Maruti Suzuki prices new S-Cross from Rs 8.34 lakh to Rs 13.74 lakh

The crossover is available with two engine options and in five trim levels, and is the first model to be sold out of the Nexa showrooms.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 05 Aug 2015 Views icon9635 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Maruti Suzuki India today launched its premium S-Cross model at prices starting at Rs 8.34 lakh through to Rs 13.74 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The crossover is available with two engine options and in five trim levels, and is the first model to be sold out of the Nexa showrooms – Maruti’s recently launched premium dealerships.

The company calls the S-Cross a ‘premium crossover’ and rightly so — it looks more butch hatchback than rugged SUV. It gets off-roader elements like skid plates, body cladding and roof rails.

Speaking at the launch today in New Delhi, Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “There is a segment of customers in India who want power and performance in their vehicle, but also the comfort and refinement of a sedan. It is in that spirit today, we are launching the S-Cross. Built on a brand new platform, its bold crossover shape, dynamic character lines and many sophisticated touches contribute to its distinct look and emotional appeal. The interiors are plush, upmarket and spacious with high quality fit and finish and top notch features. Powered by DDiS200 and DDiS320 engine, the S-Cross will delight customers with its massive torque, power and superior ride and handling.”

The S-Cross DDiS 320 is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine that develops 118bhp and 32.6kgm of torque, while the DDiS 200 gets a 1.3-litre diesel powerplant that generates 89bhp and 20.39kgm of torque. The bigger engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, and the smaller unit to a five-speed manual. Both variants are also claimed to be quite frugal – the DDiS 320 is said to deliver 22.70kpl, while the DDiS 200 delivers 23.65kpl.

Maruti has done well to equip the S-Cross with a long list of features. While there are five trims to choose from — Sigma, Sigma (O), Delta, Zeta and Alpha – the top trim gets fitments like projector headlamps, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, climate control and Maruti’s SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system. It's good to note that safety kit like dual front airbags and ABS is standard across all trims.

Considering that the S-Cross is only going to be retailed through the Nexa channel which, according to Maruti, will have around 100 dealerships in the next six to eight months, the model may not be able to achieve the sales volume that Marutis are usually associated with, but in combination with the Nexa experience, the S-Cross is likely to aid the carmaker in taking another big step towards achieving a premium brand perception.

HOW THE MARUTI S-CROSS STACKS UP AGAINST THE COMPETITION
The Maruti S-Cross rivals the likes of the Renault Duster, the Nissan Terrano and the recently launched Hyundai Creta.

Despite undercutting competition like Hyundai’s recently launched Creta and Renault’s Duster on prices, Maruti Suzuki’s first plush crossover offering may not be an instant hit among Indian customers. According to analysts, the Japanese automaker’s new offering in the premium crossover segment still has to prove its worth against the competition.

“The S-Cross as a new offering is pitched directly against the Creta and the Duster. The Creta has taken the market by storm and has got a great initial response despite its high price-tag. The S-Cross, however, is a true-blue crossover, the first of its kind in India, and customers may not accept the segment that easily,” says an analyst with a US-based brokerage.

Autocar Professional has learnt that the Creta has received more than 24,000 bookings since its launch on July 21 (including 10,000 pre-bookings). However, this surge in demand means the waiting period on the SUV is as high as up to 10 months for some variants. In terms of pure numbers, the initial estimates show that the Creta may edge past the S-cross in terms of sales.

Nevertheless, Maruti Suzuki’s efforts to pitch the S-Cross as a premium segment compact SUV challenger through its brand-new and upscale Nexa dealerships may prompt loyalists to stick with the brand. Also, the long waiting periods for the Creta and slowing demand for older competition from the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster could likely drive sales for the S-Cross which has gone on sale today. 

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