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Review: Maruti Ritz VXi A/T
Driven January 2013
Better late than never. That’s an old adage that Maruti seems to be following with the new Ritz automatic. This is Maruti’s response to the Honda Brio automatic that we drove a few weeks ago.
While the Brio auto is available in two versions, Maruti has oddly chosen to provide the automatic gearbox only on the VXi version. It gets power windows, power steering, AC, ABS with EBD and tilt steering as standard but surprisingly no stereo or rear wash wipe. Ouch!
The gearbox is a four-speed unit. And we are happy to inform you that performance is more than adequate. The silky smooth 1.2-litre petrol unit seems to be a fine fit for this 'box. Shifts are smooth and effortless, with minimum hesitation to be seen. There’s also the option of sticking the shift in D2 and L, to keep the gears in a lower cog and ensure rapid progress (or when you are coming downhill for effective engine braking). But you will miss the extra fifth when doing three digit speeds. We were doing 100kph at around 2,500 rpm. The cabin was still calm and quiet but we’d prefer the rpm gauge to be closer to 2,000 for better fuel economy.
Other Ritz virtues like the roomy cabin, light controls and high-set seats remain the same. The auto gets dual-tone red and black upholstery from the recent Ritz update. To be honest, we preferred the sedate blue/grey combo on the earlier ZXi versions better than the gaudy red but as they say, to each his own.
The in-dash real time economy figure we got was 8l/100kms, which means a believable 12.5kpl, but we’d still reserve our judgement on that front.
Priced at Rs 6.15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) deliveries of the Ritz automatic will commence from January 15.
Is it better than the Honda Brio auto? Well, only a full-fledged comparison will reveal that. All we’ll say is watch this space.
1197cc, 85bhp, 114Nm, Front-wheel drive, petrol, 4-speed auto, Rs 6.15 lakh (ex-Delhi)
The no-nonsense Ritz auto makes for one of the most sensible city cars to own.