Colin-on-Cars – Road Review: Suzuki Brezza 1.5 GLX manual

Cars should be fun to drive, whether it is just the daily trudge to and from work or heading out on the highway to your happy place, the car should be more than just transport. From its broad S-toothed smile at the front to the neat and comfortably appointed interior, the Vitara Brezza exudes a ‘Let’s Play’ attitude.

It is no wonder then, the Brezza became the fastest compact to reach 500 000 unit sales in India.

Given the price point of the 1,5-litre GLX version at R289 900 plus the level of specification and that fun to drive feel, the Brezza is somewhat of a no-brainer choice when it comes to looking for a new car – even against the slightly lower price of the Toyota Urban Cruiser that is a Vitara Brezza rebadged.

What does set the Brezza apart is the fact even though it is a small car – 3 995 mm long by 1 790 mm wide – it simply does not have that cramped small car feel. Rather, the internal space has been cleverly worked to provide a decently spacious feel and still leave a reasonable boot space of 328 litres.

Again, rather than struggling with a small capacity engine, the Brezza’s 1,5-litres produces 77 kW at 6 000 r/min and 138 Nm at 4 000 r/min so it easily serves the urban cruiser mould as well as being more than comfortable and capable to take on the longer haul trips.

The Vitara Brezza was first introduced in India in 2016, with an upgraded model that arrived in 2020. The first generation Vitara was available in South Africa through a direct importer in the late eighties and early nineties and the Grand Vitara led the charge when Suzuki Auto officially opened its doors in South Africa in 2008.

The Vitara was launched in 2015 and upgraded with Suzuki’s Boosterjet engine in 2019.

The GLX rides on 16-inch diamond-cut and polished alloy wheels as standard.

The near-solid chrome grille stretches from end-to-end between the front lights that are finished with a chrome brow and LED daytime running lights, which pure LEDs on the GLX to accompany the automatic projector main LED headlamps.

The signature Suzuki SUV look continues on the side of the Vitara Brezza, with hard-wearing polycarbonate side mouldings above the door sill. Add to this wheel arch extensions on all models, functional roof rails and colour-coded mirrors with LED indicators.

At the rear, the U-shaped rear bumper and skid plate mirror the design of the front bumper and tie together the SUV design. Suzuki has also added a spoiler on the rear hatch door and an embossed chrome garnish above the number plate enclosure, which proudly carry the Vitara Brezza name.

Inside there is a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, which is standard across the range and which forms the centrepiece of the dashboard.

The system is fitted as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and it will display the image from the reverse camera, when engaged. Bluetooth, an auxiliary input and a USB port are also standard, while all models allow the driver hands-free control of the system and the phone interface from the steering wheel buttons or voice command system.

Suzuki has also added automatic climate control, power windows all-round, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear parking sensors, remote central locking and a rear armrest with integrated cup holders as standard across the range.

In the GLX-model, the steering wheel is leather clad and has additional buttons for the cruise control system along with adjustable mood lighting with five customisable colours and additional interior lights in the foot well, glove box and the luggage compartment.

The GLX model also adds a centre armrest for the front occupants and a push-button starter that works in combination with the standard keyless entry-system and the top of two glove boxes is air-conditioned.

Other GLX-only luxuries include height adjustable front seatbelts, an auto-dimming rear mirror, auto-folding side mirrors, automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 12V port in the luggage area and additional tweeters for more immersive sound from the infotainment system.

In the Vitara Brezza, active safety systems include anti-lock brakes with emergency brake-force distribution and brake-assistance, crash bags for the driver and front passenger, pre-tensioners and force limiters on all seatbelts and ISOFIX-mountings for child seats.

Passive safety, in turn, is taken care of by the Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) structure. This body structure was designed by Suzuki to be both incredibly strong and light and it has won industry acclaim for the effective dispersing of crash energy away from the occupants. The Vitara Brezza’s TECT-structure also includes side-impact beams in the doors for added protection.

All models also have a high-mounted LED stop lamp, a rear window-demister and a rear wiper with integrated washer as standard.

The Vitara Brezza has an electrically assisted rack and pinion steering system and is equipped with a McPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension.

All of that does little to convey the fun feeling referred to at the beginning of this review – that comes with getting behind the wheel and taking it for a drive. Sure, it is not going win many robot drag races but it sits squarely on the road and responds quickly and accurately to steering instructions while scooting along at highway or urban speeds as needed.

Fuel consumption on average is around the 6,4 l/100 km mark and it will get to 170 km/h after taking 11,8 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h. The 1,5-litre petrol engine is not quick revving still, keep your foot pinned down and you will like the way engine winds in the top-end of the rev band. For average needs, performance is more than acceptable.

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