The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross has been removed from the official website of the automaker. Maruti Suzuki’s NEXA website no longer lists the S-Cross, and this is because of the fact that the recently-launched Grand Vitara has replaced it. In fact, the signs for the impending discontinuation were pretty clear as Maruti Suzuki stopped producing the S-Cross in September of 2022, the same month when the Grand Vitara was officially launched. While Maruti Suzuki used to produce the S-Cross from its Gurgaon factory, the Grand Vitara is produced by Toyota, alongside the Hyryder (both the Hyryder and Grand Vitara are badge-engineered siblings) at its Bidadi factory, near Bengaluru.
Coming back to the S-Cross, the crossover was first introduced in India during 2015, and it got off to a tepid start. Maruti Suzuki took the diesel-only approach, and offered two engines – both from Fiat. One engine was the tried and tested 1.3 liter fiat Multijet, running a variable geometry turbocharger, and making 89 Bhp-200 Nm, while the other was a fully imported 1.6 liter Fiat Multijet turbodiesel that was good for 120 Bhp-320 Nm. Full import of the 1.6 liter Multijet meant that the S-Cross 1.6 was priced at a steep premium when compared with the heavily indigenized S-Cross 1.3. Even enthusiasts didn’t bite, and the S-Cross 1.6 had to be discontinued a few years down the line.
The facelift turned things around
The S-Cross 1.6’s discontinuation happened at a time when Maruti Suzuki decided to make the crossover look more SUV-like. The automaker’s designers did this by swapping out the front end of the S-Cross with a vertical slatted grille, new headlamps and a reprofiled bumper. The result was a much more imposing looking car, and sales of the S-Cross immediately picked up.
The 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine got supplemented with a SHVS (Suzuki Hybrid Vehicle System) mild hybrid, which assisted the engine during hard acceleration, and also offered brake energy regeneration and idle-stop features. In fact, the S-Cross was among the first mild hybrid cars to arrive into India. It’s only fitting that the S-Cross’ successor – the Grand Vitara – is now a strong hybrid.
As India skipped a full emissions cycle, to go from Bharat Stage 4 (BS4) to Bharat Stage 6 (BS6), Maruti Suzuki swapped the 1.3 liter diesel engine for a 1.5 liter petrol K15 unit. The naturally aspirated petrol engine also saw Maruti Suzuki adding a 4 speed automatic gearbox option to the car. All these factors added to sales, and the S-Cross was a steady seller. Also helping the fact was keen pricing of the vehicle, which undercut competition from the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
The S-Cross gets a solid successor
To this day, the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross remains one of the best built Maruti Suzuki cars. A mature ride quality and well-put together interiors are other key highlights of the car. The fact that the S-Cross was engineered primarily for the European market helped. The Grand Vitara- with its all wheel drive layout and strong hybrid options – is a strong successor. The SUV looks will only help it further.