Face off: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross vs Ford EcoSport

suzuki s cross interior

The crossover craze in India rages on. The year 2015 marks Maruti’s entry into the SUV crossover segment of the Indian market. Set to battle it out with established marques such as Ford, Nissan, Renault and now Hyundai, Maruti’s S-Cross has quite a lot riding on its initial response. Already available for prospective customers to view at malls across India, the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross will make its  big debut in dealerships in the coming weeks. We pit the upcoming Maruti crossover against the popular Ford EcoSport and see how well the pseudo SUV fares.

Design:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross’ exterior is derived from the now discontinued SX4 sedan. The crossover shares numerous elements from the sedan such as the muscular profile and aggressively styled headlights. The upcoming crossover will also feature LED DRLs which are fast becoming the norm. Typical of most crossovers, the S-Cross sports black plastic cladding, raised ground clearance, silver skid plates and discernible muscle lines flowing around it. Although the S-Cross is quite aggressive when compared to its sedan derivative, the car fails to earn the same degree of attention as some of its other rivals.

new maruti crossover front three quarter
The Maruti Suzuki S Cross is the manufacturer’s first crossover SUV for the Indian market.

Ford EcoSport:

The Ford EcoSport was among the first to don the American automaker’s new Kinetic design philosophy. One of the key design elements in the car manufacturer’s design language is the large hexagonal chrome lined front grille; A character trait that makes the EcoSport was one of the most easily recognizable cars on the streets. However, the Ford EcoSport is a sub 4m compact crossover. As such, despite the pseudo off-roader’s raised ground clearance, lower body cladding and SUV silhouette, it fails to flaunt the genre of road presence commonly associated with SUVs here in India. Unlike the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Ford has opted for an amalgam of sleek body elements with SUV overtones to create a more balanced package.

ford ecosport
The Ford EcoSport

Winner: Draw

Interior:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

The interiors of the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is surprisingly upmarket. The Indian car maker has opted for an all black cabin aiding in the S-Cross’ sporty appeal. Silver accents around the A/C vents, center console and steering wheel add a bit of contrast and up the upmarket appeal of the car’s cabin. The crossover’s top end variants also come equipped with an advanced 7 inch touchsreen display. Dubbed SmartPlay, the new system packs conventional connectivity options such as Bluetooth, USB, AUX and also comes with GPS navigation and voice command. 

suzuki s cross interior
Interior of the new Maruti S Cross

Ford EcoSport:

The Ford EcoSport’s interior may have been cutting edge back in 2013. However, while the American car maker has stuck with its old school monochrome display and button interface, other manufacturers have moved on to more contemporary forms of infotainment systems such as touchscreen displays and Android/iOS app interfaces. As such, the Ford EcoSport, with its dizzying array of buttons and knobs on the center console feels a bit dated.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

Winner: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

Engine:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

Powering the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross crossover for the Indian market is a pair of diesel engines. Maruti offers a Fiat sourced 1.3 l DDiS engine for all variants of the S-Cross while only three out of the four trims on offer also comes with a more powerful 1.6 l oil burner. The 1.3 l diesel mill churns out 89 hp @ 4000 RPM and a peak torque of 200 Nm @ 1750 RPM. The four cylinder 1.6 l diesel unit is good for 118 hp @ 3750 RPM and 320 Nm @ 1750 RPM. While the 1.3 l unit is mated to a 5 speed manual, Maruti offers the 1.6 l variants with a six speed stick shift. Currently, Maruti Suzuki has not made any announcements of an automatic variant.

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s engineering prowess is revered in the automotive community. The manufacturer’s new EcoBoost series of engines have garnered critical acclaim for its practicality and immense potential. For the Indian market, Ford offers a range of diesel and petrol engines including a 1.0 l EcoBoost. Base variants of the petrol EcoSport sport a 1.5 l i-VCT unit that churns out 109 hp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 140 Nm @ 4400 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual transmission or a 6 speed automatic gearbox.

Diesel variants of the Ford EcoSport are powered by a sole 1.5 l TDCi unit that churns out 89 hp @ 3750 RPM and a peak torque of 204 Nm @ 2000 RPM. While the Maruti S-Cross offers more power engine options, the Ford EcoSport caters to a wider audience.

Winner: Ford EcoSport

Verdict:

The Ford EcoSport’s reign in the crossover segment has come to an end. With the debut of mass volume pushes such as Hyundai and Maruti, the crossover segment just became a whole lot more competitive. Although Ford’s Ecosport remains a good buy, the American car manufacturer’s initial inertia to deliver the first batch of cars permanently damaged the impact of the crossover here in India.

With the S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki has managed to create yet another winner. The premium leather seats, touchscreen navigation and entertainment system and SUV DNA is certain to make the new S-Cross a winner.

Face Off: Hyundai Creta vs Ford EcoSport

hyundai creta suv interiors

The compact SUV segment has seen phenomenal growth over the past two years. With huge profits raked in by the Duster and EcoSport for its respective car makers, other manufacturers are slowly jumping the bandwagon. Hyundai’s entry into the compact SUV segment of the Indian market will be the Creta.

Although Hyundai is yet to launch the Creta, the South Korean car maker’s SUV has already been on sale in many parts of the world for quite sometime now. We take a look at what the Hyundai Creta has to offer against the Ford EcoSport, one of the most popular cars of the segment.

Design:

Hyundai Creta:

The Hyundai Creta borrows heavily from its bigger brother, the Santa Fe. The South Korean SUV’s aerodynamic profile, aggressive headlight design and 17 inch diamond cut alloys all add to its upmarket feel. Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy has done wonders to its SUVs. While past models were awkward and ungainly in size and posture, its new off-roaders including the Creta are far more appealing.

front view of hyundai creta
The Hyundai Creta’s top end variant comes with diamond cut alloys

Ford EcoSport:

While many consider the EocSport to be quite a formidable SUV, its rather stubby wheels, short, fat stature do not add to the American SUV’s aesthetic appeal. The EcoSport SUV’s exterior may be striking, however, it is in no way the prettiest car in its segment.

ford ecosport
The Ford EcoSport

Winner: Hyundai Creta

Interior:

Hyundai Creta:

Hyundai’s strictly adheres to its Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy. The Creta’s cabin is based off the same design language and once again borrows heavily from its elder sibling. The second iteration of the car maker’s design language brings order to the mix. Although the Creta’s interior is a stunning mix of sharp cuts and curves, it also emanates an aura of structure that provides restraint and a bit of sophistication. The inclusion of a media-nav system and a touchscreen display makes the Creta one of the best equipped cars in this segment.

hyundai creta suv interiors
Official sketches of the upcoming Creta SUV

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s strategy with the EocSport was to provide the most pocket friendly SUV out there. As a result, compromises had to be made. Although Ford’s infotainment system packs some impressive features, the small monochrome display and the rather difficult to reach button layout is quite inconvenient for the driver to control the settings. The sub 4m requirement has also resulted in a small cabin.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

Winner: Hyundai Creta

Engine:

Hyundai Creta:

The Hyundai Creta will be offered with three engines. Petrol variants of the Creta will be powered by a 1.6 l four cylinder engine that churns out 122 hp. The SUV’s diesel engine lineup include a 1.4 l and a more powerful 1.6 l engine. The 1.4 l oil burner produces 89 hp while the 1.6 l diesel mill puts out an impressive 127 hp. The 1.6 l diesel variant will be offered with both manual and automatic while the other two engines are offered in manual format only.

 

rear view of white hyundai creta
The Creta will be offered in manual and automatic formats

Ford EcoSport:

One of the biggest selling points of the EcoSport was its 1.0 l EcoBoost petrol engine. Producing an impressive 123 hp @ 6000 RPM and 170 Nm of torque at 1400 RPM, the 1.0 l EcoBoost engine is one of Ford’s most technologically advanced engines it has ever created. Ford also offers the EcoSport with a 1.5 l petrol and 1.5 l TDCi diesel mill. The 1.5 l Ti-VCT petrol mill churns out 109 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 140 Nm @ 4400 RPM while its diesel equivalent produces 89 bhp @ 3750 RPM and 204 Nm of torque @ 2000 RPM.

orange ford ecosport
Although the EcoSport May Be Marketed As A Capable Off Roader, the compact crossover lacks an AWD option

Winner: Draw

 

Verdict:

Although the Ford EcoSport was touted to be a game changer back in 2013, the lack of supply to meet the immense demand dealt a huge blow to the car’s sales figures. Despite the manufacturer did putting its Chennai plant into full swing to make up for lost time, the damage had already been done.

With the Creta, Hyundai ups the ante once more. Hopefully the South Korean car maker will not make the same mistakes its American rival committed and will prepare its manufacturing and assembly plants well in advance for the onslaught of bookings.

Face Off: Nissan Terrano vs Ford EcoSport

ford ecosport dashboard

The SUV segment of the Indian market has boomed over the past few years. With the Indian consumer’s ongoing craze over massively over-sized vehicles, companies have taken advantage of the opportunity and released barrage SUVs in every possible price bracket. As a result, buyers can choose from compact crossovers such as the Duster all the way to the incredibly powerful (and expensive) Mercedes Benz GL 63 AMG.

However, one of the fastest growing segments is the compact SUV segment. A section of the market populated by some of the biggest names of the auto industry. Here we pit the Nissan Terrano against the hugely popular Ford EcoSport to see which car could be the better bet.

Design:

Nissan Terrano:

The Terrano’s French cousin, the Duster had more of a love/hate design to it. Its butch exteriors and generous chrome grille gave the SUV a strong road presence. Unlike crossovers such as the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross, Renault has managed to endow the Duster with an exterior befitting of an SUV. Nissan has taken the Duster’s design and greatly improved on it.

nissan terrano suv
The Terrano Is The Nissan Counterpart of the Renault Duster

The sharper headlights and revamped chrome grille give the Terrano a far more intimidating character. Nissan has also provided higher variants of the Terrano with premium diamond cut alloy wheels adding to the car’s upmarket feel. Similar to the Duster, the car’s flared wheel arches and raised ground clearance hint at the car’s off road nature.

Ford EcoSport:

The first to don Ford’s new design philosophy, the EcoSport is quite a good looking crossover. The large grille and high stance give the EcoSport a towering presence. The EcoSport’s length qualifies it to be under the sub 4 meter category giving it the benefit of a cheaper price tag. However, with its short stature and tall height the EcoSport looks rather stubby and disproportionate. To keep costs low Ford has also opted for rather tacky looking alloy wheels as well.

ford ecosport
Front View of the EcoSport

Round 1 Winner: Nissan Terrano !

Interior:

Nissan Terrano:

Here’s where the Terrano loses out. Although the car is relatively new, the Terrano’s interiors are quite lackluster. The quality of plastics used are not upto par and the faux woodwork is immensely tasteless. The fat steering wheel is not available with steering mounted controls either. Although the music system features all the traditional inputs such as Bluetooth, USB, AUX IN and iPod connectivity, Nissan could have done a better job with the styling. However, the rather strange ovular door handles found on the Sunny and Micra do not make an appearance in the compact SUV, instead of which, the Terrano comes fitted with standard door handles which are far more pleasing to the eye.

interiors of nissan terrano
Interiors of the Nissan Terrano Compact SUV

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s new Kinetic Design philosophy has worked wonders on the interiors of the EcoSport. A combination of sharp angles and a futuristic center console gives the EcoSport one of the best looking cabins of the crossover segment. As with most cars these days, the infotainment system comes fitted with the usual array of connectivity options. However, Ford has also included its new Voice Recognition system that allows users to make phone calls, change tracks as well as find and play tracks from a Bluetooth connected device. The new infotainment system offers more than just creature comforts as well. In case of an accident, the Ford call system automatically dials for emergency services, a welcome feature in a time where many manufacturers pay little heed to passenger safety.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

One main issue with the EcoSport is the same one that plagues the Terrano as well: Quality. Despite having one of the best looking interiors, the quality of materials and fit & finish could have been much better.

Round 2 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Engine:

Nissan Terrano:

Nissan offers two engine options for the Terrano. The 1.5 L diesel engine that is offered with a majority of the SUV’s trim levels produces 84 HP @3750 RPM and 200 Nm of peak torque @1900 RPM. The petrol Terrano houses a 1.6 L naturally aspirated engine that puts out 102 HP and145 Nm of torque. Considering the sheer size of the car, these engine options are quite a disappointment.

nissan terrano rear
Rear View of the Terrano

However, the Terrano was never a car meant for true off-roading and the small engines will prove more than sufficient in city limits and vastly contribute to respectable mileage numbers.

Ford EcoSport:

The EocSport is offered with three engine options. The 1.5 L petrol engine produces 109 HP and 140 Nm of torque while the brand’s 1.5 L TDCi diesel mill churns out 89 HP and 204 Nm of torque. Ford has also introduced its critically acclaimed 1.0 EcoBoost engine for the Indian market as well. The 1.0 L petrol engine produces an astonishing 123 HP and 170 Nm of torque. The engine also gives the EcoSport an incredible mileage of 18.9 km/L.

orange ford ecosport
Although the EcoSport May Be Marketed As A Capable Off Roader, the Lack of a 4WD System Means That Going Off The Road May Need a Call From The Tow Truck

Unlike the Terrano, Ford’s offering comes with an optional automatic gearbox for the 1.5 L petrol unit.

Round 3 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Verdict:

The Nissan Terrano was a missed opportunity. Although the Japanese automaker has greatly improved on the Duster’s exteriors, it has failed to capitalize on the many flaws of its Renault sibling. However with its size and premium looking exteriors, the Terrano may garner a little more attention than the Duster.

The EcoSport on the other hand is a mechanical marvel. Despite its small size, it packs more for far lesser and offers never before seen features in its segment. An unbelievably powerful engine, superb interiors and feature loaded infotainment system all culminate to become one of the best cars to be sold in the Indian market so far. Although the EcoSport may seem to be the clear winner, the immense popularity of the compact SUV has led to Ford extending waiting periods to well over six months. Despite being the better option, the impatient will eventually turn to alternatives such as the Nissan Terrano.

Image Source: Internet