Hyundai i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Comparison: Which car is better to buy?

by Harish Kumar | 30/12/2019
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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.

1. Hyundai i20 vs Maruti S-Cross: Introduction

Maruti Suzuki has been leading the game of the budget-end cars for a long time now, but the luxury segment becomes its Achilles heel then. By the introduction of the Maruti S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki, an auto manufacturer of small budget-friendly cars, aimed to carve a niche for itself in the premium SUVs and crossover competition of India. Quite ahead of its launch, the S-Cross generates a whole bunch of online and off-line hype around it. The motoring enthusiasts have expected that the all-new car would be able to help the company shake off the jinx created by the Grand Vitara and the Kizashi and makes a success in the upper segment. Though the S-Cross hasn’t been a true success story for Maruti Suzuki from days one that is critically attributed to its initial high price bracket, the company is still betting much on the vehicle.

Despite being pitched as a premium SUV, the S-Cross’s nearest rivals are present in the hatchbacks segment in the form of the Hyundai Elite i20. Unlike its adversary, the South Korean hatchback car has created some important milestones in terms of sales and witnessed a resounding response all over the country. It’s a bit hard to imagine that the i20 moniker has been in the market since 2008. And it’s already been around five years since the major facelift bringing in the Elite i20 badge, the hatchback is still an aspirational car, having enough charm to woo the domestic car buyers each month. So how does the Hyundai Elite i20 pit against the premium Maruti S-Cross? By comparing the i20 vs S Cross, we try to find out what the S-Cross crossover-ish SUV and the Elite i20 hatchback have to ouster the each other in the competition.

2. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Dimensions: Which Is Bigger?

Yes, you may know the answer right from the word go. The Maruti S-Cross is physically bigger than the Hyundai Elite i20 hatch by some margins. See how they measure up against each other in the table of dimensions below:

Dimensions  Hyundai Elite i20   Maruti S-Cross
 Length  3985 mm  4300 mm
 Width  1734 mm  1785 mm
 Height  1505 mm  1595 mm
 Wheelbase  2570 mm  2600 mm
 Ground Clearance  170 mm  180 mm
 Kerb Weight  1080 - 1200 kg  1240 kg

The Maruti S-Cross dimensions are at 4,300 mm in length, 1,785 mm in width, 1,595 mm in height along with the wheelbase of 2,600 mm. These figures mean that the S-Cross is almost big enough to compare with some mid-size SUVs like Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier or Kia Seltos. Essentially, the S-Cross is 315 mm longer, 51 mm wider and 90 mm higher than the Elite i20 hatchback counterpart. Its wheelbase is also longer than the i20’s wheelbase of 2,570 mm by 30 mm.

maruti s-cross facelift front three quartes left side

Hyundai elite i20 blue front angle

Measuring 3,985 mm long, the Hyundai Elite i20 is riding on the sub-four-metre hatchback segment. Compared to other rivals in its category, the i20 boasts the longest wheelbase that translates into a roomier space on the inside. The Elite i20 is also the heaviest hatchback out of the lot but it is, of course understandably, 40 kg less than the S-Cross SUV. Obviously then, at 4.3 metres in length, the Maruti S-Cross is intimidating in its proportions lending a greater street presence that a crossover should have to beat the Elite i20. However, does great road presence mean better to look at? Let’s find out how the Maruti S-Cross fares against the Elite i20 in terms of design in the next part of the comparison.

3. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Design: Which Is Better Looking?

Exterior Design

After the S-Cross was first introduced in the space, Maruti Suzuki hasn't sold the S-Cross in good numbers as it had expected for this SUV that is courtesy of, apart from the pricing, its “uninspiring” look.

2017 maruti s-cross facelift front three quarters

In fact, the S-Cross is rather a conservative Japanese car at first glance. In 2017, the Indo-Japanese carmaker gave the S-Cross a major facelift in a bid to address the S-Cross’s weakness. The S Cross comes back with a fresher face that boasts of a host of cosmetic tweaks on boards. In fact, it is more than what we could call a “facelift”. Apart from the fenders, almost everything forward of the windscreen is completely new.

maruti s-cross blue front grille

The large toothy grille with decent chrome inserts upfront works very well to catch our attention when looking at the front fascia of the model. The headlamps look premium and are reminiscent of the BMW 5-Series. The muscular bonnet is accentuated with some prominent character lines. The rounded-out front bumper with skid plates looks really striking, combined with the sharp-looking 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels to add more to the aggressive stance of the vehicle.

Hyundai Elite i20, like always, has a different styling approach in comparison with the Maruti Suzuki car. The fact that two cars are from different categories also forms the basis of how these cars would differentiate themselves when standing at the same place.

Hyundai Elite i20 front angle

If the Maruti S-Cross comes up with SUV-ish aggression on its exterior design, the Hyundai Elite i20 returns a fair mix of elegance and sportiness typically for a premium hatch. The Elite i20 runs on a set of sporty-looking 16-inch wheels but we must say, it’s no SUV indeed. Compared to the S-Cross, the i20 might be a bit less flamboyant on the face. It features Hyundai’s iconic hexagonal grille at the front along with sharp-looking pulled-back headlamps and a lower mesh grille that integrates triangular fog lamps housings. There’s no rounded-off bumper, no skid plates and fewer chrome inserts but the Elite i20 doesn’t lose its charm over the S-Cross when looking straight into their the faces.

hyundai elite i20 orange front angle

For an SUV, skid plates and claddings are featured on both sides of the S-Cross. The Hyundai Elite i20 has none of them. The rear end of the new Elite i20 looks much better updated than the S-Cross. The new taillamps graphic design lights up in a horizontal pattern that looks more stunning than that in the S-Cross counterpart. The thick blacked-out section of the bumper and the restyled tailgate also add some flairs to the car’s overall package.

Interior Design

Along with the idea of going premium, Hyundai gives the Elite i20's cabin a host of nips and tucks that makes it fresh and more sophisticated. The dashboard layout is neat and clean, designed in a way that everything is in the right position to fall in the hand of the driver easily. The dual-tone interior theme gives the cabin a brighter and airier effect.

hyundai elite i20 cabin layout

It looks upmarket and the soft-touch materials all around improve that upmarket feel to a higher level. The seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system is placed lower under the central AC vents and flanked by the dual rotary controls and a batch of physical buttons. Like the exterior, the interior of the Elite i20 is also less flamboyant but deep inside, it manages to deliver a premium felt all around the corners.

new maruti s-cross dashboard layout

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, on the other hands, scores better in terms of quality thanks to the extensive utilization of high-quality plastics. The S-Cross makes use of an all-black cabin that looks pretty cool with some satin-polished chrome trims on the centre console, air vents, door handles and even steering. However, given the price bracket that the SUV carries, the Maruti S-Cross feels a bit “plastic-y” and lacks the luxuriousness that other modern SUVs have to offer.

4. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Features: Which Is Safer and More Convenient?

Comfort Features Comparison

Hyundai Elite i20 is brimming with a long list of features for better convenience and comfort. It comes with steering mounted controls, power steering and power window, wireless charging, rear AC vents, 12V accessory socket, theatre dimming central room lamp, front wiper, battery saver, segment-first fold-down armrest, etc. Other highlighting features of the Elite i20 include auto climate control, power-adjustable ORVMs, audio systems with Bluetooth connectivity, rear vanity mirror, etc. offered on some select variants of the model. The touchscreen infotainment system of the Elite i20 is one of the best units around that is offered with an easy-to-use interface and compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay (for the higher-spec variant).

hyundai elite i20 interior dashboard layout

Comparing with Hyundai car in terms of comfort features is really a tough fight but considering the higher price sticker it is sticking to, the Maruti S-Cross seems to have a lot of things that work in favour of. Standard comfort goodies of the S-Cross include keyless entry, power windows, driver side auto up/down window with anti-pinch, tilt steering, engine auto start-stop cancel switch, co-driver side vanity mirror, front accessory pocket among others.

Safety & Security Features Comparison

On the safety front, the Hyundai Elite i20 is packed with four airbags, anti-lock braking system, central locking, impact-sensing auto door lock/ unlock, seatbelt pre-tensioners for driver and passenger, speed alert, driver and passenger seatbelt reminder, engine immobilizer, dual horns and many others.

The Maruti S-Cross comes to offer dual airbags, ABS, rear ISOFIX child seat mounts, front disc brakes, engine immobilizer, driver and co-driver seatbelt reminder, reverse parking sensor, high-speed alert, dual horn, etc as standard across the model.

5. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Engine Specs: Which Is Better In Terms Of Performance?

The Maruti S-Cross comes with a single diesel engine option under the bonnet. It gets a 1.3-litre DDis 200 diesel mill that is offered with smart hybrid tech and comes mated to 5-speed manual transmission. That said, the S-Cross comes as a bit let-down for the domestic car buyers as it misses out on a petrol-automatic variant that the i20 does have on tap.

Specs  Hyundai Elite i20 Maruti S-Cross 
 Engine Type  1.2-litre Kappa Dual VTVT Petrol  1.4 U2 CRDi Diesel   DDiS 200 Smart Hybrid Diesel
 Displacement  1197 cc  1396 cc  1248 cc
 No. of cylinders  4  4  4
 Power  83 PS  90 PS  90 PS
 Torque  117 Nm  224 Nm  200 Nm
 Transmission  5-speed MT/ CVT  6-speed MT  5-speed MT
 Drivetrain  FWD   FWD

Power and torque output of the S-Cross is at 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque, delivered to the two wheels only. The Hyundai Elite i20, in the meantime, is powered by either a 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine making 83 PS and 117 Nm or a 1.4-litre U2 CRDi diesel motor tuned to produce 90 PS/ 224 Nm of torque. It even looks more enticing with three gearboxes on its compelling mechanical package, including a 6-speed MT for the diesel mill or a 5-speed MT/ CVT for the gasoline burner. What tips the scale towards the S-Cross here should be a hybrid variant available in use. The DDiS 200 comes with the company’s Smart Hybrid tech which features idle-stop start, brake energy generation system, torque assist along with a gearshift indicator.

6. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Top Speed: Which Is Faster?

Being a small hatchback, the Hyundai Elite i20 is surprisingly faster than S Cross SUV by some extents. The petrol variants of the i20 can reach the top speed of 154 kmph while the diesel models do that with almost 165 kmph. With a single diesel engine under the hood, Maruti S-Cross hits the peak speed of 164 kmph.
 Specs  Hyundai Elite i20 Maruti S-Cross 
 Top Speed  154 kmph - 165 kmph  164 kmph
 0 - 100 kmph  11.5-13 seconds  13.42 seconds

Hyundai Elite i20 is even faster in terms of the acceleration (from 0-100 kmph). The hatchback car is capable of sprinting to 100 kmph from a standstill in 11.5 seconds (for diesel version) and roughly 13 seconds for ( for petrol variants). The S-Cross, on the other hand, takes over 13 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km per hours.

7. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Mileage: Which Is More Fuel Efficient?

Though being less flamboyant in terms of performance, the S-Cross is a more fuel-efficient car regarding its ARAI-rated fuel mileage figure of 25.1 kmph.

 Specs  Hyundai Elite i20 Maruti S-Cross 
 Fuel Type  Petrol | Diesel  Diesel
 Fuel Tank  40 litres 48 litres
 Fuel Mileage

 22.54 kmpl (Diesel MT)

18.6 kmpl (Petrol MT)

17.4 (Petrol AT)

 25.1 kmpl

Compared with the diesel-powered i20, the Maruti SUV returns a higher fuel economy figure of 2.56 kmpl. The petrol models of the Elite i20 are, of course, still less efficient as its manual and automatic variants can only deliver 18.6 kmpl and 17.4 kmpl respectively. 

8. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Price: Which Is Cheaper?

Due to the decent prices of the S-Cross, the Hyundai Elite i20 premium hatchback comes cheaper than the SUV competitor. The S-Cross is currently being on sale in the range of Rs 8.8 – 14.3 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) that commands a huge premium over the Elite i20. The Hyundai hatchback car is retailed at around Rs 5.52 – 9.34 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Prices  Hyundai Elite i20  Maruti S-Cross 
 Ex-showroom Prices (Delhi)  Rs 5.52 – 9.34 Lakh  Rs 8.8 - 11.43 Lakh
 On-road Prices (Delhi)  Rs 6.14 – 10.66 Lakh  Rs 10 – 13.47 Lakh

9. Hyundai Elite i20: Other Competitors

Hyundai Elite i20 fights aggressively with the Maruti Baleno, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, Toyota Glanza, etc. and the all-new Tata Altroz.

Other Competitors   Compare with Hyundai Elite i20
 Maruti Baleno  Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti Baleno
 Toyota Glanza  Hyundai Elite i20 vs Toyota Glanza
 Hyundai Grand i10 Nios  Hyundai Elite i20 vs Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
 Tata Altroz  Hyundai Elite i20 vs Tata Altroz

10. Maruti S-Cross: Other Competitors

Maruti S-Cross competes with some other SUVs like Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Mahindra XUV300, etc.

Other Competitors   Compare with Maruti S-Cross
 Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks  Maruti S-Cross vs Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Kicks
 Mahindra XUV300  Maruti S-Cross vs Mahindra XUV300
 Honda HR-V  Maruti S-Cross vs Honda HR-V

11. Hyundai Elite i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Verdict: Which Model Is Worth Buying?

There is no denying that the Maruti S-Cross, albeit being underrated in India, is quite a pleasurable car to be driven in. The Hyundai Elite i20, on the other hand, is one of the most premium hatchbacks out there - a quite spacious car with plenty of features to offer and an automatic transmission on boards. Since buying a car is based on the purpose of your purchase, both cars have their own traits to complement.

huyndai elite i20 blue orange front angle

If you are setting out to buy an umber-cool stylish hatchback car with a long list of safety and comfort features, a CVT option at an attractive price point, the Hyundai Elite i20 must appear in your list of choices. Otherwise, if you are seeking high and low for a practical and fun-to-drive family vehicle and ready to compromise on the petrol engine option, it's the Maruti S-Cross that makes a deal.

maruti s cross blue front & side angle

For more informative car comparisons of many vehicles that are currently on sale in India, kindly stay updated with IndianAuto. We also provide our dear readers with a range of interesting car compare articles of Hyundai car or an easy tool to compare Maruti Suzuki car with other models of their respective segments.

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