By Clive Funizwe
Being the new kid on the block is tough. Scrutiny from every corner is what welcomes you. Are you good enough? What makes you special? What brings you here? Thankfully, The Suzuki S-Presso has a fair chance of making it through its initiation period.
Entering the market and already being a best seller with over 500 units in the month of June – was proof that the new kid has won many hearts and rightly fully so. So, what is this that is drawing people to the S-Presso?
Pricing, pricing, pricing…
At a starting price of R139, 900 – the S-Presso comes in at an affordable price bracket and thus makes it easier reach for many. You also get a fair bit of driving amenities as standard in the entry level S-Presso 1.0 GL 5MT such as front electric windows, central locking, air conditioner, seat-belt reminder and power steering. For an additional R13, 000 – you get the S-Presso 1.0 S-EDITION 5MT like our test unit which also comes with USB connectivity, aux, a 7-inch touch screen LCD that has Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Safety features include ABS with EBD, Parking sensors, SRS front dual airbags.
So far, the spec and value seem to be good on paper – but how is it as a car?
The boxy shape allows the S-Presso’s practicality to be almost unhindered. Doors have the right shape to allow passengers to go in and out of the car with ease. As this is a marginally raised car, older passengers will find It easier to step in and out as you do not have to go low to enter the car. The interior is spacious and feels roomy considering the dimensions. Build quality is budget and the bright colour scheme may not be for every buyer but maybe the youngest of the bunch. The centralised instrumental panel allows for an uncluttered view up-ahead but has a slight draw back as the driver must shift eye focus to the centre of the dash to check the speed and any other readings. Another negative with the centralised instrument panel is the omission of some tactile buttons. The volume control is at the edge of the screen and is awkward to operate – especially when driving.
Either than that, the S-Presso is alright to drive. The 1.0L ,3-cylinder petrol engine produces 50kW of power and 90Nm of torque. When you consider the S-Presso’s total weight of 770kg’s – you understand why the car doesn’t feel under powered for city driving. Consumption is also a strong positive as we were always under 5.0l/100kms throughout our test period in the Suzuki.
Overall, we think that the driving position can be better due to the limited range of adjustment from the seat and steering. We also feel that the S-Presso is more at home in and around the city than when tackling lengthy stretches of road trips as it has a small engine and those small wheels do not help with aerodynamics as the exposed wheel arches do take in a fair bit of wind and compromises road stability at speed.
Overall, this S-Presso offers a fair bit of value for its price and will be a reasonable way for many to access a new car that will offer peace of mind on the road and in the pocket.
The Suzuki S-Presso comes with a 2 Year / 30,000km service plan and a (promotional) 5 Year / 200,000km.
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