Country’s leading car maker Maruti Suzuki launched the S-Coss the country back in 2015. The crossover also marked the beginning of the company’s new premium retail chain in the market, the Nexa. The car did bring in decent numbers but for Maruti decent sounds more like a failure. Part of the problem was also a slightly higher price tag. The company was still able to breach the 50,000 sales mark with the car. In just over two years the S-Cross has been given a facelift clearly stating this is a product the company does not want to give up on. We got to sample the new S-Cross on the open highways around the city of lakes, Udaipur.
The crossover design of the S-Cross charmed many when the car was first launched. But keeping in tune with the changing times Maruti has added a lot more elements to make the car more appealing. The sculpted hood design is attractive and sleek headlamps get sharp LED projector lamps that housed neatly with the daylight running lamps. The biggest change is the 10 vertical slat grille and though slats are seen on many cars now, it is the chrome that does all the magic here. The profile is also very luring as the car now gets 2-tome alloy wheels along with body cladding. The wheels also get wider on this face lifted S-Cross.
The cabin of the new S-Cross offers a lot of premiumness. The interiors have been tastefully upgraded and made classier with a satin chrome accent finish and a soft touch dashboard. The 7 inch intuitive touch screen infotainment system now works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, something that will appeal to a larger section of buyers. The piano black coloured central panel, together with a premium leather finish arm-rest also adds a dash of quality to the offering. Owing to its design, the car also gets a lot of space but the sadly the second row misses out on AC vents. The boot space stands at 375 liters and the second row can be folded in 60:40 ratio to create more space.
The S-Cross continues to be offered only in a Diesel avatar and only in a manual gearbox option. The biggest change though on the new S-Cross when compared to the earlier car is the absence of 1.6 liter Diesel engine. It retains the 1.3 liter 90 PS Diesel mill seen on a lot of other cars from the brand like Vitara Brezza and the Baleno. It’s known to be a very efficient engine when it comes to fuel economy and if Maruti is to be believed this one too is capable of delivering 25 kmpl. This is partly due to another major change, the introduction of Smart Hybrid technology. It comes packed with a host of features like idle-stop-start, torque assist, brake energy regeneration system and a gearshift indicator. Many of these features enhance energy efficiency in the S-Cross.
Ride & Handling
The S-Cross scores well when it comes to ride and handling characteristics’. The crossover design isn’t very tall and that ensures minimum body roll. The car is stable at high speeds and during changing lanes. On fast curvy roads it is a joy to maneuver the S-Cross. What also aids in that is a good drive position that is possible because of adjustable steering wheel and seats. But what certainly can be better are the NVH levels on the car. The cabin isn’t as quiet as you would like it to be inside the S-Cross. The suspension is tuned well to take on the bad roads and the wider tyres certainly help in getting a confident ride on the car.
The face lifted S-Cross is certainly a better proposition than before. It looks and feels better and Maruti has done all that it can to make it more appealing. It plays the role of an efficient urban car very easily and at a starting price of Rs 8.49 lakh (ex-showroom) it doesn’t seem overpriced at all. It’s difficult for a car to get more practical and reliable considering its made by Maruti Suzuki, and if you’re not in the market looking for a petrol or an automatic, this might well be your new set of wheels.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars