Maruti Suzuki Ritz, an affordable segment hatchback launched in 2009 featured a polarizing design but it was a practical package. The car came with a FIAT sourced reliable 1.3 turbocharged DDIS motor churning out 190 NM and 73 horses. This allowed the hatchback to propel to good cruising speeds when needed and maintain the efficiency as well.
Being an owner of the car since last 7 years, I can confidently say that the vehicle checks almost all the boxes of an average car user. Certain noteworthy aspects of the Ritz :
It provides ample seating space in the front seats although it is a bit cramped in the back. For a tall person like me (6’6″), the driver’s seat is very comfortable which led to the decision of getting the Ritz over Swift. Even the long drives are brisk due to the good support offered by the seats and the tall-boy design which gives a good headroom.
- Driving Dynamics
Handling of Ritz is really good for a vehicle with such design. At high speeds it feels well planted on the road and in the twists even though there is noticeable body roll, it is controllable. Turbo lag is there but as soon as the turbo spools up, overtakes on the highway are a piece of cake. With the length of 3.7 meters, it is an easy maneuverable city car so finding a parking or navigating through traffic is an easy task. Suspension is tuned to a sweet spot to handle good as well as absorb the bumps.
- Milage ( Kitna deti hai? )
A favorite question among indian car buyers is the average of the vehicle. Having driven the Ritz for 85000 km, I can say that the DDIS motor does a fantastic job in being fuel efficient. I have gotten the average of 15 km/litre in the city areas but on highways depending upon the driving, the average can go from 20-25 kms/litre. But being fuel efficient does not mean the car is boring to drive. When I put the peddle to the metal, the sheer acceleration leaves me with a grin on my face.
In the span of 7 years of ownership, I have taken my car to long drives, twisty roads in the mountains and open highways and not a single time has the car broken down or gave any trouble. Its a great mile muncher. It comes under the category of fill it, shut it, forget it type of cars where you don’t have to think twice before starting it even at 2.00 in the night.
I have always gotten the regular services of the Ritz done at the Maruti Authorized service stations. General idea of Maruti Vehicles is that they are cheap to maintain. I would have to disagree with that when it comes to the diesel cars. With the average bills of 11,000 per service, it is a bit expensive but reliable. Spares are reasonable and easily available.
All essential features as per 2014 standards are present in the Ritz. Power windows ( all four ), One touch down ( driver side ), AC, Power Steering, adjustable height headlights, music system and plenty of storage spaces are available.
VDI model of the Ritz misses out on the basic safety features like ABS, EBD and Airbags. As BS-IV rules were not stringent on safety like BS-VI, Maruti cut costs by eliminating this. Absence of ABS means the driver has to be a bit more alert while driving through the curvy roads or in case of sudden braking. It is one of the things which I do not like about the car.
But all in all, with good road manners, basic functionality, fuel efficiency, performance adequate for indian roads, it is a great car for the affordable car segment. It fulfills all the requirements of the average consumer of this segment and keeps the owner happy!