Checking out the Maruti Grand Vitara: The good & the bad of the new SUV

The panoramic sunroof opens all the way but when closed, it appears to be smaller than that of the Hyundai Creta.

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I was informed by the nearby Nexa showroom in Delhi that they will be having the Vitara for display. I decided to check it out as I was curious to see what Maruti has brought to the table in this fight-off with the Korean cousins (Seltos and Creta). Here are my thoughts on the mild hybrid Alpha variant which was on display.

The good

  • Maruti has got the exterior styling on point. It is decked up with loads of chrome on the front. The front looks menacing and surely gives it street presence. The rear too is beautiful, and the tail-lights truly stand out. It’s got a European flair to the design and I could see the onlookers really appreciating the way Vitara looks, and I agree with them.
  • The model on display was the mild hybrid version and hence, the boot had loads of space – I would guess at least 410 litres.
  • The engine bay had loads of empty space and was well covered from the bottom.
  • The panoramic sunroof opens all the way, unlike the other cars where only the front glass opens. When closed, the sunroof overall appeared smaller in comparison to Creta.
  • With the Maruti brand name, it looks like this car will be well received. The crowd at the showroom seemed particularly delighted with the car and I saw 3 people make a booking as well in my short stint of 45 mins.
  • The salesman mentioned that the car has 210mm ground clearance. This is pretty good if correct.
  • The front seats are comfortable and provide adequate under-thigh support.
  • All doors open wide making the egress and ingress easy. They close with a not-so-reassuring thud.
  • The alloy wheel design is appropriate and the rubber was from Aptera Cross. The size was 215/60 R17. The spare well is also an R17 tyre.

The bad

  • While the car looks solid on the outside, I wish I could say the same about the interiors. The fit and finish is nothing to write home about and is typical Maruti. The switch gear, plastic quality, buttons, steering wheel and all the other small things are all same as the other Marutis and this ensures you will not end up perceiving this car as a premium product. Maruti ought to have used this opportunity to refresh its parts bin.
  • Keeping in mind the recent prices of Maruti Brezza, I’m sure that the pricing for Vitara will set a new benchmark.
  • The rear window does not roll all the way down. Although it is tinted. Also, the bottle holders at the rear were small and fitting in a 1 litre bottle could be a tight squeeze.
  • The headroom at the rear seat is definitely lesser than Brezza and the car overall felt very compact from the inside. The under-thigh support I felt was also not enough. My height is 5’8’’ for context.
  • Three people seating in the rear seat is just uncomfortable and felt as if we were in a Swift.
  • Glove box is neither illuminated nor cooled.
  • The cabin lights were not LED and had yellow bulbs I think. The overall ambience of the cabin is not much different from, say, a Brezza.

Some pictures from the visit

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