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Thread: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

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    Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

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    What is it?

    Well, it’s not an SUV according to conventional perception, something that’s clear from the very first glance. Technically, all cars in this segment – the Duster, Terrano, Creta and even the smaller EcoSport – are crossovers too, but while they go out of their way to ape the styling of butch, rugged SUVs, Maruti’s new S-Cross doesn’t. In fact, the company acknowledges that, calling it a ‘premium crossover’ rather than an SUV. That makes it quite unique, and also gives it its biggest challenge, given our image-conscious market that likes its SUVs to look the part. Sure, it does have the requisite black plastic body cladding, scuff plates and roof rails, but its overall shape is clearly more akin to a very large hatchback, with its soft, rounded shape and drooping nose. And then there’s the fact that the ground clearance, at 180mm, is not in the same league as the rest. There are a couple of nice touches, however, like the big projector headlamps with their LED strips, the two-slat chrome grille, the strong belt line and the wing mirrors that sprout from the doors rather than the pillars.

    What’s it like on the inside?

    While the exterior is not the S-Cross’s strongest point, it more than makes up for that on the inside. The upholstery may be all black as it is in the Swift, but the design looks clean, smart and sporty. The material quality is the best we’ve seen in a Maruti, with good fit and finish, well damped buttons and generous use of soft-touch plastic. There’s even a nice textured layer on the top of the dash which has a nice soft touch, however the lower plastics like the glovebox have a hard feel and shiny look. Leather covers not just the seats (where it gets contrasting double stitching), but the steering wheel, gear lever and the door pads as well. The only disappointment is that Maruti has still retained some switchgear – like the window buttons and mirror adjuster – from the likes of the Swift and lesser models.

    Back to those seats, and they too have been rather well executed. At the front, you’ll find them snug and supportive, and that there’s a good view out thanks to the relatively low dashboard. Move to the rear, and you’ll find a surprisingly generous amount of space, even for three. There’s plenty of room to stretch your legs, and shoulder room is great too. Headroom, meanwhile, while not class leading, is more than sufficient. At 353 litres, the boot volume may not sound like a lot, but the space is well- shaped and the loading lip is not as high as in a full-on SUV, so it’s a bit more practical. The seats also split 60:40 and fold almost flat, all at the tug of a very light lever – which is a very European touch. In fact, from the inside, the sensation you get is that this is a car engineered for the discerning European market, not something watered down for India, thanks to the solid, quality feel of everything you touch. You also get a lot of practical storages spaces all around the cabin for your knick-knacks, including a full-size bottle holder in each door.

    Engine
    Fuel Diesel
    Type 1.6-litre four-cylinder DOHC
    Bore/stroke 79.5mm x 80.5mm
    Power 118bhp
    Torque 32.6kgm
    Transmission
    Type Manual
    Gearbox 6-speed
    Dimensions
    Length 4300mm
    Width 1765mm
    Height 1590mm
    Wheel base 2600mm
    Boot volume 353 litres
    Ground clearance 180mm
    Chassis & Body
    Weight 1275kg
    Wheels 16-inch alloy
    Tyres 205/60 R16
    Suspension
    Front McPherson Struts with coil springs
    Rear Torsion Beam with coil springs
    Brakes
    Front Ventilated Discs
    Rear Solid Discs
    Anti-lock Yes
    Economy
    Tank size 48 litres

    Maruti has also acknowledged the importance of a strong equipment list these days, and given that the S-Cross is its most premium offering, you can bet it’s well kitted out. The top-spec S-Cross Alpha variant comes with keyless entry and go, a six-speaker touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration, satellite navigation, auto climate control, Bluetooth, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, projector headlamps and disc brakes all around. It’s good to see that Maruti has equipped all but the base Sigma trim with dual airbags and ABS, though even that one gets a single airbag. The only big omission vis-*-vis the competition, is a rear AC vent.

    What’s it like to drive?

    You can have the S-Cross with the Ciaz’s 89bhp 1.3-litre Multijet engine with a five-speed manual, but the bigger news is the new 1.6-litre diesel. Dubbed the DDiS 320 (for its 32.6kgm or 320NM of torque), this engine makes a solid 118bhp and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Incidentally, there won’t be a petrol version at launch, nor will there be an automatic or four-wheel drive. The one we’re sampling, of course, is the new 1.6-litre diesel.

    Start it up and you’ll find it’s decently refined, though not quite in the league of Hyundai’s 1.6 from the Verna and upcoming Creta. The clutch is light enough and gears slot in authoritatively, though not with a buttery smoothness. What is smooth is the way it gets off the line, but then you soon realise that it feels a quite sluggish before the turbocharger kicks in. That only happens at around 1,800rpm, at which point the full force of that 32.6kgm comes in strong. It takes a bit of acclimatisation, and you have to learn to work the gearbox around the spiky power delivery. Also, the tall gearing, which only accentuates the lazy responses at lower revs. The upshot is that it makes for a great highway cruiser, sitting comfortably at 100kph in sixth gear at just 2,000rpm. Even overtaking manoeuvres at these speeds don’t take more than a small flex of your right foot, thanks to a really strong mid-range. The
    S-Cross will continue to pull till about 4,500rpm, though at this point, you will get a significant amount of diesel drone.

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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Looks are not appealing. Will have to TD it to know the ability and stability of S-Cross.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Good review Ameya !
    Surely needs to be test drive'd

    Hrushikesh

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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Usually these paid reviews sing praises of almost of every nook and cranny of these Japanese and Korean branded vehicles. This ACI review has some semblance of balance in terms of pointing out the negatives alongside the good things about the S Cross as well.

    I had a chance to sample the S Cross in person at the new 'NEXA' outlet in Andheri West, Mumbai. Did not get a test drive as it was past 6 pm, so they weren't allowing test drives post that hour. The vehicle frankly looks like a large hatchback, nothing more..nothing less. The face itself doesn't scream rugged / strong / beefy. I wasn't too impressed with the interiors as well.

    Also, I guess the sales staff are equating 'premium' with 'snooty' and their behaviour was pathetic. I entered the showroom with my 4 year son and we were underwhelmed with the kind of response (rather the lack of it) in a showroom touted to be a lovely experience for prospective buyers. Nobody was interested in attending me and it wasn't as if the showroom was full with customers. "Sir, we can only give you a test drive next week as the car is not available for the entire week" was the reply when I finally decided to approach an executive myself. Even then, no courtesy to offer water or handing out brochures, etc was displayed. I finally walked out on them feeling disgusted.

    The experience was totally the opposite at the Hyundai showroom where we were welcomed in a packed showroom with a glass of water. Its these little things that go a long way in making your customers happy. My little one is an SUV lover and wanted to see the S Cross. But after having a look at the Creta, he just forgot about the S Cross altogether. Where the S Cross is a wannabe, the Creta comes across as a genuine mini SUV in its overall dimensions and stance. The interiors are well put together, especially the premium looking dash. There are hard plastics on the doors though. Overall, I would probably skip and S Cross (1.6 MJD notwithstanding) and opt for the Creta, even though it is the more expensive one.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Quote Originally Posted by roms View Post
    Even then, no courtesy to offer water or handing out brochures, etc was displayed. I finally walked out on them feeling disgusted.

    The experience was totally the opposite at the Hyundai showroom where we were welcomed in a packed showroom with a glass of water. .
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    @roms - It's really strange, your experience. I have not been into the Nexa showroom anytime but all my previous visits to Maruti showrooms have been really mind-blowing and I always ended up thinking why Tata & Fiat never showed that kind of enthusiasm in attending to customers.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Roms i had test ride yestarday at Andheri Showroom as my boss had booked it in last month. Does not give that premium appeal was not very impressaive i felt Swift is more Tuned than Scross. not a good experience and yes the way staff behave is like they dont want customers to buy..
    All of those cars were just a dream in somebody's Head.....

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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Thats a nice crisp review, Ameya. True its not a appealing car to justify the price its asking for even with all the bells & whistles. When it says its a crossover, people now have a expectation to behave like a mini SUV. I think the Avventura too failed in this ofcourse there were other reasons too.

    BTW if S-Cross has the lag for 1.6MJD then imagine when Fiat gets it in their own cars
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Lovely crisp review Ameya


    Quote Originally Posted by ameya.karve View Post
    The one we’re sampling, of course, is the new 1.6-litre diesel.

    Start it up and you’ll find it’s decently refined, though not quite in the league of Hyundai’s 1.6 from the Verna and upcoming Creta. .
    Now that's a shame but knowing MS, I am sure they will refine this in the next edition of the product.

    Also to know that the S-Cross may never come in a petrol engine - goes to show that FIAT is sustaining an entire product line of MS in the power train section
    My lug nuts require more torque than your Honda makes

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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Vijethcm View Post
    @roms - It's really strange, your experience. I have not been into the Nexa showroom anytime but all my previous visits to Maruti showrooms have been really mind-blowing and I always ended up thinking why Tata & Fiat never showed that kind of enthusiasm in attending to customers.
    Strange indeed for me as well Vijethcm. I've never experienced Maruti dealerships doling out such trashy behaviour to prospective customers. Its an irony that its the 'regular' Maruti dealerships that offer much better customer satisfaction at the first touch point.

    I also noticed that the sales staff was wearing T-Shirts with the Benetton logo prominent at the back. So while Maruti is trying to clearly portray a premium image, the NEXA staff may behave as if they are a cut above the regular Maruti dealers. Then again, maybe the incident with me was a one off and may not be a widespread phenomenon.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Romil,

    If you visited the showroom on Link Road where all the showrooms (renault, VW, Audi, Merc, Hyundai) are then it isn't the NEXA showroom.
    I had done a TD of the Creta and the S-Cross back to back a couple of weeks back. While doing the TD of the Creta i asked the Hyundai sales guy as to why i should prefer a Creta over a S-cross. He laughed and said that i should be comparing the S-cross to the i20 Active. I ignored his comment as usual arrogant sales talk. However, when i saw the S-cross at the showroom i agreed to the comment. No comparison.

    The plastics in the interior may be the best compared to the other models by Maruti but it still felt cheap especially on the doors. The 1.6 was a nightmare to drive in the city roads. 2nd gear lag was followed by a sudden rush of power. I felt the power doesn't come at the time you need it and the when it comes it comes like a tsunami. I felt that there was too much power for a vehicle of this size. The ride on the bumps also was bad. The driver feels the bump when the rear wheels go over it.

    Maybe the 1.3 would be better to drive in the city. I know Romil will faint on this comment but if one is looking for a crossover with a 1.3 then why not the Avventura.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    Quote Originally Posted by neelay2709 View Post
    Romil,

    If you visited the showroom on Link Road where all the showrooms (renault, VW, Audi, Merc, Hyundai) are then it isn't the NEXA showroom.
    It was the Nexa showroom only re baba. There is a Maruti dealership close to the Hyundai and then a dedicated Nexa branded store neighbouring the Honda showroom. There were two S Cross vehicles in the showroom.
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    Re: Maruti Suzuki S Cross Review by Auto Car

    I visited the Maruti dealership which is closer to Hyundai.

    Guess i missed the Nexa showroom.

    Hope someone does a TD for the 1.3.
    Neelay Shirali
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