Maruti Suzuki India has come up with another global hatchback – Splash – which has been renamed for Indian Market and has been christened Ritz. The name change is because of registration problem as Splash has been already registered by some other manufacturer.
Maruti Ritz is fifth global model for the Maruti Suzuki India after the launch of Swift, Grand Vitara, SX4 & A-Star. Based on an all-new platform, the production version of Ritz has some hints of the Swift and SX4, interspersed with a C-pillar design that harks back to the concept. At the Paris Motor Show in late September 2006, Suzuki presented `Project Splash`, a concept car showcasing a taste of the styling of the future production-version Ritz.
Unlike traditional hatchbacks, the rear end of Maruti Ritz has allowed for a thicker C-pillar and made provision for a smaller quarter glass that is not very different from the Swift. With an overall width of 1.68 metres, the Ritz is 8cm wider than the Wagon R+. Smartly shaped headlights give it a friendly appearance, and they combine with a trapezoidal grille to form a “face” that reflects the new Suzuki family identity.
The Suzuki brand emblem proudly takes its place in the centre of the grille of Ritz, and the entire front end of the car incorporates energy-absorbing structures for pedestrian protection. The Ritz is streamlined rather than boxy, but it is uncompromised in terms of interior roominess, functionality, and configurability. Its profile displays a gently rising nose, A-pillars that blend into the roof and a roofline that gently slopes toward the back, culminating in an almost vertical tailgate. Short overhangs create a compact and neat appearance. The tailgate of Maruti Ritz has an inward obtuse angle to it, something seen more often on French hatchbacks. On the inside, the Ritz continues the raid on Suzuki’s parts bin with the steering wheel, gear knob, door handles, indicator switches, etc first seen on the Swift/SX4. All this helps in keeping the price of Ritz very competitive and affordable.
The Ritz has been launched with two engine options – one petrol and one diesel. The petrol one is the recently launched 1197cc, 4 Cylinders, K12M engine which generates 85 Bhp at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 117 Nm at 4200 rpm. Ritz Diesel comes with a common-rail diesel is 1248cc engine which develops maximum power of 75 bhp, manufactured at Manesar in India. All these engines will be mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
The gear lever of Maruti Ritz is mounted high up and the driving seat is, like the steering wheel, adjustable for height. It controls an electric power steering system with about the right amount of weight but no true feel of the road. The suspension of Ritz is quite firm, in an effort to keep it agile despite the height, so it feels accurate enough in corners.
For a small car the Ritz has a lot of room, with headroom especially good. The rear seat is set higher than the front seats so all occupants get a good view out, and all seats are comfortable enough. Maruti Ritz is a proper 4 seater, and big enough for five at a squeeze. There’s plenty of storage space including a flip-lid box on top of the dashboard, a fair glovebox and a tray ahead of the front passenger, but non-slip surfaces would make them more usable.
The boot of Ritz looks small, especially front-to-rear, but there’s a big compartment hidden under the false floor with the space saver spare wheel hidden in another layer below that. The rear seats fold down in one movement per side, the cushion cranking forward to make space for the descending backrest. Maruti Ritz combines the sportiness of Suzuki’s successful model Swift with the technologies and immense know-how of the Japanese world market leader in the mini car segment.
Coloured surfaces for the dashboard of Maruti Ritz create a youthful, casual look in the area of the passenger airbag and the upper part of the instrument cluster. Together with high-quality materials and a metallic-silver border on the centre console, they treat occupants to a pleasingly fresh ambience. The cockpit of Ritz reflects a “less is more” approach, forming a stylish, functional space without superfluous flourishes or gimmicks. A large speedometer positioned centrally behind the steering wheel is easy to read and has all of the indicator lamps arranged around it.
A digital liquid crystal display (LCD) is positioned in the lower half of the speedometer of Ritz and gives the driver additional information. In certain grades, a tachometer is separately mounted on the dashboard. The number of buttons is minimal, allowing for fewer distractions and thus raising safety. The shift lever of Ritz is ergonomically shaped and is positioned relatively high in the centre console to minimise its distance from the steering wheel and permit extra storage space.
Ritz is available in a choice of 8 fresh colours:
- Superior White
- Silky Silver
- Fire Brick Red
- Bakers Chocolate
- Racing Green
- Blue Blaze
- Midnight Black
- Glistening Grey
Maruti Ritz has been launched in five models:
- Petrol: Lxi, Vxi, Zxi
- Diesel: Ldi, Vdi.
The petrol version is priced at Rs3.9-4.8lakh (Ex-Delhi) and the Diesel version is priced at Rs4.65-4.99lakh (Ex-Delhi).
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