2021 Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Zeta MT: Ownership experience

The staff were friendly, offered tea/coffee, water etc. Also test drive was offered. The cabin felt more premium over the Brezza.

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Our main runner - 2016 Swift Dzire was starting to age. In the past 5 years, it almost clocked 65000 km. Mostly doing office duty for my mother and several trips between Asansol and Kolkata (airport drops, visit to relative's place, et all). Soon in November 2021, the road tax would have been up for renewal (around Rs. 45,000) so we started to look for an alternative. The DZire was abused quite a lot, small dents here and there and majorly driven by our driver but still we used to get good service from it in the form of excellent mileage (~18-20 liters for a round trip between Asansol to Kolkata which is 400 km), very low cost of ownership and small insurance premium (we were enjoying the NCB from our previous car). But as with many machines, it was slowly showing wear and tear, small noises would never disappear, squeaks from here and there, the missing Bluetooth on the audio system and to top it, the road tax renewal pushed us to start looking for an alternative.

One last pic that I took before the airport drop (it was a rough snap to show my fiancee that I'm gonna be late due to the traffic):

Our selection criteria

  • Low cost of ownership
  • Good Mileage

The criteria of a comfortable ride was secondary as for longer self rides we have the Honda City to rescue. With 7 years and 22k on the ODO it is still a great ride.

Our options

Brezza: This was our initial option for upgrade. It was fulfilling our criteria and the insurance cost would have come down with the NCB transfer as well. But while reviewing online before buying, there were several suggestions to consider the S-Cross over Brezza which initiated my curiosity on the other. We went to the authorized dealer (Beekay Auto) in our place and were welcomed by some horrendous customer service which itself made me to not like Brezza. Had to wait long till I was shown the car. No test drive option. And the sales people making stupid statements (like since this is SUV it doesn't need a rear AC vent, the structure makes an uniform cooling!)

S-Cross: This also ticked all the boxes. The NEXA reps were way more courteous than the Maruti Suzuki Arena team (would say almost close to Honda but still lacks in some places). The staff were friendly, offered tea/coffee, water etc. Also test drive was offered. The cabin felt more premium over the Brezza. Here I must say that I'm not a big fan of the sub 4m SUVs that are ruling the market nowadays. For me, after spending a lot of time in middle east, SUV = 4x4 system. So a crossover stance would never be a deal breaker.

Tata Altroz: The Tata dealership was right opposite to Maruti Arena, so went in to give a shot. I liked the Altroz as a car since it was launched. When I sat in the cabin for the first time, it did feel a bit cramped. My friend has a Tata Tiago, and the Altroz felt similar almost. The cost of Altroz was lower than Brezza and S-Cross so the cost of ownership would have balanced out.

Tata Nexon: The outside design is a bit quirky but still when inside, it felt plush and comfortable. Not to miss the stellar safety. I did like it but the cost was simply out of our range. Not to mention the crazy low price offered on exchange.

Our place doesn't have many dealerships. We have to choose between Maruti, Honda, Tata, Mahindra and Hyundai only. We did not check out anything from Honda, Hyundai or Mahindra.

The Exchange Process

The first showroom we went was Nexa. They offered 3.25L for our Swift Dzire including the exchange bonus. Next up, Maruti Suzuki Arena. They offered 3.8L with the exchange bonus! Funny thing both places uses the same True Value showroom to process the exchange. Tata offered only 2.5L which was ridiculous. OBV and Carwale showed 3.75L as a good price for the car. Next we went back to Nexa and showed them the offer from Arena. They started making some calls. Then came back stating that they would not only do the 3.8L but give 10k more as the exchange bonus changed. We booked our S-Cross there itself. Booking amount was 11k. We were given the booking docket and the other paperwork were sorted in about an hour.

The Buying Experience

After 2 weeks, we got a call that the car arrived at the stock yard and was ready to get delivered. We selected a date then went for a visual check at the yard. After that we paid the due amount and released our old car to True Value.

At the yard:

On the promised day, we reached the dealer at around 4:30 PM. The car was then getting polished and getting ready for delivery. My mother reached around 5:30 PM completed some other formalities and we were ready to drive off by 6:15 PM. There was some photo session with the key handover. We weren't given a printed copy of the photo. At Honda, we were given a framed photo along with a cake cutting ceremony.

The accessories we selected:

  • Seat Covers
  • Floor Mat
  • Mud flaps
  • Bumper Protectors
  • Perfume

Later they gave the floor mats as gift along with a leatherette document folio and key ring. (That's all for gift folks!)

All set for delivery:

The Alpha variant: On-Road, it was priced around 1.6L more than the Zeta. It had addition of leather seats, auto headlamp, auto wiper, DRLs, LED headlight and tail lights and auto dim IRVM. IMHO the 1.6L premium is a bit steep for the features offered.

Things I like about this car

  • Good fit and finish on the interior
  • Decent mileage. Highway at 16-17 kmpl. City: 10 kmpl.
  • Driver seat offers quite a bit of adjustments (Height, Steering: Tilt and Telescopic, Sliding armrests)
  • Small recline adjustment on the rear bench
  • Good braking
  • AC cools down fast
  • Good GC and wheels tyre combo (R16/215)

Things I don't like

  • NVH levels inside the cabin, even during idling, is quite high
  • The SmartPlay studio is complicated to get around and needs practice.
  • Missing power outlets below dashboard and on rear seats. (2016 DZire had them)
  • Stock music system sound is okay-ish.
  • Rear seat is not very comfortable
  • Several times the idling start stop won't work (gives an error Idling Start Stop Not Available)
  • Genuine accessories list is very scant (some features like auto dim IRVM, wireless charging could have been provided at a premium)

S-Cross is currently the most expensive offering from the Maruti Suzuki stable. Some crazy omissions like no power outlets is very disappointing.

Continue reading chiro3110's review for more insights, information and BHPian comments.

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