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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #1
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Default Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

The Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 8.39 - 12.39 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• Solid build & good quality, inside out
• Competent 1.5L petrol offers excellent driveability & practicality
Smooth torque-converter AT. Gets SHVS tech too
• Mature ride & handling package. High speed behaviour is exceptional
• Practical interiors, spacious cabin and supportive seats
• Features such as LED headlamps, cruise control, auto headlamps & wipers etc.
• Maruti's excellent after-sales support network

What you won’t:

• This 1.5L petrol motor is uninvolving to drive. Enthusiasts, look elsewhere
• 4-speed Automatic gearbox feels old & outdated. No manual mode or paddle shifters either
• No diesel option! Maruti’s BS6 1.5L diesel engine is still some time away
• AT option has a steep Rs. 1.24 lakh ex-showroom premium (will be more on-the-road)
• Unappealing styling. Looks like a big hatchback (not a crossover / SUV). Is quite old too
• Missing features by 2020 standards (6 airbags, sunroof, wireless phone charging etc.)
• 353 liter boot - though well shaped - is small for a car of this size & positioning

Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04746.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 10:01.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #2
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Since the Maruti S-Cross has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2020 1.5L Petrol variant.

To read the full Official Review, click here.

To read the 2017 Facelift Review, click here.


Last edited by Rehaan : 29th August 2020 at 12:08.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #3
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Maruti launched the S-Cross in 2015 and positioned it as a premium crossover. The car came with an ordinary 1.3L diesel and a h-o-t 1.6L diesel. While enthusiasts loved the 1.6L S-Cross, the unappealing styling and the high price made it a sales dud. In an effort to improve sales, Maruti gave it a facelift in 2017. With the facelift, the car looked more aggressive, but the powerful 1.6L was discontinued. At a time when the market was slowly moving towards automatic transmissions, Maruti had only a manual transmission on offer.

This time around, there is no diesel. Instead, for the first time, the S-Cross gets a 1.5L petrol engine from the Ciaz, paired to a manual as well as an automatic gearbox. There's no diesel as Maruti does not have its BS6-compliant 1.5L diesel ready. It will be coming, but will take time. Other than the powertrain, there are hardly any changes to the car. Maruti could have taken this opportunity to add more features to make the car more competitive.

So, what's new on the outside?

No changes on the outside. The front fenders lose the badging indicating the engine under the hood:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04768.jpg

A single label mentions the diet of the car:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04999.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 10:02.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

The interior of the S-Cross remains largely unchanged. Maruti could have used this opportunity to add some cool features (e.g. wireless phone charging) & much-asked-for stuff like rear A/C vents:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04805.jpg

Redline @ 6,300 rpm. We prefer these analogue dials over the trending digital clusters:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04948.jpg

The button to switch the parking sensor on / off has been sensibly removed. Why would anyone want to disable it?
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04858.jpg

The S-Cross now gets the 7" capacitive touchscreen head-unit, dubbed 'SmartPlay Studio':
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04870.jpg

It can be connected to your smartphone via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or the Smartplay Studio App:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04892.jpg

USB and Aux ports on the center console:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04865.jpg

Lithium-ion battery for the Smart Hybrid system is located below the front passenger seat:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04960.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 10:02.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #5
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Driving the 1.5L Petrol MT

Five years after launch, the S-Cross finally receives a petrol engine - the 1,462cc, 4-cylinder K15 that puts out 103 BHP @ 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm @ 4,400 rpm. This petrol motor will be the only option available until Maruti is ready with its BS6-compliant 1.5L diesel. The petrol engine is shared with the Ciaz, Ertiga, XL6 and Vitara Brezza. Note that the placement of the air intake is different compared to the other Maruti cars:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04649.jpg

While the power figure is higher than the outgoing car's 1.3L 89 BHP diesel engine, it is of no match to some of the modern turbo-petrols in the segment - like the Creta + Seltos' 138 BHP, or the Duster + Kicks 1.3L's 154 BHP! Customers will also have to forget that characteristic mid-range punch and excellent fuel efficiency of the old S-Cross diesel. With the switch to petrol, the S-Cross' weight has gone down to 1,130 kg. The car's power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios are 91 BHP / ton and 122 Nm / ton.

The engine fires up with very little noise and without transmitting any vibrations to the cabin. At idle, it is silent. Press the clutch and you'll find that it is not as light as that of the Ciaz, but is still friendly enough. The gear shifter is light & smooth to use as well.

Release the clutch gradually and the car moves forward without any throttle input. You can even pull away from a standstill in 2nd gear, albeit with some extra accelerator input! Throttle response is quite satisfactory. Power comes in smooth & seamless. Low-speed driveability is good and in the lower gears, the car can pull reasonably well at anything over 1,000 rpm, though it is comfortable post 1,300 rpm. The way the engine is tuned makes the S-Cross a practical car to drive in urban surroundings. What's more, the 1.5L is refined at low revs.

Out on the open road, the car feels adequately quick, but far from being really f-a-s-t. Simply no comparison to the turbo-petrols of the competition. The S-Cross 1.5L is also more of a 'cruiser' rather than a 'racer'. Power delivery is linear and there is enough performance available to get the job done. When pushed, the engine revs to 6,300 rpm. And with a full load of passengers & cargo, you will need to work it hard at times. The S-Cross is more suited to a sedate driving style. Maruti appears to have shortened the gearing for the heavier S-Cross. 100 km/h is seen @ ~3,000 rpm, that's 400 more than in the Ciaz. This will affect your long-distance FE a bit.

We feel that the rev limit of 6,300 rpm is very conservative. Sometimes, in the middle of overtaking manoeuvres, you have to shift up. For the sake of comparison, we'll mention that many other 1.5L petrols touch 7,000 rpm and are more revv-happy too. The best way to sum up this engine is that it's 'adequate' & 'practical'.

Coming to NVH levels, the engine is silent while idling and acceptably refined at low revs. However, it is audible above 2,500 rpm. You can always hear the motor when you are accelerating. It starts getting loud post 3,500 rpm, and a lot more so after 4,500 rpm. At higher speeds, there is a fair amount of wind & road noise that filters into the cabin.

In the area of fuel economy, the S-Cross MT carries an ARAI rating of 18.55 km/l.

The Delta, Zeta and Alpha variants are equipped with cruise control, while ABS + EBD are standard on all variants. The handling, steering and braking of the S-Cross petrol are similar to the outgoing car's (read = very good).

Smart Hybrid System:

This Smart Hybrid system uses a dual-battery setup. While there is a conventional lead acid battery in the engine bay, a lithium-ion battery sits under the front passenger's seat.

Maruti's Smart Hybrid system is at best a very mild hybrid, and not a proper one like say, the ones seen in higher-end Toyotas. It essentially employs an integrated starter generator (ISG), whose primary objective is to enhance fuel-efficiency & reduce emissions. The ISG replaces both, the conventional starter and alternator. It allows greater electrical generation capacity.

The system switches the engine off when the car comes to a standstill and neutral is engaged. Upon pressing the clutch, the engine fires up again. We must say, Maruti has sure been working on the idling start-stop function. Frankly, it’s not that bad anymore. Yep, there is a button to disable this feature if you so wish. The conventional lead acid battery in the engine bay is used by the idling start / stop system.

The system also includes brake energy regeneration. In this, when the brakes are applied, the kinetic energy generated is converted into electric energy. This electric energy is stored in both the batteries. The Li-ion battery assists the engine by providing a little extra torque when the car needs to accelerate quickly. Do note that the batteries get charged even while the vehicle is coasting. While cruising, the electricity stored in the batteries is supplied to the various electrical components.

Thanks to BHPian Leoshashi for pointing this out. Due to the different air intake point in the S-Cross, it gets a resonator to cancel out the air intake noise. Leoshashi says that the noise of the S-Cross is lower than that of his XL6:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04671.jpg

Sticker underneath the bonnet tells you about the placement of the lead acid and lithium-ion batteries. It claims that the Li-ion battery can also be used for vehicle start:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04698.jpg

Exide Conservo battery is used - replacing it with some other make will disable the hybrid system:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04680.jpg

A, B, C pedals and dead pedal are identical to the outgoing car's:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04990.jpg

5-speed gear lever looks identical to the one in the Ciaz. It comes with a leather boot, while the knob gets a glossy black top. Like most Maruti cars, the gearshift is smooth:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04980.jpg

When the idling stop system kicks in, you'll see this green indicator in the rev counter:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04914.jpg

If you lift off the accelerator and coast, this recharging symbol come up when the batteries are being charged:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04608.jpg

The MID tells you which gear you are in and which gear to shift to:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-3ab.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 11:39.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:00   #6
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Driving the 1.5L Petrol 4-speed Automatic

Maruti is offering a 4-speed AT as an option on all variants, except the base. Variant to variant, the AT is priced at Rs. 1.24 lakh more than the MT. That is a steep premium for what is a very old gearbox.

This old & outdated 4-speed torque converter is certainly no match for the automatic transmissions found in its competitors. It's good enough to get the car from point A to point B with minimum fuss & effort. The only talking point of this AT is the convenience it provides, and not much else. If you buy an S-Cross AT, enjoy the ease of driving that the slushbox offers and keep any performance-cravings aside. Just like we said for the engine, the AT gearbox is 'adequate'.

The S-Cross Automatic moves off the line very smoothly upon releasing the brake pedal. It'll crawl at ~7 km/h without accelerator input (useful in bumper-to-bumper traffic). Once you are on the move, the AT is smooth and free of jerks. Drive the S-Cross in a sedate manner and the gearshifts are butter-smooth. Other than a driver who listens to the engine, the occupants of the car are not even likely to realize the gear changes. It's an upshift-friendly transmission that's tuned for efficiency.

This AT is not as quick-shifting as a DCT or even a modern 6-speed torque converter. There is some delay before a downshift is executed upon kickdown. Further, when the speeds are continuously changing, the transmission does get confused. Aggressive use of the throttle will see the S-Cross AT hunting for gears. Therefore, it is best to drive with gradual accelerator inputs. Coming to the shift quality, it is noticeable only in situations when you drive hard, but is never excessively jerky.

On the open road, the S-Cross is a fair cruiser. Throttle response is acceptable, while the power delivery is linear; the transmission gets the job done. The car can cruise at 100 - 120 km/h all day long (100 km/h seen at just 2,300 rpm, much more relaxed than the MT). However, the motor is not strong higher up in the rev range and does get buzzy. The transmission will shift up once you hit 6,000 rpm.

A button on the right side of the gear knob enables the driver to disengage the overdrive gear (4th). This is an outdated feature that we remember from the 80s & 90s (that's probably how old the gearbox is too). The overdrive keeps the gearbox in 4th, at low revs while cruising. Disengaging it sees the revs shoot up as the gearbox shifts down to 3rd. However, this can come in handy when overtaking slow-moving traffic on undivided highways as 4th is very tall and the AT always needs a downshift to 3rd to overtake. Better to keep it in 3rd (via the 'overdrive off' button) until you are done with overtaking. It will also help on continuously undulating roads where the gearbox will otherwise constantly shift between 3rd <-> 4th.

Maruti hasn't provided paddle shifters, a 'sport' mode or even manual mode. What it does have are "L" and "2" modes. In the former, the engine will stay in the lowest gear (1st). It is best to use this on steep ascents or descents. In the "2" mode, the engine will only use the initial 2 gears of the car (never going up to 3rd). This can be used on inclines & declines that are less severe.

Just like the MT, the AT gets cruise control. Additionally, the AT has hill-hold as well, although ESP is strangely given a miss!

Pedals in the AT are shared with other Maruti cars. Lots of space in the footwell. The dead pedal is a comfortable place to rest your left foot:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04636.jpg

The MID gives the total idling time as well as the fuel saved due to the start-stop system. It also shows if the power is delivered to the wheels or if the batteries are charging. The gear-lever position is denoted at the bottom left corner of the MID (e.g. "D" shown here):
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-2abc.jpg

Simple, yet elegant gear shifter gets a leather boot. The knob has a silver trim. Gearbox is an old 4-speed torque converter with an "L" mode:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04627.jpg

A feature from the 80s & 90s that shows just how old this gearbox is. Press the 'overdrive off' button and the car won't engage 4th (top gear = 3rd). Useful when overtaking, or even preparing the car for overtaking before the actual move. The AT doesn't have a manual mode, but you can use this to command a downshift from 4th to 3rd:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04617.jpg

An indicator appears above the speedometer when overdrive is turned off:
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-dsc04622.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 10:04.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:08   #7
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:49   #8
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

MSIL will have a tough time selling the S-Cross. The Ciaz offers a good package for the price. Not the case with the S-Corss which is neighter significantly cheaper, nor does it offer the performance and gadgertary versus it's rivals. Suzuki should have offered the 1.4 Boosterjet + AWD + Auto.

This S-Cross is like taking a knife to a gunfight.

Any idea on the ARAI rated FE of the AT?

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 25th August 2020 at 10:54.
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Old 25th August 2020, 10:56   #9
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

Nice and crisp review! How would you compare this engine to the 1.5 NA petrol of Hyundai? There's very little info available on the Verna/Creta 1.5P.
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Old 25th August 2020, 11:05   #10
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

ACI's Performance figures of S Cross (P):

Quote:
The 5-speed manual is clearly the sprightlier of the two gearboxes on offer, especially on an open road. The 1.5 K-series engine – while down on power – is still typically Suzuki: smooth, free-revving and imbibed with a sense of fun in the top-end of the rev range. This makes it particularly pleasing to drive in an energetic manner. Performance is also quite sprightly; the manual S-Cross did the 0-100kph in 12.08 seconds, again in the wet. Thanks to the slick-shifting gearbox, driving the S-Cross with some enthusiasm comes almost naturally.

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Old 25th August 2020, 11:15   #11
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

Wonderful review!
After the launch of the petrol Brezza at a lower price point, only a few major differentiators of the S-Cross come to my mind:
1. Better handling and braking (expensive rear brake pads!)
2. More legroom in the rear
3. Leather upholstery in the Alpha trim
4. Smart Hybrid in manual version
Is it worth the premium over a Brezza? In my opinion, it won't be worth to most people and the Brezza will still sell much more now after getting many upgrades (LED headlights, auto day/night IRVM, etc.). They did not even add a colour MID to the S-Cross which would have been a simple plug and play from the XL6/Ciaz.
Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Any idea on the ARAI rated FE of the AT?
18.43kpl for the AT as per the brochure.
Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review-capture.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
ACI's Performance figures of S Cross (P):
I believe this would be to the shorter gearing ratios and probably slight lower weight of the manual.

Last edited by Researcher : 25th August 2020 at 11:28. Reason: Added comments and picture
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Old 25th August 2020, 11:48   #12
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Researcher View Post
Wonderful review!
After the launch of the petrol Brezza at a lower price point, only a few major differentiators of the S-Cross come to my mind:
1. Better handling and braking (expensive rear brake pads!)
2. More legroom in the rear
3. Leather upholstery in the Alpha trim
4. Smart Hybrid in manual version
Is it worth the premium over a Brezza?
IMHO Scross has other advantages like bigger/better seats, boot space, ride quality too. Ultimately people are going to look at the Scross Zeta(quite loaded) and Brezza top end manual versions and take a call. Both of them retail around 9.9 lakhs.

Very few people will look at the automatic for either of these cars.
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Old 25th August 2020, 12:09   #13
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

In UK Suzuki offers S-Cross with 129 and 140 bhp engine options as well as 6-speed automatic. An S-Cross with 129, if not 140 horses with updated console and interiors would have spiced up the market against Seltos-Creta. Even with increase in price it would still be cheaper than the Koreans.
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Old 25th August 2020, 14:55   #14
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

When the rivals offer a myriad of engine and transmission options, Maruti comes out with the same lackluster engine and a vintage auto transmission in 5 of it's models. What is the point of this car?

--Performance or the lack of it. Fully loaded you will find yourself changing gears all the time with that anaemic mid range.

--Safety--2 airbags in this segment and at this price, i am just flabbergasted

--The less said about the neither here nor there type of appearance.

--Basic stuff like rear AC vents and rear USB/12v ports are missing.

--Sun Roof is a big ticket option in this segment now but Maruti does not bother.

--Finally where is the Diesel? What a step down from the punchy 1.6 diesel to this impotent motor.

Somebody must have lots of money to splurge on and add to it a die hard Maruti fan to even contemplate this as choice let alone purchase it.

Last edited by Aditya : 25th August 2020 at 16:53. Reason: typo
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Old 25th August 2020, 15:34   #15
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Default Re: Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review

A lovely review. Rating it 5 stars. Probably the only lovely thing to talk about with the now rather old S-Cross. I really hate MSIL for taking such a well engineered & designed car to the cleaners in our market. A pretty solid case study of how to waste a good product even when you are the most trusted brand in the market!

The car has always been good. It remains so. But there are no doubts that it is old now. Competition has moved ahead so much that practically there is no real competition to talk of for the SCross even if one tries hard. Just a similar old wine called Duster perhaps. This was the time where MSIL should have gone the full distance in revamping the interiors of the car. Lack of a wireless charging (surely they'll start offering one as an accessory like they do for the Brezza), rear AC vents are rather glaring misses. The dashboard is very minimalist. Small head unit screen. Both things - are a big plus for me. I love car interiors like this. Some may call them outdated but I'm all for such understated interiors! So I'll thank MSIL for retaining this bit for the purists. Afterall the SCross has generally been picked by those niche group of purists.

That said - I think the SCross will now be targeting only those customers who want a spacious rear seat with petrol power for very comfortable cruising with a chauffeur at the wheel. The engine-gearbox combination has more or less shut the door for the enthusiasts. Rather ironic since the car actually has a lot to offer if made for the enthusiasts!

Loved the subtle politically correct statement "• Maruti's excellent after-sales support network". The network reach certainly is excellent unquestionably.

Last edited by Reinhard : 25th August 2020 at 15:36.
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