Maruti Suzuki’s Brezza has been a very popular model in our market, and has won the hearts of many Indian buyers because of its practicality, fuel efficient petrol engine and Maruti’s vast service network. But with Kia’s equally competitive, powerful and equipment-laden Sonet, will the Brezza stand a chance to win this tussle? We pit the two against each to find out.
The Brezza comes across a rather boxy SUV, but after an all-important update, it looks a lot better with the chrome grille, flanked by LED DRL projector headlamps. The front bumper has been revised a little too, with stylish fog light housings along with a reworked silver accent on the bash plate portion. At the rear, the bumper has been mildly reworked and the tail light cluster gets new LED inserts as well. It also gets a black roof and the dual-tone alloys look great.
The Kia Sonet is the more stylish SUV of the two with its Tiger Nose grille that gets a knurled look along with chrome on the lower half. There are three-dimensional inserts and red accents on the GT Line variant too. Even the LED headlights with the ‘heartbeat’ DRLs look striking. The sleek bumper houses fog lamps in place of what were once intakes on the concept car. And there’s a hexagonal mesh used for the big air intake along with a silver garnish. The bonnet looks nice and chunky too. Along the sides, the curvy front and rear fenders give the SUV a bold stance and the smoked-out look on the upper and lower half of the C-pillar is very attractive. Even the 16-inch alloys look identical to the ones on the concept. The tail lights get the ‘heartbeat’ signature too, and are joined by a reflector strip running through the middle. It also gets faux twin tail pipes and a silver skid plate.
The cabin of the Brezza is rather simplistic, but the driving position is great, thanks to the upright pillars and the huge glass area. The seat fabric is new as well. Some buttons and switches look familiar. Sitting in the middle of centre console is a 7.0-inch touchscreen Smartplay studio system. The quality of plastics is reasonably good. There are quite a number of cubby spaces around as well. As far as space is concerned, there is lots of it – in the form of headroom and legroom. The front seats are large and supportive, even at the rear. The boot is quite roomy too and can accommodate a few soft bags as well.
The cabin space is similar to that of the Venue, and the boot should be the same size as the Venue’s. The layout inside is neat and everything feels well built. The flat-bottom steering is sporty and all the controls feel great to touch. There’s a digital speed readout with a tiny multi-information screen. It also gets drive modes and traction modes on the automatic model.
Features in the Brezza include Reverse parking camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, Dual-tone colour scheme, LED fog lights, Automatic headlights, Rain sensing wipers, Auto folding ORVMs, Front centre armrest, Height adjustable front seatbelts, Leather-wrapped steering wheel and 4 speakers + 2 tweeters.
The Kia Sonet comes equipped with power-folding wing mirrors, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto climate control, auto headlamps, keyless entry and go, remote engine start via the car’s key, auto LED headlamps, ventilated front seats, ambient lighting, Bose Audio system and leatherette upholstery.
Performance & Handling
The Kia Sonet will be powered by a 1.2-litre, petrol engine that makes 81bhp and 115Nm of torque, a 1.0-litre direct-injection turbo petrol engine that makes 118bhp and 172Nm of torque, and a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine that makes 98bhp and 240Nm of torque in the manual model and 113bhp and 250Nm of torque in the automatic model. Gearbox options include a 6-speed manual, a 5-speed manual, a dual-clutch automatic, a torque-converter auto and an iMT clutchless manual.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is powered by a 1.5-litre K-series engine that makes 103bhp and 138Nm of torque, mated either to a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual gearbox. At idle, there’s barely any engine noise and the motor is quite responsive. The engine is quite flexible and mid-range response is impressive. The engine doesn’t sound coarse as the revs rise and the 5-speed manual shifts precisely. Also, the clutch is light. As speed picks up, the Brezza absorbs bumps well. And the steering is responsive, and feels quite composed around corners. The brakes provide good bite as well.
It’s hard to nitpick with the Brezza, but it looks rather bland. However, it is a proven vehicle, has good driving dynamics, comes with a practical and spacious cabin and rides rather well. But the Sonet’s build quality, features list and stunning design don’t cease to impress, and that’s why it wins this test.