Sport Utility Vehicle or SUV in layman speak are the most sought after vehicles in India. The demand for SUVs far exceed that of any other body type (leaving aside hatchbacks of course). SUVs give the feeling of security while also having an imposing presence on the road. This has led to the growth in the SUV space surpassing every other segment. Maruti Suzuki is well aware about the high demand for SUVs but the company has nothing to offer to buyers. However the automaker is working on multiple SUVs to boost market share, something which was revealed by the top management last year.
Maruti Suzuki plans to launch three new SUVs in India in the next couple of years. India’s largest carmaker showcased the SX4 S-Cross at the 2014 Auto Expo and was very vocal about its plans of launching the vehicle in the Indian market in the near future. The SX4 S-Cross is set for an early 2015 launch and will compete against the Renault Duster. The SX4 sedan failed to lure buyers to Maruti’s fold and will be discontinued later this year, being replaced by the Ciaz. The Concept version of the SX4 replacement was also showcased at the Auto Expo.
The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a global model which is already on sale in Europe. The vehicle is quite big even though it doesn’t appear so in the images. With a length of 4.3-metres, the S-Cross is almost as long as the Renault Duster but ground clearance is just 170 mm. The boot can accommodate 430-litres of luggage with the vehicle weighing in at 1175 kgs. Maruti Suzuki will offer both petrol and diesel engines on the S-Cross. Since the company offers the vehicle with a 1.6-litre DDiS engine abroad, we expect the same powerplant to be offered in India. This Fiat sourced engine outputs 120 PS of power and 320 Nm of torque.
The petrol engine which will power the Maruti S-Cross will be a 1.6-litre unit which produces 120 PS of power and 156 Nm of torque. The diesel is only coupled to a 6-speed manual but the petrol comes with a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic. While power is channelled to the front-wheels, the Japanese manufacturer also offers the car with ALLGRIP system which is Suzuki speak for all-wheel drive, we don’t expect it to be offered in India although the display model at the Auto Expo had 4-wheel drive. While globally the car is offered with a plethora of features, not all will be present on the Indian model. Expect the Maruti SX4 S-Cross to be priced between Rs. 9-12 lakhs with local manufacturing and heavy localisation being exercised.