The second week of April was lined-up with holidays and I decided to head to Goa with the family. It’s a long highway drive, so I had to choose a suitable car. The editor suggested the Maruti S-cross – it has a decent amount of space with a large boot, a powerful engine that can cruise at high speeds easily, great body control and it runs on diesel. Perfect for the trip then.
The S-cross managed to impress even before we set out for the trip. Our runs to Goa always have a large suitcase, laptop bags, the kids’ small suitcases, a camera bag, fishing rods and nets with other odds and ends; this time, there was an extra bag full of stuff for the parents. That’s a lot to fit in, but the S-cross took it all in comfortably in the boot without any spill-over into the rear passenger footwell or the middle rear seat.
While the engine’s lack of low-end torque makes it taxing to manoeuvre in heavy traffic, where it shines is on the highway. It can cruise effortlessly at high speeds and never feels laboured. Put your foot down any time and it moves forward very eagerly, letting you ride a nice wave of torque. The ride also deserves praise – triple-digit speeds feel very comfortable and controlled and the Suzuki does not have too much body roll either. The standard JK tyres though, don’t allow you to push hard through corners. In the twisty ghat sections, my kids, who sometimes feel queasy at the back, had no complaints thanks to the good body control. And the suspension has a fair bit of travel, even allowing you to drop a wheel off the road without a worry when those enormous inter-city buses get a little too close.
The decent ground clearance is great for little picnic excursions and in Goa; the narrow roads posed no problems whatsoever as the S-cross seems perfectly sized to get to even the smaller, remote beaches. The road to my favourite beach near home is pretty narrow and parking requires you to go off-road. With the S-cross this time, parking was achieved effortlessly, without any worries about scraping the bottom or the bumper edge.
We had said in our earlier report that the S-cross is a seriously accomplished car, well suited to our conditions, and this drive to Goa was a testimony to that fact. Add in a well-put-together cabin and you have a very sensible vehicle. If you can get past the slightly awkward crossover looks, the car will reward you with an excellent ownership experience.