Maruti Suzuki S Cross
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Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 7/10
: N/A (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
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8.85 Lakhs-11.45 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • High Practicality
  • Value For Money 
  • Good Ride 

Weak Areas

  • No Petrol Option
  • No AMT
  • Pricey Top Variant 
  • Average Space 
Maruti Suzuki S Cross

Maruti Suzuki Nexa S-Cross Expert Review

The good balance of ride and handling attributes make the S-Cross practical. And it also gets a premium feel with fair load of features like bi-xenon headlights, cruise control and touchscreen audio system. 



ecardlr.com National

The compact segment started growing popular in India after success of Renault’s Duster.  It is somewhat surprising that Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai did not take a lead here. Then some brands (including Hyundai) beefed up their regular hatchbacks with superficial muscles and we therefore saw the likes of Toyota Etios Cross, Fiat Avventura and Hyundai i20 Active. There were some others who developed their compact SUVs with little more emphasis on the ‘sporty’ utility of the car and here stood ford EcoSport and Nissan Terrano. 
It is past the mid of 2015 and the competition has intensified now that Hyundai Creta and Maruti S-Cross are here. The leading car manufacturer of India has decided to call its product S-Cross hinting that its full fledged compact SUV is still sometime away. So it is simply a premium crossover but is ready to take on the Duster, Creta, Terrano and EcoSport. 
The diesel-only engine options of this car include the known 1.3 litre motor that churns 89 bhp at 4000 rpm, and a 1.6 litre unit that generates 118 bhp at 3750 rpm. Torque with the smaller unit is 200 Nm (20.39 kgm) and with the bigger it is 320 Nm (32.63 kgm). And 1.6 litre diesel engine is coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The trust of Maruti’s signage and service network makes the prospects of S-Cross bright and it will be interesting to keep an eye on the sales charts. 
Exterior Design and Engineering 
The first look of S-Cross gives you the same impression that is reflected in sporty hatchback avatars like Fiat Avventura and Toyota Etios Cross. But it is indeed longer than these cars and only 15 mm short in length than the Duster. Its width is about 60 mm less than Renault’s SUV. And it is taller than other crossovers including Hyundai i20 Active and VW Cross Polo but shorter than compact SUVs built from ground up. The ground clearance measures 180 mm. 
Maruti S-Cross may not have a remarkably good exterior design but it is not unattractive. Those who already love the stylish looks of Hyundai Creta may not consider it as an option but it is a pragmatic UV from a trusted brand and this is a strong point that should give it plenty of buyers. 
Front end looks similar to SX4 saloon. The designers have chromed up the front for this India –specific version and the two strut grille bears the S logo. There are silver accents for the bi-xenon projector headlamps. An LED strip at the bottom is not a daytime running light but a pilot lamp. The fog lamps below have chrome circles around them and these add some more bling. Because of raised sides, the bonnet appears almost concave but overall it is sleek and fuss-free. The outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) have integrated LED blinkers and fold electrically.
There are design elements in form of black plastic body cladding, scuff plates and roof rails to highlight the sporty look. These silver roof-rails have a modern make with no space between the rail & roof. The matte silver accents have also been added with the cladding and these break the monotony of the design. Furthermore, the 16 inch alloy wheels have also been styled in a different way for this crossover. Mud guards are well integrated.
The waistline of S-Cross amalgamates with its tail-lights. Their curvy design looks nice. Put on the high-mount stop lamp, the rear washer has three nozzles. There is a short and stubby radio antenna. Maruti has placed the parking camera towards the left of the car.
Quality of paint-job is appreciable. Colour options available include conventional shades like grey, silver, white besides brown and blue. Black is not available. The black cladding is anyways best underscored in lighter body shades. 
The Interiors 
With its higher stance in comparison to regular hatchbacks, getting inside the S-Cross is easy even though it is not really the car that you can walk into (as with the Duster). The doors shut with a satisfactory thud and feel sturdier than those of the Ciaz.
Inside its cabin, this car feels like any other Maruti model. The interior has an all black theme but is upmarket. The quality of material for seat covers, steering wheel, door armrests and door pads is not dull and makes S-Cross a good competitor in its class. Those who love the beige shade will not equate all of this with a wow factor but the interior design of this car did appeal to us at Ecardlr. The rubbery and soft material of the textured overlay on the dashboard has a good feel.
Thanks to ample glass area, the cabin feels large and airy. Fit and finish across are also neat. It is because of the shared steering wheel unit that the S-Cross’s cabin feels akin to its siblings in the Maruti family. In here it does have many extra buttons added on to it but that does not divert us from the fact that the same design is also used in the Celerio. Then the switchgear on the door pads is also common with other Marutis. 
There is a 7 inch touchscreen audio system that does away with the need of multiple buttons on the centre console. The issues that were noticed in earlier versions of this unit for Ciaz have been resolved now and its touch sensitivity is good. Sound quality from four speakers and two tweeters is also pleasant.
The seats are comfortable and offer good lateral support. Seat cushioning is on the firmer side. Headroom and legroom are adequate even for tall drivers. It is easy to find a comfortable driving position as the driver’s seat is height adjustable and steering wheel both reach and rake adjustable.  
For the crossover feel, you sit higher in S-Cross than in hatchbacks and so the frontal visibility is good. And even though the rear windscreen provides a limited view of the backside, the parking sensors and camera make up for this restriction. 
Cubby holes provide enough space to store small objects and a 1 litre bottle can be put into the pockets on the front doors. The centre armrest has a deep storing place beneath and it also contains the USB and Aux ports. Glove box is illuminated but its storage capacity is on the smaller side. 
Air conditioner does a good job of cooling the cabin. And the rear bench of this car is also nice to be on. This is also a raised seat because of which visibility s good and there is an airy feel. Headroom and legroom draw no complaints and seat cushioning, under-thigh support are good.
With the centre armrest slid back, three medium sized adults can sit comfortably on the 60:40 bench seat and it can also recline to a limited range – normal and more upright, the former being more comfortable for most people. Neck restraints are also adjustable in two positions and they’re soft too but not very ergonomically designed.  
The boot has a capacity of 353 litres with backrest in the ‘normal’ position and it increases to 375 litres if you adjust it to the more upright position. This is much less than the international version that comes with 430 litres of storage space. And it’s because in the India-spec S-Cross there is a full size spare wheel fitted below the boot floor. Because of this the floor gets raised and makes loading/unloading of luggage simpler. The 60:40 seat can be pushed down completely to increase the stowage area to 810 litres. 
Engine, Transmission and Performance - the 1.6 litre DDiS
Maruti S-Cross does not have a petrol engine. The popular 1.3 litre engine is mated to 5 speed manual transmission and the bigger 1.6 litre unit (also Fiat sourced) comes with 6 speed manual gearbox. There is no AMT for now. This performance evaluation review relates to the variant with the bigger engine. 
As you press on the clutch pedal and bring on the engine to life with the start/stop button, there is just a soft diesel rumble. Once the engine warms up, it remains quite silent both on the inside and outside. 
The 32.6 kgm of torque makes this 1.6 litre motor makes it a leader in its segment. Only downer is the turbo lag which is inevitable.  When there is such a high torque rating on an engine of this size, it will use a bigger turbo. Therefore below 1500 rpm mark, there is not much response when you push down the accelerator. But even in this zone there is enough torque to keep you moving in the city traffic. 
Climbing inclines is also no big deal for the S-Cross even though it does so in a relaxed way. Throttle response is also dull at low rpms. If the lag gets annoying, the only solution is to downshift. But once the engine gets beyond 1500 rpms, it will start responding to your inputs. Past 1750 rpms when you get in the turbo zone, there is a gush of power. The diesel motor can persistently pull up to the 5000 rpm redline and the power just tapers off in the last 250 rpms. And the best part is that it does not sound gruff even when you are testing its limits. 
For a smooth drive in the city, you may need to adjust your driving style due to spiky power delivery. If you drive on a light foot, the upshifts can happen early. There is adequate torque below 1800 rpms to keep the S-Cross moving although instant throttle response is lacking. At speeds of up to 50 km/hr, you will be in thick of powerband in the third gear. Overtaking slow moving vehicles in the city is not a problem then. 
It is on the open highways that the performance gets more interesting. The torque to weight ratio of this car is higher than that of VW Jetta and Skoda Octavia. It does the 0-100 km/hour dash in 11.5 seconds. The S-Cross with the smaller 1.3 litre engine takes 13.4 seconds to achieve that. What’s good is the in-gear acceleration. A 20-80 km/hr in 3rd gear takes 12.36 seconds and 40-100 km/hr in 4th gear takes 19.6 seconds. 
The gear shift on the 6 speed box is slick but shift quality is on softer side. But this gearbox does not disappoint when you need to shift quickly. If you need to pick up speed after slowing down for a bump or be quick for the green signal light, you will understand that it is better to downshift. 
S-Cross comes with relatively tall gearing and has overdrive in 4th, 5th and 6th gears. While these tall ratios add to the engine’s lazy responses at lower revs, the outcome is a very relaxed highway cruising. 
The clutch is on the lighter side and very well weighted for this crossover. This is a 'Self Adjusting Clutch' which implies that the engagement point on the pedal will stay the same no matter how worn out the clutch gets with time.
Ride and Handling 
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross rides notably well on its 60 profile tyres and tall suspension. The on –road behaviour of this SUV is comparable to European cars. Even with a noticeably firm suspension, it can smoothen out most of irregularities on Indian roads and also masks speed so well. You can go into triple digit speed without realising if you don’t look at the speedometer. Stability is commendable and driving dynamics deserve praise. It just irons out the road imperfections.
Body roll is minimal. S-Cross feels tight and willing to change directions without feeling jittery around the corners. This is where it being a crossover more than a compact SUV helps. 
The low speed ride may not feel very plush and you feel the suspension’s firmness but it does not really get disturbing - going over potholes and bumps at slow speed can just result in controlled and silent thuds. So you won’t really have the passengers on the rear seat grumbling. 
As for the handling experience, the steering wheel will keep most of the drivers happy and only the more experienced ones will point out to some flaws. At parking speed, the electronic power assisted steering unit is light enough but it feels light even till 10-15 km/hour and this is felt in bumper to bumper traffic conditions. After this it weighs up sufficiently with increase in speed. 
On highways there is a good feel from the unit and it responds sharply. It was on U-turns that we found its back-to-centre action to be little weak and had to help it back to the straight-ahead point.
There are disc brakes for all four wheels and the braking action is satisfactory with no intrusion from the ABS. 
Fuel Efficiency 
The ARAI has rated the S-Cross with 1.6 litre engine at 22.7 km/litre and the one with 1.3 litre motor at 23.65 km/litre. Our test under varying traffic conditions and usage of the AC gave a range of 15.5 to 20 km/litre. On the whole the 48 litres fuel tank of the car will help you to cover long distances economically with diesel. 
The looks may be plain but the S-Cross has a solid build. The 32.6 kgm of torque makes it an impressive performer and it wins your heart with the ride and handling combination. Priced between Rs 8.34 lakhs and 13.74 lakhs (ex showroom, Delhi), the new crossover will pull buyers for its practicality, road manners and the support of Maruti’s reliable after-sales service network. 
Comfort: 3.5/5
Refinement: 4/5
Safety: 3.5/5
Ride: 4/5
Handling: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5 

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