2100 km in 5 days in an S-Cross: Comparing it with Seltos & City
It was my friend’s 9-month-old Maruti. This is my experience & observation in comparison to the Kia & Honda that I drive frequently.
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I flew down to Bhubaneswar for a 15-day trip to attend a marriage, spend some time with family and, was supposed to fly back on Saturday.
Meanwhile, with offices opening up, a close friend was to come to Bangalore and get his car along. He was looking for some company for the long trip back. With some turn of events, his plan was in jeopardy and I decided to cancel my return ticket at the last moment and drive back with him. After spending good 5 days and 2100 kms with his car (we took it to the wedding too), I was very impressed and wanted to share my experience.
The car in question is a 9-month-old, 19k km run (at the end of our trip) S-Cross 1.5 Petrol manual, a car which was on my wishlist but was not available when I bought the Seltos.
My observations are in comparison to the Seltos and the 4th-gen City i-VTEC MT that I drive frequently.
Ride: The right balance of firm and soft, it helps push the S-Cross through bad broken roads without worrying. Unlike the Seltos, you don’t get the jarring feedback even when the car hits a sharp bump. The City has a soft ride too but at the cost of handling. Unlike, S-Cross and Seltos, it can’t fly through bad roads.
S-Cross >> Seltos > City
Handling: Due to the low centre of gravity, there isn’t any body roll. Car holds its line in the high-speed curves. That said, the car feels light/floats and as such, isn’t confidence-inspiring at higher speeds (above 120). All through the 1000+ kms that I drove, I maintained speeds between 80-110 as I didn’t enjoy going beyond it. Another place where it feels unsettled is when there’s a sudden change in road height (on-road diversions or flyovers, bridges, etc.).
In comparison, Seltos ‘feels’ heavier and planted in all those conditions and at much higher speeds too. On the other hand, City feels even lighter than S-Cross.
Seltos > S-Cross >> City
Brakes: Excellent brakes which are progressive, have limited pedal travel and have a very good bite. ABS is also tuned perfectly and the overall brake system always feels adequate given the weight of the car. Brakes on the City are equally good but feel overserved for the car’s weight. ABS of the Seltos is the bane although the brakes themselves are good.
SCross > City > Seltos
Steering: Steering of the S Cross is light and has good feedback. I would rate it at par with City. Seltos has slightly heavier steering and I would prefer that.
Seltos > S Cross = City
Driving and Seating Comfort: Front Seats on the S Cross are wide and have decent under-thigh support. I could walk into the car (reminded me of my WagonR), settle down in the driver seat to get a clear view of the road and the controls were in my reach. Much to my liking.
In the City, I have to crouch in and pull myself out of the car. Front seat has poor lower back and under-thigh support. Given the stance, I feel seated on the road which makes me uncomfortable. My wife prefers the rear seat of the City over the Seltos any day because of the better recline.
Moving on to the Seltos, I hop into the car, am seated higher and get an even better view of the road although some of it is robbed by that high set dashboard/touchscreen. Seats are adequately wide but have much better under thigh support. Due to this reason, to me, the driving posture of the Seltos feels slightly better than S-Cross.
Cabin space, in all the 3 cars, is more than adequate and never feels like a compromise. Since we were 2 of us in the S-Cross and were carrying a lot of luggage, we used the boot and the rear seat without a second thought. Seltos has a slightly larger boot while City has the largest.
Of all the 3 cars and given their dimensions, the S-Cross felt the most nimble to drive in the traffic conditions. Seltos was next as it feels much wider than the S-Cross. City was last given the low ground clearance, view from seat and the boot at the rear.
Performance: I won’t compare a diesel car with petrols here. Let’s just say that I missed the punch of the turbo diesel all through both the trips. Instead of the point and shoot nature of my diesel, I have to plan the overtakes on either of the petrols. The S-Cross shines with the beautiful bottom end response but has a weak mid-range and uninspiring top end. In the City, it’s a dull bottom end and things start improving there-on.
Slow down at the speed breaker without stopping and the S-Cross can pull away in 3rd or even 4th gear (Due to low gearing and good bottom end response), something which City (or even the diesel Seltos) can never accomplish. It is the perfect city car among the three and is good enough on the highway for sedate driving. But beyond 120, the progress of the S-Cross was slow.
S-Cross has a much better NVH insulation and the engine note itself sounds better than the loud scream of the Honda. Gearbox is smooth-shifting on all cars but it was effortless on the S-Cross.
Given the ground clearance, I never had to be careful about scrapping (nor it did) the S-Cross.
Seltos (D) >>> S-Cross > City
Lights: The LED projectors of the S-Cross Alpha might look great but are barely adequate on a dark road. The halogen projectors of the City are a lot better here.
Features: The S-Cross Alpha was better loaded than my Seltos HTK+. If I were to complain, it will be missing rear AC vents and that toothpick stuck on the instrument cluster
Fuel efficiency: Driving at 80-90kmph and liberally using the cruise control through the first 400 kms, my friend got 15.4kmpl on MID. I took over and maintained 90-110kmph without using the CC and the number jumped to 16 kmpl.
Pricing and VFM: At 12.2L, the S-Cross is a very good car. If I was looking for a petrol car with frequent city use, I would prefer the S-Cross over the Seltos or City. For highway centric use, Seltos D was worth the premium. I could never become a sedan convert, nor was my friend. So we are happy with the respective crossovers.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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