Maruti Grand Vitara Hybrid: Observations from a passenger perspective

Good space for 3 adults at the back. Coming from my XUV700, I never once complained about the lack of space.

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Hi everyone,

I spent some quality time with the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. It belongs to a family friend of ours and its an Alpha Smart Hybrid MT variant.

A little background – he owned a Type 2 2009 Innova and an Elite i20 before. He currently has this and a Vitara Brezza Diesel MT.

He has extensively driven vehicles in both India and Saudi Arabia. Even he admits that there is no comparison to the Innova, but his requirements changed through the years. Although this isn’t comparable to Innova, but he says it’s good for his requirements.

This is a review based on my experience with the car in the city and on a 600 km roadtrip from Hyderabad to Guntur and back.

(Note : This is a complete passenger based experience, not a driver based one, because I’ve not yet attained the legal age of driving)

We’ll begin with the pros:

  • The interior doesn’t feel like you’re in a Maruti. Plastics are present but well managed interior. All controls are present in easy reach of both driver and co-passenger.
  • Good space for 3 adults at the back. Coming from my XUV700, I never once complained about the lack of space.
  • The engine feels silent and refined. It almost feels EV-like in lower speeds (thanks to the Smart Hybrid system). Similar to other Nexa vehicles like the Baleno and XL6.
  • Cabin insulation is pretty good. You can’t feel the engine inside. Hats off for giving a silent cabin. I found it better than Creta.
  • The engine, although feels underpowered on paper, is actually quite powerful and refined. It effortlessly goes over 100 kph. As I found on the Nehru ORR, this car can easily maintain speeds for a prolonged time.
  • The 5-speed manual is super smooth and works pretty good with the 1.5 NA motor.
  • Cruise control is well-suited to this car. Also worth mentioning is the Idle Start Stop function. It worked well in Hyderabad traffic.
  • Decent mileage. We got around 13- 14 kmpl in peak traffic. Please let me know if this is what everyone gets.
  • I liked the sound quality of this car. Vocal are heard pretty clearly and it has the right amount of bass.
  • The AC unit is pretty powerful and cools the cabin quickly.

Coming to the cons:

  • Although the interior looks premium, places like the glove box cover and the door handle section feels scratchy. This is quite a let down for such a premium interior.
  • Unnecessary usage of metal finishes and piano black makes this car a dust magnet.
  • The sunshade of the panoramic sunroof is simply a joke. It lets in sunlight and makes the cabin hot. Especially when AP and TS was witnessing high temperatures, sitting in the car became a pain… The shade is kinda translucent. It has holes in it, which allow sunlight in and the fabric is quite thin.
  • I don’t understand why no ventilated seats on top variant of mild hybrid range. It’s a boon in this hot weather.
  • ADAS could have made things better.
  • No TPMS …. why??
  • The suspension is on the stiffer side. You really feel the bumps and potholes on the road. Very similar as compared to the XUV500 we had.
  • The overall build could have been better. The doors and the boot feel flimsy.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are a hit and miss. They work wirelessly but if any phone is plugged into the USB port, it stops abruptly and tries to mirror the phone plugged in.

To conclude, this is a near-perfect urban runabout. Good for families traveling intercity and intracity frequently.

This car is not made for the enthusiast, but a sedate driver will feel at home in this car.



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