It’s absurd, but it’s true. A Mahindra Scorpio is cheaper to run than a Maruti Wagon-R, even though the latter gives more mileage. This is due to the fuel price difference currently and is based on years of ownership experience with the two cars.

Here’s why the Maruti Wagon-R works out more expensive on daily running costs, but is only slightly cheaper on overall ownership cost over the years. Both cars run more or less an equal distance each month – a distance of about 1,800 km per month, with a daily office-school-home commute of about 70 kms each day.

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Mahindra Scorpio

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mahindra scorpio and suzuki wagonr running cost

Fuel costs

Now in the past couple of years, the price differential between petrol and diesel has risen sharply. In New Delhi, diesel is still at Rs. 40.91 a litre, while petrol is at Rs. 71.16 a litre. The Wagon-R gives a mileage of 13.5 kmpl in the city on petrol, while the Scorpio churns out 11 kmpl on diesel.

This gives the Wagon-R a monthly fuel bill of Rs. 9,500, while the Scorpio chalks up only Rs. 6,700 a month at current diesel prices. That’s a saving of Rs. 2,800 a month on the Scorpio’s fuel bill over the Wagon-R.

Maintenance costs

Now let’s add in maintenance costs annually and see how the two stack up. The Wagon-R needs service once every 10,000 km, with an average service bill of Rs. 3,000. That’s about two services in a year. Add this to the Wagon-R’s fuel cost, and you get a total running cost of Rs. 1.20 lakh each year.

For the Scorpio, service is due every 5,000 km, with oil changes needed at every 10,000 km (normally recommended at 15,000 km). That adds up to four services in a year, with an average service cost of Rs. 4,000 (on the higher side). Add that to the fuel cost and you get a total running cost of Rs. 96,000 a year.

Purchase costs

The Wagon-R under discussion is a 2002 model LXi that cost Rs. 3.63 lakh on-road in 2002. The Mahindra Scorpio is a 2006 model DX CRDe 4WD that cost Rs. 9.38 lakh on-road in 2006. In 2006, the difference between petrol and diesel prices was only about Rs. 14 a litre. Overall, the Wagon-R and Scorpio’s running costs were roughly the same, with the Wagon-R working out as the cheaper option when total cost of transport is taken into account.

However, after petrol prices were decontrolled and have spiraled upward, the price difference has gone up to nearly Rs. 30 a litre. Just to put it in perspective, in 2006, diesel was Rs. 29 a litre, while petrol was Rs. 42 a litre in Delhi (approximately).

Then and now

In 2006, given the same running distance, it would have cost Rs. 5,600 a month for the Wagon-R and the Scorpio’s fuel bill would have been Rs. 4,750 a month – a difference of only Rs. 850 a month!  But in today’s scenario that gap has gone up to Rs. 2,800 a month!

What do you think? Please let us know in the comments below!

16 replies

  1. Profile photo of Sameer Mittal
    Sameer Mittal answers:

    well explained….

  2. Profile photo of Sachin Dev
    Sachin Dev answers:

    service cost of scorpio jus 4000…? lol…

  3. Profile photo of Jayant Rulz
    Jayant Rulz answers:

    wat a joke…..lol

  4. Shreyans Jain answers:

    Well the service costs of the Scorpio are usually more than double of the figure using which calculations have been made here. This is especially true with the older cars. Mahindra too is guilty of making the service costs rise sharply over the years.

  5. Roshun Povaiah answers:

    The lowest service bill I’ve got for the Scorpio is Rs. 2,519 (for a service where no oil changes or anything were needed). With oil changes, etc – it’s about Rs. 6000- Rs. 7000. Averaging this over the year, I kept it at 4000. In the past year though Mahindra’s service labor charges have become really high, although parts cost is not that much.

  6. Profile photo of Ankit Madaan
    Ankit Madaan answers:

    scorpio has to get 2 services in every 10000 kms and practically these 2 service sum upto atleast rs.12000 please dont make people fool

  7. Roshun Povaiah answers:

    Yes, annual service cost for Scorpio taken at Rs. 16,000 (4000 x 4 per year) Wagon R – only Rs. 6000 per year (Rs. 3000 x 2 services) .

  8. Roshun Povaiah answers:

    Even if you take Scorpio’s service cost at Rs. 6000 average x 4 services – adding up to Rs. 24,000 a year, it still comes to about Rs. 1.05 lakh.

  9. Profile photo of Nikhil Vaidya
    Nikhil Vaidya answers:

    woah…kewl

  10. Profile photo of Alistair Bastian
    Alistair Bastian answers:

    …. i beg to differ on the conclusion. The variables like yearly insurance and depreciation totally ignored. the pricing comparison of product cost and fuel should be on the same time line , we have used pricing of a 2002 wagon r and scorp of 2006 and fuel pricing of 2012 ……..

  11. Profile photo of Alistair Bastian
    Alistair Bastian answers:

    the scenario that would really play justice … keeping common man in mind variables that need consideration …. 1) cost of product 2) insurance 3) maintenance 4) cost of fuel and very important 5) monthly emi pay out…………………. IMHO believe the saving shown above may be delusional ……….

  12. Profile photo of Alistair Bastian
    Alistair Bastian answers:

    the scenario that would really play justice … keeping common man in mind variables that need consideration …. 1) cost of product 2) insurance 3) maintenance 4) cost of fuel and very important 5) monthly emi pay out…………………. IMHO believe the saving shown above may be delusional ……….

  13. Profile photo of Sangram Pansare
    Sangram Pansare answers:

    Good To Know about that @ Roshun Sir.

  14. Profile photo of Danny Daniel Kharkongor
    Danny Daniel Kharkongor answers:

    Actually i own a 2005 scorpio with 2.6 litre turbo diesel engine and change my oil every 5000km. cost of oil = 1400 + 150 oil filter + 150 diesel filter. so total cost is about 1700 however every 1000km i change gear oil as well then another 700-800 is used up. With newer diesel cars ans their cartridge like diesel filters say m hawk etc it is more expensive as the diesel filter is a good 1700-1800 rs .

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