2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Facelift Review: Hits and misses in its second innings

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross now looks much more energetic than the older version, interiors largely remain unchanged and mechanically the S-Cross now gets only the 1.3L DDiS diesel engine with SHVS technology.

By: | Updated: October 12, 2017 10:33 AM

The 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross facelift has been launched at a starting price of Rs. 8.49 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, and a lot has changed for a car that started the segment. Back when it was launched the S-Cross incepted the crossover space in India, and it had a lot going for it. However, its biggest set back might have been it's design, which was  more indicative of a european stationwagon than a cross-over per say. That and the 1.6 litre engine which not only guzzled fuel but also had a mouth full of torque steer, and although us lead-footed auto-noters' loved it, we suspected that fuel conscious Indian buyer would not. This time around Maruti have focused on the problem area's, the first of which is design. In it's newest iteration the slim profile of the previous S-Cross is ditched for a more well rounded profile. The 1.6 litre engine has been shelved and the existing 1.3litre motor has been the Ciaz's mild-hybrid system.  All this suggests that the new S-Cross should have a better chance at being successful but a battle won on paper doesn't always translate into real-world victory. Can the new Maruti Suzuki S-Cross check the right boxes for the consumers this time around? We found out recently by driving the car around the beautiful city of Udaipur and have a clear verdict on what works and what doesn't. Read on.

Variant
Ex-showroom price in Delhi (Rs.)
Sigma 849,000
Delta 939,000
Zeta 998,000
Alpha 1,129,000

New 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Exterior Design

With a makeover, the new Maruti Suzuki S-Cross now looks a lot better than the older version. It's the front that has received the most attention from designers, as a result of which the S-Cross now looks more dynamic than earlier. The front grille now has been given a generous dash of chrome and 10 vertical slats lend the S-Cross with a muscular appeal. The sharper creases on the bumper along with a revised hood and fog lamp design give the S-Cross an aggressive stance, something the older model missed. The jewel-effect LED DRLs along with LED projector headlamps give the car a premium and modern character. Changes at the side and rear are minimal and the new bits include alloy wheels with wider 215 section tyres along with LED tail lamps.

The new S-Cross now looks much more energetic than the older version and in the Nexa Blue colour that we had, the car looks even better and one can't help but notice a bit of similarity with the BMW X1, when seen from the front three-quarters. In a nutshell, the new Maruti Suzuki S-Cross has improved significantly in the area it lacked in and should help increase its appeal to potential customers now.

New 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Interior & Features

Inside the new S-Cross, there isn't much of a 'new' feeling as the cabin is largely the same as the older version but that's not a bad thing at all as the S-Cross has always had good and appealing interiors. The all-black interior with leather is in sync with the premium and sporty positioning of the vehicle. The soft-touch dashboard adds to the premium appeal of the cabin and the major change is in the form of Android Auto. The infotainment system continues with the same touchscreen and design from the previous S-Cross but Android Auto opens up the doors of convenience for Android users in addition to the Apple CarPlay, which has always been in the S-Cross.

Seats at the front can easily accommodate people of various sizes and side support is impressive. At the rear, leg room is plenty and headroom too is generous. ISOFIX mounts are standard across the range, adding to the safety of kids. Talking of safety, the S-Cross is offered with ABS with EBD and front-dual airbags. In comparison to the competition, this isn't at par as there are cars in this segment offering four or six airbags and traction control too.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Facelift Review:

New 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Engine, Gearbox & Mileage

Bad news first. The new S-Cross no longer comes with the fantastic 1.6 litre engine from the older version. Instead, it makes do with the 1.3 litre DDiS 200 unit, which was available earlier as well. The good news is that this engine does a good job and now comes with Smart Hybrid system, also known as SHVS. The engine develops 89 hp and 200 Nm of torque and the fact that torque is available from around 1,500 rpm, makes the vehicle easy to drive in all conditions. Acceleration is linear and reaching triple-digit speeds is effortless. The five-speed manual gearbox compliments the engine well and offers smooth shifts. Coupled to a light clutch, getting stuck in traffic isn't going to be bad either.

At a standstill, the diesel clatter filters into the cabin but once on the move and while cruising, NVH levels are well-controlled. Real-world fuel-efficiency is good in the new S-Cross as our car delivered 18.6 kmpl on the highway despite frequent gear changes due to multiple stops for the photo shoot. The improvement in fuel-efficiency is due to the Smart Hybrid system that includes automatic start stop and brake energy regeneration. The system does not add to the performance of the vehicle but makes a noticeable difference to the fuel-efficiency.

Overall, the new S-Cross is a hassle-free and comfortable to drive and will suit the needs of people who like going out for weekend trips or long drives. It's not an enthusiast's car anymore with the 1.6 litre engine being left out but demand for the same was so slim that Maruti Suzuki had no option but to discontinue it.

New 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Ride & Handling

The new S-Cross offers brilliant ride quality and going over rough patches is a breeze as the suspension gobbles up potholes and speed breakers with ease. A high ground clearance of 137 mm (fully laden) means that the S-Cross can easily handle all that Indian roads can throw at it. Despite the suspension being tuned more towards comfort, the ride quality remains good at high speeds also.

Handling of the new S-Cross is pretty much neutral so what you get is a car that will go around corners in a confident manner and remain stable at highway speeds too. Try and push the car really hard and it tends to understeer but this cannot be signed off as a shortcoming considering the consumers the new S-Cross is targeted at. The steering wheel offers good feedback and the brakes too have ample bite to bring the vehicle to stop safely.

Verdict

The new Maruti Suzuki S-Cross delivers refreshed styling, which has upped its appeal and the crossover is poised to get more attention from buyers now. Connectivity too has been improved with the inclusion of Android Auto, which will appeal to young buyers. Add to this a proven powertrain and a comfortable cabin and the S-Cross starts to make a lot more sense than the older version. True, it does miss out on an automatic transmission but it also undercuts the competition on the pricing front by a fair margin. So if an automatic transmission is not your prerogative, the S-Cross is a strong contender in its segment. The key differentiation for the S-Cross is going to be the high Value-for-Money quotient it offers. The best part is that it's genuinely good to look at now.