The lure of crossovers is consistently growing. The winning formula of combining the practicality of a hatchback with the terrain thrashing capabilities of an SUV, is quickly being adopted by most of the car manufacturers. This has also tempted Maruti to join the newly spawned and much revered crossover segment. The latest offering from the stables of Suzuki is the S Cross. This particular model is not just a beefed up hatchback but a completely new product, designed from ground up. The appeal of this particular car transcends through all the desirable traits of a crossover. To measure its caliber, we have pitched S Cross against its rivals and judged it on the very parameters that define a crossover.
The S Cross will be sold through Maruti’s new premium dealership, Nexa. This is a dealership designed for Suzuki’s flagship premium cars and the fact that S Cross made the list, should give you an idea of how upscale the car truly is. Maruti Suzuki has not taken the same hatch-to-crossover approach as other companies. The car manufacturer has made sure that the design of the S Cross is exclusive to it. The car features an aggressive stance and stands at around 4.3 meters in length, this helps it bestow intimidating proportions. The car features projector headlamps, HIDs and daytime running LEDs, the taillight cluster flows onto the sides and the boot-lid. Unlike the other contenders, S Cross refrains from incorporating excessive claddings and prominent scuff plates. The conservative Japanese design also helps your odds in the long run, when pitched against the love-or-hate fluid sculpture design of the i20 Active or the wannabe-rugged designs of other cars in its segment.
One can never go wrong with black and Suzuki feels the same way. The dashboard of S Cross is well placed and features soft touch plastic, which is sandwiched between hard-plastic on top and at bottom. The center console and AC vents flaunt silver surrounds, which give the S Cross a very stylish look. Maruti S Cross’s wheelbase is 30mm longer than that of the Hyundai i20’s and this helps the car to offer ample knee and leg room. The car also offers a massive 353 liter boot space, which is considerably larger than that offered by most of the cars in its segment. The car offers a touchscreen infotainment system with bluetooth, aux and navigation system. Speed sensing auto-lock, cruise control and leather upholstery are some of the luxuries, which are also offered by the S Cross.
Like most contenders in its category, the S Cross offers both driver, as well as passenger airbags. The Japanese crossover also features ABS. It has disc brakes on all four wheels, unlike all other crossovers, which only feature disc brakes at the front two wheels and drums at the rear.
The S Cross will be offered with two engine options, the Fiat sourced 90bhp 1.3 liter diesel or the more powerful 1.6 liter diesel that produces 118bhp @ 3750rpm and 320Nm of torque @ 1750rpm. In comparison to other cars in its segment, which offer power outputs that range between 67-93bhp, the S Cross definitely holds its own in terms of power. The peak power of the vehicle can be attained at, as low as 1500rpm and the car also comes mated to a six-speed transmission. The handling of the car is rather impressive and the steering is weighted very well for your city and highway hauls. The reason behind this improved handling is that unlike other cars in its segment, the S Cross does not provide an artificial steering feel and soft suspension setup. The long wheelbase also inspires confidence in the driver.
A hatchback that can offer its practicality with the comfort of an SUV, must offer a decent fuel-economy. Maruti claims an efficiency of 22.7km/l for the 1.6 liter diesel variant of the S Cross. This projection is only second to that of the Toyota Etios Cross, which offers 23.6km/l. The S Cross more than makes up for the 0.9km/l difference, by offering almost twice as much power as the Etios Cross.
Keeping in consideration, all the features offered by the S Cross and the wide service network offered by Maruti, the S Cross Price is expected to be competitive in an attempt to eat into the sales of its rivals. S Cross is a product that offers benefits of both a compact SUV and a crossover hatchback. This is why the 1.6 liter variant will be priced to undercut the Renault Duster and the 1.3 liter variant will be priced to compete with the i20 active.
So to summarize, we have waited too long for Maruti’s offering in the crossover segment and our patience has paid off. The S Cross gives us best-in-class power, space and features, this makes it so special that it not only differentiates itself from the competition but defines a new segment for itself.