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Traditionally, Maruti Suzuki has always been a manufacturer of small cars and hatchbacks. Cars like the Zen, Alto, 800, Swift, Ritz, WagonR, etc, are forever etched in the hearts of Indian households that relied on these workhorses. The brand did make a couple of SUVs like the Gypsy and Grand Vitara. However, they were as big a sales disaster as they were enthusiasts' favourites.
Indians love SUVs and Maruti Suzuki was in need of an SUV that is not just capable but would also sell well. To this end, at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki displayed a product that would go on to write history for the brand by becoming the bestselling SUV in India. Yes, it was the Vitara Brezza and it immediately became a massive success.
The Vitara Brezza presented such an attractive prospect that, even Toyota chose the SUV as its first rebadged product as part of its deal with Suzuki. Now, the next generation of the SUV has been unveiled and there are massive changes with this SUV.
We drove the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza on the iconic East Coast Road and around the scenic locales of Mahabalipuram to find out what this one is all about. So, read on to know more.
Design & Style
If you liked the design of the older Brezza, chances are you would love this one. It looks more muscular and looks more of an SUV than it did earlier. The design lines perfectly align with the rest of the car and there's more to it than meets the eye. Also, it is boxier in styling than it used to be.
While the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza is new from all angles, it looks the newest up front. Be it the LED DRLs or the new grille, it lends a unique styling to the SUV that is bound to make an impression.
The first element to grab your attention would be the new headlamp setup. From a distance, it looks like a squared off design, but a closer look would reveal that it does have some curves. The LED DRLs look absolutely fabulous and the headlamps seamlessly blend into the new grille.
The grille here is a little complicated and you do get the feeling that it might be a little too much going on here. The large Suzuki logo takes prominence and the new bumper too gets quite busy. The fog lamps are really tiny and are enclosed in black cladding. This cladding is found on the entire bumper and continues to the side profile as well.
The bonnet is not rounded off as the headlamps are positioned a little lower. At the bottom is a silver scuff plate. Moving onto the side, the wheels attract your attention. They are dual-tone diamond-cut 16-inch wheels. Lower variants are available with painted wheels and the base variant rides on steel wheels.
The wheel arches are now flared and it lends a muscular stance to the SUV. The design lines are now straight and this is what gives the Brezza a boxy appearance. As aforementioned, the cladding continues from the front to the sides as well. This matte black cladding is really thick on the wheel arches and becomes even thicker on the doors. It is even contoured to make it look better.
The A, B, C & D pillars of the new Brezza are blacked-out on all variants while the roof is blacked out only on the ZXi and ZXi+ variants. This combination looks very attractive indeed. What's more attractive is, the rear-end.
The split LED tail lamps are sleek and slender while the tail gate has shrunk in size. This also means the loading lip is a bit higher than it was before. The Brezza moniker takes prominence and so does the Suzuki logo.
At the bottom is a silver scuff plate with two horizontal reflectors above it. The number plate recess too looks great. On the whole, it is easy to say that the rear end is the best bit of the new Brezza.
On the whole, the new Brezza sports a refreshing design that is sporty and youthful. It is certain to grab eyeballs out on the road.
Cockpit & Interior
The interior and cockpit on the new Brezza is all grown up and mature while still being youthful. Maruti Suzuki says it is ‘Hot & Techy' and we agree to an extent. The new Brezza features a dual-tone black and brown interior. The black is certainly youthful while the brown is a bit more mature. This contrast is found throughout the new Brezza.
In front of the driver is a steering wheel that seems like it has been around for ages now. There are no changes to the design and the same wheel is found in the likes of the Swift and the new Baleno as well. You do get steering-mounted controls and the silver insert together with the flat-bottom design makes it a little sportier.
Behind the steering wheel is the analogue-digital instrument cluster with a full-colour MID. The MID displays lots of information about the vehicle and it is pretty fancy. This instrumentation is a huge improvement over the outgoing Brezza. The MID is flanked by the analogue tachometer to the left and the speedometer to the right.
In addition to the MID, the driver can also view important drive-related information on the MID. It is fancy stuff indeed and will be extremely useful especially over long drives at high speeds. The dashboard looks nice too with a brushed aluminium element on the left side.
Taking centre stage on the dashboard is the touchscreen infotainment system. The lower variants feature a 7-inch touchscreen while the top-spec ZXi+ variant features a larger 9-inch SmartPlay Pro+ infotainment. It does include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sound is reproduced through a 4 speaker and 2 tweeter ARKAMYS audio system.
The sound is great and there's nothing to complain of. One shouldn't really expect more than this at this price point. It certainly is better than the competition in this arena. The same touchscreen also displays imagery from the 360-degree camera. There are several camera angles one can choose from and it even comes equipped with the next-gen Suzuki Connect connectivity suite.
Beneath the infotainment screen are the AC vents and beneath them are the controls for climate control. This is where you really start to get the premium vibes from the new Brezza. A huge improvement over the outgoing model, the new Brezza features toggle switches for the temperature and fan speed with a small LCD display in between.
When we get to the centre console, at the front are the USB slots to charge your phone and to connect it to the infotainment system. Beneath the USB ports is the wireless smartphone charging pad, which we found to be extremely useful during our test.
The remainder of the centre console is very simple with the gear lever and handbrake placed in it. As mentioned at the start of this section, the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza features a youthful and modern, yet mature interior.
Comfort & Practicality
Comfort and practicality have always been the strong points of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. People found the Brezza very easy to live with, easy to drive and hence it sold in such great numbers. With such a reputation to live up to, the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza had its work cut out from the start.
We're glad to report, the new Brezza is as practical and comfortable as the older one if not more. The seats are very comfortable to start off with and one can clock long hours in the saddle. Despite Maruti Suzuki promoting the new Brezza as a ‘City-Bred' SUV, occupants of the new Brezza can easily clock long distances in comfort.
The comfort quotient continues at the back too. Passengers at the rear have lots of space. The headroom is great and so is the leg room. The under-thigh support could have been better, but it really isn't a dealbreaker. You do get a fold-down armrest with cupholders integrated into it.
Passengers at the rear get dedicated AC vents and USB ports to charge up their smartphones. In terms of practicality, there's a lot to talk about. The steering-mounted controls and the HUD are two features that are very practical and useful on a daily basis.
The glovebox has decent space and so do the door pockets. You also get seatback pockets and a hook behind the front seats so that passengers at the rear can hang up a small bag or something similar.
In terms of boot space, the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza features a sizeable 328-litres of space at the back. This can be increased significantly by folding down the rear seat. The Brezza continues to be a practical offering in the Indian market.
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
The Maruti Suzuki Brezza is the only SUV in the segment without a diesel engine option. There is only a mild-hybrid petrol engine on offer and it can be paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Maruti Suzuki is pretty vocal when it comes to why there is no diesel engine. It is a fact that petrol engines emit lesser amounts of pollution compared to diesel engines and the narrower price gap between petrol and diesel fuels simply means demand for diesel cars will drop. We have already witnessed this drop in demand for diesel cars and Maruti Suzuki was one of the first brands to remove the diesel engine from its lineup.
The engine that powers the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza has been around for a while now, but it now comes laden with new technology to make it more efficient. This includes an integrated starter generator and an auxiliary battery.
It is a 1,463cc K15C Dual Jet Dual-VVT four-cylinder engine with a maximum power output of 101.6bhp at 6,000rpm and a peak torque output of 136.8Nm at 4,400rpm. It is the same engine that is also found in the Maruti Suzuki XL6.
With this engine, you get a smooth drive with low NVH levels. The engine is smooth enough to fool the SUV's occupants into thinking the engine is turned off while it continues to idle. Performance is adequate at best as the power and torque figures are not groundbreaking.
That being said, we are happy to report that the new Brezza accelerates a little quicker than the older model. This is felt in every gear and driveability is excellent. We drove both the manual and the automatic variants.
The manual gearbox features a light clutch and that makes it a breeze to drive in urban conditions. It isn't as physically taxing on those who drive it in bumper-to-bumper traffic, as some of its competitors. The gear lever is light as well and gear throws are easygoing. It isn't too long, and nor is it too short. The ratios are also perfectly matched, and there's nothing to complain of.
Moving on to the torque converter automatic gearbox. Torque converter engines typically go well with larger engines and on that note, we did feel the gearbox could have been better in the new Brezza. As expected, there is a kickdown and it is a little slow to respond.
However, you can slot the gearbox into manual mode and use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel to shift gears. This does cure the gearbox's lag to a certain extent. However, we would prefer the manual gearbox for its precision.
When it comes to the ride and handling, there aren't many changes. The steering is rather light and can handle quite a bit of usage in urban areas and the excellent turning radius makes it easy to maneuver in tight spots. However, it isn't as sure-footed at higher speeds as we would have liked it to be.
It uses the same suspension and brakes setup as the previous Vitara Brezza. The suspension isn't too soft, nor is it too rigid. It does soak up bumps pretty well and there isn't much body roll.
The ride is very comfortable and a majority of the credit for this goes to the seats. They are very comfortable as we mentioned earlier in the review. It isn't the best handler in the segment and it wasn't meant to be chucked around corners. Maruti Suzuki says it is a city-bred SUV and for that sort of usage, the new Brezza simply is the best.
The new Brezza boasts adequate braking capabilities and they are just alright. It features disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. At the end of it all, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza is capable of handling long drives but you will have the most fun in urban areas.
Safety & Key Features
The new Maruti Suzuki Brezza is a lot safer than the first generation Vitara Brezza that came out in 2016. It is also now loaded with features.
New Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Safey Features:
- Head-Up Display
- 360-degree Camera
- Driver & Co-Driver Airbags
- Electronic Stability Program
- Hill Hold Assist
- Seatbelt Pre-Tensioners
- Suzuki-TECT Body
- Engine Immobiliser
- ISOFIX Child Seat Mounts
- Impact Sensing Door Unlock
New Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Key Features:
- 9-inch Touchscreen Infotainment
- Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
- Full-Colour MID
- Electric Sunroof
- Rear Fast Charging USB Port
- Electric ORVMs
- Steering-Mounted Controls
- Brave Khakhi
- Splendid Silver
- Sizzling Red
- Exuberant Blue
- Pearl Arctic White
- Magma Grey
- Splendid Silver with Midnight Black Roof
- Sizzling Red with Midnight Black Roof
- Brave Khakhi with Arctic White Roof
The first generation Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza found a perfect combination of practicality, reliability, usability, and comfort. This combination made it sell in large numbers earlier. Now, the same combination will make the new Brezza sell in large numbers. Albeit, this time, it will do it with better styling. Maruti Suzuki surely has a winner on their hands with this one.