- May 27, 2008
The Maruti Vitara Brezza has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 6.99 - 9.68 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
What you’ll like:
• 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
What you won’t:
• 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
Slow in responding to market trends - it's not a statement that'd make you think of Maruti Suzuki. Despite having nearly half of the Indian automobile market, since the last 4 - 5 years, Maruti has been quick to bring out new models, technologies and options.
However, the giant has been surprisingly late to the compact SUV space. All these years while the EcoSport & Duster raked in the moolah, Maruti could do nothing, but frown & watch from the sidelines. Its compact SUV was still years away. Truly shocking how Maruti (& Hyundai) were unprepared for the country's SUV craze.
A lot of models and updates from rivals later, Maruti Suzuki has finally launched its first contender for the sub-4 meter SUV segment; though late to the game, this is a nightmare come true for its competitors.
After successfully reviving the Baleno brand, Maruti decided to continue with the "throwback nomenclature" of reviving model names of the past, christening its baby SUV - Vitara Brezza.
Brezza is an Italian word for breeze, but marketing aside, this is nothing more than an intelligent name-play.
The Grand Vitara was far from Maruti's best-selling model, yet the name "Vitara" still has recall value in the Indian car buyer's mind as an SUV. It was an expensive SUV too, so there is some premiumness around the nameplate.
Since the Grand Vitara was a non-seller anyway, using its name on a cheaper mass market product has no negative repercussions.
As Mr. Randhir Singh Kalsi (executive marketing and sales director - MSIL) said, "Unchi is the new lambi." i.e. SUVs today enjoy the same status & desirability as long sedans did at one time.
Codenamed 'YBA', the Vitara Brezza is based on Suzuki's global C-platform, which it shares with the full-sized Vitara.
Nope, it's not based on the new Baleno platform as work on the Vitara Brezza started before the Baleno's platform was even ready.
One look at the kerb weight and you'd know it. While the Baleno is lightweight, for a sub-4 meter Maruti, the Vitara Brezza is on the heavier side.
At 1,170 kg (1,195 for the top variant), it's just 10 kg lighter than the S-Cross DDiS 200. The Dzire, with a similar footprint weighs 1,050 kg, while the Baleno diesel tips the scales at just 960 kg.
The SUV's structure uses high-tensile steel. Maruti says this is the first car to be certified for the Indian offset & side impact crash tests that are coming in 2017.
The Vitara Brezza has been designed and engineered entirely by the Maruti Suzuki development team in India, led by Chief Engineer Mr. CV Raman.
Development began in 2012 and it took around 3.5 years to become the final product that debuted at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo.
The company has invested Rs. 860 crore into this project and 98% of the Vitara Brezza's components have been locally sourced. It could have easily been 100%, but the 2% is perhaps to appease Suzuki Japan.
Full report and many more pics here: