Maruti Suzuki will formally launch the Vitara Brezza on Tuesday, its first serious attempt to break into the already-competitive sport utility vehicle segment.
Initially, the compact SUV will be launched with a diesel engine, which also sits under the hood of some other popular Maruti models like the Swift and Dzire. While there has been no official announcement yet, the diesel version is expected to have a fuel efficiency of 24 kms to the litre.
It is expected to have an introductory price of Rs 6.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and Rs 7.35 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).
A petrol engine could be added later, company officials had said at the time of its unveiling at the Auto Expo held in Greater Noida earlier this year. The Ecosport, Creta and Duster are the only models in this class of sub-Rs 10 lakh that offer petrol engines.
Though the Brezza does not look as powerful as its peers in terms of specification – for instance, the Ford Ecosport has the most powerful engine and is also the longest compact SUV – Maruti Suzuki has loaded the Brezza with all the bells and whistles.
The compact SUV will have infotainment system and built-in navigation, climate control, cooled glove box, automatic headlamps, reverse parking camera, push button start and rain sensing wipers. In addition, it will have four trim levels.
A crucial element, one which is turning out to be the swing vote for buyers, is the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), or automatic gear shift. Several cars that offer this option, such as the Maruti Alto, Tata Nano, Maruti Celerio and Tata Zest, are witnessing a surge in demand for the variant.
Currently, Mahindra TUV300 is the only SUV in India that offers an AMT option. Maruti officials said that the company will explore the possibility for the Brezza.
A few months down the line, however, the Brezza will likely drive into additional competition when Honda launches its BR-V SUV. Tata Motors, one of India’s oldest SUV makers, will also jump into the bandwagon with the launch of the Nexon. General Motors, Skoda, Toyota, Volkswagen are also expected to enter this segment.