Maruti's long-awaited compact SUV is here. Here's a first impression of the new Vitara Brezza.
Published on Mar 10, 2016 09:54:00 AM
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What’s it like to drive?
The Brezza has been launched with a single engine option – the ubiquitous DDiS200 unit. The Fiat-sourced four-cylinder, 1.3-litre turbo-diesel engine produces 89bhp and a strong 20.4kgm. First impressions are that it is adequately powered with a nice, beefy mid-range; a well-known characteristic of this engine. It’s surprisingly quick too – the 1,197kg Vitara Brezza sprints to 100kph from rest in under 13 seconds, making it quicker than the 1,290kg Ford EcoSport. The Vitara Brezza’s strong mid-range is best experienced in the 40-100kph dash in fourth gear which is dismissed in 15.2 seconds; quicker than the EcoSport's time for the same increment!
However, this engine is also known for its sluggishness at low revs which continues to be its weak link. Though Maruti has worked to minimise the turbo lag in successive models using this same motor, in the Vitara Brezza too, you can’t miss the fact that below 2,000rpm the engine isn’t quite awake. Although this compact SUV, which comes with reworked gear ratios will amble along quite happily on a part throttle to keep up with the flow of traffic, it’s when you mash your right foot down hard that the engine gets bogged down, especially in the relatively tall third gear. Cross the 2,000rpm mark and there’s a sudden rush of power which doesn’t abate until 5,000rpm. In fact, this engine maxes out at a remarkably high (for a diesel) 5,300rpm, which encourages you to make good use of the strong mid-range and top end. As a result, the Vitara Brezza is a comfortable highway cruiser with ample reserve for overtaking. However, a more linear power delivery and more torque deeper down would have made the Vitara Brezza more entertaining to drive. Hence, to get the most out of this engine you need be in the right gear at all times and this leads us to the gearshift, which again is nothing to write home about. It’s accurate but a touch sticky and lacks the crispness we have now come to expect from most cars in this price bracket. The clutch though is fairly light with good progression, which take the sting out of stop-start driving.
Where the Vitara Brezza impressed us was with its refinement. Sure, there’s no escaping the characteristic drone of the Fiat diesel that filters into the cabin at higher revs, but the Vitara Brezza does feel nicely hushed when driven in a relaxed manner, with road and wind noise well contained.
The Vitara Brezza’s suspension comprises front MacPherson struts and a torsion beam at the rear, but what’s noteworthy is that ground clearance is at an impressive 198mm. Base and middle-spec versions get 16-inch tyres while top-end models get 215/60 R16 tyres as standard. Our ZDi+ version came with the bigger 16-inch wheels and did a good job of smothering potholes and bigger ruts in true SUV fashion. However, the suspension is on the firmer side and the thud from sharper edges filter through. Also, on uneven surfaces the ride feels a tad lumpy, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. In fact, the Vitara Brezza does a good overall job of isolating passengers from the road and copes admirably with rough surfaces. The fat Apollo Tyres on our ZDi+ car no doubt soaking up a lot of the shocks.
The steering, like most Suzukis, has a bit of a dead zone around the straight ahead position but otherwise is pretty accurate and fairly quick too. In fact, compared to the Baleno, the Vitara Brezza’s steering feels more precise and body roll is well contained too, thanks to the relatively stiffer setup.
Expected Price : ₹ 12.00 - 15.00 lakh
₹ 4.24 - 6.28 lakh
₹ 6.37 - 9.37 lakh
₹ 4.98 - 6.60 lakh
₹ 11.13 - 16.77 lakh
₹ 4.48 - 6.48 lakh
₹ 7.23 - 10.73 lakh
₹ 9.06 - 16.09 lakh
₹ 5.57 - 7.89 lakh
₹ 9.42 - 12.97 lakh
₹ 6.54 - 9.97 lakh
₹ 4.28 - 5.52 lakh
₹ 8.61 - 14.92 lakh
₹ 8.47 - 15.14 lakh
₹ 12.22 - 22.66 lakh
₹ 6.47 - 9.23 lakh
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