Maruti Vitara Brezza finally gets petrol power

by Rivan RS 06 Feb 2020

The Maruti Vitara Brezza, the gamechanging compact SUV in India, has finally got petrol power. With the company having decided to exit use of diesel powertrain, the past year has seen the diesel-only Vitara Brezza feel the heat of slowing sales in the domestic market. Since launch at the Auto Expo 2016, the diesel Brezza has till end-December 2019 sold a total of 508,673 units. Starting April 2020, the BS VI petrol-engine model will give a new verve to sales.

Today at the Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki revealed the thoroughly revamped  Vitara Brezza, which sees as switch to a petrol-only powertrain, that being the highlight of the update. Suzuki’s K15B 1.5-litre petrol engine takes the place of the original Vitara Brezza’s 1.3-litre diesel, as part of Maruti’s larger plan to withdraw diesels from its line-up by April 1, 2020. The carmaker will announce prices for the updated Vitara Brezza later in the month.

The Vitara Brezza shares its 105hp and 138Nm, 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine with other Marutis like the Ciaz, Ertiga and XL6. A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a 4-speed torque converter-equipped auto is available as an option. Interestingly, Suzuki’s SHVS Smart Hybrid tech is reserved for automatic versions of the compact SUV only.

Worth noting is that the K15B engine’s 1462cc displacement means the Vitara Brezza petrol doesn’t qualify for small car excise sops available to models under 4 metres in length, and petrol engines under 1200cc. It will be interesting to see how Maruti prices the Brezza versus rivals – the majority of which have petrol engines smaller than 1200cc.

The carmaker has also revealed ARAI fuel-efficiency figures for the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza petrol. Variants with the 5-speed manual are rated at 17.03kpl while the automatic, with the mild-hybrid tech, has an ARAI rated 18.76kpl.

Cosmetic upgrades and new features
The carmaker has tried to add value to the package with cosmetic upgrades and added features. It gets a fresh front-end – the chin is wider, there's a mustache-shaped design detail below ther chrome grille that extends to the front bumper, the fog lamp housings are larger, and the turn indicators are near the headlight unit. There’s new chrome trim around the headlights, with large DRLs below. Besides the new alloy wheel design, there isn’t much that has changed on the sides. The rear, however, also looks a bit more premium thanks to a redone bumper. Also new are three new dual-tone colour options: Sizzling Red with midnight Black roof, Torque Blue with midnight Black roof and Granite Grey with Autumn Orange roof.

Maruti hasn’t made drastic changes to the Vitara Brezza’s interior, though there is new interior trim in the all-black cabin. There’s also the new SmartPlay Studio 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control and automatic wipers on offer now. Maruti has also added a variety of customisation and personalisation options too. Safety kit remains unchanged with dual airbags and ABS being part of the package. Just to recap, the Vitara Brezza earned a rating of four stars in the Global NCAP test in 2018.

Maruti is confident the switch to petrol power will not impact the Vitara Brezza sales, and expects the petrol model to replace diesel sales 1:1. If the carmaker's estimates are correct, the Vitara Brezza petrol could take the baton from the diesel version to be at the top of the sales charts.