When it was first unveiled in production form at Auto Expo 2016, few would’ve expected the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza to be the runaway hit it turned out to be. In four years, Maruti Suzuki sold well over 5 lakh units of the Vitara Brezza, which has (for the most part) cemented its position at the top of the compact SUV sales chart. Now, as the company transitions into a petrol-only era ahead of the BS6 deadline, the Vitara Brezza has received a midlife update – but what exactly is new on the updated model compared to the outgoing Brezza? We tell you about all that’s different on the 2020 Vitara Brezza in this piece.
Design, interior and features – Same same, but different
Those who’d hoped Maruti Suzuki would roll out extensive design changes with the facelifted Vitara Brezza may have been a bit disappointed with the model that debuted at Auto Expo 2020. The Brezza’s upright stance and square-jawed face hit the right note with buyers, and Maruti decided against making any radical changes to a successful design. New on the facelifted Brezza are LED projector headlights accentuated by LED daytime-running lights, a chunky, four-slot chrome grille, redesigned front bumper with larger housings for the LED fog lamps, a reshaped faux skid plate and a silver-finished element shaped to look like a bull bar. Also new for the 2020 model are 16-inch precision-cut alloy wheels and LED tail-lights, as well as two new colour options – Torque Blue and Sizzling Red. All in all, even after the update, the Vitara Brezza remains largely identical to the pre-facelift model on the outside, and the subtle changes will only be noticed by the keen-eyed.
On the inside, too, Maruti Suzuki has refrained from making any major changes. The dash of the facelifted Brezza is identical to that of the pre-facelift model, and the only difference worth noting is that the facelift gets Maruti’s new SmartPlay Studio infotainment system. Everything else – including the 2020 Brezza’s features list – remains the same as before.
Engine – from diesel-only to petrol-only
The most important change for the Vitara Brezza facelift is the fact that it now gets a sole petrol engine option. The pre-facelift model was powered by the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel that's now been phased out ahead of the implementation of BS6 emission norms, and replacing it is the BS6-compliant, 1.5-litre K15B petrol that also powers the Ertiga, XL6 and Ciaz. Power output for the 1.5 petrol (105hp) is notably higher than the 1.3 diesel (90hp), but torque – rated at 138Nm for the petrol – is significantly lower than the diesel’s 200Nm. In terms of gearbox options, a 5-speed manual is standard, but the automatic gearbox is now a four-speed torque converter unit, unlike the diesel’s AMT. An important point to note is the automatic version of the Vitara Brezza facelift comes with Maruti Suzuki’s fuel-saving Smart Hybrid tech as standard, which results in the AT variant having a higher official fuel efficiency figure (18.76kpl) than the MT (17.03kpl). That said, both mileage figures are significantly lower than that of the diesel, which was rated at 24.3kpl.
Price – No excise benefits
While the shift from a diesel to a petrol engine is in line with Maruti Suzuki’s plan going forward, the 1.5-litre petrol engine means the Vitara Brezza no longer qualifies for excise duty benefits extended to models measuring under 4 metres in length, and that has a direct implication on its price.
Despite petrols generally being more affordable than diesels, at Rs 7.34 lakh, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza petrol range starts just Rs 29,000 lower than the outgoing Brezza diesel range. In fact, the Brezza range now tops out at Rs 11.40 lakh for the ZXi+ AT variant; roughly Rs 80,000 higher than the most expensive Brezza diesel variant there was. At this price, the Brezza facelift is pricier than the Tata Nexon facelift, and within striking distance of the top-spec automatic versions of the Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Venue 1.0-litre turbo-petrol .
It’s clear that despite giving the Brezza a notable update, Maruti Suzuki has chosen to not mess with a winning formula. However, what remains to be seen is if the petrol-powered Vitara Brezza can hold sway over a majority of compact SUV buyers like the pre-facelift diesel Brezza did.