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Old 11th September 2021, 17:29   #1
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Default Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Back in 2011, Volkswagen arrived in India with two new products. Everybody was aware about the mighty German manufacturer and their well-engineered cars. My dad decided to buy a Vento 1.5L TDI fulfilling his long-awaited wish for a sedan.

Fast forward to 2021, new emission norms had been put in place and we had to sell our beloved Vento. If I had to sum up our experience of owning Volkswagen in one word it would be “Expensive”. Vento and her sibling polo are great cars. They have built quality second to none, great safety standards, and excellent vehicle dynamics. Also, the 1.5L diesel engine rocketed it on highways. But all this was an “expensive” affair and cost my parents a hefty amount every time it went for a service or for some mechanical fault. Furthermore, the car had left us stranded on the road on multiple occasions.

After selling vento my dad was looking for an alternative with similar characteristics minus the exorbitant running costs. I was old enough to know about cars and which one would be best suited to our needs.

User: Dad
Usage: Highways, and urban roads
Priority: Comfortable ride, Solid built, Space, affordable and reliable.
Budget: Under 10 Lakhs.

Options in the market



1.Volkswagen Vento 1.0L TSI: Somehow Volkswagen can sell the same car for 10 years. I test drove the new one and immediately turned it down and the buyback discount offered for the old vento. New version had a disconnected feel and the sporty dynamics were missing. Although the 1.0L 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine by Volkswagen is a brilliant unit and will be used in many future products. But we did not want to buy the same car (with a facelift and some extra features) after a span of 10 year.

2.Maruti Suzuki Ciaz : Probably the best value for money car. But for safety reasons I looked at other options.

3.Honda City: Great car but has low ground clearance which is not suitable for rough roads, and the 4th gen costs above 12 lakhs on road Delhi (B variant).

4.Maruti S-Cross: This was a car praised by the automobile community in India and had positive owner reviews as well. Ticked all the boxes, so we went for a test drive. Maruti now offered this car only with a petrol engine. But a diesel engine is better suited for a car of this size. So, we decided to look into the used car market.

Used car market experience



We were looking for a car with the least odometer readings and preferably of 2019-2020 make with a 1.3L engine. I searched through websites and car dealers, but this car was very rare in the market and the ones that did come up were either not the right year or driven aggressively by previous owners. We did find many MS Brezza and Ciaz in the market though.

One of our known mechanics located a 2019 S-Cross (Zeta variant) through a local dealer, so we went to have a look. The dealer walked us through the car, and it was almost in mint condition. No scratch marks, dearly maintained by the previous owner, no aftermarket accessories on the car, and 9,000 km on the odo. We took it for a spin, and I knew this was the one to buy. It felt like a new car, but with new cars there are prerequisites before one can fully use the car, just like a pencil needs to be sharpened before it can be used. This car was a sharpened pencil with a pointy tip, ready to hit the Indian roads.

Came back from the test drive and we were in for an intense haggling session. There were multiple dealers involved in this, so we ended up paying more than we wanted but it was somehow worth the price. For this variant and year market price was around 9 lakhs give or take. We paid a sum of 9.5 lakhs, including the transferring of RC, Insurance and dealer commission.


Exterior



S-cross does not look like an SUV and certainly not like any cladded hatchback crossover. It has a unique design (almost like an estate car). The aggressive front face, big chrome grill, black cladding around the car with skid plates (available in zeta and alpha models) does give it a solid road presence. Overall the car has very good proportions and a sleek window line gives it a very classic look. The car sits on JK-tyres having precision cut alloy wheels which compliments the subtle design. It may seem like a bigger car but take a step back and you will realize that it is shorter than most mid-size sedans.

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-inkedimg_20210822_174910_li.jpg

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_175621.jpg

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_175802.jpg

Interior



Front:

Like every other Maruti car it has a very organized functional interior with a black theme. From the driver’s seat you notice a steering wheel which has been used in many Maruti Suzuki cars with controls for the infotainment system and the cruise control. The instrument cluster has a blue and black themed layout with analog type instruments, a digital display in the middle which shows a decent amount of information. But unlike typical Maruti interiors this has some design features like the single element covered in leather like treatment that runs through the dashboard and meets with the door panels. A standard Maruti infotainment system is surrounded by a nice piano black treatment, below which there is a digital Automatic climate control unit. Good quality soft touch materials have been installed in the right places.
It has door pockets, bottle holders, cup holders and storage bins with enough storage space. Although the glovebox lacks cubby holes (which are quite useful).

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_174444.jpg

Back:

S-cross comes with fabric seats (except alpha variant) which feels more comfortable and long lasting than leather seats. Back seats are spacious as well, with the driver seat set to my driving position (I’m 6ft 2in), I can still sit comfortably in the back.

Seating position is slightly higher and large windows make for an open cabin. Back seats can be adjusted using a latch and a small red taped contraption pops out letting you know that seats can be adjusted. These small touches indicate that not much cost cutting has been done in this car. There is an armrest, Door pockets and ISOfix child seats mounts. Rear AC vents and USB charging ports are missing which would have been nice in the back.

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_174536.jpg

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_174606.jpg

Boot:

Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review-img_20210822_174740.jpg

It has a decent sized boot (375 liters) that can fit 2 large briefcases and some smaller ones. S-cross has 60-40 split back seats increasing boot space whenever needed. There is no boot lip which means a level boot which helps in loading cargo and also makes a niche place for 2 people to sit while enjoying a good view. Obviously this is not recommended when the vehicle is moving.

The interior is one of best offered by Maruti in recent times, good quality soft touch materials have been used. Feels like a reliable, solid and a long lasting interior with a black theme (which does start to grow on you) just like the S-cross itself.

Dynamics



When you are parked in a tight spot or navigating through narrow streets of India, tight turning radius and a light electric steering wheel helps. Large windows give a good view of the surroundings, although the thick A-pillar leaves a big blind spot for the driver especially while turning right. As with all cars, the more you drive them the more cognizant one gets about the size of the vehicle. Once the car gets out on city roads, the firm ride makes for a pleasant experience. It handles bumps and potholes really well, sharp potholes can make the car move from one side to other. The S-cross was clearly set up for a laid back and relaxed driving style but introduce it to a corner and you will be amazed how such a car has almost no roll and stays composed through the bends. Electric steering wheel does not give much feedback and it takes some time to get used to when driving at exuberant speed.

Take the car on a highway and immediately you notice that this is what s-cross was designed for, to be a comfortable highway cruiser. The ride just gets better with speed. Above 80km/hr it almost starts to glide on the road, you don’t want to go any faster nor do you want to slow down. This is where cruise control helps you maintain that speed. And eventually when you will have to slow down because of some dangerous Indian highway obstruction, the brakes are always ready to slow the car. All 4 wheels have disc brakes and are so transparent, you will always know how much force is required on the pedal to slow down at any speeds. Obviously, it has ABS, but they are not the ABS system which partially disengages brakes when pedals are pressed abruptly, and make you feel like the brakes have failed (terrifying experience this volkswagen owners would know)

Engine



S-Cross was launched with 1.6L and 1.3L diesel engines. But unfortunately, after the facelift in 2017 only 1.3L was continued. It was an engine which is used in many Maruti cars like the swift, brezza, Ciaz the lot. It is one of the best diesel engines produced and worked well with smaller cars (swift and this engine was a match made in heaven) but heavier models struggled for power and torque. Especially, in the heavier S-cross even with power raised to 89HP from 75HP.

There is not much in terms of excitement or sportyness, but it gets you going. Engine is best suited for a relaxed driving style (one hand on steering other on the stick) while enjoying a serene ride. Engine only responds proactively to throttle inputs above 2000 rpm, so if you are looking for an overtake on the road make sure to be in the correct gear. When going from 1st to 2nd gear (violently) the rpm goes above 2000, turbo kicks in and car torque steers weirdly towards the left. The car can climb steep inclines even with four passengers and luggage, making it a great country car in India.

Things I like about this car



1.Exterior
2.Reliable and Build quality
3.Comfortable seats (Perfect for a long drive)
4.Superior ride characteristics
5.Excellent braking
6.Good infotainment system

Things I don’t like



1.Digital driver dash missing
2.Missing rear Ac vents/ USB slots
3.Low on power (1.6L was better suited for this car)
4.Not many accessories on offer (Given the price range)

After 6 months of driving this car, it was everything we expected. Comfortable, practical and reliable car which can handle the notorious Indian roads.
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Old 11th September 2021, 23:45   #2
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Default re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations on your recent acquisition. Wish you many lakhs of hassle free kilometers with this steed.
1.6 though a dream for many did not have many takers which led to Maruti axing it.
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Old 12th September 2021, 02:50   #3
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Default re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations! Wishing you thousands of kilometers of happiness. My S-Cross is 4.5 years old and has crunched 32000 kilometers. It runs like clockwork. After the Vento, your folks will enjoy the no-nonsense service and upkeep. I used to have a Punto so I know what the feeling is like. This car is also a lot more practical and user friendly. Have loads of fun and memories with your new ride.
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Old 13th September 2021, 17:54   #4
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Wishing you many happy miles. I have a 2017 Zeta that has clocked 63k KMS. Get rid of the stock JK tyres and go for something better, you will not regret it.
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Old 13th September 2021, 18:48   #5
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations and welcome to the club!

Anything under 10k on the ODO is generally not easy to find, especially since the Diesel has been out of production for quite some time now. In my opinion, the pricing seems reasonable too.

On paper, the 1.3 MJD looks underwhelming but has been tuned for great overall driveability and is one of the most remap-friendly engines out there. Keep the brochure aside and enjoy your new acquisition

Quote:
Originally Posted by ike View Post
Get rid of the stock JK tyres and go for something better, you will not regret it.
Completely agree. I swapped the JKs to budget Goodyears within a week of delivery. Was a planned move though.

Last edited by pannags : 13th September 2021 at 18:53. Reason: Added quote!
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Old 13th September 2021, 22:27   #6
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations on the car!!

I am in a similar boat and considering the same route as you have taken!!

My car will complete 10 Years in October. Although I will still try to keep it for some more time as my car is chandigarh registered and I live in Gurgaon.

A used 1.5 litre petrol S-Cross is high on my list. Somehow the charm of buying a new car has faded for him. If there is 1 segment that gives a clear feeling of getting fleeced, its the buying a new car segment these days for me personally.


Wish you many happy KMs with the S-Cross!!

Rachit
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Old 15th September 2021, 18:41   #7
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations on the purchase. While there is no replacement for displacement, a remap could surely help with the 1.3.

Happy driving
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Old 15th September 2021, 18:50   #8
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations on a great purchase.
I own a Zeta 2019 October model and it has crossed 43k mark in 2 years inspite of lockdowns.
It's a very practical car with fuss free ownership.
Enjoy the ride and Drive Safe.
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Old 16th September 2021, 22:36   #9
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Congratulations on your new acquisition! Personally I prefer 1.6 one but for some reason not many was there to buy it resulting it to vanishing into thin air. What I can suggest is to go for a remap from a trusted firm and it will put a wide smile on your face every time you accelerate especially since this 1.3 gets good traction after 1900 rpm which you can reduce to a great extend.
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Old 16th September 2021, 23:23   #10
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Default Re: Switching from a sedan to a crossover | Maruti S-Cross initial ownership review

Probably the only Maruti car which is reasonably decent and aspirational. But sadly this doesn’t sell well and all other 'not so built' cars and gizmos on wheels sell in market.
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