It is no secret that the top two car makers of India, Maruti and Hyundai were both working on their next big launches, S-Cross and Creta respectively. Both these SUVs have been launched in India and will battle hard to get the biggest chunk in one of the rising segments in India where they will compete with the already established players, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. We are not comparing with the Ford EcoSport here as it falls under the 4m category of SUV. So how things will be? Let us find out.
Length wise the S-Cross stands at 4300mm while the Creta comes in at 4270mm. The Duster and Terrano meanwhile are 4315mm and 4331mm. What counts a lot though is wheelbase and here the S-Cross comes close to the top at 2600mm after the Duster and Terrano which wins with 2673mm wheelbase. The Creta has 2590mm. In terms of ground clearance the Duster/Terrano again win with 205mm on offer compared with the Creta and S-Cross (183 vs 180). As far as their visual aesthetics are concerned, S-Cross and Creta retain their family looks and have completely different styling which makes gives them unique identity in their segment. The Duster and Terrano however share many body panels hence they look slightly similar in terms of body size.
The S-Cross is based on the SX4 styling and its quite prominent when you see it from the front. The headlights and front grille design of S-Cross gives it a familiar Suzuki look and makes it look more like a crossover. However to give it a tough and rugged look, company gives it a black colored cladding all around along with 16-inch wheels which adds to the sporty character of this car. Similar is the case of Hyundai Creta which shares its styling cues with the premium sibling, new gen Santa Fe. The front end with stretched back headlights and three layered front chrome grille makes it look very aerodynamic reminds you of Santa Fe. The Creta has also been designed under brands new designing scheme, Fluidic version 2 and its quite visible thanks to the flowing sharp lines all around the car. The all around black cladding is also a styling part of Creta and suits the sporty stance of car along with its 17-inch wheels. None of these SUVs carry spare wheel at the back and feature wrap around design for their tail lights.
For S-Cross, Maruti is offering two diesel engines only out of which one is the 1.6L 118bhp Multijet engine found in the international version. This engine has an utmost torque output of 320Nm which is the better than any of its rival and gives it an edge over others. This engine only comes mated with a six-speed manual gearbox. The second will be the 1.3L 89bhp diesel engine from Ciaz with an utmost torque output of 200Nm which is served with a five speed manual gearbox. This engine will be for the entry level buyers who are more concern about fuel economy and pricing than powerful performance. There is no petrol engine and automatic gearbox on offer in S-Cross which is its biggest disadvantage and that is where the Creta excels.
The Creta will share the same set of 1.6L petrol, diesel engines and the 1.4L diesel engine which are currently doing duty in the Verna. The 1.6L petrol engine has a power output of 121 bhp while the diesel version has a slightly higher power output of 128 bhp. The 1.6L diesel engine comes with an option of 6-speed automatic gearbox making Creta the only diesel SUV in its class to feature an automatic gearbox. The 1.4L 89bhp diesel engine will be available in the entry level variants. All three engines come standard with six-speed manual gearboxes. As far as Duster and Terrano are concerned they both share the same engine line up which includes a 1.6L, 102bhp petrol engine and a 1.5L diesel engine.
The diesel engine comes in two states in both the cars and produce 85bhp in the lower state while it churns out a maximum power output of 108bhp in the more powerful sate. The petrol and the diesel engine in lower state come equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox while the powerful version is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Terrano, S-Cross and Creta are only available with the front wheel drive layout and Duster is the only one here to feature the 4WD and looking at the recent move from Renault to launch the AWD variant of Duster, we can also expect S-Cross especially later to come with the AWD layout as seen in the international version.
Value for money, Features
Maruti and Hyundai are known to give the best value for money with their cars. We know that till now, Hyundai has been giving all of their cars lots of comfort, premium and safety features and we expected the same for Creta as well. However, lately, Maruti has also been chasing Hyundai quite closely in terms of providing features further enhancing the appeal of their cars as seen in the case of Ciaz and new Swift and so is the case with S-Cross which becomes the best feature equipped car of Maruti till date. Both cars share features such as automatic climate control, auto folding mirrors, rear parking camera, sensors, push button start, touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity, navigation system and steering mounted controls, auto headlights, wipers, push button start, cruise control, leather upholstery, driver seat height adjuster and projector lamps.
Apart from these, the safety features will include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. The Creta also gets four additional airbags, Hill Start Assist, ESC while the S-Cross features driver and passenger airbag as standard. However, if we compare both these SUVs with the current players, Duster and Terrano then the new rivals seem to have an upper hand with many premium features such as push button start, electrically foldable ORVMs, auto lights and wipers as Duster and Terrano only come equipped with basic comfort and safety features such as 2-Din audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted controls, dual front airbags, rear a.c vents, ABS with EBD and brake assist, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and alloy wheels.
Prices for all the cars are out. The Hyundai Creta diesel starts at Rs 9.5 lakh and goes till Rs 13.6 lakh. The Duster diesel starts at Rs 9 lakh while the top-spec AWD diesel is Rs 13.6 lakh. Terrano prices start at Rs 10.1 lakh till Rs 12.9 lakh for the top-spec trim level. S-Cross range starts at Rs 8.3 lakh for the 1.3 diesel while the top-spec 1.6 diesel will cost you Rs 13.8 lakh. All except the S-Cross are available with petrol engines but clearly demand is not there as till now a large amount of bookings for the Creta are diesel only. For starters lets get this clear, hardcore SUV lovers would love the Duster AWD and it does not have any rival here. It has tougher SUV stance and AWD version has impressed us a lot, so much so its our choice over the Scorpio too. AWD aside both Terrano and Duster offer better off-road ability plus the dynamics are top-notch but they both lack the features, style and ease of driving that the Creta offers. The Creta is the best looking of this bunch plus has lots of features and is the best Hyundai we have driven which makes it a great all-rounder.
The S-Cross in essence is not a true Creta rival as its a crossover but actually will turn out to be its biggest rival as people will compare the two before buying. Both are feature loaded and possibly the best cars both car-makers have launched. Maruti is betting big with S-Cross as its also launching its new sales channel called as Nexa. Its a close fight but we think the S-Cross is a sportier, compact crossover for those who do not want a premium hatch but also not a full-blown SUV. The Creta is a SUV but also with a crossover bent. Both will appeal to different sets of customers i.e. either a proper SUV or a crossover. The S-Cross is better than the current set of crossovers, without doubt whereas the Creta amongst the SUVs is also our choice. Depending on your priorities take a good look at them both before you buy!
Words- Nitesh Sharma and Somnath Chatterjee