For months, my daily driver has been an automatic, and to liven things up, I have switched to a manual. Car in point, the new Maruti Suzuki Brezza with not only a manual transmission, but also a free-revving naturally aspirated inline-four petrol engine as well! It’s safe to say, I am a big fan of this combination, so not only am I going to find out how the manual Brezza works as an everyday car, but I’ll also be finding out if it can bring back some zest into my everyday drive.
In the two weeks that I have had the car, I have managed to potter around town quite a bit and also stretch the Brezza’s legs on a highway run. In the city, the manual transmission is a hoot to use. Short throws, well-defined gates, and the mechanical feel of locking a shift into place - BEAUTIFUL! Even the shifter which has been around for ages just falls to hand naturally. The clutch is its perfect partner-in-crime, light, with a well-defined friction zone. I think it’s safe to say that I am having a ball of a time shifting gears manually.
The next part of this equation is the engine. A 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol motor is enough to make petrolheads feel fizzy in their pants, and in most cases, this motor is exactly like that. When you are on it, the engine responds well post 2,500 – 2,800rpm. Under it, it takes some time to wake up. It pulls linearly before the limiter kicks in at 6,000rpm, and barring the last 500 – 800rpm, you have a good amount of grunt all the way. On the highway, the Brezza settles into a nice pace, although at 100km/h in fifth gear, the engine is spinning at 3,000rpm. While it doesn’t get particularly noisy at this point, you do wonder, would a sixth gear have made the Brezza a more able-cruiser? And, I think the answer to that question is – Yes!
The ride quality of the Brezza is well-balanced, although the rear tends to kick back when you go over expansion joints. The fact that I was alone in the Brezza might have also highlighted this problem more. I am yet to drive it around with a full load, and I must say, apart from its highway manners, I am also impressed by the NVH levels. More on that in the following report.
When it came: August 2022
Current odo reading: 1,749kms
Mileage this month: 599kms
Fuel efficiency: 15.5km/l
What’s good: Engine, manual transmission
What’s not: No sixth gear