Ford EcoSport vs Mahindra XUV300 vs Maruti S-Cross Zeta

My max budget is around 9.99 lacs ex-showroom. New car price have grown exponentially and even if we are willing to spend, there is no perfect car available in Diesel avatar under 13-15 lacs ex showroom.

BHPian rainmaster recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I'm planning to replace my 2012 Ford Figo Diesel with compact SUV. My Figo has crossed 205k mileage and it’s time to find a new ride. I also own 2011 Ford Fiesta diesel which is running at 185K without any problems. Planning to keep the car for 5-7 years and it might be my last ICE car before moving to electric. I usually travel around 2500 KM per month, so looking predominantly for Diesel options and kept S-Cross or Vento TSI as alternate options.

My max budget is around 9.99 lacs ex-showroom. New car price have grown exponentially and even if we are willing to spend, there is no perfect car available in Diesel avatar under 13-15 lacs ex showroom. Looking for a car with following features/aspects:

  • Cars with reasonable safety record, stable structure and solid construction - Sorry Korean twins, after Seltos crash test, have no confidence in Sonet, Venue, Creta and Seltos
  • Basic features like Driver seat height adjustment, adjustable rear headrest and rear washer wiper (Honda and Koreans have started this cheap tactic with fixed headrest and offering rear wiper only on top end). Now Indian manufacturers had started to follow the suit.
  • Good ride and handling.
  • Good steering Feedback - Important aspect for me. I feel alive when I drive a car with good steering response and feedback.
  • Space to carry around 4 adults and occasional 5th passenger.
  • Features like sunroof , automatic climate control , projector headlamps , alloy wheels , Android Auto/Apple Carplay etc. are good to have in my list but not an absolute necessity.

It’s been a long search and still couldn’t find the unicorn which I’m looking for. Had several test drives with available diesel compact SUVs but couldn’t finalize one. Two weeks back, we finalized WR-V Diesel and with recent price hike, WR-V is out of my reach now. Somehow couldn’t connect with Nexon driving dynamics or engine, something was missing when I test drove Nexon, so dropped it.

Only two Diesel options are available for me at this price point:

Ford Ecosport Titanium – Tremendous value for money, coming from Ford family - zero learning curve, controls, ergonomics all comes naturally. I’m ok to compromise on ride quality but shoulder room at the back and Ford exit rumors are the blockers for my family.

XUV 300 W6 – Refined engine, acceptable handling but need to compromise on less boot space, no driver height adjustment, no rear defogger and wiper washer. Found clutch action little jerky in stop and go traffic. May be I need to get used to XUV clutch actions and gear throws.

In Petrol:

S-Cross petrol Zeta variant seems to sensible option – I might be spending extra RS 4000 per month in my fuel expense but getting more car for money. 80% of my car usage will be on highways. What is the realistic mileage I can expect from Petrol S-Cross on highways if we drive between 80 - 100 km/h.

Vento – Turbo TSI edition – For 10 lacs on-road, it was terrific value for money car with all necessary features I’m looking for. Since Diwali is around the corner, should I wait for Vento’s yet another special edition.

Special consideration - Tigor EV Facelift - With the range and pricing around 10 -12 lacs, I'm willing to spend little extra money than what I have initially budgeted.

Looking forward to your suggestions and is there any hidden gems I’m missing here? Is it worth buying petrol cars despite expected high usage. Does it make sense to buy Ford cars now. Sometimes, I felt being auto enthusiast is a curse , am I over analyzing every aspect of car instead of buying what’s available and start enjoying the car.

Here's what BHPian heydj had to say on the matter:

Since you dont want AT, why not consider base model of XUV500? Lots of discounts available.

Vento turbo TSi is not going to be that reliable.

Or Duster as it has superb ride quality. Also dont get swayed by thinking interiors are this or that or model is old. Only thing that matters is ride quality and refinement of drive. Plus whether you like the car or not. That's it. Everything else is immaterial.

Here's what BHPian Pedalmasher_20 had to say on the matter:

Looking at your monthly running and considering the fact that your primary run is on the highways, I'd suggest you to go ahead with the Ford EcoSport Diesel as it offers tremendous value for what it offers..!!

I won't suggest you the XUV300 as it would be like a compromise on features at that price (special mention: the 300NM of torque at tap would make your drives even more enjoyable).

Would suggest you to stay away from the Petrols as your running is high and after driving Diesels for so long, you won't enjoy the linear pull of the petrol engines.

Tigor EV can be a good choice if it provides good range and cover all your travel without needing to stop for charging. Considering the fact that the EV charging infrastructure of India is poor and the EVs are still at a development stage, I'd suggest you to get the ICE car and enjoy it to the fullest till the EVs get mandatory.

You could also take a look at the Altroz XZ (O) Diesel and the Honda Amaze V/VX Diesel. The Altroz has scored 5 stars in Global NCAP while the Amaze scored a strong 4 stars. So safety wise, both the cars are sorted.

Personally, I'd suggest you to choose between the Altroz or the EcoSport Diesel and if you stretch your budget a bit, then you could also take a look at the Nexon Diesel which has scored 5 stars at the NCAP.

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