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Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: 2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza review: Uncrowned king of B-SUV segment

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NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza set foot in the Indian market back in 2016 and fast forward to 2020 and the dream run of this compact SUV is far from over as it managed to top the B-SUV sales charts throughout the lockdown. Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and many others took turns to try their luck and overtake the Brezza but the 5-lakh sales milestone stands as an example of how the compact SUV has struck the right chords with the Indian audience and how it has positioned itself as a good family car.
Although the sales of the car are far from disappointing, TOI Auto still took a closer look at the Brezza to see if the BS6 version of the chart-topper deserves a similar response as its predecessor.

Same old design, same old craze
The BS6 Brezza doesn’t get a drastic cosmetic update but it does feature the redesigned chrome front grille, new LED headlamps with DRLs, and slightly tweaked signature tail lamps. The new features do accentuate the look of the BS6 version but the older features like roof end spoiler, chrome garnish backdoor, floating roof design, wheel arch extension, skid plate with silver garnish, alloy wheels, side under protection garnish do get their share of credit for the distinct look of the SUV. The Brezza might not be the sportiest looking out of all the new-age rivals but it looks quite suffice for a decent urban B-SUV.

New powertrain banking on the SUV’s success
The 1st-generation of the Brezza only sported a BS4-compliant 1.3-litre diesel engine. But as the SUV made its transition to the BS6 era, it sported a 1.5-litre petrol engine and it happens to be the only mild hybrid engine in the segment. The engine manages to produce 104 PS of power and 138 Nm of torque while paired to a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.
Refreshed character with vibrant performance
The 2020 Maruti Suzuki Brezza’s character has changed quite a bit compared to the outgoing model. Even after discarding the diesel unit, the compact SUV manages to keep up a brisk pace in urban spaces, all thanks to the strong slug of torque in the low to mid-range. But you will definitely miss the diesel unit when you take it out on the highways, however, the refined engine and a quieter cabin are something you get in the bargain.

Smooth handling and decent fuel economy
Our test run clearly suggested that one full tank can take you around 700 km comfortably. If you avoid revving the engine, you would definitely achieve better FE numbers. The ride quality is supple and SUV flattens out road undulations at low speeds. The steering well is a balanced unit that is neither too heavy nor too light. That said, body roll around the corners is evident and expecting sedan-like handling would be a myth.
Refreshed interiors and practical features
The BS6 Brezza comes with all-black themed interiors, leather-wrapped steering wheel chrome finish on inside door handles and AC vents which slightly accentuate the cabin’s character. In terms of entertainment, the SUV boasts a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, steering mounted audio controls, and two tweeters. Some of the practical convenience features include auto headlamps, keyless entry, dust and pollen filter, auto AC, adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, and rain-sensing auto wipers. The roominess and the spaciousness of the cabin are also a big plus and make the SUV an instant choice for family buyers.

Enhanced safety features that keep up with the times
The Brezza boasts a decent safety package with features like dual front airbags, front seat belt pre-tensioners, ABS with EBD, high-speed warning alert, reverse parking sensor with dynamic display, pedal release system, side-impact protection beam, reverse parking camera, and hill hold feature. Built with Suzuki’s TECT body, the Brezza tries to offer optimum safety to the occupants of the car.
Price difference
Though the prices of the BS6 and the BS4 can’t be directly compared due to the different powertrains, the 2020 Brezza is a tad bit more affordable by Rs 28,000. While the outgoing BS4 model ranged between Rs 7.62 lakh – Rs 10.59 lakh (ex-showroom), the BS6 Vitara Brezza ranges between Rs 7.34 lakh – Rs 11.15 lakh (ex-showroom). The BS6 Brezza is offered in 7 trims in total.

What does it miss out on?
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza BS6 does seem like a complete package but it does miss out on a few things here and there. The first thing that misses out in the Brezza is a solid cosmetic upgrade. It is not because the Brezza has a boring design but because we have its rebadged version, the Toyota Urban Cruiser running on the roads too. The Brezza has clearly lost its distinct road presence and you can only differentiate between the Urban Cruiser and the Brezza if you look closely at the badging, the logo, and the front fascia. Secondly, discarding the diesel engine could prove to be a problem for the SUV, maybe not now but in the longer run. And with much younger competitors making their way to the market with new tech and versatile engine options, it is not long until the Brezza loses its upper hand. Thirdly, when the entire industry is inclined towards new-age tech upgrades, the Brezza sticks to the same old-school tech and setup and the difference is significant when it is compared to the rivals. The fourth flaw we found with the B-SUV was that its safety package could have been a bit more comprehensive rather than sticking with the basics.
Verdict
We have to overlook all the flaws of the SUV owing to its exceptional performance in the market. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is definitely a good family car and a decent urban SUV that is still reliable, spacious, and economical. A factotum in the B-SUV segment, the Brezza manages to top the charts and remain the uncrowned king because of its efficiency and the fun-to-drive character and it can still give the rivals a run for their money.


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Tesla (TSLA) earnings Q4 2020

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Employees work at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 20, 2020. U.S. electric car company Tesla in 2019 built its first Gigafactory outside the United States in the new Lingang area, with a designed annual production capacity of 500,000 units.

Ding Ting | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Tesla is expected to report 2020 fourth quarter results on Wednesday after the bell, and to offer guidance for the first quarter and full year ahead.

Here’s what analysts are expecting, according to an average of estimates compiled by Refinitiv as of Wednesday:

  • Earnings: $1.03 per share expected
  • Revenue: $10.4 billion expected

And here’s what guidance Wall Street expects from Tesla for the full year ahead:

  • 2021 earnings guidance: $4.15 per share expected
  • 2021 revenue guidance: $46.09 billion expected

Tesla previously said it had delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, falling barely shy of its guidance for half a million vehicle deliveries in 2020. (Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales numbers disclosed by Tesla.) It produced 509,737 vehicles during the year.

Both deliveries and production numbers set a new record for Elon Musk’s maturing electric car company, seen as a triumph in a year when auto sales and factory operations were dampened by a global pandemic.

Starting around the end of 2019, Tesla has said that it expects to report positive cash flow and net income moving forward, with possible exceptions around the launch and ramp in production of new products or facilities. Last quarter was its fifth consecutive quarter of profitability — which led to the addition of the company to the S&P 500.

Tesla is currently building new factories in Austin, Texas, and Brandenburg, Germany, after quickly constructing and reaching a high volume of production at its last new plant in Shanghai.

Vehicle sales in China largely enabled Tesla to hit record deliveries in 2020. So did the introduction of a new crossover SUV, the Model Y, which Tesla began to produce in serious volumes in the first quarter last year out of its Fremont, California car plant.

By the period ending in September 2020, Tesla was making more Model Ys than Model 3s for US drivers, according to NHTSA records on light vehicle production. The company has not historically broken out sales numbers by region, or precise model. Instead it combines sales of Model Y and 3, and Model S and X.

Since Tesla’s third quarter earnings call in October 2020, the price of the company’s stock has more than doubled, giving it a market capitalization of more than $835 billion and making it the fifth-most valuable company in the U.S.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


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GM returning with two ads focused on electric vehicles

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One of General Motors’ two Super Bowl ads this year will feature the Cadillac Lyriq. In this provided screenshot of the Cadillac ad, the Lyriq appears to be in the fictional neighborhood of 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands” movie.

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DETROIT – General Motors will air two commercials during this year’s Super Bowl advertising its all-electric vehicles, the company confirmed Wednesday to CNBC.

One of the 60-second ads will feature the company’s new focus on electric vehicles — GM’s first corporate spot in more than a decade — while the other will feature the automaker’s luxury Cadillac brand and its upcoming Lyriq crossover EV.

GM is launching the new ad campaign after recently redesigning its corporate logo to better represent the its pivot to EVs, including 30 new models globally under a $27 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025. The redesigned logo accompanies a new “everyone in” tagline.

“General Motors is creating a movement by making EVs fun, desirable and accessible for people from every walk of life,” GM Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in a statement. “We’re excited to demonstrate the tremendous energy and enthusiasm behind our EV commitment by showing up big at this year’s Super Bowl with both GM and Cadillac.”

A GM spokesman declined to discuss further details of the ads, which will likely to be released prior to their national broadcasts during next Sunday’s Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Grady separately said the brand’s Super Bowl ad “will surprise and delight audiences by transporting an iconic piece of pop-culture history into the future.” She said it will feature the Lyriq as well as the company’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assist system. It will be Cadillac’s first time advertising during the Super Bowl since 2012.

This will be GM’s second-consecutive year of advertising during the Super Bowl. A year ago, the company previewed its all-electric GMC Hummer EV pickup. The 30-second ad featured NBA star LeBron James and teased the new vehicle, which is expected to go on sale this fall.


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Fiat Chrysler to pay $30 million to settle federal corruption probe

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UAW President Rory Gamble (left) and U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announce a settlement agreement to end a years-long corruption investigation into the union on Dec. 14, 2020 in Detroit.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, has agreed to pay $30 million as part of a plea deal to settle a criminal investigation into collusion and bribery of union officials by former executives of the company’s North American operations.

The deal, which was announced Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Detroit, ends a multiyear federal probe into Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union. Prosecutors announced a separate plea deal last month with the UAW.

It’s unclear at this time when Stellantis will pay the fine as the agreement remains subject to U.S. federal court approval.

Under terms of the deal, the company agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act.

The agreement also requires the company to hire an independent compliance monitor for three years. That person will oversee the dissolution of a training facility at the center of the probe, among other things, according to the company

The investigation has led to convictions of 15 people, including two past UAW presidents, three Fiat Chrysler executives and a former General Motors board member who was a union leader. Prison sentences for those involved have ranged from 60 days to 6½ years. A handful of people are still awaiting sentencing.


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