Maruti Suzuki showcased the new BS6 compliant S-Cross petrol at the Auto Expo 2020. The car will be formally launched some time in March, that is, in a month’s time.
There are no exterior or interior updates as the S-Cross had already had a major facelift a couple of years back. The only minor update is that it gets a colour MID, which is similar to the one found on the new Ertiga, Baleno and Ciaz. The big change is in the powerplant as Maruti dumps diesel at least temporarily. So, the S-Cross will get the same 1.5 litre, 4-cylinder K-Series petrol engine as the Brezza. It produces 104 Bhp of power and 138 Nm in torque.
The engine is backed by Suzuki hybrid Vehicle system (SHVS) which is a mild hybrid. It takes the load off the alternator and assist engine during acceleration but cannot propel the car on its own. However, it does help cut emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The gearbox combinations will be similar too. There will be 5-speed manual and a 4-speed torque converter automatic. The same engine-gearbox combo is already offered in Ertiga, XL6 and Ciaz. So, it’s a tried and tested combination.
The one advantage of this switch to petrol will be the reduced price. The current diesel S-Cross starts at Rs. 8.8 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi—the new one should be cheaper by Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh, making it a very attractive alternative to compact SUVs and even the higher end versions of compact sedan.
The S-Cross has ample ground clearance and is very reliable. These two factors are major driving forces that sells this crossover, which also gets an all wheel drive system in markets abroad. In India, Maruti has chosen to stick to the front wheel drive layout.
While it does not have the cache of a compact SUV—crossovers are yet to take off in India—S-Cross actually offer much more space, a huge boot and even better ride than many. In many ways, the experience is closer to that of a proper sedan that costs a lot more. Meanwhile, Maruti is working on developing a 1.5 litre BS6 compliant diesel in-house to replace the Fiat-sourced 1.3 litre engine that it has been using for quite some time across its range. But our guess is that it will take at least year for the new engine to be ready at which point S-Cross may have a diesel option again. For now, both its SUVs [Vitara Brezza] and the crossover [S-Cross] go petrol.