Maruti S-Cross Petrol Test Drive Review
We do an in-depth review of the Maruti S-Cross Petrol.
Car Tested: Maruti S-Cross Petrol; Road Test No. 1206; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 9.85 – 14.65 lakhs
Stylish looks, a feature-loaded cabin and a refined petrol engine make the S-Cross a well-rounded compact SUV
Maruti launched the S-Cross for the first time in 2015 with 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines. The latter didn’t find a lot of takers but it offered incredible performance. The 1.3, of course, accounted for majority of the sales. In 2017, Maruti gave the car a mid-life facelift with some nice cosmetic changes and the 1.6 diesel was discontinued. The 1.3 diesel chugged along until recently when the BS6 norms came into place. The S-Cross is now available with a petrol engine for the first time so let’s drive the car and see whether this petrol engine is a good replacement for the diesel engine or not.
Exteriors – Unlike other compact SUVs in this price range, the Maruti S-Cross is much longer than 4-metres. In fact, it measures 4300 mm and the dimensions are very well-proportioned. The design of the car is beautiful and the S-Cross isn’t very common on our roads. No changes have been made to the design of the car since the 2017 facelift and I think, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Interiors – The cabin is also the same as before. It gets a black colour theme and the quality is decently good. Space is more than enough and the crossover feels very spacious. You get a SmartPlay Studio infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, cruise control, keyless go with push-button start, auto climate control, LED projector headlamps, auto wipers, auto-dimming IRVM, ISOFIX mounts, dual airbags and ABS. The automatic also gets ESP with Hill Hold Assist. The vehicle has comfortable seats and the rear seat can also be reclined. The boot is large enough at 350-litres
Performance – The Maruti S-Cross petrol gets the same 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine that is also offered on the Ertiga, XL6, Ciaz and Vitara Brezza. It makes 103 HP and 138 Nm and is offered with a 5-speed MT or a 4-speed torque convertor AT. The petrol engine also comes mated to Maruti’s SHVS system. This petrol engine is extremely refined at idle and at low revs but sounds a bit coarse after 4000 RPM. The low-end feels very punchy and responsive which is why the S-Cross feels very driveable in the city. The mid-range isn’t punchy in a sporty way but it does just fine for day to day driving and the power delivery is flat. The engine starts feeling livelier again in the top-end and it redlines very nicely to 6500 RPM. Of course, this engine cannot match Honda’s i-VTEC in terms of thrills but it does most things right.
This K15B petrol engine is offered on a variety of Maruti cars
The S-Cross petrol gets a mild-hybrid system which offers three features – automatic start/stop when you bring the car to a halt and release the clutch in neutral, torque assist which offers a slight push of torque at low RPMs and regenerative braking which recharges the li-ion battery under braking. The start-stop function can be switched off but using it can increase the fuel efficiency by a slight margin. The 5-speed manual gearbox is well matched to the engine, the gear ratios are nicely calibrated and the clutch is also light. The ARAI figures of the S-Cross petrol are 18.55 km/l (MT) and 18.43 km/l (AT) but it delivers around 11-13 km/l under regular usage which is a significant drop compared to the diesel engine’s economy.
Driving Dynamics – The S-Cross can be a fun car to drive around as it doesn’t have too much body roll and it stays nicely planted over different types of roads. The steering’s feedback isn’t great and some more feel would have been really appreciated. The suspension is very good and the overall ride quality is quite nice but yes you do hear some thud noises if you encounter a really bad patch. The braking performance is good and the car gets rear disc brakes too but the brake pedal could do with some more feel. The S-Cross gets 215 section 16-inch tyres which are more than adequate for this car.
Verdict – The S-Cross is one of the best offerings in the Maruti Suzuki portfolio in India because the package is so well-rounded, the car drives well and it is comfortable too. It also longer than other compact SUVs and if you don’t need a diesel engine, the S-Cross does make a strong case for itself.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos
Further Reading –