Maruti to start supply of Brezza-based Toyota Urban Cruiser
  • Vitara Brezza to be Toyota’s second Maruti-sourced model

  • Toyota Urban Cruiser likely to get a few soft part changes

  • Expected to be launched in India by August 2020

A little over a year ago, Maruti Suzuki started supplying the Baleno to Toyota as part of Suzuki and Toyota’s global partnership. The Toyota Glanza – which was essentially a rebadged Maruti Baleno – was launched in June 2019, and has since found over 24,000 buyers. Now, Maruti Suzuki has announced it will commence supply of the second model due under the alliance – the Vitara Brezza compact SUV.

In a regulatory filing, Maruti Suzuki stated the company approved the supply of the Vitara Brezza to Toyota Kirloskar Motor in a board meeting earlier today.

Like it did with the Baleno, Maruti Suzuki is set to begin supply of the facelifted VitaraBrezza to Toyota just a few months after it was launched.

Last month, we broke news about Toyota being set to name its derivative of the Vitara Brezza the ‘Urban Cruiser’, and also brought you news about its launch being slated to take place by August 2020. Unlike the Glanza, the Toyota Urban Cruiser is expected to distinguish itself from the Vitara Brezza with a number of soft part changes.

What could be different on the Urban Cruiser are the bumpers and grille, but there will be no sheet-metal changes, and it could also get the same alloy wheels as the Maruti. On the inside, the Toyota Urban Cruiser is likely to get a lighter interior colour scheme and some graphics to liven up the interior.

The midlife update saw the Vitara Brezza transition into a petrol-only model, and the Urban Cruiser, too, will be available with the same 105hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine only, and the option of a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic gearbox. What could be interesting, though, is if Toyota chooses to offer a manual variant of the Urban Cruiser equipped with the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) mild-hybrid technology. Only the automatic version of the Vitara Brezza facelift is available with the fuel-saving SHVS tech (which makes it more frugal than its manual counterpart), and if the Urban Cruiser packs in this key feature with the manual version, the gains in fuel efficiency could well become one of its USPs.

Another interesting thing to see will be what Toyota decides to do with the Urban Cruiser variant line-up. With the Glanza, Toyota chose to skip having a base variant, and both the G and V trim levels were based on the higher-spec Balenos. If Toyota chooses to do the same this time around as well, the Urban Cruiser range will likely start higher than the Vitara Brezza – which starts at Rs 7.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Toyota, however, could surprise people once again with the price of the entry-level model like it did with the Glanza, which was priced Rs 68,000 lower than the equivalent Baleno Zeta.

Toyota is also likely to offer a longer, 3-year/1,00,000km standard warranty with the Urban Cruiser – an improvement on the Brezza’s 2-year / 40,000km warranty – when it is launched by August 2020.

The addition of the Urban Cruiser to Toyota India’s line-up will help Toyota as well as Maruti Suzuki shore up the numbers at a time when every carmaker has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing nationwide lockdown.

Think the Toyota Urban Cruiser could be a more appealing buy than the Maruti Vitara Brezza? Let us know in the comments.

Also see:

Maruti Suzuki reports 25 percent decline in FY2020 profits

Toyota reopens 171 dealerships, 146 service centres across India

 

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