Even though India is predominantly a small car market; sales of entry level cars are not growing at a pace they were growing a few years ago. Today, more promise is being shown in segments which are above this small car segment – Rs 6-12 lakh segment.
In this segment you have all kinds of cars on offer, from hatchbacks to sedans to SUVs. Few success stories Indian auto industry has seen in this segment are – Honda City, Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano, Maruti Ciaz, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo.
Soon, this segment will receive two more cars – one by India’s largest car maker, and the other by India’s second largest car maker – this shows how much potential this segment has. Both these cars, Maruti S-Cross and Hyundai Creta will be launched in the coming weeks. After test driving the Creta in Chennai a few days ago, we test drive the new S-Cross and here is our 2015 Maruti S-Cross Review.
Based on the first generation SX4 hatchback, S-Cross was first launched in 2013 for the European market. Known as SX4 S-Cross in some of the markets, India debut of the S-Cross took place at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo.
Front of the S-Cross gets a thick two slat chrome grille with a huge Suzuki logo in the centre. This is in alliance with their new global design language for new gen cars. Just next to the grille are the HID projector headlamps with LEDs. Under the headlights are fog lamps surrounded in chrome strip. The lower bumper also gets faux skid plates in the front and rear, adding to the SUVish look of the S-Cross.
Overall, the front does give an impression of a big car, but the design somehow looks a little outdated. This in no way stopped people on road from inquiring about the car during our test drive in Nashik. Some Swift owners even willing to upgrade right-away.
The side profile does look attractive, thanks to the aerodynamic nature in which the strong bonnet lines merge into the A pillar which then seamlessly flows to the rear of the car. On the side you also notice new 16 inch alloys. Here again, Maruti could have offered sportier alloys, instead of these which look more like wheel caps.
The rear of S-Cross features LED on the roof spoiler, tail lamps in triangular shape, Suzuki logo just above the license plate, in the centre and reflectors just above the skid plate.
Another interesting feature of the exterior design is the black plastic cladding which surrounds the lower part of the entire car. But, in spite of such additions, the car fails to look like an SUV, instead it looks more like a lager hatchback.
Interiors of Maruti S-Cross feature a premium touch and feel. The all black dashboard with soft touch surface and silver accentuations on the centre console, air vents, door handles and steering wheel; gives the S-Cross a classy as well as sporty feel.
It is quite evident from the interior that the car was developed for the European market.
Space and Storage
Boot space with rear seats in upright position is at 353 litres. With them folded, you can increase it to 810 litres. The rear seats can be folded in 60-40 splits.
Spare wheel and tool kit are placed under the floor of boot. On the side of the boot, you will find two pockets, for additional storage. You also have first aid kit and a 12V charging point with a lamps in the boot.
Additional space can be found in the form of pockets in all doors, which can easily store 1 litre bottles each. Apart from that, front seats have pockets in the rear for the storage of newspapers, magazines, files, etc.
Engine and Transmission
2015 Maruti S-Cross is available in a choice two engine options, both of them diesel. One is DDiS 200 and the other is DDiS 320 – both sourced from Fiat. On a separate note, this seems to be the new naming style of Maruti Suzuki diesel cars, starting with Celerio diesel which is called DDiS 125. The numeric figure is the max torque generated by the engine.
Speaking about the DDiS 200 on board the S-Cross, this is the same engine which also powers a range of Maruti cars, like the Swift, DZire, Ertiga, and Ciaz. This 1248 cc four cylinder mill delivers 90 PS @ 4000 rpm and 200 Nm torque @ 1750 rpm while mated to a 5 speed MT.
S-Cross DDiS 320 is the highlight. It delivers an impressive 120 PS @ 3750 rpm and 320 Nm torque 1750 rpm. This makes S-Cross the first and only car to feature the Fiat MultiJet 1.6 diesel engine in India.
Engine Sound – DDiS 320
Maruti claims S-Cross DDiS 320 delivers a mileage of 22.7 kmpl while DDiS 200 delivers 23.65 kmpl.
During our test drive, we managed to receive a milage of 15 kmpl aboard the DDiS 320. Under normal circumstances, this car could also offer mileage of 17+ kmpl.
During the media test drive in Nashik, only the DDiS 320 on offer, so we do not know how much mileage it delivers in real world. We expect it to deliver around 20 kmpl.
Features and Variants
A total of 8 variants of the S-Cross will be on offer in India. These will with a new variant naming style. Unlike Maruti Suzuki cars, which are divided into variants with names like LX, VX and ZX (with either i or d as suffix, implying petrol or diesel variant), the new S-Cross variant names are Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha.
Features on offer with the new S-Cross include all black interiors with silver accentuations on the dashboard and leather upholstery. 18cm SmartPlay infotainment system with navigation and multimedia capabilities, rear parking sensor, electric folding ORVMs with turn indicators, tilt and telescopic adjustable leather steering wheel with audio, system and cruise controls; auto AC, arm rest for front and rear passengers, best in class rear leg space, soft touch instrument panel with high definition display; reclining rear seats with 60:40 split.
Comfort features on offer are driver side Anti-pinch window, rain sensing wipers, adjustable seat height, overhead sunglass holder, push start, keyless entry, and HID projector headlamps with LEDs.
For safety, the S-Cross comes with dual airbags, all four disc brakes, ABS, and hi-tensile steel body. Weighing 1250-1275 kgs, the Hungary made S-Cross has been given 5 star safety rating (but that one had side and curtain airbags as well, that is not on offer in India).
DDiS 200 Variants
DDiS 320 Variants
Weighing almost 1.3 ton, the S-Cross has a very matured feel when it comes to driving. It is calm, composed and well behaved; but that can change very quickly, thanks to the 1.6l MultiJet. This engine gives the S-Cross a huge range to operate in. For an enthusiastic drive, its best to operate the car between 1800-4200 rpm. You will get from 0-100 kmph in just 11.3 seconds.
But if you want a relaxed drive, say adhering to speed limits, cruising at 80 kmph, S-Cross does it in sixth gear and that too at 1800 rpm. This is when real time mileage indicator shows 25 kmpl!!! And if you want to overtake, there is no need to change gear, the engine has enough torque to get you past the vehicle in front without exercising your left hand.
On curves, the 205/60 JK Tyre rubber starts screeching very easily, but does not lose grip. The car maintains composure even during hard braking and sudden manoeuvre as ABS kicks in perfectly. Steering is not very sharp, and feels a bit lose, but not as bad as Ciaz.
Driving the S-Cross inside the city does not require much effort, gears slot smoothly and the clutch pedal hardly offers any resistance. Bumps and potholes are swallowed in easily, without passing on much disturbance into the cabin. At higher speeds, passengers won’t notice small bumps, but the small one’s will be felt with a thud.
Though a crossover, the car feels more like a sedan than an SUV. You somehow don’t feel like thrashing the car on bad roads.
At idle, the engine is set to 900 rpm. Considering that this engine delivers 320 Nm peak torque, one would expect it to move forward at slightest of push on the accelerator pedal when you lift clutch. But that is not the case. You push the accelerator pedal down more than expected in order to move forward. If you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, this will be a tiring process.
Speaking about engine noise, though refined, it is not the quietest in the segment. Diesel clutter is easily audible inside the cabin at idle. And as you keep increasing speeds, the engine noise disappears from inside the cabin. But this is when the road noise and wind noise seep inside the cabin.
Overall, the car does offer a fantastic package, and considering that it is a Maruti; S-Cross is expected to come at a fantastic price as well – Rs 10-14 lakhs (on-road, estimated). But, is the market ready to accept such an expensive Maruti?
Once launched, S-Cross will be the most expensive Maruti car on offer in India – this itself will be a challenge. But unlike last time (read as Kizashi), this time Maruti is better prepared.
Their premium sedan, Ciaz is already doing well in the market (second best selling car in segment), which proves that their long term strategy to upgrade their portfolio from being a small car manufacturer to a premium car manufacturer is on the right track.
S-Cross has everything which a Maruti loyalist is looking for, when he or she is looking to upgrade. Apart from this, the S-Cross also has something extra, which is set to attract new customers to the brand. This is the NEXA experience (NEXA stands for – New EXclusive Automotive experience).
For now, only S-Cross will be offered via NEXA. During our media drive, Maruti Suzuki gave a demo of what the NEXA experience will be like for customers. From what we were shown and explained, the overall package, S-Cross + Nexa looks very impressive, which will surely help Maruti attract new premium customers.
– Interior design
– Premium cabin quality
– Suspension setup
– Projector HID headlamps
– Turbo lag at low rpm
– Steering response
Features and Colours