The Brezza comes with clean & proportionate styling that would please most of the buyers. A review is helpful when it lists down both the pros and cons of a vehicle. So I am going to do just that, enjoy:
• An all-rounded compact SUV. A neutral package at the right price
• Clean & proportionate styling. Dual-tone paint shades look nice
• Well-mannered suspension riding on big 215/60 R16 tyres. 198 mm of GC!
• Good cabin space for a sub-4 meter car. Lots of storage & a powerful air-con too
• 1.3L 89 BHP diesel is quick as well as fuel-efficient
• Driver airbag is standard. ABS + EBD and passenger airbag are available on every variant
• Features: Cruise control, touchscreen ICE with navigation, auto headlamps & wipers, projector headlamps & LEDs, reversing camera etc.
• Maruti's excellent after-sales support network
• No petrol engine or automatic offered. Boosterjet turbo-petrol is still sometime away
• Ordinary interior quality. EcoSport has better quality & a more solid build
• Missing features vs cheaper Baleno (bi-xenons, telescopic steering, auto-dimming IRVM, leather steering)
• Diesel engine has some turbo-lag below 2,000 rpm (though not excessive)
• Boot has a practical layout, but is still the smallest in the segment at 328 liters
• Forget LDi, even VDi is basic & poorly equipped. ZDi & ZDi+ are the only recommended variants
• Waiting periods rapidly closing in on 6 months.
The Brezza comes with the Fiat sourced, 1.3L, DOHC, 4-cylinder diesel with a variable geometry turbo (VGT) that we've seen in the S-Cross, Ertiga and Ciaz. The power and torque figures are familiar i.e. 89 BHP @ 4,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque @ 1,750 rpm. Because of the Vitara Brezza's kerb weight, Maruti decided to give it the higher state of tune (not 74 BHP like the Swift & Baleno).
Press the clutch, hit the engine start / stop button to fire her up and there's no getting away from the fact that she's an oil-burner. Vibrations at start-up are well managed, albeit you'll always know she's a diesel thanks to the familiar clatter. Rev it and the diesel gets audible inside the cabin. There's no comparing it to the refined Hyundai 1.4L CRDi (as an example).
If you've driven an Ertiga, you've pretty much experienced the Vitara Brezza. Their behaviour has a lot in common and perhaps, that's a good thing for those upgrading from the Swift / Dzire as there's no learning curve. At low rpms and within the city, the 89 BHP diesel does have some amount of turbo-lag. It isn't excessive though, nor is the engine dead below 2,000 rpm like the Duster 110 FWD used to be. Things are acceptable in the 1,500 - 1,800 revv range and you can still push on in the same gear. It didn't bother us at all and we were happily driving the Vitara Brezza around in Pune traffic. However, when the revv needle drops too low or you need instant punch, you'll have to downshift. No two sides to that. Driveability isn't as good as the EcoSport 1.5L diesel which offers stronger low-end torque & linear power delivery. You'll also be downshifting more when climbing up mountain roads where the lag can catch you out, as we discovered on the beautiful Khambatki Ghat.
Open-road acceleration is adequate, but not exciting. Once the turbo is spooling, there is a noticeable spike and you'll find the mid-range to be punchy. Highway performance is competent - overtaking is easy as long as the revv needle is hovering over 2,000 rpm (else you need to downshift). The high seating position helps too, giving the driver excellent visibility. This 1.3L diesel is free-revving in nature and willing to go beyond 5,000 rpm when you need to hold a gear. In terms of cruisability, 100 km/h in 5th gear sees the tacho kiss 2,400 rpm, while 120 km/h comes up at ~2,900 rpm. Not as relaxed as the EcoSport diesel which does the same speeds at 2,100 rpm & 2,500 rpm (respectively). Still, the engine is inaudible when cruising at 100 km/h and you won't even know it's a diesel under the hood. While the Vitara Brezza is no speeding rocket, it can be a decent inter-city traveller. Equally, we might add, the SUV is more suited to those with a calm driving style than enthusiasts. Let's see if the boosterjet turbo-petrol changes that.
The 1.3L diesel is known for its efficiency and it's no different under the hood of the Vitara Brezza. The ARAI rating is 24.3 km/l. Its fuel-economy should keep owners happy.
The NVH package is strictly average, and you aren't aloof from the world outside or even the engine. The diesel's clatter can be heard at idle and on the move too, even if the air-con and music system are running. Within the city at low rpms, things are alright. As the rpm needle climbs, it's far from being whisper quiet. There is a fair amount of wind & road noise that filters into the cabin. On the other hand, vibration and harshness levels are well under control.
The 5-speed gearbox is the same as the Ciaz / Ertiga and behaves the same too. The gates are properly defined and the lever is sure slotting. It's a good gearbox to use, even if it's not the slickest of units around. The clutch is light enough. The pedal has just the right amount of weight and is never cumbersome to use (stating this after spending several hours in crawling Pune traffic).
Ride quality is compliant at the front & rear and the SUV handles uneven roads well, you'll definitely feel the firmness of the suspension on slow speeds.
Service intervals = 1 month / 1,000 km (1st service), 6 months / 5,000 km (2nd service), 12 months / 10,000 km (3rd service and all those after that).
Standard warranty is for 2 years / 40,000 km. Extendable to the 4th year.
To summarize, the Vitara Brezza is a neutral all-rounder in its segment. It does most of the things right, without excelling in any single area....equally, nit does not even have a serious deal breaker. It is also backed by a 'can't go wrong' brand and is thus a successful formula.
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