Here's our road test review of the new 2020 Maruti S-Cross Petrol. The crossover SUV is now powered by Maruti Ciaz’s 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The demand for diesel-powered vehicles has been steadily decreasing around the country. Many automakers have decided to remove diesel engine option from their stable like VW, Skoda, Renault, Nissan, and Maruti Suzuki. Earlier, India’s biggest automaker Maruti Suzuki’s crossovers such as Vitara Brezza and S-Cross were only offered with 1.3-litre turbocharged diesel motors, but after the introduction of the BS6 emission norms, things have changed a lot. Earlier this year, the carmaker introduced the facelifted Maruti Brezza with a 1.5-litre K15B four-cylinder petrol engine, and now the same engine option has been introduced in the new S-Cross petrol. Recently, we got a chance to get our hands on the petrol-powered S-Cross. So without further ado, let’s see what it has to offer.
2020 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Petrol- Design
In terms of looks, the new 2020 Maruti S-Cross looks identical to the BS4 model. The exterior styling was updated by the carmaker back in 2017. In terms of styling, there’s no change, but the car still looks as new as it was, when upgraded in 2017. The crossover SUV got a new front end, which consists of a 10 slat chrome grille, revised two-tone bumper, new projector headlamps with LED DRLs, and fog lamps. The chrome elements on the front grille and inside the headlamp cluster enhance the overall premium appeal of the car. Moving towards the side, it employs dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels along with body-coloured door handles, and side mirrors with integrated turn indicators. Moreover, the blacked-out wheel arches make the crossover SUV look rugged. The doors do not feature chrome-finish on the handles, but the car does get a pair of roof rails. At the back, the SUV features LED wraparound taillights with a large blacked-out bumper and a sporty-looking spoiler with an integrated high-mounted stop lamp.
Inside, the cabin of the Maruti S-Cross continues to employ the same features, which were offered by the automaker back in 2017. The cabin of the 2020 Maruti S-Cross gets gloss black inserts on the centre console, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, leather-finished centre console, and a few chrome accents around the cabin. The fit and finish of the cabin is pretty good. Also, it is quite spacious to accommodate 5 passengers at once. Maruti S-Cross is among the roomiest cars in its segment. The back row seats also feel quite premium because of the centre armrest with cup holders along with ample amount of legroom and headroom on offer. However, the crossover SUV still feels a bit dated as compared to its rivals in terms of the features it offers. It misses out on an electric sunroof, wireless charging pad, and rear AC vents. These are some of the features, which customers of today want in their car.
2020 Maruti S-Cross petrol- Engine & Performance
The biggest change in the 2020 Maruti S-Cross is the addition of a new petrol power plant. It now derives power from a 1.5-litre K15B four-cylinder petrol motor, which churns out 105 PS of peak power and 138 Nm of max torque. Transmission duties are done by a 5-speed MT or a 4-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The same powertrain does duties in the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Ciaz, XL6, and Ertiga. Moreover, the Maruti S-Cross now comes paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which makes the acceleration of the car a bit more exciting, and it also enhances the fuel-efficiency. On paper, Maruti S-Cross is the most underpowered car in its segment. On the other hand, its direct rivals Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta put out 138bhp of power and 242 Nm of torque from their turbo-petrol motor. However, they produce 113bhp of peak power and 144 Nm of peak torque from their naturally aspirated petrol engine. Moreover, the 2020 Renault Duster now gets a 1.3-litre turbocharged gasoline motor, which develops power and torque outputs of 165bhp and 254 Nm, respectively. Nevertheless, when it comes to real-world performance, Maruti’s new crossover SUV offers a bit more than what its specifications suggest.
The new petrol unit offers a lot of low-end grunt, which is aided by the instant torque from its smart-hybrid system. As the speed increase, the 1.5-litre motor can disappoint you from its mundane mid-range, but it starts picking up some steam around 3,500-4,000 rpm. On open highways or empty mountains, the engine won’t disappoint you at all. It seems to be in its element, instead. We’ve also conducted an acceleration run of the car, where the new Maruti S-Cross petrol automatic trim sprinted from 0-100 kmph in 14.85 seconds. On the other hand, the same petrol engine paired with a manual gearbox in Maruti Brezza accelerated from 0-100 kmph in 11.37 seconds. Because of the bland mid-range, you’ll always have to be looking to downshift, if you wish to stay in the right powerband. In our opinion, the manual trim of the crossover is capable to excite you more when compared to the automatic variant. However, the automatic trim will surely make your everyday commutes a hassle-free affair. It’ll also give you an option to stay in first gear or between 1st and 2nd gear. This feature is useful for hill climbs and low-traction areas. Furthermore, there’s also a button on the gear level, where a person can switch off the overdrive function. Both the gearbox options offer a good amount of acceleration as well as highway-cruising capabilities. According to S-Cross’s multi-information display, we received a fuel efficiency of 14.2 kmpl.
2020 Maruti S-Cross- Ride & Handling
The new 2020 Maruti S-Cross offers refined and capable driving dynamics. The crossover SUV has a kerb weight of 1,240 kg, which means it is lighter than its competitors, but it stills feels tad overweight compared to the amount of power it offers. The new Maruti SUV is very stable at three-digit speeds and equally confident while cornering. As compared to the previous diesel powertrain, the new petrol unit is lighter, and it helps the car to take faster turns. The braking duties are done by disc brakes on all four wheels, and it also features energy rejuvenation for the battery pack while braking. The ride quality of the car is quite good as the suspension set-up of the SUV is well-balanced. Now, one can clock long distances on the new Maruti S-Cross quite effortlessly. The suspension system works pretty well in countering the speed breakers and potholes. Overall, the 2020 Maruti S-Cross offers a plush ride for highway and city use.
2020 Maruti S-Cross Petrol- Verdict
The Maruti S-Cross is not among the best-selling cars in its segment, but the introduction of the car with the new petrol unit will surely attract a lot of new buyers. The 2020 Maruti crossover looks premium, comes loaded with a lot of convenience features and is powered by an adequately-powerful petrol motor. The price of the new Maruti S-Cross petrol starts at Rs 8.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the entry-level Sigma trim and goes all the way up to Rs 12.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the top-spec Alpha AT variant.
Which car is better to buy? The practical Maruti S-Cross crossover-SUV or lavishly-designed Hyundai Elite i20 hatchback? Read our Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross comparison to see what they have to offer against each other.