Once you’ve visited a Maruti showroom(Nexa included), it’s hard to convince yourself to buy elsewhere. The carmaker has successfully plugged all the gaps in its portfolio over the last two years and now is busy launching AMT-version of its cars with good success. In fact, Maruti has been the reason for this new AMT revolution in the Indian car market. After all, it was the Celerio AMT which started the truly affordable automatic segment in 2014. Maruti’s aggression and unwillingness to recede even an inch to rivals can be gauged from the fact that the carmaker launched the Brezza AMT just a week after the Tata Nexon AMT.
What’s new on the Vitara Brezza AMT?
On the outside you get a new shade of orange, which looks very bold from a distance. The blackened-out alloy wheels look cool too. The interior now gets Isofix child seats at the rear, which is a welcome addition to the car. The rest of the design is the same. You will however miss cruise control which this version doesn’t get. The rest of the features are similar to the manual version. Auto headlamps, Apple Carplay/Android Auto are all part of the kit. The dual tone paint scheme is an optional extra that will cost you though.
How good is the AMT?
With each passing launch of an AMT(Automated Manual Transmission) Maruti Suzuki engineers seem to improve the quality of the shifts. The Brezza feels better that the Swift and Dzire AMT versions in terms of shift pattern. Both upshifts and downshifts are relatively jerk-free. Its only when you really smash the accelerator pedal down that you will notice a bit of lag in the responses. This is after all an AMT and it does have its own limitations. You can use the gearbox manually too by shifting the lever to the left. Gearshifts are smooth and efficient for the most part in manual mode and average everyday users won’t find any reasons to complain.
The 1.3-litre diesel unit feels reasonably refined but it suffers from time-honoured problem of turbo-lag. You will have to gun the engine to spin above 2,000 rpm to get the best juice from it. Keep it between 2,000-4,000 rpm to get the best from it.
The suspension set up remains unchanged too. There is a bit of stiffness at slow city speeds and you can feel some bad patches of road announce their presence in the cabin. Highway stability is very good though and you can easily do speeds in excess of 100kph on the highway all day long with confidence in the Brezza. The steering is well weighted, it’s neither to soft or too firm with the right amount of weight for both the city and highway use.
The Brezza AMT should extend the companies lead in the SUV space even further. The Brezza ticks all the right boxes for most Indian buyers with its strong looks, generous features, a fuel efficient engine and Maruti’s trusted aftersales support.