With budgets tightening after a worldwide pandemic, it is only appropriate that we review Suzuki’s budget offering, the S-Presso. Sitting among the likes of the Datsun Go and the Renault Kwid, the S-Presso offers just that much more in terms of driveability and, dare I say, style.
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
When I say ‘style,’ I refer mostly to everything on offer, I do not refer to the S-Presso’s looks. It could be described as an oddball. It is somewhat polarising. You either love it or you hate it. Some have compared it to the Jeep Renegade. I have a good chuckle whenever I look at it, but I can still appreciate the risk that Suzuki has taken with the S-Presso’s design. It is in no way safe or conventional; quite the opposite, in fact. And in a world where everything seems to be a carbon copy of something else, it is rather refreshing to look at something that is set to stand out in a crowd.
As with the outside, the inside is just as jarring to the eye. Also with that oddball vibe going on, yet some might call it a funky interior. It has a bit of a Mini vibe, which is not a favourite look of mine (Terence will disagree here). However, with that said, the line-up of standard spec might make up for the weird round central dashboard design. Electric windows, rear parking sensors, air conditioning, power steering and a multi-information display are standard across the board.
The GL+ model boasts a touchscreen colour infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a USB and auxiliary port, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a reverse camera. The S-Edition models add a few styling elements that might appeal to the more style-conscious (although, one would have to wonder why you are buying an S-Presso if it is style you are after). From a safety point of view, you can expect two airbags as standard and an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with emergency brake-force distribution (EBD).
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRIVE
This is where the S-Presso really starts to shine. You know that high clutch in cheaper cars that is conducive to stalling? The one that makes hill starts a real ball-ache. The one that makes you send the revs through the roof because you’re trying not to stall and then you jerk in to second gear but try remain cool, calm and collected and act like you were meant to do that? Ya that. Well, the S-Presso doesn’t do that. Clutch control is a doddle, which is prefect for the first-time drivers that this car will no doubt belong to. No stalling, no jerking, just a smooth experience overall. The gear shifts are also smooth and the ride in general is rather good. Look, I don’t want to get caught in a strong cross wind or anything like that, but on a sparkling Cape Town day, driving along the coast, one is quite fine.
The driving position, however, carries on with the odd vibe. You sit rather straight up and if you are of the taller persuasion, you might feel as if you are sitting on the dashboard. Just ask Terence. The engine is the same one you will find in the Celerio, which is a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. It gives you 50 kW and 90 Nm. It claims an average fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100 km. This low fuel consumption is always the silver lining of an engine so small. There is even a choice between a five-speed manual or five-speed automated manual transmission.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The S-Presso comes in cheaper than both the Kwid and the Datsun Go. Yet it mirrors the fantastic value for money by offering:
A promotional 5-year/200 000km mechanical warranty;
A 2-year/30 000 km service plan;
Comprehensive roadside assistance with emergency medical rescue included;
And all S-Presso models come with one year’s complementary insurance.
Suzuki S-Presso 1,0 GL 5MT: R145 900
Suzuki S-Presso 1,0 GL+ 5MT: R150 900
Suzuki S-Presso 1,0 GL+ AMT: R164 900
Suzuki S-Presso 1,0 S-Edition 5MT: R159 900
Suzuki S-Presso 1,0 S-Edition AMT: R173 900