Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Petrol: First Drive

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Petrol: First Drive

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Now equipped with a 1.5l BS 6 compliant petrol engine and the option of an automatic transmission, it has become intriguing option in the segment

Yes, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross has always been that practical all-rounder which created a specific set of customers for it. Rewind back to 2015 and you can remember how the diesel launch of the S-Cross received a mixed welcome. It had the option of a 1.3l or the powerful 1.6l diesel engine together with Maruti’s impeccable image for robust vehicles. But it missed a significant opportunity by skipping on the petrol engine option, hell, it even missed an automatic transmission. As we’re struggling to slog through 2020, Maruti Suzuki in fact has finally addressed the issue by introducing the K15B petrol engine and the 4-speed AT for the new S-Cross. The torquey diesels will be sorely missed for a while, but we can happily report from our short drive in it that the shift to petrol makes it much more refined and friendly for the urban environment.

Design

Well, the design basically remains the same as earlier. But this is a good thing as the S-Cross design is already pleasing to the eye. It does not go overboard with louvres and cuts and unnecessary design elements scattered about on the front and rear. It has a dash of carefully placed chrome elements, and a helping of tough plastic cladding to announce its intent. Yes, it is very much a classy yet rugged body that can take every day beating and come out unscathed.

This specific Nexa blue colour is the most popular one amongst S-Cross buyers, followed by grey and white. Honestly, we would happy if a dark green shade can be mixed in the package, it will look unmistakably gorgeous. The roof rails and these 16-inch machined alloy wheels look great on the S-Cross. And the good thing is they are available on all variants except for the base Sigma.

Interior

The inside of the S-Cross is reminiscent of its matured appeal as the exterior. Simple lines flow across the dashboard lending an air of a spacious and airy cabin. It is a practical cabin with convenience features all across, like the tilt and telescopic adjustment on the steering wheel, reclining rear seats with 60:40 split, glove box, foot well and boot illumination and a host of connected car tech. But the biggest change is in the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which has upgraded UI. It has enhanced graphics and layout with more attention paid to responsiveness of the entire system.

The screen responds quicker, connections are made quicker and it looks much vibrant now. The navigation system can be used through Smartplay Studio mobile application. Then you get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, voice commands and remote control through smartphone application. Although it must be noted that most of these features are available in the upper Zeta and Alpha variants. The reclining rear seats are excellent to add to comfort, and the large boot means luggage space is not compromised (353 litres at 1st position; 375 litres at 2nd position).

Performance

Coming to the biggest change, S-Cross now has the smooth K15B petrol engine with Smart Hybrid technology. The 4-cylinder engine develops 104 PS of maximum power and 138 Nm of peak torque. This is coupled to efficiency enhancing brake energy regeneration and idle start/stop system, but also gets torque assist during acceleration which makes it feel very nippy. The engine is silky smooth and responsive to encourage decent driving dynamics. The 5-speed manual transmission is seamless as well, although we would have preferred shorter throws on the gear stick.

On the other hand, the 4-speed AT will surely make driving very easy, but the way it responds has to be reserved for a later time. Apart from the engine, the steering is light and easy for tight parking. All-round disc brakes are a boon as the braking it is surefooted in the new S-Cross. Ride quality has been always been a positive with the S-Cross, and it continues to be. It manages most surfaces with ease but we will have to push it harder around longer country side trips to know more about it.

Round-up

We are extremely happy with the petrol version of the S-Cross. It is refined, spacious, feature packed and now gets telemetry and the automatic transmission will make it a great choice for urban drivers. Another great advantage is the supremely quiet cabin as the petrol engine is barely noticeable at city speeds and Smart Hybrid platform keeps it efficient and cleaner for the environment. Granted our time with the vehicle has been short, but it has made its point. S-Cross is now a better buy for customers looking for an all-rounder hiding a rugged crossover draped under a classy exterior.

Author: Abhijeet Singh