')">Maruti Suzuki India Limited has long dominated the Indian car market. Their partnership with Suzuki has borne them fruits. Maruti has long persisted with their petrol motors but then sensed that they would stand to gain more ground if they sold diesel cars. Their earlier feeble attempts at getting a diesel into their cars was a disaster. The main problem been, Suzuki itself didn’t manufacture diesels and they had to be sourced from the likes of Renault. After Suzuki’s world wide alliance with Fiat, they had access to Fiat’s world renowned multi-jet engines. They made the first useful application in the famous Swift hatchback and haven’t looked back since.
That Maruti was renowned for small cars is well known but when it comes to their soft roader, the Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki completely lost the plot. The car came with an anemic petrol engine which coupled to its high price didn’t go down well with the buyers. Plus it had to contend with the likes of the capable Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Captiva. At this price bracket, car buyers usually go for the badge and Maruti lacked the brand image higher up.
This bad luck phase for the Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel in India changed in 2009 when the car was introduced with a new face, more pleasing interiors, some heavy price revisions and an upgraded engine. The engine is now the 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, DOHC, VVT, VIS, Euro V compliant petrol engine which belts out 164 Bhp @ 6,200 rpm and has a torque rating of 225 Nm @ 3,800 rpm. People started taking the Grand Vitara seriously after this. The sales chart showed some improvements but all that the customers complained was that they wanted a diesel, now that Maruti had some of the best loved diesels in the business.
Maruti has finally woken up and will shoe-horn a 142 Bhp 2.0 liter multi jet diesel engine into the Grand Vitara and make it the Grand Vitara Diesel or DDis. This diesel puts out 280 Nm of torque at 3,200 rpm. It would handy in off-roading situations and also give a fillip to the sagging fortunes of the New Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel. It would also boost the economy figures that the petrol motor throws out. The diesel motor gives an estimated 12 kmpl in city conditions as opposed to the petrol giving out 7.7 Kmpl in the city. Out on the highway, the petrol returns 13 kmpl whereas the diesel gives a healthy 16 kmpl. Factor in the low diesel running costs and suddenly the Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel seems a bargain. Maruti diesels have now gained a reputation for good performance, low NVH, fuel efficiency and also reliability. This should swing the way for the Maruti Grand Vitara diesel.
Maruti will price the Grand Vitara diesel at approximately Rs.50,000 more than the petrol motor. This will still undercut the CR-V by a decent margin and also the Chevrolet Captiva. It is by far the cheapest diesel soft roader in the country. It is available with a permanent 4*4 option. Maruti should also rope in a good brand ambassador as it never had any for the Grand Vitara and it badly needs one to spruce up its image. Maruti will launch the Grand Vitara Diesel by February 2011 and the asking price would be Rs.17 lakhs onwards.
Technical specifications of Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel
Engine : 2.0L DDiS Turbocharged 4cylinder common rail DOHC
Segment : soft roader segment
Maximum Power: 142 Bhp
Wheel : 16” alloy
Wheel base: 26340mm
Seating capacity : 5
Transmission: 5-speed manual