Japanese engineering changed the perception of automobiles globally when their reliable and frugal engineering ousted the European finesse and American extravagance to emerge as global top players. Suzuki entered India through a joint venture and the face of the Indian passenger car market transformed. The days of the rugged, old-school, unreliable guzzlers were numbered as the sophisticated refined machinery started making its presence felt. Maruti Suzuki, since then, has been a pioneer in many areas like the compact hatchbacks, compact sedan, entry-level MUV and even the introduction of the auto-manual transmission.
Maruti has been the king of budget cars for years now, but it is the luxury segment that has been their Achilles heel. The Baleno, in spite of being one of the best sedans available, did not make a mark in its segment and neither did the Kizashi. The Vitara iterations lost out to the CRV and it seemed like Indians were not ready to spend luxury money on Maruti. This probably may be the reason the XA-Alpha concept did not materialise for years while the contemporary Ford EcoSport made it to the streets and became a success. With the launch of the Ciaz last year, and its steadily mounting sales numbers, Maruti is slowly finding acceptance in the upper segments and today, we have with us, the S-cross crossover, ready to enter the fray along with the about to be launched Hyundai Creta. As we drive the car, we try to find out if the S-cross is going to give MSIL the success story it needs in the higher segments.