We were deep in wine country – around Nasik – this weekend, sampling not only the best of Indian chardonnay derived indulgence, but also Maruti’s newest offering, the S-Cross.
What is it?
Maruti would like you to refer it as a premium crossover. Largely based on the international Suzuki S-Cross, it comes to India with a choice of two diesel engines, mated to manual transmissions. To be sold exclusively through Maruti’s new, upmarket “Nexa” dealerships, the S-Cross aims to revolutionize the car maker’s automotive retail.
On the road, the S-Cross impresses with its affable dynamics and compliant ride quality. Refinement levels are good, but not remarkably so.
We drove the 1.6 Alpha, which translates to the top end variant, powered by the brand new, Fiat sourced, 320 DDiS 1.6-litre diesel engine, equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger. Power stands at 118bhp, which, along with 320Nm of torque is potent enough for the 1.6 to accelerate from naught to 100 kph in 11.3 seconds.
The 1.6 is pretty brisk and long-legged, reaching three digit speeds with utmost ease. The only fly in the ointment being the inherent turbo lag below 1800 revs, hampering low end tractability.
The 1.3 is powered by the familiar 200 DDis 1.3-litre diesel engine, which in this trim produces 89bhp and 200Nm of torque. The 320 DDis and 320 DDis engines are exclusively mated to five- and six-speed manual transmissions respectively. While the 1.3 promises a claimed fuel efficiency of 23.65km/l, the 1.6 has a claimed fuel efficiency of 22.7km/l.
The well-appointed, all-black interiors with brushed silver inserts offer quality materials, leather trim, plenty of storage and great ergonomics.
Automatic transmission and all wheel drive system are not being offered. Safety features of the S Cross comprise of high-strength steel components in the car’s construction, dual air-bags, all-wheel disc brakes with ABS as standard across the range. Features include cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps with projector illumination & DRLs, automatic climate control, leather seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, smart-phone connectivity and Bluetooth as well as a TFT screen in the instrument cluster, which reads out instant fuel economy amongst other things.
A 2,600mm wheelbase helps carve out generous interior room, while at the back, the S-Cross offers 353 litres of boot space which can be expanded by folding the 60:40 split rear seat backrest to 810 litres.
Stay tuned for a detailed review soon.
Maruti S-Cross Image Gallery (PC : Ayan Ghosh & Yatharth Chauhan)