The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross was first launched in India two years ago also heralding the launch of the Nexa chain of dealerships in the country. With multiple diesel engine options and a spacious interior but with a premium price tag, the crossover never really set any sales charts on fire. One of the feedbacks that Maruti always received about the S-Cross was that it just did not look butch or macho enough to go up against the competition in the crossover segment. And so, to give the car a new lease on life, Maruti has decided to give the S-Cross a facelift both on the outside and on the inside! Read on to know more…….
Now when we hear of a Maruti Suzuki facelift or update to an existing car it is usually a set of slightly different headlamps, a slightly newer bumper or an updated grille but never something comprehensive. The Maruti S-Cross facelift though is about as comprehensive as a mid-life cycle facelift can get! It is more upright, the design is a lot more ‘in your face’ and that does make the car look a lot different as compared to the earlier model.
Move along the side and the profile stays the same but with new alloy wheels. Gone are those boring silver wheels on the older car replaced now with a set of 16-inch black and diamond cut two tone alloys. The design around the rear too is pretty much identical as compared to before with the exception of a new set of LED tail lamps.
We know that design preferences are usually dependent on a person’s choice and that what one individual might like the other one might not. The Maruti S-Cross then is the epitome of a polarising design language on an automobile in recent years. While I personally think it looks nicer than its predecessor, there have been several people who have found the design to be overdone and detached from how the car looks in general. However, we must state here that the Maruti S-Cross facelift does look a lot better in the flesh (or in this case, metal) than it does in these pictures or even a video.
Moving on to the interior, another complaint with the older car was the lack of premiumness in the cabin considering the price point that the car was placed at. That has now changed and for the better. The new S-Cross facelift’s cabin is now a much much nicer place to be with its soft touch dashboard and leather seats. The all-black interior is complimented well with a hint of brushed aluminium and chrome on the central console along with the ‘must have’ gloss black design element.
The S-Cross facelift also (like before) gets Maruti Suzuki’s touchscreen infotainment system that has been tried and tested across models like the Ignis, Baleno, Brezza and the new Dzire. The infotainment system comes equipped with features like Bluetooth connectivity and inbuilt navigation and now also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other features include automatic climate control, rain sensing auto wipers and cruise control. The S-Cross also continues to get keyless entry and a start stop button along with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
Rear seats space is adequate and the fact that the rear backrest reclines slightly thereby offering a more relaxed seating position is always a good feature to have. That said, Maruti Suzuki have skipped out on an essential rear seat feature – rear AC vents! Considering the fact that the S-Cross will be priced in a particular segment that expects these features and more importantly, considering Indian climatic conditions, this is a big miss from the automaker.
Under the bonnet there have been changes too. First the bad news! The 1.6-litre DDiS 320 engine has now been dropped as there were just not enough people buying one to justify its existence. You now only get the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS 200 engine on the S-Cross facelift. As the nomenclature suggests, the DDiS 200 engine makes 200 Nm of peak torque and 89 bhp of peak power. As has always been the case, the engine feels great in terms of power delivery but does struggle slightly while on uphill sections at higher gears. The NVH levels too could have been improved slightly considering the fact that Maruti Suzuki is positioning this as a slightly more premium vehicle.
The engine is still mated only to a 5-speed manual gearbox and sadly, there is no AMT on offer as of now or in the near future, which in our opinion is a big opportunity lost by Maruti Suzuki as there is most certainly a growing number of people who want an automatic diesel crossover! What you do get new in terms of technology is the SHVS or mild hybrid system like the one available on the likes of the Ciaz and Ertiga diesel. The SHVS system is basically a start stop system that improves fuel economy while cutting down on CO2. And it has seemed to work – the new S-Cross now delivers 25.1 kmpl as compared to 23.65 kmpl while emitting about 10% less CO2 as compared to the older spec.
The 16-inch wheels that we spoke about earlier now get a slightly larger set of tyres too. The 215/60 R16 tyres – essentially the same as the ones of the Vitara Brezza improve handling a little bit, there is still a tad bit of under steer as is expected. The ride quality on the other hand is just perfect for our Indian roads with adequate bump soaking abilities without being jarry or too stiff.
The S-Cross also gets ABS and all-round disc brakes as standard across all models which makes it stop very well. But at the same time, because the Maruti S-Cross has brake energy regeneration, the feedback from the brake pedal does take some getting used to. Other safety features include two airbags as standard across all variants and Isofix mounting points for child seats at the rear. The S-Cross has also been made ready for the upcoming crash tests that will be a part of government testing, including full frontal and offset impact along with pedestrian impact tests.
Our verdict on the new S-Cross is pretty simple. The car is more mature looking now, and as we have mentioned time and time again, it looks considerably better in the flesh than in pictures. The interior quality though, is what has really impressed us even more and the cabin does really look like it belongs on a more expensive offering. That said, we do wish Maruti had offered a more powerful engine in the S-Cross as standard considering the fact that the crossover is over the 4-metre mark anyways!