It isn’t news that Maruti Suzuki will soon introduce the facelift for its Vitara Brezza compact SUV, which will come with a petrol engine for the first time. Replacing the current model’s aging 1.3-litre diesel engine will be the Maruti Ciaz and Ertiga’s 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol mill that is tuned to produce 105hp and 138Nm of torque. While we’ve been reporting that a 5-speed manual will be standard fit, we can now confirm that the Vitara Brezza petrol-automatic will be equipped with the same 4-speed torque convertor unit as Maruti’s midsize sedan.
It is a fact that an automated manual transmission (AMT) is a more cost-effective option and the more sophisticated torque convertor unit will drive the price of the Vitara Brezza petrol up by a significant amount. Also, the brand had opted to use the more affordable AMT gearbox for the diesel Vitara Brezza, which helped keep costs in check. However, considering this engine-gearbox combination is already available in the Ciaz, Ertiga and the XL6 – and is expected to make its way to the S-Cross too – it would create greater economies of scale and bring down the price of the components, thereby keeping costs in check.
A unique selling point of the Maruti Vitara Brezza facelift will be that it will be the only compact SUV in India to come with a mild-hybrid system; while the Mahindra XUV300 diesel does come with a start-stop system, it is a less sophisticated ‘micro-hybrid’ unit. Like the other petrol-powered mild-hybrid Marutis, the Vitara Brezza will also get a dual-battery setup that will work in conjunction with the engine to provide start-stop and torque-fill functions.
The compact SUV segment currently has a number of petrol-automatic options – the Hyundai Venue 1.0 gets a dual-clutch unit, the Ford EcoSport has a torque convertor, and the Tata Nexon comes with an AMT. With the Brezza petrol-automatic, Maruti might be able to grab a larger share of the segment.
While Maruti Suzuki is bullish on the facelift for its compact SUV, saying that they expect the Brezza petrol to replace diesel volumes 1:1, potential buyers may be put off by its higher price point when compared to the current model. Due to the larger 1.5-litre petrol engine, the Brezza facelift will no longer qualify for tax sops under the Indian government’s law for sub-four-metre vehicles, which will see its prices increase.