzuki must think twice.
Maruti Suzuki has learnt good lesson from their crossover S-Cross, which couldn’t provide the right thrust needed for Nexa’s launch. But this Auto Expo, with a temperament for “Transformotion”, MSI has placed a good new rival for the Renault Duster, Hyundai Creta and the Ford EcoSPort.
And when a company spokesperson revealed that the MSI may sell the Vitara Brezza not through Nexa but through regular Maruti Suzuki dealerships, we were left with a bolt from the blue - What’s the price bracket this could really fit in?
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