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How does the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza compare against the likes of the Hyundai Venue, the Tata Nexon, the Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra XUV300?
Maruti Suzuki has launched the facelifted Vitara Brezza at Rs. 7.34 lakh (ex-showroom). In line with Maruti Suzuki’s plan to phase out diesels from its line-up by April 1, 2020, the Vitara Brezza gets the 1.5-litre K15B engine that also powers the Ciaz, Ertiga and the XL6.
Make no mistake, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the leader in the sub-four metre compact SUV segment. It does come across as a little surprising actually. But as its competitors, newer ones like the Hyundai Venue in particular, have hogged the headlines, the Vitara Brezza has quietly gone about its business and maintained its lead over the others. It did slip momentarily around the launch of the Hyundai Venue, the novelty of Hyundai’s compact SUV winning it early customers, but clawed back its share in recent months.
Now however, Maruti Suzuki has launched the new facelifted Vitara Brezza. Look beyond the skin deep changes, and there is something drastically different. It is now available only with a petrol engine unlike the outgoing model which was offered purely with a diesel engine. This, in itself, is big news. It makes for an entirely different proposition and it is necessary to see how the Brezza stacks up against the competition now.
Right off the bat, the base trim of Vitara Brezza is now more affordable by Rs. 29,000 but the top-spec variant is now more expensive by a considerable Rs. 80,000. The Vitara Brezza does get the SHVS mild hybrid tech but interestingly, it is only available with the automatic transmission and not with the manual.
The biggest competitor to the Vitara Brezza is the Hyundai Venue and it gets a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 81bhp of power and 115Nm of torque as opposed to the 105bhp and 138Nm that the Brezza produces. That puts it way ahead of the Venue’s naturally aspirated petrol. But, the Venue does get a 1-litre turbo petrol engine too which produces 118bhp of power and 172Nm of torque.
The Vitara Brezza's figures aren't class-leading and are are slightly better than the Hyundai Venue’s naturally aspirated unit, the least powerful car in this comparison. The EcoSport’s 3-cylinder Dragon engine leads when it comes to the power while the XUV300's turbo-petrol unit develops class-leading torque of 200Nm.
All the cars in this segment come with a manual transmission and all (except for the XUV300) come with an automatic variant. However, all of them utilize different kinds of automatic gearboxes. The Brezza gets a 4-speed torque converter as in the Ciaz, Ertiga and the XL6 while the Nexon gets a 6-speed AMT. Meanwhile, the Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Venue Turbo come with 6-speed torque converter and 7-speed DCT units respectively.
All the SUVs are just a few millimeters shy of the four-metre mark in length and understandably so. The XUV300 is the widest of the five at 1821mm while the EcoSport is the tallest at 1647mm. The XUV300 also has the longest wheelbase.
The Hyundai Venue is the one that is the best equipped of all the SUVs in this comparison. It gets features like wireless charging, an air purifier, a host of connectivity features, a dual-clutch transmission with the turbo-petrol engine and a whole lot more over and above what the competition does. The Mahindra XUV300 gets a long feature list. This includes front and rear disc brakes, dual-zone automatic climate control system, projector headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, reverse parking camera, heated wing mirrors, idle stop/start system, cruise control among others. The Tata Nexon is equipped with projector headlamps with LED DRLs, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-function steering wheel, seven speaker audio system, multi-drive modes and automatic climate control too. The Ford EcoSport gets a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a sunroof, and quite a lot more than what the Vitara Brezza offers.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is fairly similar in terms of features, save for LED DRLs and the latest 7.0-inch Smartplay Studio 2.0 infotainment system with a new interface and smartphone connectivity. It however does get the mild hybrid system and idle stop/start.
In terms of pricing, the base trim of the Hyundai Venue is clearly the most affordable here. But that can only be had with the 1.2-litre petrol engine which is the least powerful of the lot. The Vitara Brezza with the manual transmission, despite not benefiting from the lower tax rate(although inside four metres in length, it gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine; only a 1.2-litre or smaller engine can qualify) starts at Rs. 7.34 lakh and tops out at Rs.9.98 lakh. The Tata Nexon is also affordable with a starting price of Rs. 6.95 lakh but it goes up to Rs.10.60 lakh for the range topping trim. The Mahindra XUV300 and Ford Ecosport are relatively expensive. The Tata Nexon still is the most affordable automatic starting at Rs. 8.30 lakh while the Vitara Brezza is more expensive by Rs. 35,000.