We pit the latest Maruti Brezza AMT against the Tata Nexon AMT and the Ford EcoSport AT against the Nexon AMT to see how these sub-compact SUVs stack up against each other.
Tata Motors launched the AMT versions (both diesel and petrol) of the Nexon sub-compact SUV and soon Maruti followed suit. The Vitara Brezza too is now available with an AMT gearbox (mind you, the Brezza comes only with a diesel engine), so the Nexon petrol AMT is unrivalled? No, Ford has its EcoSport but that isn’t an AMT but a regular torque converter unit. So how does the Nexon AMT (diesel) compare against the Vitara Brezza and how does the Nexon AMT (petrol) stack up against the EcoSport AT? We find out.
Exteriors – Among the Nexon, EcoSport and the Vitara Brezza, it is the Nexon that comes across as a more appealing design with lots of swoopy curves. That said, the Brezza and EcoSport too have likeable designs. The Brezza has a more boxy design while the EcoSport looks butch. In terms of dimensions, the Nexon is the widest while the EcoSport is slightly longer and taller than the Nexon as well as the Brezza. All the three cars here offer projector headlights and LED DRLs but only the Nexon and Brezza offer LED tail-lights. The Nexon and Brezza ride on 16-inch wheels while the EcoSport gets 17-inch wheels. To spice things up a bit, the Nexon and Brezza come in dual-tone paint schemes too. Lastly, in terms of ground clearance, the Nexon gets the highest ground clearance while the Brezza and EcoSport are closely matched.
Interiors – All the three cars in this comparison get a contemporary interior. The Brezza and the EcoSport get an all-black dashboard while the Nexon uses a layered three-tone dashboard. All the three cars measure under 4-metres in length but it’s the Tata Nexon which offers more space inside (rear seat to be precise), followed closely by the Maruti Vitara Brezza. In terms of features, all cars here offer a touchscreen infotainment system but only the Brezza and EcoSport’s unit gets both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while the Nexon gets only Android Auto. All the three contenders here offer driver’s seat height adjustment, automatic climate control, steering mounted audio controls, automatic climate control, push-button start, rear-view camera (but the one on the Nexon also shows adaptive guidelines), auto headlamps and wipers. The Nexon additionally gets rear AC vents and sunroof (optional) which are missing in both the EcoSport and Brezza.
Engine and Mileage – The Nexon AMT petrol competes with the EcoSport AT petrol and the Nexon AMT diesel goes against the Brezza AMT diesel. So, on paper, when it comes to petrol, the EcoSport is at a clear advantage because of the bigger and powerful engine. The Nexon gets a 110 PS 1.2-litre powerplant while the EcoSport gets a 123 PS 1.5-litre unit. However, torque output is more in the Nexon. In terms of the transmission too, the EcoSport’s torque converter is superior when compared to the AMT in the Nexon but also has its downsides. The Nexon’s AMT is more fuel-efficient and cost-effective to maintain.
Shifting focus to diesel, the Nexon AMT clearly has an upper hand. The Tata gets a bigger and more powerful 110 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine while the Brezza is powered by a 90 PS 1.3-litre DDiS unit. The Nexon also gets a 6-speed AMT gearbox while the Maruti does the job with a 5-speed unit and because of the relatively smaller diesel engine, the Brezza is more fuel-efficient than the Nexon.
Safety and Service – The Tata Nexon, Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport offer dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard across the range but Ford has taken the safety game a bit seriously and hence the top-spec trims of the EcoSport gets four additional airbags and the EcoSport AT also offers Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Hill Launch Assist. When it comes to after sales service and the network, we all are aware that Maruti’s workshops can be found even the remotest places of India.
Price and Verdict – If you’re looking for a petrol compact SUV and don’t mind the budget, then, shelling the odd Rs. 1.5 lakhs for the Ford EcoSport makes sense. But if it is a diesel compact SUV that you’re hunting for and again don’t mind the budget, then, shelling the extra Rs. 10,000/- (approximate) and getting the Nexon makes sense. The Tata’s got a bigger and powerful engine and also has the extra one gear.