Sold my Ford EcoSport, bought a Maruti S-Cross 1.6L

I checked out numerous used cars like the XUV500, Fortuner, Octavia, etc. but shortlisted only two models – a 2016 S-Cross Alpha 1.6 and a 2015 BMW X1.

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My Pre-Owned S-Cross 1.6 Zeta

A bit of backstory

I had a 2016 Ford Ecosport Titanium + diesel bought new and had no plans of buying another car till 2023. I had driven 87000+ km in 5 years with zero issues. Of this mileage, close to 75K+ km were on highways and again 55K+ km of these were just between Bangalore and Mysore.

My Ecosport served me well and the only modification I had on it was the foglamp projectors. Ecosport gave me the confidence to drive on any road and at any time of the day or night. I have driven multiple 24-hr drives just for the love of driving. Still miss my Ecosport. It was almost perfect and reliable. The first set of Goodyear tyres lasted me 70000 km and the stock brake pads were replaced at 82000 km only upon my insistence and the service advisor was reluctant to change them as it had life left for another 15000 km. Never had any issues with the Ford Service and the cost of service even as Ford ASS was quite cheap compared to the competition.

Come 2021, there were rumours of Ford exit from India and this was prematurely confirmed in July 2021 by an acquaintance of mine. I took the hard decision to sell my Ecosport back then. Spinny offered a good price for my car and within one day my Ecosport was sold.

Here’s the parting shot of my Ecosport as it was driven away.

Plans for my next car

I had no immediate plans of buying any car. My wife’s Ignis was sufficient for our use as it’s WFH for both of us. But still, I was scouting through classifieds to satisfy my itch of having my own car. Pretty much most of my free time was spent between multiple websites and test drives.

I had no preset budget, I was looking for cars right from 5L-30L and was only looking at pre-owned examples. This one would be a stop-gap purchase till a viable EV is launched.

All I needed was a fun-to-drive car and something that I can hold on to for a bit longer time if I do not find a proper EV that matched my requirements.

Some of the cars I checked out:

  • Grand Vitara
  • Kizashi
  • S-Cross (only 1.6)
  • New Elantra
  • Tuscon
  • Fortuner
  • Corolla Altis
  • Innova Crysta
  • XUV500
  • Octavia
  • Kodiaq
  • Yeti
  • BMW X1
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Audi Q3
  • Merc GLA Class

Since I was WFH, I could check out a lot of cars. But except for a couple of cars, I was not satisfied with most of them.

Two cars that came close was a 2016 Single Owner S-Cross Alpha 1.6 done just about 19500 km, took a test drive and before I could finalize, the car was sold.

Second was a 2015 Single owner BMW X1 with about 31000 km with a full service history. This was from a used car dealer and he was not willing to negotiate the price nor open to sending the car for a thorough check at the BMW service station.

In between, I checked out XL6 Automatic upon my wife’s insistence when I dropped off her Ignis for service. Took a long test drive of 35 km and came away impressed, my wife and kid were all insisting on me getting the XL6. But I could not convince myself to drive a MUV.

Getting S-Cross’d

In the interim, my brother booked a Harrier and was looking to sell his Honda City Diesel. He had offers from his friends, but since I needed a second car, he gave his car to me. This was just 3 days before my friends and I had plans for a weekend drive to Udupi. For our return drive to Bangalore from Udupi, my friend insisted on taking the Shiradi Ghat. Though the road was good in the ghats post that it was a nightmare. His Nexon was taking a beating but still was much better than the crawling hatchback and sedans. I made up my mind against Sedans.

The very next day, I returned the City to my brother and was scouting the classifieds. I found one 2016 Silver S-Cross Zeta 1.6 listed by the owner on Olx. The car had done 42000 km with full service history.

Immediately dropped a message to the owner and we chatted on Whatsapp. The seller shared full service history, insurance and other details on WhatsApp, my mind was half made that night. The next morning, I was at the seller’s place. at 8:30 am. Took a short test drive, paid a 2K deposit and informed I will need to get it checked at the service station before I take the final decision. The seller obliged my request and I fixed up an appointment at Nexa service for the next day.

It is a company lease to employee transferred car, so technically it’s a second owner car but driven by a single driver. The engine was untouched and in stock condition which was one of my requirements. Car was shod with Continental tyres which have seen less than 5K km and a new battery installed in 2020. Insurance was valid till Jan 2022 and has no claims with 50% NCB.

I got the car fully inspected and got the wheel-alignment done as well at Nexa service. Got the all-clear from the service advisor. Transferred the amount through NEFT and completed the paperwork the same day and got the car.

So far I have driven about 4000 km in 45 days since I got the car and here are my impressions.

Likes

  • Engine Engine Engine. The 1.6 engine is a brute and the torque is addictive. The only reason S-Cross is on my shortlist.
  • Decent looker.
  • Good amount of features even in the Zeta variant.
  • A lot of mod potential.
  • Good GC and can handle a bit of bad roads.
  • Sorted ride as I coming from stiff ride quality of Ecosport.
  • No BS6 diesel issues.
  • No annoying speed limit alerts.
  • Fuel economy, even with some hard-driving the numbers have not fallen below 18.5.
  • Did I say Engine?

Dislikes

  • Build quality. Coming from an Ecosport, this point was very evident.
  • Safety. Again coming from a 6-airbag car to a dual-airbag one.
  • Lack of Lumbar support. Though the seats are supportive, I still miss proper lumbar support.
  • Poor headlamps. This is resolved with the installation of foglamp projectors.

The same week I got the car, I got foglamp projectors installed. This is one of the most important requirements as I drive quite a bit at night.

Since I got the S-Cross, I have driven a couple of 1000 km+ long drives and 4 drives between Bangalore and Mysore. I am loving every single km on it.

I got the car transferred in my name, but due to a shortage of RC smart cards, I have not yet received the updated RC card.

Mods planned

  • Stage 2 remap.
  • Cruise Control install.
  • Damping of all doors and the boot.

I am planning to get the car remapped in the coming months once the RC and insurance are transferred in my name.

All in all, I am happy with my S-Cross and looking forward to putting in a lot of miles on it.

Few parting pics.

Odo when I bought the car

Resting

One of many mods. Foglamp Projectors from Blaze India.

At a viewpoint near Kumta

At Maravanthe beach

With my friend’s Nexon

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