Quarter Mile Magazine

Long Termer Review: Vitara Brezza

It’s been a few months with the Brezza and things have been great so far. I wan’t so impressed by the styling when I first saw it, but I later realised there is a faithfulness to it. It is all clean lines and squared edges with minimal overhangs. Everything is as functional as it should be. Even the black trim on the C pillar is there to conceal the merging point of the two paints, in the contrast roof variants.

The compact dimensions and tall seating makes it easy to drive in and good all around visibility makes it easy to park too. The rear camera is an added bonus. The music system impresses with its functionality but doesn’t sound as good as say in the S-Cross. The dashboard feels built to a price, but it could have been better designed. That said, the whole interior is well put together and free of any rattles or squeaks. The front seats are great for long drives and hold you in the right places when cornering. Even the choice of fabric is nice.

The precise steering and the good grip from the chassis lets you take liberties in corners that you would otherwise think twice in a car this tall. There is sufficient grip from the tyres and it was always up to some enthusiastic driving. The brakes are good too with decent pedal feel and ABS that doesn’t feel as over enthusiastic in some other Marutis.

For all that exciting handling, the ride is a bit stiff. But I prefer this setup to something that wallows a lot and forces you to slow down – like my Creta. The Brezza is still a comfortable long distance cruiser. Because it is wider, it feels roomier than an Ecosport. The boot space of 328 litres isn’t that impressive, but it is properly shaped with minimal intrusions.

The engine tuning has to be the best among the 1.3 Multijet with VGT we have seen. You have to give it to Maruti engineers for tuning a Fiat engine better than anyone else. The choice of gearing, turbo tuning and ECU calibration has to strike a great balance for this. There is minimal turbo lag and 90bhp feels sufficient for most cases. Fuel efficiency has been excellent, with the car returning over 17.6kmpl in mixed conditions. The presence of cruise control is welcome on long drives.

What could have been better on the Brezza? The front door handles are placed inwards towards the hinges and that makes them difficult to close. An extra slot closer to the edge after the power window switches to pull the doors would have solved this. Another issue is the reflection on the instrument console which makes it impossible to read the speedo and MID during mid day. And it would have looked much better and felt more planted in the corners if it had a wider rear track. For now, there is no wonder why it is the top selling compact SUV.

 

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