Long Term Report: May 2017
It’s funny how time passes, and how quickly it does. I distinctly remember taking the keys to the Vitara Brezza, with its retina-searing Yellow hue and contrast roof, and using it as my daily drive. That was over a year ago, but it just feels like yesterday. To be honest, I did have a lot of expectations from the Brezza. It was the first SUV I was going to use for an extended period, and I was curious to see if this car could handle what our roads threw at it.
And the Brezza never disappointed me. Whether it was the practicality needed to fit in my kids and their myriad items of luggage before a road trip, or climbing steep hills when visiting a hill station or even my mundane daily commute – the Brezza handled it with aplomb. Add to it a very effective air-conditioning system, and comfortable suspension, and it just meant that I quickly grew fond of the Brezza.
However, one of the most stellar aspects of the Brezza was its remarkable fuel efficiency. I regularly saw figures hovering around the 17.5km/l mark in my daily use in urban traffic. And it went up to 24km/l on the highways. This naturally meant that the Brezza became the go-to car for my long road trips, as the cost of running was so low.
If there were any shortcomings of the Brezza, they were related to its size. Having been designed to avail the tax benefits of being under the 4m mark meant that at times, especially when there were five adults on board with luggage, the interior space did feel a little cramped. But, then again, you buy the Brezza for its compact size and this is a natural trade off you make.
Maruti Suzuki even enhanced the appeal of my Brezza a few months ago by giving it a bunch of personalisation options that I chose from the myriad choices available through the manufacturer. Which meant that not only was my Brezza unique, but also stood out. However, now is the time for the Brezza to be returned to Maruti, and I must say, I’m going to miss the comfort and reliability of the car.
Long Term Report: April 2017
Looking back at history, it’s funny how things have changed over the years as far as motoring is concerned. Before we became economically liberated, buying or owning a car was a task in itself. Not only were the choices very limited, but mostly so was the quality of the cars being sold. Reliability was, of course, something of a joke and long journeys would often be a long guessing game on when your car gave up on you.
Fast forward a few decades and things have changed radically. As someone pointed out last week, today Indian customers have a choice of 192 vehicles to buy from! Imagine the choice that we have now, and the variety available. But, more importantly, the quality and reliability of the vehicles has taken a quantum leap. So much so that even if I have to undertake a 2,000km journey, I don’t think twice before jumping into the Brezza and travel in absolute comfort.
In my many months of spending time driving the Brezza around, the car has been absolutely faultless. Whether it be long journeys with my family, or just my daily commute to work, the Brezza has delivered faultless motoring. The practicality and usability of the SUV is also something that I’ve come to realise and get used to. Now, going back to driving my hatchback is going to be a problem, actually! Without the extra space and high ground clearance, driving will simply not be as calm as it is right now.
Of course, another thing that has made the Brezza even more attractive to me has been its stellar fuel efficiency. Even with the air-conditioning on and with a full complement of passengers, the Brezza has regularly delivered over 20km/l, which makes it a very frugal car for its size. And with Maruti tweaking my car with personalisations a few months ago, my unique Brezza is something that I’m very proud of. Of course, once it goes, I’m going to miss not just the convenience of the car, but also the unique identity of its two-tone Yellow and White paintjob. After all, with such a slick combo, finding my car even in the most congested parking lot is a breeze.
Long Term Report: March 2017
It’s been a quite sort of month for me as far as travel is concerned. With new car launches and press drives on the rise, most of my travel this month has been in other cars. And as such, the Vitara Brezza has been mostly restricted to my daily commute. However, not to be outdone, I did manage to sneak in a short trip to Haryana over one weekend.
And once again, I got to experience first-hand why people are increasingly going in for SUV’s these days. The practicality of its design – the tall design not only provides increased interior room, but also more luggage capacity – means that you can be seated in comfort as well as carry more luggage. Which, as anyone with kids will testify, is a paramount requirement when travelling. And the high ground clearance gives you peace of mind when tackling bad roads.
Of course, the hallmark of most Maruti Suzuki vehicles is good fuel efficiency, and the Brezza has excelled in that department, consistently providing me figures of around 18km/l in urban conditions, with highway use seeing the number go even further up. However, there has been some communication from the folks at Maruti that they might want the Brezza back soon, and that is something I’m dreading a bit. Over the past few months, the Brezza has provided me with an excellent experience and I would hate to see it go back.
Long Term Report: February 2017
I’ve been quietly smarting about in my Yellow-mobile ever since it came back from its smattering of personalisation and I had every reason to. Given the bold colour and further accentuated by its accessories, my Brezza looks like no other on the road, and that’s as unique as it gets, on a budget, of course. However, this month was a different kind of challenge for the car. As the winter finally descended on North India, I decided to take a trip to the mountains with my family, with this being the first opportunity for my two young children to experience the joy of snow.
And so, packed to the brim, as is the norm when going out on holiday with the kids, we headed towards Chail, with a stopover in Rohtak for the night. We’d been hearing for a few days before that it was snowing in Chail and so as we crossed Shimla, it was a delight to see the white powder making an appearance on the mountain sides. And the scene in Chail was unbelievable, as the entire town was covered in snow, making it a truly magical setting. This is the irony that us North Indians face in our conditions, not only do we get the fierce heat of summer, but we also get the pleasure of experiencing snow in the cold months, giving us both extremes in temperature as the seasons change.
On the five-day trip, though, the Brezza behaved impeccably as always, and never missed a beat despite the cold and icy conditions. And hey, I discovered another use of its bright yellow hue, even in thick snow, the car is very easy to spot!
Long Term Report: January 2017
Last month, the kind folks at Maruti Suzuki took the effort of taking the Brezza back and asked me to choose a slew of customisations from a pre-set list that I would like to make to the car – all to launch the new customisation service that they were introducing. And to be honest, I was quite excited to see what the results of the customisation would look like. After all, it would be a car personalised by me that I would be driving.
And as you can see in the pictures, the customisations have had a marked effect on the appearance of the car. The yellow piping in the seat covers, the yellow detailing all over the interiors – especially in the centre console and dashboard – and the funky graphics on the outside of the Brezza give it quite a unique touch. And the quality of the modifications is also quite promising, with the tweaks lighting up the interior of the car. In my opinion, the customisations are quite well executed and give the car a unique identity – which should be an absolute boon for customers who’re looking for a painless process of applying their own unique touch on their cars.
Other than the customisations, the Brezza remains rock solid as an everyday car. The ride remains comfortable, while it sips fuel at a pretty slow rate, making it rather efficient. There is only one drawback to my car though, with its bright yellow paintwork and now further detailing in yellow all over the inside of the car, it seems that I have a fetish for all things yellow!
Long Term Report: December 2016
This month began with some interesting developments with my long term Vitara Brezza. As it turns out, since Maruti Suzuki is rolling out a new feature where they provide their customers the choice to customise the Brezza with a host of options to personalise their car both on the inside and out, they wanted to test the feature out with our long-term test cars. Talk about being the guinea pig!
But, honestly I think the feature of providing customers these options makes a lot of sense. As more and more people buy the Brezza – a fact that certainly keeps the folks at Maruti Suzuki happy – this will allow the more discerning users to make their cars an extension of their own style and a personal statement.
And having looked at the options list, which is very comprehensive, I was happy to pick up bits and pieces which I think would suit my rather brightly coloured steed. So, having pored over all the options, I sent my list of preferred customisations to the kind folks at Maruti. But, the catch then is that for the customisations to be done, the car too has been returned to them. Thus, I’ve barely driven the car this month. However, that’s not a bad thing, as I’m supposed to be getting the car back at the end of November, and am feeling pretty pumped about the prospects of driving my own personalised machine.
Long Term Report: November 2016
The month of October began on a good note for both me and the Brezza, as I got an increasingly rare opportunity to take a few days off and do a long road trip with the family. The original plan to take a short trip to Amritsar, but then with a cousin of mine living in Patiala, we decided to take a detour to Amritsar through Patiala. Sure, that wasn’t the shortest or fastest way of reaching the destination, but what’s the point of a road trip if one doesn’t get to add some unnecessary miles into it.
As far as the Brezza is concerned, there has been nothing that I can really fault it with, especially after its recent service, which solved the minor maladies the car was showing. However, with the festival season nearing and with traffic in Delhi reaching a different level of insane, the average fuel efficiency of the car has gone down a bit, mainly due to the fact that I now spend more time standing in traffic twiddling my thumbs rather than actually driving. Hopefully, once the traffic subsides post Diwali, the Brezza will be back to its astronomical fuel efficiency levels.
Long Term Report: October 2016
The start of September started with a phone call I always dread, the Brezza needed to visit the service centre for its routine service. Which, given how far I live, means that the car will be gone for at least two days and I would have to go back to driving my own car. Which is not a bad thing, but when one gets used to driving the Brezza, it always becomes difficult to adjust to a smaller and decidedly less roomy car. So, one fine day the driver from the designated service centre picked up the car and I drew up a list of things to be looked at, apart from the regular fluid changes and inspection that are part of the service.
My list wasn’t very long to be honest, I just wanted the clutch pedal adjusted a bit, and oh yes, the rear doors were making a squeaking sound which needed to be looked at by the technicians. Alongside, since the car has already covered over 10,000 kilometres, I also requested that the wheels undergo an alignment check, as well as rotation of tyres, to ensure that all four tyres wear out evenly. When the car returned, in just two days, all the requests had been dealt with and after a thorough cleaning, the car felt as good as new. The doors too were back to their normal smooth operation devoid of any sound.
And additional points to the service centre about the cleaning of the car too, as when the car returned it was spotlessly clean. Now, I have two young kids, so more often than not, the interiors of my car see more abuse than normal and are prone to getting messy very regularly, but the cleaning by the service centre had sorted that issue out.
Other than the service, unfortunately, life for the Brezza has been a bit boring this month. Due to lots of work, I’ve not been able to take it out of the Delhi-NCR area at all, and as such, it is stuck on my boring commute in peak hour traffic every day. However, the car still delivers stellar fuel efficiency and the air conditioning works absolutely brilliantly. This ensures that even though the traffic outside is usually pretty bad, I retain my sense of zen with some soothing music playing, cut off from the hustle and bustle of urban traffic
Long Term Report: September 2016
With a month full of long weekends on the horizon, end of July was a fairly exciting time for me. The benefit of being based out of Delhi are many, but one of the main ones is the easy access to tourist destinations in-and-around the city, and with the Independence Day long weekend coming up, I had plans to visit the holy city of Amritsar with my family. The vehicle of choice would, of course, be our long-termer Brezza, as it has proven to be an effective vehicle in both city and highway conditions.
And this trip proved no different, with the Brezza providing us with a comfortable vehicle, which can easily seat a family of four and accommodate their luggage, with the climate control system keeping the cabin at a steady temperature. Fuel efficiency is also a plus point of the Brezza, and it didn’t disappoint there either. With the combined city and highway driving cycle, despite much traffic, the car delivered 18km/l.
Amritsar, as always, was a lovely place to visit with multiple religious and historical sites and some phenomenal food to gorge on. However, there is a shortcoming of deciding to travel on a long weekend, and that is the traffic as thousands of other families were also travelling. So, while the trip was a fun one, the less I talk about the traffic conditions while leaving and entering Delhi, the better it is!
Long Term Report: August 2016
If one were to classify my normal driving style, even for the sake of argument, I’m hardly the person anyone would refer to as a ‘hot-shoe’. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like my burst of speed on the open road, but in my daily commute – struggling through peak-hour traffic – I prefer to take things easy and revel in my music rather than indulge in traffic light grand prix races. Even on long road trips with colleagues, I’m happy just cruising at an easy pace – unless I’m hungry, in which case I certainly put my foot to the pedal – and am happy to reach my destination a few minutes later than my colleagues, simply for the mental peace it affords me.
So, given my easy-going driving style, it wasn’t a real surprise that the Brezza has off late been delivering some stellar fuel efficiency figures. Now, I expected the car to be fairly fuel efficient since Maruti Suzuki as a manufacturer understands this aspect of the Indian customers’ mindset very well, but when the on-board display of the car displayed a shocking 20km/l as the latest FE figure, even I was taken for a surprise! More surprisingly, this was in stop-go urban traffic, but with my appetite for dazzling fuel efficiency figures truly whipped, I think a long road trip might be in order to see what kind of figures I can squeeze out of the Brezza over conditions with much less traffic.
Long Term Report: July 2016
It’s slightly strange to see what a bright coloured hue does to a car’s design and the attention it gets. With most of us used to seeing cars featuring what one could call the ‘safer’ colour choices – such as White, Black, Grey or Gold – seeing brightly coloured cars on the road certainly seems to grab a lot of attention. So, with the Brezza’s colour choices including three distinctly bright options – Red, Metallic Blue and the eye-searing Yellow of our test car – it certainly does stand out. And, people being people, tend to stare at it all the time!
Not that I’m complaining, but for the first few days of driving the Brezza made it a different experience, and I have to confess, it did make me feel a bit conscious. But, with its contrast white roof and bright yellow combo – akin to the popular Mango Zap ice cream, as Ishan refers to it – the car gets approving looks, especially from the younger crowd, which means that Maruti Suzuki’s strategy to appeal to a younger consumer seems to be working quite well.
Other than the eyeballs it gathers, the Brezza has been functioning quite well. The air conditioning has been a boon in the rather sizzling summer we’re being treated to this year. The automatic climate control works well and I’m able to set it at a comfortable temperature without fiddling with it. The standard fit tinted windows are also of great help - they manage to cut out a significant amount of heat from entering the cabin.
However, there has been a small niggle that has developed off late. The rear parcel tray makes a bit of a racket when passing through bumps or broken roads. I did check if the tray had come loose, but it was sitting firmly in its slots, so I think a short trip to the service station might be needed soon to get that sorted out.
And, with mainly city driving, the Brezza seems to be delivering fairly good fuel efficiency, which means that I’m not complaining one bit about the running costs of the car. Now if only I could get used to the attention I’m getting, this would be a perfect everyday runabout for me!
Long Term Report: June 2016
I am told that my generation is of the adventurous kind, that we like to take short and frequent getaways. And now that cars are accessible in India to a larger chunk of the population, India’s largest population bracket likes to drive out of town to get away from the monotonies of daily life and visit touristy places. So I did just that in the kind of car that my generation ‘supposedly’ likes and is within their reach – the compact SUV.
And this, the Vitara Brezza happens to be the latest buzz in town. People who have actually managed to take delivery of the car against all odds have gone to all lengths to spruce up their cars with company offered body kits, decals and the works.
As for me, I took the easier route of collecting some friends and cramming them into the Brezza. In order to avoid traffic enroute our destination we headed out of town really early.
Things were going great, the roads were empty and my passengers were enjoying the sunrise across the horizon while I was having a good time exploiting all of the 89bhp via the five-speed manual gearbox. The direct steering allows you to take corners well while the suspension compliments with limited body roll.
In fact I may have been enjoying myself a little too much behind the wheel when I began to hear complaints from my fellow passengers. The stiff suspension setup was playing up and the ride was getting a little too bumpy at the back for their liking. Then the roads got worse, so the complaints became louder and more frequent.
By the end of the journey it was pretty clear. As good as the Vitara Brezza maybe inside the city, it is not the most suited car for highways considering our road conditions. And there is another crucial problem here in relation to road trips, as a compact SUV it offers a limited boot space of just 328 litres. Whichever way you put it, that’s simply not enough.
Pros? This is a very popular car as we found out. Wherever we went, people would point at us and comment. Someone even called it a compact Pajero! No wonder Brezza owners are personalizing their cars to make them stand out even more.
Long Term Report: May 2016
The queue is going out the door and around the block for Maruti Suzuki’s new Vitara Brezza, while we at autoX are pretty happy to have one as a long-termer. And it’s been an eventful first month with the Brezza – not only have I been using it in the city, but I’ve also managed quite a long road trip in it already.
The controls – the steering, clutch, and gearbox – are really light and make for a very relaxed drive, which is great considering our congested driving conditions during peak traffic. The only glitch here comes courtesy of the large ORVMs that can create blind spots while maneuvering in certain conditions. Otherwise, the car feels more like a tall hatchback rather than a compact SUV – with its nimble handling – which is a good thing.
The Vitara Brezza’s stiff suspension setup, while not the best suited to bumpy highways, works really well on the smooth roads of the NCR – allowing you to exploit the positive handling traits of the chassis, which can make for a fun drive across some of the more open roads such as the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.
On the performance front, the 89bhp diesel engine offers decent performance – although it feels a wee bit strained in the upper ranges of its rev band. It’s best to keep this engine in the middle of the power band to extract the most performance out of it. Take it easy on the right pedal though, and you’ll notice that this is a fairly efficient car when the traffic is light. I got an indicated 15.6km/l on the DIS display.
Another one of my favorite things about the Brezza is the CarPlay system, like in other new Marutis. It’s an absolute joy to use, with its voice-activated controls that let you choose everything from which song you want to play to whom you want to call from your mobile phone.