Maruti has been selling around 12,000 units of the Brezza every month, and so didn't really need any help with trying to keep volumes up. In fact, it really was manufacturing capacity constraints that have held back variants of certain popular models. After all, the Vitara Brezza was launched in February 2016 with only a diesel manual drivetrain, and the petrol and automatic were expected ever since. While we still await the company's response to tell us more about launch of the petrol-powered Brezza, it has launched the AMT on the diesel. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has always been a mouthful to say out loud. Now consider this - Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza AGS - and you're almost thankful they used an acronym instead of Auto Gear Shift, eh? Well, this was the long pending variant for this bestselling subcompact SUV from the market leader in India, and we have finally got it after waiting for months. And now we are also happy to bring you the first official and therefore exclusive review of the much-awaited Maruti Vitara Brezza AMT! The Vitara Brezza AMT was always something the market and people like me had been demanding.
The Autumn Orange colour on the Maruti Vitara Brezza AMT is now available on all variants
So, Maruti has taken its tried and tested Magneti Marelli sourced automated manual transmission actuator system (or AGS in Maruti speak) for the familiar 5-speed manual gearbox and brought it to the Vitara Brezza range. The same system has been seen on the Swift, Dzire, though I have to say feels better on the Brezza. So let's get down to it. Any AMT involves some subtle jerks and pauses when gear shifts happen. And unless there is a 'creep' function, AMT cars usually start from a standstill with a lurch forward - and boy have we seen that on the Maruti AGS systems of yore. Not any more! Unlike the Dzire's AMT, the Vitara Brezza's is a lot smoother.
The gearbox on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza AMT is sourced from Magneti Marelli
The creep function is there too on the Vitara Brezza AMT (like in the Tata Nexon AMT), which helps achieve smoother take-off! The gears change is much smoother now and I am quite impressed to find that there is a recalibration on the system based on throttle input. So, if you're driving in city traffic, you will get the little tug when gears change - coupled with that split second lag. However, when you are keen to get sporty, and push the pedal to the metal, the gears hold much longer - all the way to say 4500 rpm in 3rd gear, for instance. This allows the car to move much quicker, and for you to get a better response than you'd expect from an AMT. The same is partly true for downshifts too. The gears hold longer - when coasting along, or slowing down in traffic. And if you want a quick downshift, push the throttle down and a kickdown like response gets the car to drop a gear much quicker. And a lot smoother too!
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza AMT gets new black wheels which is available in the top-spec variant
Therefore, the Vitara Brezza AMT is a welcome addition to the lineup. How it compares to the Tata Nexon Hyprdrive is best left to a proper shootout that we will no doubt bring you soon. But I will say this - where the Nexon has more power, and a slightly smoother gearbox, the Brezza has commanding SUV-like ride height, and sportier handling. So it shall be a rather pitched battle, I would reckon! It has not escaped me that both cars donned orange to step out in the automatic avatar. The Autumn Orange on the new Vitara Brezza AMT is a bit more burnt rust and is the same as the one offered on the Baleno. You can get this colour on any variant, not just the AMT, and also without the contrast white roof. Of course, I believe it would have looked way nicer with a black roof to go with the new black wheels, that are also now on offer on the Vitara Brezza. Those are only offered on the top spec variant though. Speaking of black, the interior has also been spruced up, and given an all black treatment. So all the grey bits are gone and the dash now gets an interesting texture in its black finish. All the other things you expect - dual airbags, keyless start and the touchscreen - are all available as per the initial trims. So equipment has not changed and Maruti has played it very smart when it comes to prices.
Unlike many others, the market leader has offered the AMT on the top three trims and not just one variant. This means prices range from ₹ 8.54 -10.49 lakh. Compare this to just the top trims on offer on the Tata Nexon AMT and Mahindra TUV 300 AMT and the Maruti move looks even more attractive. We already reported how Tata, for instance, is likely to now offer the Nexon AMT in lower variants too. Maruti has also made safety features standard on all variants of the Vitara Brezza.