Replaced my 2010 Fiesta with a S-Cross 1.6: Observations after 17000 km

The fuel efficiency hovers around 19 km/l no matter how hard you drive.

BHPian rainmaster recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was looking to replace my 2010 Ford Fiesta which ran around 200k Kilometers with a diesel compact SUV.

My expectations of Fiesta’s replacement:

  1. Diesel Compact SUV
  2. Dual Airbags with EBD and TC if available
  3. Stable Structure
  4. Driver Seat height adjustment
  5. Rear wiper & defogger
  6. Adjustable rear headrest
  7. Fun to drive

Test drove Nexon, XUV 300 and WRV. Didn’t consider Sonet and Venue due to safety concerns. After multiple test drives, XUV 300 was my pick and worked out the finance vs variants vs absolute necessary features. Realized, that I have to spend 14+ lakhs to get all the essential/necessary features I’m expecting from my new ride. The way manufacturers force us to buy top variants even to get essential safety features is disgusting. Appreciate Nissan for offering essential safety features like a rear wiper & Defogger from the base variant in Magnite. I couldn’t digest spending more than 14 lakhs to get a compact SUV so decided to try my luck in the used car market.

My First choice was 2018-2020 Ecosport Diesel. I’m a Ford fan, owned a 1999 & 2003 Taurus, 2009 Ikon TDCI, 2010 Fiesta and 2011 Ford Figo. My dad & I love Ford cars. I had booked Ecosport Diesel to replace my Dad’s Figo, unfortunately, Ford decided to wrap their operations in India. We bought Toyota Urban Cruiser as a replacement for Figo. Decided to replace my Fiesta with a preowned Ford Ecosport. I was willing to consider Global Fiesta 2014-2016 model as well, not a CSUV but since it’s a Ford. I was searching for a good used car.

While I was searching for my Fiesta’s replacement, happen to test drove S-Cross petrol for my Dad’s Figo replacement. It’s a no-nonsense car for a family which will satisfy driver and passengers' needs as well. S-Cross had what I’m looking for, adequate ground clearance, basic safety features, an abundance of space and good handling. Since it's built on the global Suzuki C platform, I convinced myself that S-Cross might be safe. Finding a used S-Cross 1.6 didn’t prove to be that much of a challenge. Found 2017 S-Cross Alpha variant with 50k on the odometer in Chennai Maruti True value for 8.25 lakhs. Before travelling 400 km to check on the car, spoke to the dealer to check on room for price negotiation. The dealer was not ready to negotiate and made it clear they cannot sell less than the quoted price. Meanwhile, came across a 2017 S-Cross Alpha variant with 65k on the odometer at the Coimbatore Volkswagen Carmonkey site. Went to the showroom with a fellow car enthusiast and friend for a test drive. Got a thumbs up from my friend who had considerable experience with S-Cross 1.6, I liked the way it drew. Negotiated a bit, and took the car for 7.5 lakhs.

For Rs 7.5 Lakhs what I get:

  • Insane amount of Torque, S-Cross in-gear acceleration and quick overtaking abilities had immensely helped me on non-urban roads. If you are a lover of Top end performance S-Cross is the car for you.
  • True 5 seater, plenty of knee room, shoulder room and bottle holders. Family members appreciate the space and form factor
  • Enough ground clearance, had driven the car in multiple terrains, never scrapped underbelly of the car
  • 4-wheel disc breaks
  • Height adjustable seat belt, automatic headlight/wiper with auto dim rear view mirror is a bonus for me
  • Excellent Fuel efficiency: It hovers around 19 km/l, no matter how hard you drive, overall efficiency is consistent and excellent
  • It’s a perfect family sleeper car which can satisfy family needs and enthusiastic driver as well.

Managed to clock 17,000 km in seven months of ownership, after spending a considerable amount of time with S-Cross 1.6, below are my observations:

Looks (6/10): First generation S-Cross before facelift is not going to win any beauty context. It looks like a grown-up hatchback. Someone buying S-Cross is not buying because of how it looks. I made peace with its looks.

Space/Ergonomics (8/10): Absolutely no complaints on ergonomics. Driver seats have plenty of travel and adjustments so finding the perfect driving position is not an issue. All controls and switch positions fell in place for the driver. No need to stretch a lot to reach out for switches/control.

The glass area is humongous in front and more than adequate in back. Coming from Fiesta and Figo, you will feel liberated when you sit in front or back. Reminds me of my Civic and Accord on space management. Honda’s are master of generating more space in respective segments, Maruti had done an excellent job on space management. The driver will not rub elbows or shoulders with a front passenger. Back seat passengers have plenty of knee room and shoulder room.

The seats are a touch firmer than what I would prefer. No one had complained about firm seats so far but it reminds me of sitting on a school bench. Had factory-fitted leather seats in my 2011 Fiesta, it had perfect cushioning for me. S-Cross doesn’t come with rear AC vents, but AC is powerful enough to manage back seat cooling needs.

Engine & Drive (7/10): S-Cross 1.6 is built for highway drives, it is sublime and performs at its best on highways. Even after 100 km/h speed, there is plenty on reserve and will never run out of power. While S-Cross performs exceptionally well on highways its Achilles’ heel is in city runs. Even though turbo lag is manageable, I have to work the gears a lot more than what I used in Figo/Fiesta. The Clutch is hard but not as hard as Ford’s clutch, it's manageable. Since I have to make a lot of gear changes with a slightly harder clutch, I’m not enjoying city runabouts as I did in Fiesta/Figo.

Ride & Handling (7/10): To be honest, I’m not completely blown away by its ride or handling. Body roll is well with an acceptable limit and ride quality is neither harsh nor plush. I’m used to best handlers Figo & Fiesta. Fiesta offered me the best ride & handling package, but S-Cross fell short of my expectation. Planning to move to Monroe rear suspension and Gabriel front to check whether I can get the most out of S-Cross. Don’t get me wrong, I know S-Cross have a lot of respect from BHPians for its handling but when you have experienced the best, the second best is a compromise.

Maintenance (10/10): Apart from two regular oil services, I haven’t spent anything on S-Cross 1.6 for maintenance. One of the primary reasons to pick Maruti.

NVH (6/10): One area where Maruti completely dropped their ball is on NVH. I couldn’t understand how their flagship model has such a poor NVH level when compared to the competition. At idle, we can hear the diesel clatter, once it warms up and in highway runs, engine noise is there but mellowed down a lot. No loud irritating diesel clatter at cruising speed. Similarly, wind noise is also at acceptable levels during highway runs but road noise is poor. I guess the rear of S-Cross is almost void of any insulation. At cruising speeds, a lot of road/tyre noise creeps in.

One more minor irritant is vibration in the steering wheel, particularly in 2nd & 3rd gear. If rpm drops between 1,200-1,500 rpm after gear changes there are vibrations in steering. Requested Maruti service advisor to check on vibrations while I dropped the car for regular oil service, after a lengthy test drive, he reported back it's all normal no excessive vibrations are there. I did some research on the vibrations in steering and it was reported during Zigwheel's official review.

“There is this noticeable drone, accompanied by vibrations, which occur when the engine is in the 1,250-1,500rpm range. I have to drive another 1.6 S-Cross to make sure that this is not an issue with my car - fingers crossed!”

As of now, I haven’t found any solution, learn to circumvent by making gear changes after 2500 rpm is not an ideal workaround but can live with it.

S-Cross 1.6 is not a perfect car, but an acceptable compromise for me to have fun without breaking the bank and satisfy family needs as well. S-Cross 1.6 is an absolute value for money in the used car market. If you are a family man, an auto enthusiast, or do a lot of highway drives then S-Cross 1.6 is the car for you in the used car market.

Mods Planned:

  • Rear and front suspension changes – planning to go with aftermarket
  • Wolf tuning

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Power to the people