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Auto Car escapes the urban grind to Rajmachi Fort, in the champion SUV Vitara Brezza.

Over 4.5 lakh Indians swear by the #MarutiSuzuki #VitaraBrezza, and there are many more who aspire to own one. Here is the story of a #champion among #SUVs.

This is a tale of two journeys. One of them is about #EscapingTheCity to slow down for a day or so, and then getting back into the race, rejuvenated. The other is the story of a special #automobile that has won over 4,50,000 hearts since its launch in 2016. Our destination is the Rajmachi Fort, located in the soothingly green #WesternGhats. The road up there is a mix of the good, the bad and the downright nasty – but the car that is taking us to the fort is used to exactly this kind of diversity that constitutes #motoring in our country. In fact, it has successfully conquered it, and become a legend in its own right. We thumb the #PushButtonStarter of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and point its elegant nose towards the hills.

The genesis

The sky is overcast but the sun peeks out every now and then as we cut through the early morning traffic in #Mumbai. #RajmachiFort is over 500 years old and was one of the several forts taken over and strengthened by #ShivajiMaharaj. The fort is located at a distance of about a 100km from Mumbai; but if you are an astute driver, a #QuickDrive is all it will take to understand the stupendous success of the #Brezza. When it was launched, the Vitara Brezza was the first-ever Maruti Suzuki car to be designed and developed entirely in India, with localisation levels as high as 98 percent. Which means the Brezza, built on Suzuki’s global C platform, is as Indian as one can get, and – as its sales figures have proven time and again – to be world-class too.

The Brezza announced itself as a #GameChanger right from the word go. It achieved its first 1,00,000-unit sales in 12 months; 1,50,000 came up in 17; it crossed 2,00,000 in 20 months; and 4,00,000 units in 35. In fact, it created a record by breaching the 4 lakh-unit sales mark in less than three years since its launch. Not surprisingly, it also swept every major #AutomotiveAward in 2017 – 28 to be precise!

But if you’ve been a Brezza owner, those numbers would not come across as surprising – and that’s because, as far as automotive packages go, Maruti Suzuki’s #SUV totally nails it – from the way it looks to the mechanicals.

It’s got the look

Half-way through our drive, we stop at a roadside dhaba and, as we sip our tea, our eyes trace the contours of the Vitara Brezza. The Brezza is as handsome as it comes, in a very #masculine, square-jawed sort of way. It’s got a #bold, #UprightStance, clean lines, and those short overhangs, squared-out #WheelArches and that mildly raked tail accentuate its good looks. We also particularly like the high-set #ChromeGrille, and the use of blacked-out #FogLamp enclosures and that bumper with the split air dam, all of which add visual heft to the Brezza.

It has gained many fans who go ape over its floating roof design, in which the A-, B- and C-pillars come finished in black, while the roof and D-pillar are painted in the body #colour and are also available in a contrasting shade of black or white. The floating roof is among the many things that set the Brezza apart.

It checks nearly every box you can think of inside as well. Its #SpaciousCabin features elements that cater to both, the individual and the family, and the space exudes #quality. #SilverHighlights and glossy-black plastics are used tastefully, and storage spaces abound. The Brezza is also available with Maruti Suzuki’s #intuitive #SmartPlay touchscreen #infotainment unit that supports both, #AppleCarPlay and #AndroidAuto, as well as #ReverseCamera, #CruiseControl, #AutoHeadlights and #RainSensingWipers, among others. Maruti Suzuki’s engineers have worked intelligently, as far as space goes: the roominess of the cabin has not had an impact on boot space one bit. The 328-litre boot space can be extended by lifting the rear-seat base and folding the 60:40-split seats forward to create a larger, completely flat #LuggageSpace.

Where the road takes you

The #engine that powers the Brezza – the DDiS 200 – is a tried and trusted #performer. The 1.3-litre, four-cylinder #TurboDieselMotor produces 90hp and a robust 200Nm of #torque. So, you get the brawny mid-range the engine is famous for, which also allows it to be surprisingly #quick – more so than many of its rivals.

The Brezza handles all kinds of driving environments – from bumper-to-bumper #UrbanChaos to #highways – with aplomb, thanks to the mid-range and #strong top-end. This car’s engine was mated to Maruti Suzuki’s uncomplicated, highly effective #AutoGearShift (AGS), which delivers the advantages of both #manual and #AutomaticTransmissions. #AGS transmissions feature an #IntelligentShiftControl Actuator – an electro-hydraulic unit that takes charge of clutch and shift operations. It combines the actuator and controller and directly mounts them in the transmission to unify the working components. This helps achieve #optimum and synchronised #control over the clutch, shifting and the engine, translating into #smooth gear changes.

All of this comes into play as the Brezza encounters rutted roads on the way to Rajmachi Fort, as does its #suspension and its impressive #GroundClearance of 198mm. The Brezza dismisses every kind of surface undulation with #ease, and the suspension does a great job of keeping its passengers #comfortable, regardless of how bad the road surface is. Earlier this year, Maruti Suzuki made the Brezza even more tempting by offering it with a free 5-year/1,00,000km #warranty. The new warranty plan covers a host of components and their replacement, including the high-pressure pump, #compressor, Electronic Control Module, #turbocharger assembly, critical engine and transmission parts, among others. The #steering assembly and suspension struts are also covered by the plan.

Maruti SUZUKI’s citadel

As the Rajmachi Fort looms into view, we park the car and walk up towards it. It is a surprisingly cool afternoon, and the Brezza looks fetching in the clear light. It also makes us think about how Maruti Suzuki’s doughty SUV has a lot in common with the fort. Like the fort, the Brezza has proved to be near-impregnable in its segment, regardless of what the competition throws at it. Thanks to a fantastic and well-thought-out combination of factors, it continues to have immense recall each time the topic of a #CompactSUV comes up. As it surely will, now that the #FestiveSeason has begun.

Just so you know, buying a Brezza has just become more tempting and sweeter, with the car available with a bunch of #offers. In short, if you’ve been thinking of buying it, there would be no better time than now to get one.

Maruti Suzuki | Vitara Brezza | Push Button Starter | Quick Drive | Automotive Award | Upright Stance | Wheel Arches | Chrome Grille | Fog Lamp | Colour | Spacious Cabin | Silver Highlights | Smart Play | Apple CarPlay | Android Auto | Reverse Camera | Cruise Control | Auto Headlights | Rain Sensing Wipers | Luggage Space | Turbo Diesel Motor | Auto Gear Shift | AGS | Automatic Transmissions | Intelligent Shift Control | Control | Ground Clearance | Compact SUV | Offers