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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:37   #1
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Default My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

My brown little hippo.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-8.jpg

The story of my car search ended up like a recent hit Malayalam flick – ‘Premam’ in which the protagonist ends up marrying his first love’s sister. Fell in love with the 1.6, bought the 1.3.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-front.jpg

After six years with my Dzire VDI, I wanted a car which was more safe, had a little bit more space and had better driving dynamics. Previous generation dzires had soft rear suspension and a sporty front suspension. So the ride was as harsh as a swift and as wallowy as a verna. Steering was great and the gear box was perfect. I used to love the 1.3 MJD, though I could not push her to limits in the Dzire. Search for a new car started this January. It started with the 4s verna, then the linea, the vento, rapid, ciaz, duster, ecosport, creta and the s cross. I do not want to elaborate on all the positives and negatives of these cars, especially as these have already been discussed. The cars which I considered finally were the S Cross, Creta and the Duster.

Linea T jet was really good to drive, but I was not looking for a petrol option. The linea design was getting long in the tooth. The 4s verna was identical to the previous generation one. Vento and Rapid were good to drive, but space was limited and they were due for a replacement. Took the test drive of the Ciaz, it had this floaty feel about it. Suspension was too soft, steering was light and the boot lid was flimsier than in my Dzire (I always thought that Dzire had the worst bootlid). I understood that the current C segment had nothing I yearned for.

Then came the options in the Cross over segment. I took the TD of the Ecosport. It had some appeal but it was short and space was at a premium. Add to that the light steering and the harsh ride. More over the iron box / hovercraft look put me off. There were so many of them on the roads and I did not want to be one of them. Then came the time for TD of the duster. I drove my uncle’s terrano fo a few hours in open roads and in traffic. Ergonomics for a six footer was pathetic. Front seats were not tall, had poor lumbar support and my upper back was supported by the head rest. Interiors felt as if from a class below and from the 1990s. It did have a good ride and the handling was good. But first you have to sit comfortably before driving. Took the TD of the Duster and it also did not impress me. Then came the phase when I ended the car search for almost 2 months. News came from tbhp about the launch of the creta and s cross.

The news about a 1.6 MJD attracted me to the S Cross. Eagerly waited and booked the S Cross. I always try to stay away from Hyundai (Wounds left by the Hyundai A$$ in the early 2000s) but some how the Creta also attracted me to it. But I did not want that SUV height and look. Then came the pricing of the Creta, when I zeroed on the S Cross. Soon those ‘cruel men’ announced the 1.6 S cross pricing.

Why name him "HIPPO"
S cross has this character that I liked. It reminded me of the mythical animal hippogriff. It was not a true hatch or a pseudo-SUV. It rode like a sedan, had the poise of a cross over and was powerful in the 1.6 avatar.
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But since 1.6 was way out of my budget and Creta drive was not impressive I zeroed on the S cross DDIS 200. More over the Creta variant in my budget was the SX which did not have many features I wanted. The SX+ variant was priced close to 15 lacs which was a huge barrier in my mind. The 15L barrier was something which I did not want to cross at this stage of my life.

Features that attracted me to the DDIS 200 alpha

+ves
Within my budget
Low speed manners in the city
Excellent midrange and good cruising ability, 1.3 MJD can perform at its best in this car
Option for a remap later as the car is ready for a higher power output
In gear timings comparable to ciaz and 40-100 in 4th gear as good as or only a shade lower than the 1.6/DDIS 320. (Ref ACI test of the S cross, Ciaz)
Driving Dynamics, ride and handling
Alpha is fully loaded, only tyres need to be upgraded
90% of the spare parts will still be easily available even if the S cross ends up a flop show
-ves
Plane jane looks, uninspiring ‘sad looking’ front end, poor rear light cluster
Zeta was more VFM
Lacks power with poor high end and poor acceleration post 90 kmph
No rear ac vents
Looks and feel of some plastic bits in the cabin, from its younger siblings, rattles when you throw in powerful components on the front doors (Damping needed for audio installs)
Rear seat back a bit too straight and the headrest issue as already discussed in the official review.

Creta 1.6 CRDI
+ves
Looks, Looks, ..... X 100, Looks way butch, Will have loads of road presence
Good low end with lesser turbo lag compared to DDIS 320
NVH levels simply superb
Tall front seats
Good ergonomics for a six footer (straight opposite of the Duster)

-ves
Partially loaded SX+ touches 15 L OTR and SX O touches 16 L OTR
Folks at home will have a hard time getting in to that back seat.
Shorter drivers would struggle to find an excellent driving position. Taller drivers (more than 6 2”) can brush their head on the roof.
Steering feel at low speeds, very important while switching lanes and reversing
Wallowy ride over some bad roads
Rear end styling not to my tastes
Side profile looks top heavy and looks like a ‘topple-ready’car, does not have the planted stance of the Ecosport.

Moreover I loved the way DDIS 200 drove in the city. It is more than adequate for a city like Cochin with narrow roads and potholes (especially with the metro rail project going on). My weekend drives were in narrow laned state high ways where the maximum speed that could be attained would be close to 80kmph. May be once in a blue moon you can speed upto 100 kmph. I don’t do much of inclines / ghats or interstate runs. I should have booked the Zeta, as it was the variant with the maximum value for money. But at least once in life I wanted a full options model of the chosen car. To me the DDIS 200 and the DDIS 320 are from different segments. DDIS 320 in my opinion, can be classified at the lower D rung.

Booking Experience – Below par
Pre-booked the car with the Sai Service team. Nexa staff had not been appointed at that time. Once the car was booked, went to a mall nearby to see it in flesh. Doubts came into my mind about the size of the car. Only blueprints reassured me.
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The 1.6 brown which was my first love
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-1.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-3.jpg

Initial senior RM assigned to me was inefficient. But I think he was one of the senior team leaders or something. He was unavailable to take call, was always in meetings, did not inform the prices or offered a test drive. I had to call repeatedly for these. Meanwhile I booked the Creta as well once the prices of the S cross were announced. Hyundai sales manager was a gem compared to the suited Nexa-walas. He came to my office, collected the booking amount, cleared all my doubts, arranged a test drive and promised to deliver the SX variant by end of September. I must congratulate Mr Sidhique of VTJ Hyundai, Ernakulam for being so efficient. Sad I could not go ahead with the purchase of the Creta, as I could not somehow connect with the product. He even called me last week to talk about booking amount refund arrangements. Probably the Nexa showroom was just being inaugurated and they were all busy in setting up the showroom. The investment was Rs 1.5 crores they say.

Back to back TDs of the 1.6 and 1.3 arranged by Nexa sealed the deal for me. I admire the 1.6 but I could hardly use its power and torque for my daily use. Moreover it was out of my budget. I came out impressed with the 1.3 DDIS 200 more than I had anticipated. Hence decided to go ahead with the alpha variant.

Nexa Cochin quoted 12.84 L OTR (includes additional 3rd and 4th year warranties) for DDIS alpha caffeine brown. Did the PDI and the car was delivered as promised.

Hippo in the yard where I did the PDI
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-r.jpg

The Delivery experience
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-delivery.jpg
The delivery experience was nice. The Nexa showrooms have a separate delivery bay. Our name will be displayed on the giant TV screen. RM handed over the key, accompanied by the manager who gave sweets (Ferero) and a bouquet of rose buds. All instructions were given appropriately. They gave a free fuel coupon for 5 litres of diesel. I have heard about VW and Skoda giving tankful of fuel. Atleast they could have offered 10 litres of it. Went to the fuel station and got a tankful of diesel (40 litres).


The tyre and alloy swap

Drove the hippo out to the tyre shop (Tyrex Cochin). Mr Radhakrishnan, the owner of the shop was very courteous, showed me the alloys and the tyres. He gave a fairly okay deal on the JKs and the hideous Maruti alloys. Swapped the tyres for 225 55 R 16 Hankook Ventus MEO1s and alloys for GTR black with machined lip ones. Total cost was 70k (39k for tyres and 31k for alloys) and 31k was offered for buyback of the stock ones. Paid 39k for the swap.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-2.jpg

The tyre upgrade IMO changed the character of the car. My hippo became the hippo post tyre upgrade (alloys and tyres). The tyre upgrade that I did is not recommended as it can potentially void the suspension warranty. However there is no difference in the proportions except the width. See the chart below.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-alloys.jpg
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Interiors
Dashboard plastics are top notch.The cental portion surrounding the AVN unit could have been matt, as the glossy finish is prone to scratches. The door panels and power window switches are from 2 segments below. Seems like they are prone to rattle. Had rattling when I installed aftermarket components. Moreover only the front power window had an illuminated button. You need to scramble for them at night for adjusting the mirrors. You should have a good right parietal lobe for a good somasthetic faculty to select those switches at night. Even a 2001 accent had illuminated power window switches.

Window switches - The potential rattle snake
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-window-switches.jpg

I would have preferred a little bit wider seats in the front, but lateral support is excellent. Me being a bit on the heavier side, I felt it to be too snug for my liking. But the seats are better than the ecosport seats and top tapering ones of the Creta. Miles ahead of the Duster ‘rocking chair’. Height adjustment with steering tilt and telescoping means finding a good driving position is very easy. Sliding armrest and door handle cushioning is perfect. However the gear lever is placed a bit forward, so driving with seat pushed back means, stretching the left arm to a good measure. The gear lever is short and smooth shifting, it has a glossy finish to the head and is scratch prone. Even a ring in the left hand can scratch it.
The sweet gear shifter - Look carefully and you can see a scratch
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-gear-shifter.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-steering.jpg
The leather wrapped steering is really good. It is true that Maruti uses the same steering wheel for all cars but the leather work on it is sheer class. If I recollect only the Vento has similar finish in the price range. Hyundai’s steering is a bit slippery in comparison. Honking the horn is a stretch. There is a high chance that anyone can accidently press the cruise control or the mode buttons disrupting the AVN. The horn boss is fir and requires a firm press. The centre of the horn boss feels soft to touch compared to the sides. Horn sound is classical dual ‘meek’ which is good for town as well as the highway.

Interior storage, practicality & boot space

Interior space was really good. The space available is comparable to a duster and definitely at par with the creta. Because you sit high, the front seats need not be slidled back completely and hence rear passenger knee room is excellent. The four door bottle holders are really nice. The cubby holes close to the gear lever are small and does not have the practicality of ones in the last generation swift. The hand brake positioning is not good, it is the set up for a left hand drive car. The storage space in the arm rest is convenient, but more deeper than wide. If you are planning to keep a modern 'more than 5 inch' smart fone in there, you will have to keep it vertically. The storage space in front of the gear lever below the ACC controls are also very convenient. I miss a soft rubber padding for placing your phone or keys or wallet. The phone kept there slides during cornering and turning. The sun glass holder is good, but not felt or rubber lined. My usual glasses rattle on bad roads and is an irritant while driving. Planning a DIY felt lining. The glove box is more deep than broad, which limits the utility. It will take a tab and a fairly large handbag. The vanity mirrors and lights are very practical. My wifey loved those. Boot space is excellent. It is as deep as in the Creta, but the height is less. Hence the lower capacity. It is as large as in the new Dzire sedan / Figo Aspire. Pics will be added.

Automatic climate control and centre console
AC chills the cabin fast. However the all black interiors and the brown colour delays cooling after being parked in hot sun. AVN system touch screen is all touch operated. I prefer the one on the creta which has additional buttons and a matte finished screen unlike the glossy screen on the S cross.

In car entertainment
Audio system is ok, its built for bass and highs. Vocals and mids get drowned. Fader controls and presets are good. Speakers are paper cones. The touchscreen is responsive and ok to use. However it is a pain to use the touchscreen while driving. IMO, there should be physical buttons on the central console for power, volume, mode, phone and settings. The unit connects to my android phone (huawei honor) easily. Taking calls are easy. Speech recognition is not very good. The 'lady in the avn' recognises Indian accents well, but South indian accents are difficult to go through. Often ends up calling the wrong person. The lady speaks more Indian-ised English compared to the accent of the 'lady in the ecosport'. For me, that lady is irritating. I usually take calls on the bluetooth telephony. I never dare to make calls. May be I need more practice.
I have not tried navigation. Will give it a try and update the thread later. I would prefer google maps any day. Waiting for android HUs to become popular, so that one day I can replace the HU with a pioneer android AVN and upgrade to soundstage.

Picture of the speakers used at stock locations by maruti, paper cones with electromagnets rated at 25w
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-speaker.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-speaker-2.jpg

ICE upgrade

Upgraded the stock speakets
Front components - Morel Maximo 6.5" components rated at 90 W RMS (9k)
Rear - Morel Maximo 6.5" coaxials (4.5k)
Planned upgrade (Wil be done in the subsequent months as steps)
1. Damping of all four doors - Noisekill / Dynamat
2. Amplifier - 4 channel A/B Focal Auditor and cables
3. Subwoofer - ID 8 inch shallow mount sub in a custom box that can fit into the groove/ditch on one side in the boot.

Lights

Automatic headlamps work like a charm. It switches on in dark earlier than I anticipate, but is really handy in situations like driving in a road with frequent tunnels. It is also useful when you have bad weather with intermittent torrential rains. The projector has HIDs. It has excellent illumination forward. There are no cornering lamps. There are reflectors housed inside the cluster that does the work of cornering lights. The illumination to the sides are also excellent. Moreover the foglamps work pretty well to illuminate everything on either side. The lighting is more efficient than the 90/100 that I had in my Dzire. Here are the pictures.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-beam-lights.jpg

Head lamp clusters are too big and makes the car look proportionately small.I would have preferred smaller ones. The recent international version should have taken care of it.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-headlamps.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-projector.jpg

The rear light cluster
It is too simple for my tastes. These are clear lens units. They look like they are from early 2000s. Ciaz has a similar unit. The Hyundais have far better units. Slightly larger and better styled unit would have beefed up the rear look I think. (I am sure they will overdo it in the face-lift) However they do the work brilliantly. Omission of rear fog lamps in the Indian model was disappointing. Reversing lights are pretty strong. The strong reversing lights and the poor quality of reversing cam blows out the details in the objects at night. However obstacles can be identified and the sensors help.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-tail-lamps.jpg

The Engine, ride and handling
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-ddis-1.3.jpg
Driving the DDIS 200 is easy in town. It is a sedate performer. It is sedate and it performs. (Run in period - I am a bit easy on the throttle). It is no swift or the dzire. I drove in a sedate manner as it was in the run in period. I always upshift close to 1500-1800 rpm. If you drive it in the third gear in town, it performs well, relly makes it drivable about town. If you upshift to fourth it becomes a cruiser than a rocket. You will have to cross the 2500 rpm mark in 4th gear to get some performance (80+ kmph). Post 2000 rpm the engine wakes up and post 2500 rpm you start getting the shove.

Torque is adequate for driving in town, but not enough for those signal light enthusiastic starts. Enthusiasts who like to get low end torque and highway buffs who love the top end will be disappointed. The only way to get performance out is to push her hard to higher revs. The engine is more rev happy than the swift. I think I get servings of power dollops post 2.5k rpm compared to post 2k rpm on the swift. 1.6 Hippogriff has wings of a hawk, while my little 1.3 hippo has wings of a sparrow. Waiting for the engine to open up now. Seems like the enthusiast in me will be satisfied only with a remap. However a family man in me is very satisfied. My wife is relieved that the engine is less powerful than she had expected. She used to scream at the turbo kicks of the swift. This 1.3 MJD in the S cross is more rev friendly, less peaky and very silent compared to the first generation swifts. NVH levels are out of this world for an MJD. Keep her below 1.5k rpm and she is very silent. A sedate cruise makes for a wafty ‘luxurious-feel’ ride. The suspension is excellent. I feel it is as good as the duster. Handling is superb. I am noticing some understeer post the tyre upgrade to 225 55 R 16 but I sure can get used to it and live with it. Ride and handling is excellent. Brakes are superb and have fantastic bite. You can continue to cruise inspite of poor roads, use lesser brakes and overtaking is a breeze if you downshift.

For a swift owner, gearshift is notchy. It is transformation from a sharp click to a blunt ‘clack/clunk’. Shifting down from fifth gear is an issue. Not sure whether it is limited to my car. One out of ten times I have this tendency to engage the reverse instead of the fourth. Now I am more careful to push the lever more to left and then pulling it back. In the swift, fifth to fourth is just a pull back involving 2 clicks. But the clutch is super light and easier on the left knee compared to the 1.6.

However all those issues disappear when you start enjoying the wafty ride and smooth sail even on bad roads. This baby takes curves well. No drama at curves, though the body roll is evident. I dont feel like pushing the engine as I hardly hear it at cruising speeds. On pushing hard all you hear is a faint sporty rumble which is enjoyable. It wont keep up with a vento, polo or a rapid but sure can outrun a 85 ps duster, city diesel or an ecosport. Creta and Duster would win a drag race easily, but at the end of the day, you reach the same place at the same time. Eventhough I feel that S cross is slow I have started reaching the office quite early (earlier by 5-10 minutes in a 45 minute drive). May be it is a bit slower than the competition but has this property of masking speeds and acceleration.

A 1.3 S cross owner would always think about an upgrade to 1.6 as the car is capable of taking even a 1.9. Was eagerly waiting for the run in period to end to experiment with higher revs. Started revving the engine hard above 2k rpm post that 1000 km mark. Revving is rewarded beautifully in the midrange. This baby hippo pulls and pulls till 130 kmph in the fifth gear comfortably after which the progress is slow and the needle goes past 3k rpm. Tried the car in inclines. The revv band has to be above 2000 rpm to extract optimum performance on the ghats and slopes.

Pics for visual pleasure
Front

My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-front-2.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-grille.jpg
Rear
The angle from which you shoot changes the look of the car
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-back-2.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-back.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-back-3.jpg
Notice the squat of the car post tyre upgrade. Looks butch
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-img_20150828_143537.jpg
Alloys - GTR
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-alloy-back.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-alloy-front.jpg
The side profile
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-5.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 9th September 2015 at 10:33. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:37   #2
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Default My Brown little hippo: S cross DDIS 200 Alpha

Sizing the S cross

One of the most difficult tasks I had after booking the S cross and subsequently the Creta, was comparison of sizes of the cars. I had felt that the S cross is quite spacious, but seeing the photographs of the S cross made me think therwise. I am sure until the car gets a lot of street presence, most of the prospective customers would worry about the size and interior space. The Nexa showrooms where only the S cross is displayed and the Maruti's wide angle photo ads dont do justice to size of the cabin. A fairly longish snout has been amplified on all wide angle photographs. I have used only 50 mm lens to photograph the large snout of the hippo. One another reason I call it the hippo is its huge snout, which often masks the bulk of the hippo when viewed from the front.
Hippo and his large snout
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-hippo-brown.jpg

I used to spend sleepless nights worrying about the 'hatch' that I decided to go with and the 'SUVs' which I decided against. Here are some pics for size comparison.

With the mighty XUV 500
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-1.jpg
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-xuv-1.jpg

With the previous generation i20

Clearly a size larger
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-i20.jpg

The pic with the duster (screen shot from video comparison)
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-dust.jpg

With a similar sized german
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-2a.jpg

With the Cruze

My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-cruze.jpg

This will come as a surprise for many (that includes me). Compared with the Creta. From this angle the creta looks smaller, especially the cabin.
With the Creta (Pardon the poor quality)
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Living with the S cross
For a Dzire / Swift owner, S cross feels right at home. The window switches, ergonomics are all the same. The engine characteristics are the same. It is the same magic formula of extracting the power from the 1.3 MJD that has to be applied in the case of DDIS 200. So in short I got a bigger, better, more powerful, well equipped Swift with space and ride of a duster, power of a Ciaz, street presence of an ecosport (IMO, many will compare with the i20), equipment levels of a creta sx+and reliability of a 'Maruti'.

The most important question they ask when the see the car - Milage
(Kitna deti hai? Ethra kittum?)

For the first odd 500 km, through busy city and state highways with three on board I got 14.3 kmpl as per the MID. (Cochin-Parur-Kodungallur-Trichur-Guruvayur-Trichur-Kodungallur-Cochin-City runs). The average speed as per MID was 18kmph. It improved post 500km.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-milage-14.jpg

The best I could achieve in an early morning city run to the office was 24 kmpl. Shown below. It however dropped to 16 kmpl after return in the evening (Total distance 26 km). I used cruise control for around 5-7 km.
My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha-milage-24.jpg

With the tankful method I exhausted 40 litres of diesel for the first odd 600 km. ie 15kmpl approximately. (This figure is the initial 600km with wider tyres) I expect a 1.5-2 kmpl additional drop with those 225 section tyres. So others with stock tyres can expect close to 16-17 kmpl in 30% highway-30% crowded state highways-40% city conditions.

Cruise Control - Is it effective / useful?

Cruise control is engaged by pressing cruise and then '-' res. Speed can be increased by pressing the +. Accelerator inputs resets the cruise control to higher speeds. Brakes disengage the Cruise control.

This is something very difficult to use in congested roads in Kerala. There are no expressways here. Infact NH 47 and NH 17 are the longest towns in Kerala. Anyone from Kerala or anyone visiting Kerala by road would know that. Once you engage, there is no sitting back and relaxing. Your right foot will be restless as it is ready to slam the brakes anytime. This anxious driving is more tiresome than regular driving.

Problems I noted with the car - Niggles - (After 1000km on the odo)

1. The left wiper blade is flimsy and does not clean well. The left spray nozzle (wash wipe) is not working properly.
2. The mode button on the steering wheel for the avn is a bit tacky and the system is sluggish to respond. The navigation system is useless IMO, you ll be better off using google-maps on phone.
3. The remote / key is flimsy and is scratch prone
4. It is not easy to engage reverse gear in this car. Had similar problem with the Dzire as well. Compared to this, engaging reverse gear in the 1.6 is a breeze.
5. I could not find a remote hatch/boot release button or a lever. I was never able to open the hatch when the engine was running. Had to stop the engine, take the remote with me and then only the boot opened. (Am I missing something)

Last edited by sandygordon : 9th September 2015 at 06:58.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:44   #3
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
Pics for visual pleasure
Front

Attachment 1409903
Attachment 1409904
Rear
The angle from which you shoot changes the look of the car
Attachment 1409906
Attachment 1409907
Attachment 1409905
Notice the squat of the car post tyre upgrade. Looks butch
Attachment 1409909
Congratulations! Enjoy the drive - he's indeed a looker!

The front end is the problem, else from the rear, it looks comparable in size to a duster or even a (gasp) X1. I liked the rear of the car when I saw it in traffic - looked nice enough. Your photos confirm that!
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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:45   #4
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Awesome! Finally the thread is here and I am hoping that you will keep this thread regularly updated as a guide light for me. My Alpha 1.3 has been booked and being worked out for delivery.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:05   #5
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Congratulations , and being the author of the first ownership of S Cross here.

Could you post the accessories that you have taken from Nexa, if any?

Wishing you a great ownership and will be looking forward to more updates from you here.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:27   #6
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
Heartiest congratulations on your sweet brown hippo, it's not really a little one when seen in flesh

I love the color & all angles of this car except front facia (especially that grill). This could have used some more modern designing to give it more rugged look.

Wishing you many happy and safe miles of driving. Do keep us updated on the driving experience!
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:32   #7
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Congratulations sandygordon. Nice choice of colour and alloys. The S Cross is my favourite (will upgrade to DDiS320 next) and it looks more substantial and elegant when compared to the Creta when seen on roads, IMO.

Take good care of the little hippo. The pictures (close up ones) were a visual treat. How difficult/easy did you find reversing the S Cross?
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:45   #8
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

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Congratulations sandygordon. Nice choice of colour and alloys. The S Cross is my favourite (will upgrade to DDiS320 next) and it looks more substantial and elegant when compared to the Creta when seen on roads, IMO.

Take good care of the little hippo. The pictures (close up ones) were a visual treat. How difficult/easy did you find reversing the S Cross?
It does look substantial in smaller spaces. My porch was full when he was parked. My family did not expect it to be as big as it is.

It is easy to reverse the s cross. 200 has the same old maruti swift issue of vague reverse gear. Might be better on the 320. The reversing cam on the AVN and the sensors are a boon. The rear view mirrors are excellent. I dont feel any difficulty in reversing compared to the dzire I drove.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 22:10   #9
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Congratulations again! Here comes the much awaited review!

Wishing you a fantastic ownership of the premium X-over!
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Old 2nd September 2015, 22:41   #10
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Thank you for posting the review of your HIPPO!!

Looks good in brown and I love those alloys too. Please keep this thread updated regularly and enjoy the car!

Awaiting for the point when you go for a remap/RD Box.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 01:20   #11
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Was looking forward to this ownership report, and its written straight from the heart. Congrats on your S-Cross.

Here's some inspiration for you to plonk a box / remap for that engine - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...ml#post3276972 (Fiat Punto with RaceDynamics DieselTronic Dual Channel. EDIT: 110 hp, 265 Nm)

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Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
I understood that the current C segment had nothing I yearned for.
I fully agree. I'm a Punto 1.3 90hp diesel owner, and had a TD of most cars in the C segment last year looking at an upgrade. Finally decided to pay up a huge sum of 94k and get my car 'bangalore-legal' instead. None, i repeat, none of the options in the C segment interested me. The best bet back then was the Vento 1.6 TDi, but even that option doesn't exist anymore.

And even if it did - I'd rather pick up the GT twins instead.

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Why name him "HIPPO"
S cross has this character that I liked. It reminded me of the mythical animal hippogriff. It was not a true hatch or a pseudo-SUV. It rode like a sedan, had the poise of a cross over and was powerful in the 1.6 avatar.
I thought you were calling it hippopotamus due to the colour!

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The news about a 1.6 MJD attracted me to the S Cross. Eagerly waited and booked the S Cross. I always try to stay away from Hyundai (Wounds left by the Hyundai A$$ in the early 2000s) but some how the Creta also attracted me to it.
I feel these two cars have brought a fresh lease of life to that price bracket. Loved driving both the 1.6 diesel Creta, and the 1.6 DDiS S-Cross. It would be really tough to decide between the two, if i were to go for it. Creta scores on that feeling of being a fresh new upgrade from the Punto, while the S-Cross feels just so natural to drive. Its not always that you switch from a FIAT to a Maruti and come back with a smile plastered on your face.

But then again, not paying 14 lakhs over and above my Punto for either of the cars. Not happening!

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In gear timings comparable to ciaz and 40-100 in 4th gear as good as or only a shade lower than the 1.6/DDIS 320. (Ref ACI test of the S cross, Ciaz)
Such figures dont reflect the capabilities of turbo diesels though. Earlier in another thread, there was a discussion on the 50-100 kmph figures of the Punto Abarth. In 5th gear!

A turbo diesel or a turbo petrol for that matter wont pick up from 1000 rpm like it should. Come down a gear and the 1.6 DDiS will leave most other vehicles in the dust. That said - the 1.3 90bhp never missed any of the answers to the questions I've posted for it. It is such a sweet engine indeed.

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Booking Experience Below par.
Hyundai sales manager was a gem compared to the suited Nexa-walas.
My experience at Bangalore has been just the opposite. Went to two Hyundai showrooms and two NEXA showrooms. I'd rate the Hyundai experience at 5/10 while the NEXA scores around 8/10.

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Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
The tyre upgrade IMO changed the character of the car. My hippo became the hippo post tyre upgrade (alloys and tyres).
True. What a world of difference a good set of alloys made to the car! Maruti is planning for similarly bland designs on the Vitara Brezza as well. God help them! ]

PS - Why did you leave out the HID lighting pics?
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Old 3rd September 2015, 01:44   #12
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Nice short and sweet initial report!!! Written straight from heart!!! Loved it.

In your pics, the S-Cross looks awesome in the brown shade. Gives the car a lot of personality IMO. That along with the alloys give the car a different look altogether. The close up shots are superb and the huge headlamp console look aggressive. The rear of the car looks awesome, and thankfully no chrome there.

Bangalore on-road price of DDiS 200 Alpha is 13.9 lakhs - a whopping 1+ lakh over the price you got the car for In fact Zeta itself is 12.1 lakhs. If I were to purchase from Kerala, I would have happily opted for Alpha. But it definitely is not worth the 1.8 lakh premium over Zeta considering Bangalore prices Do you mind sharing the price split? Or the price sheet from your Nexa dealer?? Just wondering if tax is the only culprit here.

Hope you keep the thread up to date and give us a lot of information about the car!!! All the best and hope you munch a lot of miles with this excellent car.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 02:28   #13
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

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Just wondering if tax is the only culprit here.
Maruti made a brilliant move pricing the Zeta variant at 9.99L ex-showroom. That is the biggest difference, as the road tax percent is 14.3% for cars below 10L, while being 17.6% for cars above the 10L barrier. In bangalore.

Infact, Maruti priced the Zeta at 9.99L at many cities across the nation to leverage this tax structure, while prices for other variants differ from one city to another. Wise move.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 3rd September 2015 at 02:30.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 03:17   #14
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

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Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
My brown little hippo.
Loved the pictures along with the short and crisp review.
Congratulations on the car, the alloys and thicker rubber have really transformed the looks to a great extent.

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Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post

Bangalore on-road price of DDiS 200 Alpha is 13.9 lakhs
Its really the tax-structure which is playing the spoilsport in Bangalore.

Here in Ranchi, Add a few grands to that figure of 13.9 lacs and you can get yourself a 1.6 Zeta!!!

Have a look- http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post3774110 (Maruti S-Cross : Official Review)

Regards
Shashi
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Old 3rd September 2015, 06:23   #15
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Default re: My Brown Little Hippo: Maruti S-Cross DDiS 200 Alpha

Congrats!

The S-Cross 200 Alpha is a very good upgrade from a DZire VDi in all sense. You are getting quality, safety, fun quotient, comfort and a substantial amount of kit. And a significant upgrade in the looks department too. A DZire is ugly, the S-Cross is not. Fix that stupid grille and its a nice looking car. I quite like it.

And, I have posted this in the official review thread, the price difference of 3 lakhs is quite a lot for the 1.6 MJD for a state like Kerala. Sure, its a stellar engine but you cannot put that to use on a daily basis over here. Even a Delta 320 is so far away from the Alpha 200 and you do lose substantial amount of kit too.

What MSIL should have done is given the Alpha 320 at least 6 airbags and AllGrip for that premium over the 200.
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