Maruti Vitara Brezza vs Mahindra NuvoSport | Comparison Review

Published On Apr 15, 2016 By Arun for Maruti Vitara Brezza 2016-2020

Compact SUVs are easily the IN thing right now. Every manufacturer wants to have a go at one. An average B-segment hatchback with some cladding slapped on just doesn't cut the mustard anymore, does it? There is a conscious demand for a tall, beefy SUV, preferably with the ground clearance to boot. While Maruti was amongst the last entries to the sub 4-metre SUV space, Mahindra was the first! Maruti believes it has a winner on its hands with the Brezza. Mahindra, on the other hand, wants a bigger chunk of the pie. Queue the NuvoSport. We pit the latest entrants against each other, to see who comes out on top!


Let's kick things off by saying that neither cars are great looking per say, but, they do have some interesting details. We think that the Brezza's design is far too conservative. There isn't anything wrong with it, but, at the same time, there is nothing that would make one go wow. The design does have some aggressive elements like the projector headlamps with daytime running lamps, the large bumper with the customary skid plate and squared out wheel arches that house 16-inch alloy wheels. The party tricks, of course, are the optional dual-tone paint job and the customization options at the dealer level. On the whole, Maruti has played safe with the design, and it shows. However, we think that the design will go down well with the kind of customers Maruti wants to target. It's a design that is hard to dislike. 

At the other end of the spectrum lies the Mahindra NuvoSport. As usual, Mahindra has opted for an all-out, love it or hate it design language. We have to say, like most Mahindras, this too looks much better in person than in pictures.  It towers over puny hatchbacks and sedans. In fact, one will also be looking down on the likes of the Brezza and the EcoSport. It also happens to be the widest in its segment. When it comes to presence, the NuvoSport ticks all the right boxes. While the side and rear get subtle updates like the new 16-inch wheels and smoked taillamps, the front has been redone entirely. The LED daytime running lamps, air vent on the bonnet and the signature Mahindra grille makes the NuvoSport look a whole lot different than the Quanto. Lest we forget, the Mahindra has a tailgate mounted spare wheel too, just in case you thought it was a hatch on steroids. 

Neither of these will be winning any design awards. The Mahindra has a raw and rugged appeal. But, it is the Brezza that is more easy on the eye. Not to mention, the Maruti looks home in the urban environment. The dimensions are just right to chuck it around in the city too! 


The black color theme on the Brezza, makes the cabin look smaller than it actually is. The dash is neatly laid out and has a nice soft-touch texture to it. We like the dull silver accents around the dash and the door pads, and the subtle touch of chrome on the S-Cross sourced steering wheel. Although there is a fair bit of part sharing with cheaper Marutis, the Brezza's cabin does feel premium.

The NuvoSport carries the same old dashboard from the Xylo, which isn't a good thing. The near slab sided fascia and the rounded AC vents look odd. Moreover, the cabin is finished in a weird dull gray shade that does almost nothing to liven up the cabin. Mahindra has tried to add some spice by throwing in what appears to be a carbon fibre finish around the dash and the door pads, but it does end up looking tacky. 

The biggest difference between the two is that you have to climb inside the NuvoSport, whereas you walk inside the Brezza. The Maruti does not have the typical high seating position one would associate with SUVs. The position is relatively neutral and is comparable to a B-segment hatch. On the other hand, you sit nice and high in the NuvoSport giving you a commanding view of what's ahead. The Mahindra trumps the Maruti when it comes to space. 

Not only does it double up as a seven-seater occasionally, but also has more space when seating just five. Our favorite feature has to be the reclining rear bench. You have to tuck away the third-row of seats to lounge, but that is a trade-off we'll take all day long! One can seat three people in the rear bench of either car, but the occupants of the NuvoSport will have greater shoulder-room and head-room. That said, legroom is more or less, on par. 

However if you plan on being in the driver's seat more often, the Brezza feels a lot more comfortable. The seats are well bolstered and will be supportive, even over long journeys. We particularly liked the added side bolstering, that will hug the well-built rather well. Getting into a comfortable driving position is easy. That said, it would have been easier if the steering had reach adjustment. The Maruti is ergonomically sound — everything is just where it is supposed to be. One feels at home almost instantly. It takes some time to get used to the NuvoSport and ergonomics aren't the best. Also, equipment levels on the Maruti are far better. The Brezza gets navigation, keyless entry, push-button start, chilled glovebox and automatic climate control over the NuvoSport. Both cars get a touchscreen infotainment system, but, the 7-inch unit in the Brezza has a better interface, is easier to use, and has better overall output. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 6.2-inch unit in the Mahindra is an aftermarket system that looks dated and isn't as slick to use. 

The Maruti has the better interior among the two. It is better built and better put together. Quality levels are amongst the best in its class, part sharing with cheaper Marutis notwithstanding. The NuvoSport's core USP is space. We wish Mahindra updated the interior design as well, to keep it up to speed with its rivals. The feature list of the NuvoSport seems good in isolation but feels meek compared what the competition offers. 


Here's how the two stack up: 


Mahindra NuvoSport

Maruti Vitara Brezza

Engine Name

1.5-litre 12V mHawk Diesel

1.3-litre 16V DDiS 200 Diesel








5 Speed - Manual/AMT -
Rear Wheel Drive

5 Speed - Manual -
Front Wheel Drive


17.45 kmpl

24.3 kmpl


2220 kg

1680 kg

Both engines, are evidently tuned for in-city driveability rather than outright performance. Mahindra has managed to control the turbo-lag well with the NuvoSport. Torque kicks in early, enabling you to amble around the city without requiring frequent gear changes. In case you do not want to change gears at all, an AMT is on offer as well. The Brezza's motor continues to be plagued by the trademark lag under 2000rpm. Get past that, and the motor delivers all of that 200Nm of torque in one clean surge. 
Drive them back to back, and one would realize that the engines have different characteristics. The Mahindra enjoys its lazy slug of torque, whereas the Maruti does not mind when the revs climb. If you do intend on driving yourself, it's the Brezza that feels better to drive. The short throws of the 5-speed manual and the well-mannered steering will leave you smiling. Around the bends, it is surprisingly flat, with next to no body roll. Maruti has opted for a stiff suspension setup that lets the Brezza handle corners without scaring the driver. 
The stiff setup works well when you are on a corner carving spree. However, it can get slightly taxing to live with on a day to day basis. At low speeds, it thuds over potholes, transferring the shocks to the cabin. The ride quality isn't as 'cushiony' as the NuvoSport that simply glides over irregularities in the road surface. One would rarely feel any bumps or potholes while in the Mahindra. Because of this, there is a substantial amount of body roll, and the high-speed ride is slightly bouncy. 
On paper, the Mahindra seems to have licked the Maruti clean. Sadly, one can't exploit the extra 10bhp and 40Nm with the optional AMT. We're sure the manual will fare better in this regard. To sum up, the Brezza does better when it comes to efficiency, highway manners, steering feel and feedback, and driving dynamics in general. The NuvoSport has better ride quality inside the city and an optional AMT. 


Prices are more or less on par, with base versions of both starting at around INR 7.4 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). So, which one's better? The Vitara Brezza is the one to pick unless you need the extra seats. It is better built, better equipped and feels modern in every way. While the NuvoSport is a better package compared to the Quanto, Mahindra should have upped the quality simultaneously. 

Latest Suv Cars

Upcoming Cars

Popular Suv Cars

We need your city to customize your experience