Maruti S-Cross is the company’s first crossover. There is a discount on it for Rs 50,000 in Mumbai, Rs 40,000 in Hyderabad. In NCR there are no discounts available at the moment. Even in Pune, there are discounts of up to Rs 20,000. If you are looking at booking yourself one, then we have left the form at the end of this story.
We got the opportunity to put their first NEXA Retailed product, the S-Cross (touted as a premium crossover), through her paces and here’s what we observed:
Maruti S-Cross Exterior
The styling on the S-Cross is a mixed bag. We love the large headlamps out front and particularly love the fact that Maruti chose to go the bi-xenon way with them. Flanking the dual-horizontal slatted grille with the Suzuki badge sitting proudly in the center, the S-Cross looks rather fetching from the front.
The determination to ensure a premium image with the S-Cross has meant that one gets to spot only Suzuki badging all over and the Maruti name appears to have quietly disappeared. Walk up to the door and pull the handle however, and you’re back in familiar territory. The door opens with a lightness that isn’t expected from the visual mass of the exterior. The doors shut with a typical tinny sound and we were aghast to see the exterior panels on the doors flexing when pushed by palm.
Maruti S-Cross Interior
Get behind the wheel and the familiar feeling is back; with everything, from the steering to the power window switchgear and wing mirrors, been seen on existing Maruti models. So much for doing away with the badging. They should have kept the badges and done away with the aggressive parts-sharing instead.
The upside being that there’s none of the ‘unknown-car’ feeling. You quickly get comfortable in the large seats; even as you notice the lack of electric controls for the adjustments. The cabin on the whole is nice and airy.
There’s enough space for four reasonably sized adults and are a marked improvement from the rest of the Maruti line-up. They’ve even managed to stay away from the temptation to go beige on the interiors and stuck to the European appeal, all black with silver accents instead.
There’s touch-screen controls for the central entertainment system, that’s on-par for the segment and we’ll come back to the actual performance later.
Build-quality though, continued to underwhelming, with small squeaks and rattles starting to develop even before the day had ended. The door-pads rang hollow when subjected to the ‘knuckle-rap’ test and the power-window buttons looked like they’d start to rattle in their spot, in no time.
Fit and finish too could be improved on the S-Cross, particularly on the inside where the gaps between different panels is particularly inconsistent.
Maruti S-Cross Engine
Thumb the starter though and a smile starts to bloom on the face. The 1.6 litre four-cylinder motor comes to life with a growl and blipping the throttle even when stationary is enough to know where Maruti have chosen to spend the money. Sourced directly from Fiat, the powerful motor is partly the reason to the final pricing (but more on that later).
Shift into first gear and you notice that the clutch action is light and positive. The S-Cross is an easy car to drive. The engine has good mid-range grunt and shifting on the move results in a delightful surge that can be most addictive. There’s a fair bit of turbo-lag though, with the motor being lifeless below the 1700 rpm range, and only lighting up once you cross 2000 rpm. Overtaking is a breeze though, there’s always power on tap, as long as you keep the revs up, and she’ll delight you with her brisk pace. The S-Cross isn’t whisper quiet by any stretch and you can easily tell what’s under the hood.
She handles the bumpy bits well, preventing the occupants from being tossed about. She’s no corner carver though and you’ll back out long before she loses grip; but that high centre of gravity means that body-roll is evident, and you’re better off going easy on the throttle around the twisties.
The 320Nm torque output of the engine means that the S-Cross is a torque monster. Her refined ride quality and interior space, make her an ideal companion on those long highway drives.
Maruti S-Cross Mileage
In terms of her fuel-sipping habits, well, we weren’t expecting a lot, given the large, powerful motor, and the S-Cross returned about 13-14 kmpl in mixed driving conditions. Mind-you, our car came to us with under 5k on the odometer and had been used rather thoroughly by others. So the fuel efficiency is bound to improve as the engine frees up a little.
Maruti S-Cross Verdict
The S-Cross looks best in darker/brighter colours, while the Pearl Arctic White that our car came with, not doing enough justice to the lines or the silhouette. But more importantly, Maruti just might have priced themselves out in comparison to the competition. The S-Cross range starts at under INR 10 Lakhs in Mumbai (on-road) for the lower powered 1.3 litre engine, but the DDiS 320 series, 1.6 litre engine range starts at just under INR 14 Lakhs in Mumbai (on-road). We had the top-end, DDiS 320 Alpha and this was priced at just under INR 17 Lakhs in Mumbai (on-road). At this price, the S-Cross goes up in battle not just against the well-established Renault Duster but also the newest launch from Hyundai – the Creta. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out then.
Maruti S-Cross Test Drive
If you are looking at getting yourself a test drive of the S-Cross or buying one in Mumbai, NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad or Pune, share your details with us:
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The Maruti S-Cross is a good crossover. It has a powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine and this has good mileage too. We will recommend this, if you like something quick, has good ground clearance and mileage too.