With Maruti Suzuki pricing the S-Cross at a premium after Hyundai doing the same to the Creta, customers will look at other options. We do a quick comparison of the likely contenders.

Ford EcoSport vs Maruti S-Cross vs Renault Duster
The battle of compact SUVs has become more fierce with the new entrants

The compact SUV segment has been on an unprecedented growth trajectory in India. Indian customer’s love for SUVs is being shown in the monthly sales figures which witness the growing numbers of smaller SUVs. These vehicles offer the perfect blend of ease of driving, ground clearance and the capability for going off the roads in a few situations. More and more companies are launching products in this space and Maruti Suzuki is the latest one to venture into the segment with the S-Cross. Launched in the country today, we take a look at how it stacks up against the diesel competition in terms of pricing and other factors.

Space – In terms of dimensions, it is the Ford EcoSport which is the smallest out of all the cars here and this helps it to benefit from lower excise duty. The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster are very close in terms of dimensions with the Duster leading in all figures by a small margin. The Mahindra XUV500 is a full size SUV and hence is much bigger than the others. In terms of interior space, the XUV leads by a good margin whereas the EcoSport comes in last. The other three vehicles are very closely matched in this aspect.

Engine – With a 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 140 BHP, the Mahindra XUV is clearly the most powerful SUV out of the five vehicles. The Hyundai Creta comes in at the second position with its 1.6-litre diesel engine while the least powerful vehicle of the lot is the Renault Duster which comes with an option of 1.5-litre diesel engine making 85 PS of power. The S-Cross gets two different engines producing either 90 PS (200 Nm of torque) or 120 PS with the latter making a torque of 320 Nm. In terms of gearboxes, only the Creta gets a 6-speed automatic gearbox as an option while the others make do with manual transmissions.

Safety – In this department, Hyundai, Ford and Mahindra come very close to each other offering 6 airbags, ABS, ESP and a few additional features in the top-end variant. The Renault Duster also gets ESP but only in the AWD guise whereas the S-Cross gets ABS and dual airbags in all 7 out of 8 variants. The Creta, XUV and S-Cross also get DRLs (LED parking lights) in certain variants which add to the looks and increase the visibility of the vehicle.

Price – Here is where the game differs a lot. The prices of the cars in the comparo go all way from Rs. 9.75 lakhs for the base variant of the EcoSport to Rs. 19.62 lakhs for the top-end XUV500 AWD. Looking at the prices and feature list carefully, one can easily say that some of the variants of certain vehicle are overpriced by a fair margin considering the changes they get over the cheaper variant. Consider this – the 1.6-litre variants of the S-Cross cost a humongous Rs. 3.5 lakhs over the 1.3-litre variants. The only major change in similar variants of the two engines is the engine itself.

While the lower variants of the Mahindra XUV500 are priced well, the top end W10 variant costs quite a bit more than the W8 variant with the difference being only of a few features. When it comes to the AWD variants, it is the Renault Duster which emerges as the cheapest option considering only the XUV gets the AWD system apart from it. Hyundai also gets brownie points for launching the Creta with an automatic gearbox which makes it a very appealing option at a price point similar to its top-end variant.

Verdict – In terms of sheer value for money, the Mahindra XUV500 beats all the others hollow as it gets much more space and a long feature list for a not so significant price difference. But for those who do not need the seven seats and the space, it is not really suitable. For those who are on a budget, the Ford EcoSport makes the most sense as it gets most of the essential goodies and is spacious enough for a small family. The Renault Duster although a good vehicle feels dated now and the interior quality isn’t up to the segment standards. The S-Cross’ 1.6-litre version feels too optimistically priced while the 1.3-litre diesel is a good option for Maruti loyalists. All things considered, it is the Hyundai Creta which emerges as the winner, offering good space, powerful engines along with lots of equipment at a decent price for most variants.

S Cross vs Creta vs Duster vs EcoSport Price Comparo
The older vehicles remain cheaper but have lesser goodies on offer
S Cross vs Creta vs Duster vs XUV500 Price Comparison
The Creta looked pricey in isolation but isn’t much overpriced when compared to others
Renault Duster vs Hyundai Creta vs Mahindra XUV500
The XUV500 is suddenly competing with smaller SUVs due to its value for money pricing