It seems like just yesterday when we were calling Suzuki our brand to watch. Now, the brand has grown from strength to strength, building a solid product lineup around old favourites like the Swift Sport and Jimny, as well as new additions like the Ignis. But as of today, the Japanese automaker has a new offering in the crossover segment, as it has launched the Vitara Brezza in SA to slot between the Ignis and the regular Vitara and tackle the likes of the Hyundai Venue and Ford EcoSport.
The Vitara Brezza is technically not an all-new model, as it’s already been on sale in India since 2016. In that time it became the fastest compact SUV to sell half a million units and claimed an overall market share of 23% in the segment. Now, the new addition is touching down in SA. As a spin-off of the popular Vitara nameplate, the Vitara Brezza is smaller and cheaper. Shorter in length by 180mm, the Vitara Brezza is marginally wider and taller but utilizes the same 2,500 mm wheelbase. Visually, it’s a similar vehicle but boasts individual design cues that set it apart. It rides on 16-inch alloy wheels, while the upper-spec GLX boasts full-LED projector headlamps. Aiding its compact visuals, a darkened A-pillar and a black C-pillar insert create the appearance of a floating roof, something that has become a Suzuki trademark in recent years.
Under the bonnet, all variants employ Suzuki’s 1.5-litre K15B engine. This naturally aspirated 4-cylinder is the same unit used in the Jimny, Ciaz, and Ertiga, developing 77 kW and 138 Nm of torque. Power is routed exclusively to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic. Suzuki has no plans to introduce AWD, nor a diesel or turbocharged alternative powertrain.
Inside, the Vitara Brezza is well-equipped to handle the urban jungle. Infotainment – once a sore point for the Japanese automaker – is no longer a problem, as all derivatives are equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment suite with full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Other feature highlights across the range include a reverse camera, electric windows, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, and central locking, while the GLX improves specification by adding cruise control, a centre front armrest, push-button start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a cooled upper cubby hole on the dash.
On the safety front, both the GL and GLX come equipped with ABS, EBD, dual front airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, and ISOFIX anchors for child seats, while the GLX benefits from rain-sensing wipers. These all contribute to a four-star NCAP safety rating.
The range comprises two trim levels (GL and GLX), both available in either manual or automatic guise. Pricing kicks off at R244,900 for the GL Manual and R289,900 for the GLX Manual. Automatic derivatives add a further R20,000 to the asking price. All models are covered by a full 5-year/200,000km warranty and a 4-year/60,000km service plan.