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2020 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Petrol First Drive Review: Similar Package Yet Better Value

2020 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Petrol. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

2020 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Petrol. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross now comes with only one engine option which is a new 1.5-litre petrol engine. We take it out for a drive and tell you how different it is to drive.

The arrival of the BS-VI emission norms has meant a lot of things for a lot of automakers. For Maruti Suzuki, it meant that they had to do away with the iconic 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. There were some cars, though, from Maruti’s stable that was offered only with that diesel engine – like the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. Hence, from 2020, the S-Cross comes will come with a brand new petrol engine and we find out what changes does it bring to the whole experience.

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But first, let’s get a refresher on what you get with the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. In terms of changes, there’s not a lot that’s new. Well, there’s only one to be specific which the latest generation of Maruti Suzuki Smartplay Studio system. As a result, the infotainment system experience is actually more intuitive.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

However, one look at the feature list and you’ll find that the S-Cross pretty much offers everything that you would want in this segment.

On the outside, you get the same facelifted design that debuted with the S-Cross back in 2017. Thankfully, the S-Cross is still a handsome car, even with the arrival of newer competition. You get the huge chrome grille at the front that is flanked by automatic LED projector headlamps with DRLs. On the sides, you have nice-looking 16-inch alloy wheels and there are LED tail lamps which look smart.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

On the inside, you have a spacious cabin with a high seating position giving you great visibility out on the road. You get leatherette upholstery, cruise control, a digital MID in the instrument cluster, cup holders with armrest at the back and a rather large boot space upping the practicality quotient. Yes, it gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and a rear parking camera as well.

However, while the positives are there the negatives are too. Which means you still miss out on things like a rear AC vent and there is the absence of a sunroof which we feel is something that should have been included this time around.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

So that now you’re all caught up with what the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross brings to the table, well, let’s come to the big change which is the engine. This is a 1.5-litre unit that makes 138Nm of torque and 105 hp. Yes, this is a brand new engine from the house of Maruti Suzuki but we have seen this do duty on other Maruti Suzuki cars. That includes the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, the XL6, the Ertiga and the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.

And when driving, you’ll notice how smooth and refined this engine is. There are almost no vibrations in any part of the RPM band and the car has a pleasant exhaust note too. Now remember that this is a naturally aspirated engine and not a turbocharged unit, which means to get the car really going, you have to push up to higher RPMs. In the case of the S-Cross, the engine comes alive post 3,000 RPM and offers a relaxed experience under that mark.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

For overtakes, you will feel the need to downshift for that surge in power and torque. And coming to shifts, we drove the manual transmission-equipped variant and the gearbox felt really nice. The clutch action is nice and light and the gear slots in confidently with nice throws across the gates.

The drivetrain as a whole feels adequate in terms of performance but very well refined for the hectic city driving conditions that you would find yourself in most of the time. And speaking of the city, the S-Cross takes broken roads like a champ and gives a supple ride experience.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

And the icing on the cake? Maruti Suzuki has priced the S-Cross aggressively as it starts from Rs 8.39 lakh maintaining the value for money offering that it offered ever since it was launched, despite the new engine that meets a stricter emission norm.

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Summing up the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is not that difficult because I always liked this car. I believe this is one of the most underrated cars made by Maruti Suzuki and the reasons for that are simple - it drives well, it’s packed with features, it looks rather nice with the facelifted design that it is carrying and now with the addition of the 1.5-litre petrol engine, I see this as a far better value for money offering than before. Add to the mix that this is priced aggressively too, and this becomes a car that you cannot ignore.

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