The compact SUV segment is the most competitive marketplace in the Indian automotive scene. It all started with the Ford EcoSport, that revealed the possibility of having an SUV form factor in compact dimensions and affordable budget. At the moment, the segment includes contenders from all major carmakers like Maruti, Mahindra, Tata, Hyundai, Ford and Honda. Strangely, the most delayed entry from a carmaker in this segment was from the market leader – Maruti Suzuki. Though the Maruti Vitara Brezza was late to the party, it quickly managed to gain a lot of traction, and then stood on the segment leader pedestal for a fairly long period of time.
The Vitara Brezza neither had great looks, nor came with the most powerful engine. In fact, the Brezza’s erstwhile 1.3-litre diesel unit was one of the oldest engines powering a Compact SUV in India. However, owing to Maruti’s brand image and a very cleverly packaged product that catered to most demands of an average Indian buyer, the Vitara Brezza became the best-selling Compact SUV in India.
And now, after 4 years of its original launch, Maruti has brought a fairly comprehensive update to the Vitara Brezza, in the form of revised design and a new engine option. It is worth noting that the facelifted Maruti Vitara Brezza is now available only with a petrol engine option. It is thus one of the very few compact SUVs to be sold without a diesel engine in India.
We drove the Maruti Vitara Brezza petrol to see how the new compact SUV has evolved and whether it worth putting your money in!
- Mature styling will appeal to all and offend none
- Potent 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that offers good city and highway driveability
- Matured suspension setup and good ground clearance makes it perfect for our bumpy roads
- Satisfactory safety equipment (Standard ABS and dual airbags). Pre-facelift version was a 4-Star rated car by NCAP
- Feature-loaded: 7-inch touchscreen, LED headlamps, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and cruise control
- Maruti’s famed after sales service promises hassle-free ownership
What’s not so good?
- The petrol engine is just enough for normal running. Not good for enthusiasts
- 4-speed automatic gearbox is dated and old
- Steep pricing. Automatic variants too are priced high with a premium of around Rs. 1.4 lakh over the Manual
- Boot has a capacity of just 328 litres, making it the second-smallest in the segment
Exteriors – Design and road presence
For the 2020 facelift, Maruti designers have tried to make the Vitara Brezza look a bit more upmarket. As a result, major changes upfront include LED headlamps, a garish chrome grille, larger fog lamp housings, and a revised bumper design. We do like most of the cosmetic updates made to the new Vitara Brezza’s face, except the chrome grille. It is way to bright for an otherwise subtle design.
It is worth noting that all variants except the base trim get LED headlamps and DRLs. The daytime running lights are sufficiently bright to be easily visible under broad daylight. The DRL strip also acts as a turn indicator.
Move to the right and it might become difficult for you to identify the changes made to the facelift. The new Vitara Brezza continues to get black plastic cladding, squared wheel arches, and a floating roof design. The only update made here as part of the 2020 facelift are the new dual tone alloy wheels. These 16-inch alloys come with 215/60 profile tyres. The Brezza looks best in the dual-tone paint scheme. In the regular single tone avatar, it looks a bit dated, especially in comparison to some of its more flamboyant rivals.
The rear end also gets some very minute updates in the form of redesigned LED taillights and a new skid plate on the bumper. A thick chrome bar is located above the number plate housing and gets the Vitara Brezza branding. No company or variant details mentioned at the rear.
The Maruti Vitara Brezza facelift gets three new colour options – Torque Blue, Sizzling Red and Autumn Orange. The compact SUV is also available in Granite Grey, Premium Silver, and Pearl Arctic White. Additionally, there are three dual-tone colours on offer – Granite Grey with Orange roof, Sizzling Red with Black roof, and Torque Blue with Black roof. Our favourite is the Blue and Black combination.
Interiors – Comfort & Features
Changes on the inside are minimal. The Vitara Brezza facelift continues to come with an all-black cabin. There are a few silver accents thrown around for added detailing. The materials used are average, at best. In terms of interior quality, the Vitara Brezza is probably the worst compact SUV available.
However, the ergonomics are spot-on. Every switch and knob is placed where you would like it to be. There are ample spaces to keep your knick-knacks, on the centre console as well as all four door pads. There are two glove boxes. The one on the top gets an AC vent on the inside to keep your can of Pepsi cold. Meanwhile, the bottom one is more spacious and also gets illumination on the inside.
In terms of features, there are three big additions. The steering wheel finally comes with a leather wrap, while the IRVM gets automatic day/night dimming feature. Both these feature additions on the Vitara Brezza facelift are limited to the top-end ZXI+ variant. The third addition is the most important and noticeable.
The new Vitara Brezza petrol now comes with a larger 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It gets a rear parking camera, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and voice command support. Maruti calls this system the SmartPlay Studio. This is available on the ZXI and above trims. There are four speakers offered with this system as standard, while the top-spec ZXI+ trim gets two additional tweeters. The sound quality is satisfactory and will be enough for most Indian buyers. If you are an audiophile, we would recommend upgrading the speakers for a better sound experience. Meanwhile, lower variants of the Maruti Vitara Brezza petrol (LXI and VXI) get a 2DIN player with CD, AUX, USB and Bluetooth.
Engine, drivability and performance
With the facelift, Maruti has finally introduced a petrol engine with the Vitara Brezza. The compact SUV that was previously available only with a 1.3-litre diesel engine, now gets a sole 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine. This engine can be opted with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed torque converter automatic. It puts out 104 PS and 138 Nm of peak torque.
There is certainly no doubt about the fact that the Vitara Brezza petrol is tuned for sedate drivers. It just offers enough power and torque to feel adequate. But if you are someone who is a more spirited driver and likes free-revving engines, we would suggest to look elsewhere. The Vitara Brezza is a no-nonsense car and is meant to be treated that way.
In its manual avatar, slot the compact SUV into gear and release the clutch, and the Vitara Brezza moves forward without the need to press the accelerator. This will help in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. Additionally, there is enough grunt across the rpm band, especially after the engine crossed 1,200 rpm. So irrespective of which gear you are in, press the accelerator and the Vitara Brezza accelerates without throwing any tantrums. This helps a lot in highway mile-munching.
The automatic gearbox, sadly, further makes the engine feel more lethargic than it is with the 5-speed MT. Make no mistake, the 4-speed torque converter is the worst automatic gearbox available in this segment as of now. Competitors in this segment are offering much-better automatic options. Some examples are the DCT of the Hyundai Venue and the 6-speed AT of the Ford EcoSport. If you are looking for just convenience of driving in city traffic, the Vitara Brezza AT makes perfect sense. It has fuss-free dynamics in city traffic. However, for anything more, the 4-speed AT is just lacking in every possible parameter.
Where the Vitara Brezza Petrol scores some big points is the refinement department. Start the engine and there is no drama inside the engine. Even at idle, there are literally zero vibrations in the cabin. You might need to look at the tachometer to check whether the engine is actually running. As the engine climbs up the rpms, there is some sound that creeps in the cabin but still the vibrations are well-controlled and the Brezza petrol feels like a matured vehicle.
Maruti Vitara Brezza Petrol – Review Photos
Maruti Vitara Brezza Petrol Review
- Exterior Design
- Interior Design & Comfort
- Engine & Performance
Review Verdict - Maruti Vitara Brezza Petrol
The Maruti Vitara Brezza petrol is an adequate car for satisfying the needs of an average Indian buyer. It has looks that will appeal to a majority of people. Though the interiors lack the fit, finish and quality levels on offer in some other vehicles in this price bracket, the compact SUV does come with a big load of features, especially on the top-spec ZXI+ trim. Engine and gearbox options, like the rest of the car, are mostly adequate for Indian needs, though we would have appreciated a bit more grunt and a quick performing automatic gearbox in the compact SUV. If you are in the market to get a compact SUV that doesn’t require a heavy load of maintenance and don’t rank interior quality or enthusiastic driving behaviour on high priority, the Maruti Vitara Brezza petrol is a car you can surely consider.