Maruti pulling the plug on S-Cross is not surprising, as it hasn’t been able to catch up with segment bestsellers like Creta and Seltos
With the upcoming arrival of the new Maruti Vitara compact SUV that has multiple best-in-class and segment-first features, it does not make sense to drag along the ageing S-Cross. It may be a distraction for customers and an additional cost burden for the company. With a single product, Maruti will be in a better position to channel its resources for capturing the compact SUV segment.
Maruti Vitara compact SUV is scheduled to debut on July 20. It will share its platform and most of the features with Toyota HyRyder. However, both SUVs will have a distinct exterior/interior profile and different trims and variants.
S-Cross to be discontinued
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross was the first car to be retailed via Nexa outlets. Nexa portfolio has been expanded over the years to include Ignis, Baleno, Ciaz and XL6. As of now, XL6 is the most expensive Maruti car. This will change with new Vitara SUV, which will be Maruti’s flagship. It is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 9.99 lakh to Rs 17.99 lakh. In comparison, XL6 is priced in the range of Rs 11.29 lakh to Rs 14.55 lakh.
Talking about S-Cross, the compact crossover had made its debut in August 2015. It rivalled the likes of Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster. At the time of launch, S-Cross was offered with two diesel engine options. There was the 89 hp 1.3-litre motor and a 1.6-litre diesel unit. Both diesel engines were sourced from Fiat.
While the 1.3-litre diesel motor was used by various other carmakers such as Tata, Chevrolet and Premier in India, the 1.6-litre diesel engine was unique to S-Cross. It generated 120 PS of max power and 320 Nm of peak torque. While overall sales of this variant were low, it was preferred by enthusiasts who liked its powerful performance.
S-Cross 1.6-litre diesel motor was discontinued when the SUV was updated in 2017. The 1.3-litre diesel motor, on the other hand, was updated with mild-hybrid tech. When BS6 emission norms came into effect in 2020, Maruti opted for a petrol-only strategy and discontinued all diesel variants. S-Cross received a K-series 1.5-litre petrol motor that had mild-hybrid tech.
S-Cross weak links
There are multiple factors that limited S-Cross potential to rise to the top. First, it missed out on automatic transmission for most parts of its journey. It was only with the petrol motor that automatic option was added to S-Cross in BS6 era. In comparison, rivals like Creta had automatic option from day one.
Another factor was the crossover design, which did not exude the level of dominance and confidence associated with a SUV. The hatchback-like profile had a negative impact on customer perceptions. This despite the fact that S-Cross has fairly comfortable and spacious interiors. S-Cross was also unable to match the comprehensive range of hi-tech features offered with rivals like Creta.
In international markets, Suzuki has launched a heavily updated S-Cross. However, that won’t be coming here, as the baton has been passed to the new Vitara compact SUV.