Cars/ First-drive/ Maruti Suzuki Invicto | Facsimile Plausible Large MPV | First Drive Review

Maruti Suzuki Invicto | Facsimile Plausible Large MPV | First Drive Review

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For

Space, hybrid

Against

No request sensors

Driving

Contender for the next long route comfort champ on wheels

With a commanding driving position and a lightweight electric steering wheel, the Invicto is an easy-to-drive car. The 360-degree albeit low-res cameras help park this car with utmost ease. The size should be fine for someone who upgrades to a larger vehicle like the Invicto, and with the current booking status exceeding 6.5K mark, there are many potential Invicto drivers. Powering this large MPV is a humble combination of a 1987cc 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 152hp and 188Nm paired with an AC synchronous motor churning 113hp and 206Nm. Together they produce 186hp and are driven by an e-CVT transmission. The 6-Speed e-CVT allows sport and normal drive selections in all the various drive modes - Power, Normal and Eco. The car also features a dedicated EV mode, but we could not test this mode on our enthusiastic limited drive times. The car always starts in this mode and can cruise below average speeds for a few kilometres based on the charge and auto recuperation. Getting used to this Hybrid setup is a rather friendly but silent learning curve.

Although we would have loved other powertrains, the Invicto will be sold with this powertrain as it’s first-generation avatar. The monocoque chassis suits the overall powertrain, but the e-CVT transmission can get the powertrain noisier on aggressive throttle inputs. What’s surprising is that despite the volume of this car, the strong hybrid configuration propels it from a standstill to 100km/h in and around the 11-second mark, making it a mighty impressive performer. The speeds come up sooner than you imagine, and the electric motors fill the lacking power from the naturally aspirated engine until the engine and motor come alive to pull this vehicle with a high revving sound. Despite the impressive NVH levels, this revving sound could be something one must get used to, at least while overtaking.

The various drive modes change how this car’s throttle response performs to your inputs. Eco mode, too, has decent power with this powertrain, and Power mode keeps things responding sooner to inputs. The sport drive selector can also be accessed in Eco mode and keeps the engine revving for maximum fidelity through the six-step eCVT. Drive it light-footed, and everything calms down to downright opulent silence in the perfect combination of speed, roads, powertrain and transmission bliss. All the occupant seats are comfortable for adults, and unlike most ladder frame chassis, this car does not wobble like a ship in the sea when tackling Indian road conditions. The wheels are adequate for the size of this car, but a thicker tyre should sort out most dimensional awkwardness.

The Maruti Suzuki’s innovative Invicto chassis is brilliant on the roads. It’s a confident handler even at triple-digit speeds and manoeuvres easily through tight spaces. The comfortable suspension setup handles road undulations with composure and also stiffens enough with speed to make the Invicto agile around turns. There is some body roll, but the body control is one of the best among large cars on Indian roads. All tyres get disc brakes with progressive braking performance and thus require getting used to the vehicle's mass when coming to a standstill. Drive or be driven in the Invicto, this car is bound to impress and be a worthy upgrade to the overall features, materials, space, ride and comfort quality of Maruti Suzuki India’s customers.



TopGear Magazine June 2024