2022 Maruti Suzuki Brezza First Drive Review: Pricier! Techier! Better?

  • Jul 6, 2022
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More gizmos, more safety tech and a new automatic transmission, all for a heftier price tag. Worth it?

Cool and desirable – when was the last time you called the Maruti Suzuki Brezza that? Surely, you haven't done so in the last couple of years, have you? That is, ever since the sub-4m SUV segment exploded with newer, stylish, and better equipped rivals. But the Brezza was strong on sensibility and the first-gen’s family-friendly and well-rounded abilities allowed it to rack up over 10k in sales month after month even towards the end of its lifecycle! Enter the second-generation Brezza, which is here to overwrite and incept some new thoughts. Its premiumness and desirability is here to woo you over. Does the Maruti live up to its promise?

Premium or Expensive?

Variants

New Brezza Manual

Old Brezza 

Difference

LXI (MT)

Rs 7.99 lakh

Rs 7.84 lakh

Rs15,000

VXI (MT)

Rs 9.47 lakh

Rs 8.92 lakh

Rs 55,000

VXI (AT)

Rs 10.97 lakh

Rs 10.12 lakh

Rs 85,000

Note: VXI gets touchscreen infotainment now; AT is 6-speed, vs 4-speed earlier

The Brezza’s price increase for the entry level model won’t trouble buyers, especially when you consider what you get for that money. For starters, it packs the K15C engine which uses dual injectors per cylinder, which increases efficiency but also makes it a bit more expensive. The chassis too has been uprated with more high strength steel, making this GNCAP rated 4-star car even more robust. Along with that, the Brezza also gets more safety technology, like ESC, as standard from the base variant.

Variants

New Brezza 

Old Brezza 

Difference

ZXI (MT)

Rs 10.87 lakh

Rs 9.68 lakh

Rs1.19 Lakh

ZXI (AT)

Rs 12.37 lakh

Rs 10.88 lakh

Rs1.49 Lakh

ZXI + (MT)

Rs 12.30 lakh

Rs 9.98 lakh

Rs 2.32 Lakh

ZXI + (AT)

Rs 13.80 lakh

Rs 11.33 lakh

Rs 2.47 Lakh

Note: Rs 16,000 extra for dual-tone variants 

Look at the other end of the Brezza's price range and you’ll realise it has become the most expensive sub-4m SUV now! The additional price gets you a new six-speed automatic gearbox, compared to the 4-speeder earlier, and you get many more wow features like a sunroof and a heads-up display. More safety features like six airbags are also on offer. So, the Brezza ends up justifying a lot of the additional asking price, but it still feels like it's charging a bit of a premium. 

Kaching! On the money!

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In the last couple of years, the Brezza had started to look quite staid, so the second gen's arrival is very welcome. What’s also very welcome is that the essential shape of the Brezza, square and upright, remains unchanged. It has a more modern feel layered atop it now which makes the Brezza quite attractive in our books. The face gets all lighting elements in LED, be it the projector headlamps, the DRLs, or the fog lamps. The four-pod headlamp design with the DRLs snaking under them looks technical and cool. 

The lines for the clamshell hood, the grille as it stretches outwards and even the bumper are cleaner and work to emphasize the width of the package. The added presence and premiumness is impressive considering that the dimensions are the same as before. The use of the same 5th Gen Tect platform from Europe keeps its stance unchanged, but every panel that skins it is different. 

Dimensions: New vs Old

Dimensions

2022 Brezza

First Gen

Length

3995mm

3995mm

Width

1790mm

1790mm

Height

1685mm

1640mm

Wheelbase

2500mm

2500mm

Note: Only the overall height has changed, by about 50 millimeters, and that's because of the shark fin antenna.

The perfect angle to appreciate  the Brezza from is the rear three-quarters. From here you can appreciate the seamless flow of the shoulder line into the tailgate; there is the handsome tail lamp wrapping around the flank; all of it showing a fluidity of design which adds sophistication and subtly emphasises the width of the vehicle. 

Overall, it seems like Suzuki has created something that will appeal to more people (youngsters too), without putting anyone off. But is it cool? We think it's cool enough.

Cabin Class

The Brezza’s cabin has transformed! The older gen's cabin was functional, but the texture and the quality of plastics in some places made it feel tacky. The new generation Brezza, though, uses the right textures, there’s a chunky silver trim to give it a more upmarket look and the design looks more modern. Soft-touch materials on the armrest, and fabric on the door pads uplift the experience. The handsome steering wheel also bump up the satisfaction levels here. 

However, when compared to the Kia Sonet, which sets the benchmark for premiumness in this segment, the Brezzza still lags behind. Even the Hyundai Venue’s consistency of quality and finish, despite its simple design, give it an advantage. The Brezza has some notable misses, like the finish and the quality of the crash pad; rough edges, and a dull chocolatey shade make it feel far from satisfying. Now, while the chunky silver trim on the driver’s side of the centre console might look strange, it is clearly to open up space for the driver's left leg. Typically, practical!  

Practicality has been the core of the Brezza, and it's no different now with the second generation. The rear seat is pretty much unchanged, and the wide cabin makes it a practical family vehicle. There’s enough headroom and kneeroom here to accommodate six-footers.  However, if you were sitting three abreast, keep in mind that there is no headrest for the middle passenger and of course, you only get a lap belt. Firmer cushioning would have made the seats more comfortable for longer journeys and leatherette upholstery would have made them look more premium. 

Wowza??!

The Brezza has also made a step up in terms of the goodies that can help a vehicle get into the consideration set of more buyers. For starters, it is the very first Maruti to pack an electric sunroof! Its heads-up display, despite being borrowed from the Baleno, is a segment-first. Its multiple layouts show you from the basic speed, revs and even the hybrid functioning. Even the 9” Pro+ touchscreen infotainment system on the top end variant is borrowed from the Baleno and XL6. There’s nothing to complain about as the system is bright, crisp and responsive. The integrated features, such as the 360 degree camera, is clear and crisp and it also gets dynamic bending lines for the reversing camera. The UI is easily customisable with just “drag-and-drop” and you can even customise the welcome message that is said at start-up! 

The Brezza also gets a wireless charger for your smartphone, although the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren’t wireless compatible yet. It also has single-colour ambient lighting and connected car tech. As before there are the usual auto headlamps and wipers. On the whole it’s loaded. In the second row the only features are the rear aircon vents and two USB fast-charging ports. So the real misses on the Brezza are ventilated seats and leatherette upholstery, both of which are available on the nearly as expensive but larger XL6. Strange.

Drive Cool

An air of practicality emanates from under the Brezza’s hood. The dual jet technology equipped engine has become more efficient. Maruti claims a fuel efficiency of over 20 kilometres per litre, which means a 20 percent improvement for the manual variant. 

Fuel efficiency: Manual (Claimed) 

 

New Brezza

Old Brezza

Gearbox

5-speed

5-speed

Manual

19.89-20.15kmpl

17.03kmpl

The smart hybrid system is very helpful at city speeds, filling in the torque when required. The working of the system is more transparent now as the animation on the driver’s MID, HUD and the infotainment screen shows you when the electric juice is flowing to the wheels or back to the battery pack when coasting. The torque fill happens at low and even at high speeds, depending on the throttle input.

Engine Specs:

 

New Brezza

Old Brezza

Engine

K15C

K15B

Power

103PS

105PS

Torque

137Nm

138Nm

As a result, city commuting, if attacked with a calm head, will demand minimal gear changes as the engine can pull from 20kmph even in 4th gear! And the clutch is light too. At highway speeds the Brezza gets to 100kmph comfortably, but the engine is revving at a slightly high 2900rpm. However, the cabin feels fairly well insulated and the hum from the engine didn’t feel tiresome. 

Fuel efficiency: Automatic (Claimed) 

 

New Brezza

Old Brezza

Gearbox

6-speed, torque converter

4-speed, torque converter

Automatic

19.80kmpl 

18.76kmpl

Surprisingly, the automatic, a new six-speed unit that replaces the four-speeder, does better on this front. This unit chills at 100kmph with the engine ticking over at 2000rpm. The fuel efficiency hasn't changed dramatically but the responsiveness at lower speeds has. Sure, it isn't a cool sounding dual-clutch, but it does feel smooth and eager. Gentle throttle inputs are needed to inform the gearbox to stay in the same gear while changing pace. Just a hint of eagerness on the throttle and the ‘box shifts down and sends you zipping ahead faster than anticipated. What makes the automatic just a bit cooler and more involving of course are the paddle shifters. Tapping a paddle sends the gearbox's brain into manual mode temporarily, and lets you hold a gear even as you rev it up to the redline. 

Pocket full of fun?

When revved up the engine sounds good, however, it doesn't pull as hard as you would have liked or expected. Basically, it is best enjoyed driven in an easy going manner. It isn't exciting, and you wish it was because of just how capable the chassis is. Push it around corners and you realize just how much grip is on offer. So, if it had a bit more zing, it would be so much cooler.

The exciting handling has never come at the price of comfort. The Brezza rode well and was confident at high speeds too. The spring rates on this second generation have been tweaked to account for the increase in weight. On the road, it feels pretty much the same except maybe a bit more pliant and sophisticated. 

Verdict 

So the second generation Brezza is holding on to the best of the previous generation in the way it looks, in the way it treats its occupants, and in the way it rides and drives on the road. The familiar engine is more versatile now, be it for the city or the highway, especially considering the convenience of the six-speed automatic. The desirability factor has been bumped up massively with its new features, its new design and the richer cabin experience. 

Could it have done things better? For sure. The dashboard should have looked more premium and the features list, as always, could have been a bit longer. But that would have pushed the already premium pricing of the Brezza into the dangerously expensive territory. So, is the second generation Brezza cool and desirable? We would say it's cool and dependable.

Maruti Brezza Video Review

Maruti Brezza
Maruti Brezza
Rs. 8.29 Lakh
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