Why to buy it?
- Plush ride quality
- Refined and peppy motor
Why to avoid it?
- Lacks originality
- Isn’t sporty to ride
- Doesn’t set any new benchmarks
Gone are the days when scooters had to be simple, convenient, and utilitarian. Nowadays, tech-savvy buyers expect their scooters to offer the best of features, unique styling, and zippy performance. So much so, that we have an entire segment dedicated to sporty scooters.
Now, Suzuki too has joined the bandwagon with the all-new Avenis 125. In a broader scheme of things, the Avenis is nothing but an Access 125 in sportier clothing. But, is it any good? Does it offer similar or better performance than its rivals? And does it set any new benchmarks in the segment? Well, let’s find out.
Styling and Quality
By the looks of it, Suzuki has clearly benchmarked the Avenis 125 against the TVS Ntorq 125. The overall design has an uncanny resemblance to the Ntorq, save for some sharper design elements and a lot of cuts and creases. For instance, the handlebar housing has a sharp arrow-shaped design, while the taillights take place of the faux jet thrusters seen on the Ntorq.
The headlight too has distinctive styling, and it works well for the most part with good illumination and throw. The race graphics seen here are tastefully done and grab a lot of eyeballs out in the open.
Design aside, the overall build quality is good. The fit and finish levels are at par for the course, and we didn’t find any inconsistent panel gaps anywhere. Even the quality of plastics is above average. As for the switchgear, they are nice and offer a good tactile feel.
Ergonomics and Comfort
Like most scooters, the Suzuki Avenis 125 is easy to get on and the seating ergonomics are spot-on with a comfortable riding triangle. The seat itself is set low, at 780mm, which makes it easier for the rider to get their feet flat on the ground. Now, for a rider who is around 5’7” or thereabouts, the handlebar won’t interfere with his/her thighs, but taller riders may face an issue during lock-to-lock turns.
The cushioning on the seat is soft, which translates into a comfortable ride over shorter distances, but it may hurt your bottom over longer distances. Moreover, the pillion seat, although decently wide, is slightly shorter in length. This wouldn’t be much of an issue for an athletically-built user, but those with a heavy build will find it lacking in support.
The floorboard area is sufficient to mount your feet on it, or even carry the odd groceries. Moreover, moving around the scooter in tight parking spaces or in traffic is easy as well, thanks to the low 106kg kerb weight. One complaint we have with the Avenis is that it isn’t quite a breeze to mount the scooter on the centre stand.
Features and Tech
Although the Avenis 125 is a sporty scooter, it does pack a decent set of features. In fact, it is almost on par with the TVS NTorq 125. You get an LED headlamp and tail lamp, a large digital display, a combined braking system, and more. The Race Edition we have here also comes packed with Bluetooth connectivity, which when connected to a phone shows data like call alerts, battery percentage, and more importantly turn-by-turn navigation. That said, the display layout is such that unless a phone is connected to it, over 50 per cent of the space remains unused.
As for the practicality, the 21.8-litre under-seat storage is enough to carry a half-face helmet or your laptop bag and a few knickknacks. However, a boot light is sorely missed here. That aside, you also get a dedicated phone pocket with a USB charging port, and a bottle holder. There’s also a nifty side-stand engine cut-off feature, which doesn’t allow the engine to start when the stand is engaged or shuts off the engine when you accidentally engage it.
Performance and Handling
Powering the Avenis 125 is a 124cc air-cooled motor that packs 8.58bhp of power and 10Nm of peak torque. Now, the numbers may seem low compared to the Ntorq, but in the real world, the Avenis has enough poke to keep you happy. And that is partly also because of the low kerb weight.
The engine is extremely refined and there are absolutely no vibrations even in the higher rev band. The build-up of momentum is fairly quick, if not exhilarating, and the scooter reaches 80kmph effortlessly. It doesn’t feel strained while at it and overtakes are just a wring of the throttle away. The CVT is well-calibrated too, and there’s no delay in throttle response. If anything, we would’ve loved if Suzuki had made the throttle crisper to offer that sense of urgency, especially when the Avenis is positioned as a sporty scooter.
The ride quality on the Avenis 125 is plush and comfort-oriented. The suspension is tuned to soak most surface undulations and the way it rolls off sharp-edged potholes is commendable. However, there’s a downside to it. Being softly sprung, the rear tends to move around as the speeds go past 70kmph. What also doesn’t help matters is the fact that the Avenis gets skinnier tyres, and the 12/10-inch wheels at the front and back do not provide the same sense of control as the Ntorq 125 has to offer.
And here’s the thing, the Avenis is a sporty scooter, but the dynamics are anything but sporty. Sure, it does the left to right and right to left shimmy with ease, but it doesn’t feel happy doing so. We would’ve loved it if Suzuki offered a tauter suspension setup, a bigger rear tyre, and beefier tyres to go well with its positioning.
In our fuel efficiency test, which involves a mix of slow-moving city traffic and open roads, the Suzuki Avenis returned a respectable 49.61kmpl. This, along with a fuel tank capacity of 5.2-litre, should be good for a range of approximately 260km on a full tank. Quick disclaimer, we tested the Avenis during peak evening traffic, so the actual day-to-day figures could be slightly higher.
Should you buy it?
Coming back to the question that we asked at the start of the review. Is the Suzuki Avenis 125 really a sporty scooter and does it set any new benchmarks in the segment? Well, not really! Now, don’t get us wrong. Standalone, the Avenis 125 does offer good performance, is extremely refined, and provides a lot of practicality. It is also quite frugal and packs a good mix of comfort and features.
But you already have Access 125, which offers a similar experience while being priced lower at Rs 85,000 (ex-showroom). So, at Rs 87,000 (ex-showroom Delhi), why would you pay a premium for the Avenis 125, when it doesn’t offer a sporty riding experience? And being a late entrant into the segment, it doesn’t set any new benchmarks too. So, if you want a refined, comfortable, practical, and sporty-looking scooter, the Avenis does make a case for itself. But, as far as performance is concerned, the TVS Ntorq 125 is still the best sporty scooter out there in the segment.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi