UPDATED: Read the review of the new look Ritz Automatic (click)
Known as the Suzuki Splash in the international market, Maruti launched this tall boy mid-sized hatchback in the Indian market in May 2009. In 2012 it has been given a face-lift with new features and design tweaks plus only a diesel is offered. The Ritz surely has a good road presence and the front end is dominated by a pair of big, vertically positioned headlamps and a new front design. Other changes include a signature front smiling grille embossed with Suzuki logo, new headlamp, rear spoiler. You get choice of three new colours- Mystique Red, Granite Grey & Breeze Blue.Being a tall boy offering, there is no dearth of headroom in the Ritz. Infact, the first thing that strikes you, before even sitting in the car, is the ease of getting in.The speedometer console in itself looks great, especially once it gets dark on the outside. While the front two passengers can end up being very comfortable, space at the rear can be tight if you have two tall people sitting on the front seats. Changes to the new Ritz include red dual tone interiors, multi-information display in Instrument Panel- including fuel efficiency, new Audio with USB, electrically adjustable ORVM and Day & Night IRVM. Like is the case with the Swift and Dzire, the Ritz also uses the same FIAT derived multi-jet unit that displaces 1248cc and puts out 75PS of power with 190Nm of torque. . It also has a respectable ARAI rated economy of 23.2kmpl. The NVH levels of the diesel version are good and the engine is pretty smooth and silent for a diesel unit. It is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. There is also a petrol engine which is also available with an automatic option. The mileage of the automatic is 17.6 kmpl. When it comes to suspension, the high seating position and a relatively light steering makes the Ritz easy to drive in traffic. It isn’t as agile as the Swift Low speed ride on the lower variants is good due to their tall tyre walls though on the ZXI, the undulations, especially sharp ones, are easily transmitted into the cabin.High speed stability is pretty impressive and the Ritz feels at home at triple digit highway speeds.The Maruti Ritz diesel has a starting price of Rs 5.3 lakh. A new variant is the fullyloaded ZDi which is priced at Rs 6.3 lakh ex-showrrom. Recently Maruti also added the Ritz automatic to the line-up which is only available with a petrol Ritz. and has a four speed automatic gearbox. The new Ritz is a sporty yet practical small car. For a detailed analysis read below.