Hello and welcome to Maruti’s annual nip and tuck clinic. This year’s recipient for the Botox treatment is the S-Cross. While most model makeovers are done in around 4-5 years after launch, Maruti has done it in under two years simply because the S-Cross isn’t a fast mover like other cars in the Maruti range. The company is hoping that these changes will help push sales slowly but surely. So here’s what is new on the car.
The front end is now dominated by a huge toothy grille that is overloaded with chrome, which is simply hard to miss. The lamps now get very prominent projector lamps in them. There is also a faux skid plate in the lower end of the bumper. Plenty of plastic inserts all across complete the crossover look as well.
In its bid to add more muscle to the silhouette, Maruti has now added creases to the bonnet line. The side view of the car is plain Jane and looks more like a mini-estate rather than an SUV. The rear gets LED lamps too, which look very cool and urbane as well. Overall, the design now looks more striking than the blink-and-miss looks of the
You will have to pinch yourself to believe the quality inside the cabin. This is the best cabin from Maruti in terms of sheer quality
levels. Yes, it’s better than even the Brezza and Ciaz. The new addition now is the arrival of Android Auto on the infotainment
system, along with Apple CarPlay.
Another highlight of the cabin is the seat comfort. The seats now come in leather on the top version. The seats have great support all across. There is plenty of space in the second row as well. The boot at over 350-litres is large enough for most weekend trips. What’s more there are no ledges or sharp loading lips so heaving in heavy loads are easy. In terms of equipment, you get all the bells and whistles.
Engine, performance and gearbox
Performance seekers will be disappointed to know that the big 1.6-litre engine is no longer on sale. All you get is the 1.3-litre
engine shared all across the Maruti range. This engine suffers from turbo lag below 2,000 rpm so you will have to give it plenty of juice to get it going. Once past this mark, power delivery is very good all the way till 4,000 rpm.
If you have driven the Swift then the S-Cross will feel very familiar. The gearbox is just as crisp and sporty. Visibility is excellent and the clutch is as light and linear as that on the Swift. Power delivery is adequate for most part.
This engine though has been around over a decade now and is showing its age, when it comes to refinement. Rev it hard and you can make out that a diesel engine is powering the car. Most rivals offer better refinement levels.
Ride and handling
Ride comfort is exemplary and one of the car’s key strengths. Stability at high speed is commendable and even at slower city speeds hardly any bad surface seems to affect the cabin. The handling is just as keen as the Swift hatchback is, which means this car displays great handling prowess. Body roll is under control and grip levels are good. Disc brakes in all four corners aid braking in a long way as well.
It is easy to overlook the S-Cross in the Maruti universe because the carmaker also has the strong selling Brezza. That said, if you want a roomy crossover that’s also great fun to drive, then the S-Cross is a good choice. It’s high quality cabin is a boon too.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir