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Used Maruti S-Cross 1.6 diesel replaces my old Ertiga: Likes & dislikes

Most of us would frown over a used car having 100k on the ODO, but it is not the mileage, it is how you arrived at that point, which makes a lot of difference.

BHPian Thekalacoatwala recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Goodbye Old Friend:

My dear Ertiga served me well over 7 long years of love and love relationships. The car never let me down in any scenario.

Even with an almost busted clutch, it got us all back from Kufri to Delhi. I can actually write long prose, praising my ride, but anyone who has owned a Diesel MJD knows that 1.3 are relatively bulletproof.

Anyhow, it had been 7 years and with 1.82L km, the vehicle was showing its age, at least externally, I made a point to get the vehicle regularly serviced, first at Rohan Motors, till almost 50,000 km, thereafter shifted to World of Service, Sector-67 Noida, till the lockdown in 2020. Thereafter the last 3 services were done at Poorvi Automobiles, Sector 10 Noida.

I think, both the FNGs always did a good job on my vehicle, only the supposed Authorised Service Centre being a bit fishy in their operations in my opinion.

Tyres, I always had them replaced from Tyre Shoppe, Sector -5 Noida. Mohit is a very old friend and a schoolmate, so I trust his advice on tyres. The first replacement was at 45,000 km, then every 40,000 km, I had them replaced, barring the stock MRF set, the rest were all Goodyear Tyres.

The only outside accessories are seat covers and a touch screen audio system which I replaced the stock unit with.

The Sale:

I tried selling off my car first at OLX, needless to say, it really broke my heart with the price I was being offered. I mean seriously, 2.5L to 3L for a vehicle is actually good running condition and most of them were dealers, saying things like “Sir, zyada chala hua hai and all that”. End result, in a week’s time I took down my ad and waited for almost 2 months for the calls to slow down.

Finally, one day I downloaded the Cars24 app and applied for a home inspection of my car, even though my previous experience with them was not good (another long story, for some other time as it involves my angry better half), I still bit the bullet and tried.

They offered Rs 3.85 Lacs initially, but I countered with 5, price was settled at Rs4.52 lakh, of which they paid Rs 4.36L upfront, the rest of Rs 10k has been stopped for RC transfer and 6.8K a service charge.

The sale went off without a hitch and now, I was be-kaar as my brother drives the City Vth Gen and my Wife uses the Wagon R.

Some Pics of the outgoing car:

The Search:

I wanted to buy another diesel as my work involves a lot of travelling, sometimes almost 4-5k km a month. So the search began.

The Candidates:

  1. Ertiga Petrol: I went for a TD, the petrol engine is typical Maruti, smooth and refined but it somehow felt a bit laid back. Or maybe I was expecting too much. Anyhow, the overall look did not appeal to me, maybe it's more about the old adage “Monotony Kills Romance”, call me a hypocrite, but maybe that was what happened.
  2. Creta/Seltos: Brothers from different mothers briefly made the cut, up to the point where I visited the showroom. Too much high-headedness of the sales staff and the long waiting time stretching into months really struck'em off my list.
  3. Carens: To MPV, to KIA, too many smug salesmen, too long waiting periods and those astronomical price hikes by KIA, which I tell you, seem more opportunistic than responsive to steel prices. Trust me on that, I deal in High Tensile Steel all day.
  4. Harrier/Safari: Almost gave the down payment but then the salesman let it slip that they interchange parts of cars from TD vehicles when there are issues, and that was all she said ��.
  5. Innova: Too much old wine in a new bottle and a jacked-up price tag, did not appeal to the end-user in me. Otherwise, I have owned and driven the previous-gen Innova G diesel for almost 1.07 Lac Kms, all of it fuss-free. But spending 22L on a base model did not sit well with me and my pocket.
  6. Hector: Too many electronics/gizmos and waiting period. Plus hector plus only being available in Top Trim in Diesel, too pricey.
  7. XUV700: Too long waiting period, otherwise it is a very solid VFM product from Mahindra.
  8. Gurkha: This was more of heart over head at first, but then after a rather long 20km test drive, the car really grew on me. It made more sense than all those vehicles above. It gave you a 4x4, which can literally go anywhere, a fuss-free engine and carry 4 people with luggage, eating miles on the highway without a hiccup. Only grouch, I am on a very heavier side, so getting in and out of the back seat required a very nimble approach, front steering also was a bit too near my very big belly. Plus, my parents would not be able to travel with me. So, I deferred this to maybe end of-year purchase, if I get a chance.

Then, reality struck and my incomings got held up due to one reason or the other and EID approached. I am a big believer in keeping my debts cleared especially when it comes to the people who work for me. I used the entire amount of my car to pay off the labour and then some from my bank account, nearly emptying myself in the process. This was a week before EID.

Sometimes, all it takes is a moment to snap yourself back to reality. For me, it was when I wrote down my upcoming expenses and matched them to my prospective income. Tuns out, I would not have been able to afford a new car EMI, for at least till Diwali.

Then, used car it was. Enter Team-BHP forums and Dr.Naren’s thread about his beloved 1.6. I was smitten with the car, then I read up the old reviews, watched some YouTube videos for 1.6 and prepped for the search and buy.

The search begins anew:

The usual haunts for a used car:

  • Karol Bagh / Lajpat: Nary any 1.6, most of the dealers on phone said they had 1.6 but supposedly it has 5 gears, I didn’t know ��
  • Olx /Spinny /Droom /Cars24: Found a couple of 1.6 on each side but most of them had low km on the ODO. Which in itself is a red flag in my books. Some even claimed their vehicles were 1.6 (mainly on OLX and QUIKR) but a zoom-in of the gearshift showed the usual 5 gears.

I finally zeroed in on a Grey 2016 Alpha Trim, with 118k km on the ODO, figured a near 20k run per year seemed like a genuine case and got a long TD done, courtesy of Cars24 again. It was a co-incident that our forum had a whole thread dedicated to Cars24 Refurbishment Lab, plus they are giving a 7.5k Kms / 6-month warranty for the vehicle minus the parts that have to wear and tear, yes, I read the Warranty Booklet.

Price was non-negotiable at first, but they came back with a discount of 30k on the sticker price and I got the vehicle for Rs 4.70 Lakh+ Insurance and Registration. Paid 70k as down payment, rest converted to EMI for 4 years.

Finally, she is at home now, with us. She (my S-cross), sorry I haven’t named her yet, will take a while as I think I am in love with her, she is more like a mature lady, who has some wrinkles and crows feet on her face, but when she smiles, you can see, she has seen it all, braved it all and has a lot more guts than you know.

Love at first drive: You can say that.

Sorry, my post is too long, but I cannot help it, once I start to write, it is a bit unstoppable.

Anyhow, after the purchase, I took the car for a small 200 km return trip with my parents, my wife and both kids on board. My mom and I are on the heavier side, but still, with a full load, the car never felt out of power and literally swallowed anything the road threw at it. The drive was from Noida-Faridabad-Sohna Road to Tauru on Bhiwadi road and back.

A small bump or something else:

The fly in the ointment came when I was on my way towards my site, some 60kms into the trip. The check engine light came on and stayed for the entire trip. I talked to my sales advisor, he said it must be some sensor malfunction.

But barring this, there was no change in the driving behaviour of the car and so far I have covered almost 1600 km in a span of 7 days on the vehicle.

Have also mailed to Cars24 for the issue and they are happy to either cover the cost of the sensor or any ancillary work (covered as per their warranty i.e) which shall arise, provided I get them a quote / estimate from NEXA or any other GST approved Service Center (Anupam from WoS, has already provided me one), so I am set to get the issue fixed in the coming week.

Features in the car:

After owning a ZDi trim from Maruti, I came to expect a couple of things in the Alpha Trim of my 1.6 S-Cross. However, the interior quality is way better, remove the badging, it feels more like a first-gen X1 to me, rather than an MSIL product. No offence intended to the BMW owners, it is only my personal opinion.

Here is a brief summary:

  1. All 4 power windows with driver-side one-touch up and down.
  2. Auto-Dimming IVRM (Take that Newly launched XL6)
  3. Auto folding side mirrors
  4. Auto Headlamps (not a good throw though, I don’t know why might just replace them in the near future)
  5. Automatic Rain Sensing wipers
  6. Android Auto/ Car Play compatible HU system. (Was missing the navigation SD card though)
  7. Reclinable rear seat with a 60:40 split.
  8. Automatic AC
  9. Push Button Start
  10. ABS/EBD with Dual Airbags.
  11. All 4 disc brakes

Seriously though, even base variants of many supposed best sellers start at least twice the price I ended up paying for the car and seriously, none of them will ever come close to the sheer driving pleasure you can derive out of this car.

As for the 1600 km, some 1100 were done this week, in two days, the vehicle giving 19 km/l, but that is another story, which I shall cover in a proper travelogue.Update :

On another day, another site visit added another 800 km to the ODO though. The latest being the 680 km I travelled this Saturday from Noida to Baddi. Prior to this, the clutch also started making a creaking sound when I let it go. Anupam is saying it might be the master cylinder giving up. But then, when work calls and the only ride I want to drive is here, I took the risk towards Baddi, Himachal.

The Travel

The journey began at 6:20 am in the morning, well technically at 6:24 am as I made sure the engine was warmed up.

Must have been my imagination as I really felt the clutch being soft, the engine a bit more responsive than it had been in a previous couple of days.

Picked up my PA from his house at Vinod Nagar, Delhi and off we went towards the site.

Had breakfast at Zilmil, Karnal, very nice Dhaba, food is good. Though I still prefer Mayur Dhaba, when travelling with family. Do not like Neelkanth as it has become too flashy.

Anyhow, we took the road towards Zirakpur from Ambala and then followed towards Pinjore, my 12:30 pm, I was at Subros.

The meeting concluded at 3 pm, did not feel much hungry so off we went back home.

At Zirakpur, we stopped for a rather large bite at Pal’s and barring some odd traffic jam near Bypass at Delhi, we made good time. I got back home at 10 pm and then promptly dozed off.

Total Travel: 680kms, consumed Diesel: 35.6-litres, including 30 mins of traffic, AC had been switched on since morning.

The Experience:

The pesky CEL came on when we were on the way to Baddi from Pinjore and stayed with us till home. Otherwise, the ride was awesome.

Likes

  1. Carpet-like ride quality on the National Highway.
  2. Soaks up small bumps with ease, far better than my Ertiga and even the City.
  3. Can write long proses of praise for the engine, it has very long legs, I did an occasional 120 on the highway and could still feel it could go far faster.
  4. I am more of a sedate driver though, driving between 80-90kmph on the highway mostly as it is more of a relaxed pace, plus it is near that sweet spot of Turbo at 1700rpm, a slight tap and I can overtake. Had some fun with a PB numbered Brezza D, the chap was overtaking from the wrong side of the road in a bad manner. I taught him some, but then after I presumed was an agonizing one minute behind my vehicle, I let him pass and the chap shot off like a tracer bullet, only to find my car in his rear view at the next intersection where we were both stuck in traffic. Poor sod, I wonder why these boys' racers do not understand the driving etiquettes.
  5. The FE was between 19-20 km/l including jams, and twisting roads as we approached the site.
  6. My PA drove as I had too many calls to attend to while driving back home, so I switched to the back seat. Though I miss the recline and slide feature of the Ertiga, the seat was very comfortable, soaking up all small undulations. Post sunset, I kicked off my shoes, slid the passenger seat ahead and literally stretched my legs. The cup holders in the armrest were put to good use (read Amrut neat), and the boot being accessible meant I could stash my stuff in there with ease.
  7. AC is very effective, better than my City
  8. Doors close with a respectable thunk and not the lightweight sound you get in today’s C-SUVs from Maruti.
  9. Even though it is an FWD vehicle, the body roll is controlled and can throw her into corners with confidence, I have done that, was a lot of fun.
  10. Steering is very well weighted, you feel connected to the road when you drive.
  11. Gearshift is as smooth as expected from a 320nm torque monster.
  12. And the look on my friend's face when I told him my S-Cross makes more torque than his 1.6 Verna, was priceless.

Dislikes

  1. The pesky CEL, some sensor failure, most probably MAF, it is annoying to look at and also, worrying if it starts blinking (not happened though).
  2. The clutch squeaks of its own volition. When being released that is, otherwise no issues in shifting gears.
  3. Road noise creeps in at the back seat, speaking of which, lack of a rear AC vent is a real downer. So much so that I am thinking of either getting one installed with some potential for disaster or maybe covering the leather seats with towel seat covers.
  4. A bit of an underpowered feeling comes when you are stuck in traffic. Really need to downshift when I have to get her to move.
  5. The engine sounds a bit noisy, maybe it's just my imagination.

These are the only dislikes I have and I think some 2k km + in this sweet ride have changed my perspective. Feels like a rush and I really seem to look for excuses to drive her around. I mean in these past two weeks, I have taken my kids and my brother’s kids out for night drives and Ice creams at India Gate more times than in the past couple of years. Plus, the grunt really gets my pulse racing.

Reminds me of a time when I used to be fresh out of school and had just learnt to drive, used to sneak out with my WagonR’s car key (that was the 1198cc 4 cylinder first gen) and drive around my wife’s house, (We were dating then)

Most of us would frown over a used car having 100k on the ODO, but it is not the mileage, it is how you arrived at that point, which makes a lot of difference. The previous owner, God Bless him, had also loved her a lot, I can see that from the way the interiors still look new, the engine working soundly, only general wear and tear is there in other parts as such. Besides, a good diesel in my opinion needs at least that much under its belt to really come to life.

Also, this is my first post here in the forum - technically it's the fourth, as I posted in the official S-cross 1.6 thread as well a couple of times, but then side roles and debut movie as the hero have a line of differentiation (think Shahid Kapoor in Taal and Ishq Vishq).

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