Maruti Suzuki’s new premium gross sales channel NEXA was launched to coincide with the introduction of the S-Cross. It was the primary automobile to go on sale by NEXA shops and regardless of the comparatively poor efficiency of the S-Cross, it stays an important car for the corporate. This was additionally one of many first autos to actually ship the message that the standard of ergonomics and engineering for experience and dealing with of a Maruti may be nearly as good because it will get globally within the mass market section.
However the S-Cross didn’t take off and ship the form of volumes that a few of the different new Marutis just like the Baleno and the Ciaz have managed. In a uncommon occasion, Maruti additionally corrected the S-Cross’ worth post-launch, one more reason why it may have delay potential consumers. However its greatest weak spot was its design.
The S-Cross was in all probability a little bit of an early entrant being a crossover coming right into a market that was predominantly biased in the direction of sports activities utility autos. To make issues worse, the S-Cross was too easy wanting and lacked a powerful off-roader or crossover character. But it surely had the dimensions and the construct wanted to place itself within the section.
With new opponents just like the Renault Captur coming into the fray, the S-Cross wanted a facelift. Maruti Suzuki India has achieved simply that with the brand new 2018 S-Cross.
In making an attempt to alter the face and stance of the 2018 S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki’s designers have given the automobile’s modified entrance an enormous dose of aggression. Stroll as much as the entrance of the brand new S-Cross and it’s instantly clear that in contrast to the earlier mannequin, which might have been universally accepted, this one’s design will fall into two classes — the lovers and the haters. Dominating the entrance of the check mule I used to be driving was a brand new multi-slat chrome bonnet grille, giving the automobile a toothy, ready-to-attack face. The headlamps have additionally been modified and the highest Alpha trim I used to be driving sported a bejeweled mixture with LED projectors and LED daytime operating lights. The opposite massive change on the entrance is the brand new hood. With sharper creases making it look extra muscular, the gentle clamshell bonnet design provides it the look of an influence hood. The physique paint shade you see within the footage right here is the brand new Nexa Blue color.
The entrance fender additionally sees adjustments, however the total dual-tone design with the extension into the bodyside cladding continues. As for different physique panels, they’ve all been carried ahead each on the sides and the rear. The tail-lamps on the rear sport the identical total design, although the mixture has been modified to incorporate LEDs in a brand new format. The tyres proceed to be from JK Tyre, however they’re now wider 215/60 R16s as an alternative of the sooner 205/60 R16s. The brand new JK UX Royales are a greater match providing extra grip, and handle to chop down the quantity of understeer within the new S-Cross.
The cabin of the brand new S-Cross nearly appears unchanged till one appears carefully in any respect the panels. Many of the trim components additionally look like they’ve been carried ahead from the earlier mannequin. However, Maruti engineers inform me that most of the plastic panels at the moment are comprised of a lot better grade supplies. On nearer inspection you may see that the textured panels on high of the sprint at the moment are totally different and really feel extra just like the soft-touch plastics that you can find in premium fashions. The acquainted, multi-function steering wheel and the neatly completed centre stack stay unchanged. Like many different Maruti fashions, there may be an extra of plastic throughout the cabin, however fortunately the improved high quality of supplies ensures that there is no such thing as a glare on the windscreen. Leather-based-finished seats and a entrance arm relaxation is the opposite addition.
House was at all times a plus within the S-Cross and the brand new mannequin continues to supply the identical ranges of room. The 375-litre boot is a good measurement for a hatchback and the motive force’s place is one other level worthy of point out with sufficient changes (together with the lean and telescopic steering) to get essentially the most snug place. Like different Maruti fashions, the brand new S-Cross can also be essentially the most loaded on the top-end with the Alpha trim getting options like cruise management, auto headlamps, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and rain-sensing wipers. Hopefully, Maruti will lengthen the ‘i-Create’ customisation programme for consumers of the S-Cross too. The facelifted S-Cross nonetheless misses out on a couple of options like a rear aircon vent, however for the reason that important aircon could be very efficient, rear passengers might not miss a devoted vent.
Pumped up by the acceptance of its sensible hybrid tech, Maruti engineers have chosen to plug it into the S-Cross’ DDiS 200 diesel engine. This is identical 1.Three-litre diesel engine, which had been supplied with the earlier mannequin too and in the identical state of tune. However, now it options the sensible hybrid tech together with the two kW electrical motor, the extra superior excessive capability battery for serial charging and discharge, and the associated just like the built-in starter generator. The opposite 1.6-litre Fiat multijet supplied with the six-speed gearbox within the earlier S-Cross has been dropped.
The 1.Three-litre, DDiS 200 engine is paired with a five-speed gearbox and generates 66 kW of peak energy at four,000 rpm and a peak torque of 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm. This engine is a bit raucous and suffers from a good bit of turbolag. With a full load of passengers, the automobile additionally feels underpowered. A few of these traits haven’t modified from the earlier mannequin. However, NVH traits appear to have improved and the cabin is comparatively quiet besides when the engine is being pushed near redline. Maruti engineers advised me that the sensible hybrid tech is tuned to supply gentle parallel electrical motor help when the battery reaches a preset about 90 per cent-plus cost from brake power regeneration.
Whereas on the street, I may observe that the inexperienced SHVS lamp within the instrument cluster lights up each after I take my foot off the throttle (brake power regeneration) and at instances after I gave average throttle enter whereas cruising. The parallel help from the electrical motor is simply barely evidenced in a light discount of turbolag. Auto start-stop is without doubt one of the commonplace options of the sensible hybrid tech. Maruti claims that the tech has helped in decreasing gas consumption and emissions by about seven per cent.
The S-Cross is now a extra aggressive package deal and I really feel consumers who just like the facelift will certainly purchase into the design and the brand new package deal. There are more likely to be detractors too who might imagine that it’s overdone. However it’s simple that the brand new S-Cross has extra street presence; and with numerous emphasis on security operating commonplace throughout variants, it does really feel like a step-up. And who isn’t going to understand an enchancment in effectivity from the sensible hybrid tech.
Maruti has additionally chosen to maintain the costs nearly on the similar degree because the earlier mannequin. The 2018 S-Cross sports activities a price ticket starting from ₹eight.5 lakh to ₹11.Three lakh.