Maruti Suzuki crossover battle | Vitara Brezza vs S-Cross

Looking for a robust automatic car versatile enough for daily commutes as well as highway runs.

BHPian RoadMonkey recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello, forum members!

We have two cars in our garage, a ’20 Polo and a ’10 Ritz. The state of my Polo is well documented in this forum. I’m yet to have the BCM failure resolved. Owing to that, we have had to travel a lot to the Ritz and that has highlighted a need for its replacement. My father primarily drives the Ritz, bought it for its styling (yes!) and upright stance. He used to consider Ford Ecosport the natural upgrade to the Ritz but with Ford leaving, that’s not an option.

The Ritz has aged well and runs perfectly. But after the accident (Pics: Accidents in India), we’ve not felt very comfortable driving it on the highways.

The Polo has satiated our risk appetite and we are now looking for robust cars with bulletproof reliability. So, unfortunately, Nexon with its AMT is not on the list.

My father’s going to retire in a few years, he really loves driving and wants to travel by road as much as possible before hanging up his driving shoes. He isn’t an enthusiast by any means, he enjoys the travelling aspect of driving more than the adrenaline rush, so sedate cars are okay, in fact, even preferred! He would also like to keep the car for 15, even 20 years. This is going to be his last car and he wants to make it count.

To that end, we’ve shortlisted the Vitara Brezza (In its Urban Cruiser avatar) and S-Cross.

Requirements:

  • Comfort – The car’s going to be taken out on the highway a lot, but it’s also going to be used for the daily commute and city runabouts. He’s at a point in life where comfort is the #1 priority.
  • Reliability – Necessary for a car that’s going to do a lot of highway runs.
  • Safety – For obvious reasons.
  • Automatic – He’s gotten lazy with shifting gears and after having driven the Polo AT, does not think the next purchase should be a manual.
  • Tall – It’s not about the seating position, but a way to not be blinded by the ever-increasing high beam menace within city limits. In our low slung Polo, an oncoming Baleno on high beam with its LEDs completely blinds us. We’re hoping that sitting taller will help mitigate that to some extent.

Vitara Brezza (Urban Cruiser)

Positives:

  • Tall: Fits the bill. It also has very annoying LED projectors that should make people consider lowering their high beams in exchange for less annoyance for themselves. Nobody seems to care much about the high beams of my VW Polo when I try to flash them in order to signal for a low beam.
  • Reliable : MSIL. Also very popular on our roads so the spares availability and repairability scene should be better than the S-Cross. (We’ve faced Ritz’ spares problems at times, nobody does with a Swift!)
  • Safety: 4* GNCAP rated. Not the best, but definitely not “unsafe” either. Given that the car will be driven at 90 max, this should be sufficient.

Negatives:

  • Ride Quality: I’ve heard it’s not very good. I’ve driven the Diesel Brezza on broken roads and it was nothing to write home about. The Baleno felt better at the time.
  • Generic Interiors: The interior really feels cheap and bad. Decade-old Polo’s interiors feel better.

S-Cross

Positives:

  • Comfort: I’ve Test-Driven the S-Cross 1.5 and the suspension is pretty good. The ride quality is very good owing to it being a crossover, rather than a pseudo SUV.
  • Premium feel: It definitely feels the better put together of the two cars.
  • Driving manners: Again, owing to a more aerodynamic shape, it should be more stable than the Brezza on open highways.

Negatives:

  • Size: My father’s concerned about the city manoeuvrability of the vehicle. He wants something that’s easy to drive within city limits.
  • Not very tall: Is the seating height enough to ensure a person doesn’t go blind from the high beams of the oncoming traffic? I don’t know. I TD’d it in day time.
  • Concern about spare availability in the future: While spares are available for the Ritz, they’re not always in the stock of our local dealer. The clutch failed once while we were visiting family and nobody had a clutch wire for the Ritz in stock. Now I’m facing issues with the steering assembly of the same. S-Cross is about as popular in comparison to the Brezza as the Ritz was, in comparison to the Swift.

Postscript: I am not a big fan of the Smart Hybrid feature. Will unplugging the battery beneath the passenger seat affect the warranty? Is there any way to disable it for good? Can one just remove the battery and keep it outside the car? Any input will be appreciated!

The decision will be taken at the beginning of 2022. We do not want to wait for the next generation of Brezza/S-Cross. MSIL is shifting all of its cars to the HEARTECT platform and that has a sketchy record with safety. Both of these are built on the old Vitara platform, I believe. This is not about deciding which is the better car of the two, which I believe the S-Cross is. It’s about finding out which car will be more appropriate for stated needs.

Thanks!

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

I would pick the S-Cross AT as it is better built and has a nicer suspension. Both cars have been around, but the Vitara Brezza feels more outdated. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with either. Let your father take a 10 – 20 km test drive in both cars. Whichever he likes more & makes him smile more is the one to buy.

With a good-selling Maruti, you’ll never have to worry for another 5 – 10 years minimum.

Just switch off the idling start/stop system via the button.

Here’s what BHPian aargee had to say on the matter:

My story dates to 2017; test rode Brezza, it felt like a glorified Sumo; SCross (1.6 then) on the other hand felt like a bigger motorcycle than Honda GW.

After taking delivery, went first to our usual Temple for new vehicle rituals; the same night drove the car all the way from Chennai to Shoolagiri McD as an excuse. That was when I observed, when ascending/descending from Ambur bridge (sharp right/S curve) , I was doing 110 Kmph & the car was absolutely planted on the road, just like a motorcycle.

The next day when I went for the first service, I had a chance to meet an engineer from Nexa; when I mentioned this incident to him, he affirmed that SCross has stiffer suspension than any other Maruti/Nexa.

Even today, there’re numerous barricades put up on NH45, millions of them between Chinna Salem to Salem & 100s of them on the beautiful traffic-less NH7 stretch from Madurai to Kanyakumari, all I’ve to blip the steering to a little left & right to get past the barricade, sometimes maintaining the speed or even if slowed; no one inside the car feels a thing.

Oh!! And yes, The car never fails to put a big smile on my face every single time.

Here’s what BHPian anthusiast had to say on the matter:

I was recently contemplating on Brezza vs S-Cross and here is what each one wins at:

S-Cross

GC, Ingress-egress and ride

  • The S-Cross has a ground clearance of 180mm against 198mm of Brezza. Though poorly laid roads need a higher GC, there are some downsides of it:
  • A higher set seating position doesn’t help in ingress-egress for the elderly. 180mm GC suits most average height folks.
  • The dynamics of the car is significantly better in S-Cross due to lower GC.
  • The doors of S-Cross (particularly rear) are wider helping in easy access
  • Also has a comfortable ride quality in comparison with lesser body roll.

Safety features

  • All 4 disc brakes against the usual 2 in Brezza.
  • Gets Brake Assist resulting in a lesser stopping distance.

Other features

  • Gets a reclinable backseat
  • 215 section tyres vs Brezza’s 205
  • Telescopic steering

Obvious features

  • Better interior space due to longer wheelbase of 2600 vs 2500mm.
  • Better fit and finish as against ordinary cabin of Brezza
  • Looks though subjective, S-Cross looks more premium even if understated

Vitara Brezza

Size advantages:

Being the smaller car has certain advantages in City driving:

  • A 4m length and a boxy cabin is easy to drive and park within City limits.
  • Lower turning radius of 5.2m vs 5.5m of S-Cross.
  • A higher seating position offers a better view of the road within the city.

Ground clearance of 198 mm is preferred if driven frequently on bad roads.

That apart, I feel a smaller car is easier to retain for a longer duration of 15+ years with varying requirements along time and predominantly city usage.

The smaller a car, the easier it can serve as a beater the second car in the household. Ex: when a larger car like XUV700 arrives.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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