Suzuki launched the long-awaited Vitara Brezza earlier this year, and from the get-go, it turned heads with its attractive looks. But in one of the most highly contested segments on the market, does it have what it takes to compete? Lizaan Snyman gets behind the wheel to find out.
We finally got the opportunity to sample Suzuki’s newcomer for an adventure to the northern part of the Kruger National Park recently. Powered by a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, the Vitara Brezza we sampled develops an efficient 77 kW power and 138 Nm peak torque at 4 400 r/pm and we expected a solid urban performance, which it delivered wit gusto
The bigger question for us, of course, was: how would it peform on our adventure which would include towing and some gravel travel in the park? The spec sheet showed in impressive towing capacity of 1 100 kg braked and 400 kg unbraked so things were looking good to improve the little run-around’s utility factor. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding…
Since we were camping in the Kruger, we decided to tow a trailer that many South Africans have bought and enjoyed on their adventures over the years – the small and reliable Venter trailer. All concerns of a swaying, hobbing and bobbing trailer were diminished as the Vitara Brezza and Venter trailer were a seemingly perfect match from the get-go and we enjoyed a smooth ride.
We managed a respectable average speed of about 100 km/h and an astonishing frugal 7.5 litres/100 km on the highway. Driving through the Kruger with the trailer parked at camp, we averaged well below 6 litres/100 km. While driving in urban areas, the fuel economy which is conveninently displayed on the infotainment showed a respectable 7 litres/100 km, making this little bullet from Suzuki one of the the most economical SUVs on the market!
The Vitara Brezza offers a surprisingly convenient drive as it has a solid road presence and various driver aids to ensure comfort for driver and passentgers alike. Although it is a smaller car, it does not feel like that at all. The vehicle’s smooth and agile feel make overtaking and driving on the highway and in urban areas a breeze. Towing was reasonable, considering we gave it a proper test through the winding Magoebaskloof pass where we had to, at times, gear down to third to make it up the hills. However, the towing capacity of this compact SUV remains a huge plus – even more so since you can tow with a standard B licence, opening up adventures for younger camping enthusiasts such as myself.
The Vitara Brezza sports a reasonably sized seven-inch infotainment system, and the inclusion of tweeter speakers impressed with its remarkable sound quality. Additional attractive specs include keyless-entry and push-button start, electric windows, air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, power-adjustable mirrors, LED headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Apart from five customizable mood lighting options, automatic climate control is standard. A huge benefit for me, as a towing novice and someone who is used to manouvering a small A-segment vehicle, was the inclusion of rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. This certainly made finding the perfect spot to unhook the trailer in camp, a breeze.
As they say in the classics — there is more! The flagship GLX we sampled also includes top-notch functions such as LED fog lamps, automatic headlights, cruise control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dual 12-volt power outlets, a 12V charging port in the load bay and a leather steering wheel. On our longer drives in the Kruger, the cooled glovebox was an especially welcome addition as it kept our drinks nice and cold.
Overall, we believe your choice in this highly contested segment just got Brezza! It offers a whole lot of car and is incredibly well-priced. With its head-turning looks, we are sure it will be lapped up by the market.
Model line-up and pricing:
Vitara Brezza 1.5 GL MT: R244 900
Vitara Brezza 1.5 GL AT: R264 900
Vitara Brezza 1.5 GLx MT: R289 000
Vitara Brezza 1.5 GLx AT: R309 900
*All derivatives include a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km mechanical warranty, as well as a 3-year / unlimited km roadside assistance.