2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Smart Hybrid Review – First Drive

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S-cross, the first crossover from Maruti Suzuki launched in India a year after 2014 Auto Expo Debut. It was also the first product retailed via Maruti’s game changer, the premium Nexa showrooms and it has managed to sell over 50,000 units in last 2 years with the average of 2,000+ units a month. It is the lowest selling number for a Maruti Suzuki car despite the fact that S-cross is the no.1 selling crossover in India and flagship Maruti as well.

Now, after 2 years of its Indian debut, Maruti Suzuki has launched the facelifted version of flagship S-cross with some interesting visual changes along with technical updates. However, the brand has dropped the 1.6-litre DDiS diesel engine from the lineup. Last week, we drove the facelifted version of S-cross in Udaipur – City of Lakes – to find out how it performs on road with the new Smart Hybrid technology and if the only 1.3-litre engine is enough for your performance thrust? The answers of your every question are right below in our detailed first drive review:

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Design:

2017 maruti s-cross review gaadiwaadi-19So, the design is the core of this facelift version and up front, the 2017 S-cross receives an all-new bold and dynamic fascia. The first thing I have noticed is the vertical 10-slat bar designed chrome grille adding a macho character to the India’s best selling crossover. The sculpted bonnet just above and the new dual-tone bumper with faux bash plate below add a muscular stance to the car.

The LED headlamps with DRLs are new too but the design is a bit confusing due to the floating chrome under the projector. However, the eyebrow inspired DRLs look good especially in the evening.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-26On the Side, the profile is as same as before but all new machined cut alloy wheels made a big difference in terms of presence. It gives a sporty feel to this crossover and along with redesigned wheels, wheel arch extension, roof rails and silver skid plate garnish the crossover-ish charters never fail to impress.

While at the rear, the only difference is the new redesigned split LED tail lamps which gives the glimpse of Vitara Brezza’s tail lamp from some angles. Overall, the new face and minor revisions to the exterior elements added a striking stance to the India’s best selling crossover and these changes might result in garnering more sales very soon.

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Length 4,300 mm
Width 1,785 mm
Height 1,595 mm
Wheelbase 2,600 mm
Turning Radius 5.5 m
Kerb Weight 1,215-1,240 kg
Tyre Size 215/60 R16
Fuel Tank Capacity 48 L

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Interior and Features:

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-41Step inside the 2017 S-Cross, you will be greeted with an all-black interior as before. The soft touch panels on dashboard gives a premium feel to the car while 7” touch screen infotainment system with piano black centre louver face add grace to the overall premium demeanour of the car’s dashboard. On the AC vents too, you can find the satin plating finish.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-50While in the speedo, the only difference is the addition of Smart Hybrid Glow badge and gear shift indictor in MID. But, the coloured TFT MID as in Baleno has been given a miss in the facelift too. On the Steering wheel, phone controls are available along with cruise control. The best part of this Sub 11-lakh crossover is the premium interior features offered like the leather wrapped telescopic steering wheel, full black leather seats and door armrest with leather finish.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-40It also gets armrest in both front and rear seats. I am a 6’ft tall person and I was very comfortable on both front and rear seats as the latter comes with adjustable seatback. The S-Cross provides a decent driving height and thanks to the tilt and telescopic steering along with height adjustable driver seat, it can be adopted by every kind of driver as per his/her requirement.

The legroom, headroom and shoulder room aren’t issue in S-Cross from beginning though. With the rear seatback at position 1, the boostspace can hold upto 353 litres while the rear seatback at position 2 enables 375 litres. When the rear seatback is folded, you get to access a massive 810 litres of space.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-45On the features front too, the flagship Maruti Suzuki has ticked all the boxes with Android Auto/Apple Car Play connectivity in touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, push start button, Auto climatic AC, 60:40 spilt seats with 2-way recline adjustment.

The S-Cross facelift receives several new features like front and rear disc brakes, new machined cut 16” alloy wheels, auto headlamp with DRLs, rain sensing wipers along with several visual changes. Despite the rear AC vents given a miss, the Auto Climatic AC does its duty very well to keep the cabin cool.

2017 Maruti Suzuki Engine and Performance:

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 Engine 1.3-litre, BS4, DOHC, Four-Cylinder, DDiS, Smart Hybrid Diesel Unit
Bore x Stroke 69.6 x 82 mm
Max. Power 90 PS at 4,000 rpm
Max. Torque 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm
Transmission Five-Speed Manual
Brake Ventilated Disc Front / Solid Disc Rear
Suspension McPherson Strut With Coil Spring Front / Torsion Beam With Coil Spring Rear

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-24There is no more 1.6-litre DDiS engine option in the S-Cross as it had been an imported unit and hence the side effects we saw on price list resulted in poor demand. This time, Maruti Suzuki played smartly for keeping the top price in check as the S-Cross is now available in only the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS 90 PS diesel mill with 200 Nm of torque. The only difference is now the addition of Smart Hybrid technology that result in low fuel consumption and delivers a really good fuel economy of 25.1 kmpl.

The Smart Hybrid technology (Idle Start-Stop) is paired with integrated starter generator. The brake energy regeneration supplements the engine’s power and provides better acceleration as well. On the standstill, the engine cuts-off automatically and can be started again with just a press of clutch pedal and it won’t use engine starter for idle start.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-6Talking about the performance of the 1.3-litre 90 PS engine, this is one of the best diesel motor around in the world and obviously the best produced in India. Almost 80% of Indian diesel cars are powered by the same engine, however, the only difference between them is of power output. 90 PS power and 200 Nm torque is enough for a car that have under 1,250 kg of kerb weight.

It won’t feel under powered and the engine remains calm and punchy until 3,300 rpm and after that its sounds converts into noise. We had driven the 1.6-litre DDiS powered S-Cross earlier and the difference between both engines’ performance was huge. But, now sadly we have only one option, so no point in remembering the 1.6 unit.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-10The 1.3-litre engine feels punchy post the rpm needle hits 1,800 and it gives the turbo lag at around 2,200 rpm. On highway too, the overtaking at 90 kmph just required a downshift. So overall, there isn’t much to talk about this engine as you must have driven this before for sure in some other form.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Ride and handling:

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-35This is the best part of S-Cross as it offers segment best ride and handling. The suspension offers comfortable ride, good stability and remains quieter on some broad potholes. You won’t feel much noise and bump inside the cabin as these are slightly retuned compared to the outgoing version. The segment-best cabin insulation too helps in making S-Cross ride superior and until 60-70 kmph, it is hard to find that we are driving a diesel motor.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-57The Noise proof 215/60 R16 tyres help S-Cross in providing a good road grip while the crossover is equipped with front and rear disc brakes as well as standard ABS and EBD to ensure better braking power.

There is some body roll present in the car but despite that it offers a sporty experience. It can be felt only when you are pushing it harder around the corner and around triple digit speed mark. The biggest improvement in these modern day Maruti’s is with the steering as the flagship S-Cross too renders a good steering feedback and very adaptive to the surface and speed. Clutch and gear shifting are on the lighter side and enables a good driving pleasure overall.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-25The S-Cross facelift comes with cruise control as well and it offers a good driving pleasure on long highway drive. For that, all you need to find is some good traffic free roads but it is an impossible task for at least in day driving. But if you are lucky, you will be going to love the cruise control feature for sure. Due to the 5.5-metre turning radius, you need to put some extra effort while taking U-turns or parking the crossover.

2017 Maruti S-Cross First Drive Review Verdict:

Maruti Suzuki has launched the 2017 S-Cross in India from Rs.8.49 Lakh, priced at around 50,000 above the outgoing version. So has this price difference been justified?

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-11I would love to say yes! as the new S-Cross now has a bolder character all thanks to the completely redesigned front fascia, updated tail lamps, good looking alloy wheels and the game changing Smart Hybrid technology that ensures good mileage. The facelift just changed it from a boring looking car to a head turner and it surely gets to be another hit from Maruti Suzuki.

It likely to snatch some good customers from Vitara Brezza’s pending booking numbers and likely to dent the sales of Creta, Duster and the upcoming Renault Captur. The 2017 S-Cross facelift deserves your money because it offers segment best build quality, premium features, good cabin noise insulation, Nexa safety shield, 25.1 kmpl mileage, good leg room, head room shoulder room along with a big boot space.

2017 Maruti Suzuki S-cross Review_-29The trust of Maruti’s nationwide service centre comes free with this car as well. It offers long list of features but I still think that Maruti should have brought sunroof into the act of this flagship at the least. I hope Maruti Suzuki will bring the bigger 1.5-litre diesel engine along with petrol engine in near future to spice things up further more.

2017-maruti-suzuki-s-cross-smart-hybrid-review-first-drive-837322S-cross, the first crossover from Maruti Suzuki launched in India a year after 2014 Auto Expo Debut. It was also the first product retailed via Maruti’s game changer, the premium Nexa showrooms and it has managed to sell over 50,000 units in last 2...