The engine has a very powerful surge once the turbo starts spooling
Under the hood of this compact SUV is the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS mill which is offered in the 90 PS tune. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to my previous Ciaz, I’m quite familiar with this motor and gearbox combo, so much so that I exactly know how to drive to extract the most fuel efficiency and what RPM band to keep the car in to extract the most power. The oil burner is noisy and some of the clatter filters inside the cabin. The clutch feels light and the powerplant gets going with light throttle inputs. Turbo lag is present in abundance but once you cross that, the Brezza just takes off with a very strong surge all the way to almost 4000 RPM. I like the way the turbo kicks in and all of a sudden the pace of the vehicle increases.
The gearbox is smooth and the throws are short. The powertrain feels very good on the highways and touching triple digit speeds isn’t a problem at all. In fact, the Vitara feels extremely stable on almost all type of road conditions and I am particularly in love with the stiff suspension set-up which makes the car feel planted, robust and even fun to drive. The Apollo Alnac 4G tyres offer very good grip and the high ground clearance helps a lot when you want to tread off the road. Sure, you cannot do hardcore off-roading but for soft-roading, the Brezza works really well. Monsoons in Mumbai have been pretty harsh last month and I had to drive through some flooded areas for a couple of kms and I was extremely surprised and impressed by how the Vitara took everything in its stride. I even drove to the hills last weekend and the car easily climbed up on broken patches without much sweat. However, our tester has done around 13,500 kms and the brake pads are already on their last legs and I think I’ll have to send the car for servicing very soon, to get the brakes checked.
The Maruti Vitara Brezza comes with some really useful features like keyless-go, automatic headlamps and wipers, etc. and the vehicle has strong mechanicals, offering a very good drive. Yes, the steering feels a bit heavy at city speeds but otherwise there are hardly any complaints about the way this car drives. Most of the issues that I have with the Brezza are limited to this particular car, especially the seat covers, and won’t really be a major negative point but in all honesty, I’m liking the robust nature of this Maruti and the commanding driving position that it offers just adds that wee bit to the SUV-like feel.
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