The country’s biggest car maker announced yesterday that it will stop selling diesel-powered cars altogether, starting April 1st, 2020. Maruti Suzuki had to take the decision as from that day, the new BS VI norms will be applicable for all new vehicles which go on sale. These norms are far too strict on emissions and the cost to upgrade small capacity diesel engines to make them pass, would’ve spiked the cost so much, Maruti’s diesel-powered cars would’ve no longer looked value-for-money.
Currently, Maruti’s diesel-powered cars make use of a fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Multijet engine, which powers cars like the Swift, Baleno, Ciaz, S-Cross, and the Vitara Brezza. Among these, the Ciaz is the only model in their portfolio which was recently mated with their new, in-house developed 1.5-litre diesel motor. However, where every other vehicle in their portfolio is available with a petrol engine too, the S-Cross and the very popular Vitara Brezza are only sold powered by the 1.3-litre diesel engine.
Before April 1st, 2020 then, Maruti will most likely equip these vehicles with their brand new 1.5-litre petrol motor which made its debut with the facelifted Ciaz last year, and also powers the new Ertiga. However, either some, none, or all of the Brezza’s rivals like the Tata Nexon, Ford Ecosport, the upcoming Hyundai Venue, and the Mahindra XUV300 could walk the same path as the Brezza or continue to offer a diesel engine. In that case then and if demand persists even at an increased price, Maruti could consider plonking their brand new 1.5-litre diesel engine under the Brezza’s hood.
Coming to the S-Cross, what was once a favourite among driving enthusiasts when it was first introduced in India, powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine, it could stick to a petrol only option. But like the manufacturer clarified, if the demand exists even when the price goes up quite substantially, the S-Cross too could get the 1.5-litre diesel. If you like driving diesel cars and a new purchase is on the cards, you will have to be quick. Because after April 1st 2020, a lot of them will either be sold with a petrol engine only or ask for a few lakhs more than their current price for a diesel engine.