We Love: Price and fuel economy, fair handling, infotainment, Spacious and practical cabin layout
We Don’t Love: Lack of light behind the steering wheel at night, Quirky looks, Body roll at higher speeds
- Retail: R147 900 (as tested)
- Engine: 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol 12v
- Power/Torque: 50 kW/90 Nm
- Transmission: 5-speed manual (is available in Automatic)
- Fuel consumption: 4.9 L/100 km (claimed) 5.2L/100 km (Achieved)
- Load capacity: 239 litres
- Safety rating: Five-star (NCAP 2020)
For 2020 the Suzuki S-Presso arrived right in the middle of Covid-19 Lockdown in South Africa. I stand corrected, but it was the first car launched via a lockdown live event, which was pretty interesting and fun. We all sat watching the cute brightly coloured S-Presso’s being driven around cape town and even doing some mild off-roading to show that it’s not just a city car but great for rural roads and exploring. The S-Presso was built with a budget, fun, and funky goal insight and we think Suzuki has really brought something different to this Mini SUV market.
Performance, fuel economy and handling
Under the S-Presso’s bonnet is a compact 3-cylinder 12valve, 1.0-litre petrol engine which produces 50 kW and 90 Nm of torque it’s front-wheel-drive paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The Kerb weight of the S-Presso comes in at only 770kgs which is about the same weight as the original Mk1 Golf and it makes slightly more power so that’ll give you an idea of how nippy the S-Presso really is. Seeing power figures like this in 2020 normally doesn’t inspire much confidence in the speed department but the enthusiastic little 1.0 S-Edition feels surprisingly nippy and agile to drive. Its got a first-time driver light-action clutch and a confident manual gearbox.
You do get a reasonable feeling of connection at the steering wheel and straight-line stability is fine, but the tall S-Presso doesn’t feel comfortable with sudden changes in direction.
The new S-Presso is very light on fuel for a naturally aspirated 1-Litre. We achieve the claimed consumption figure of 4.9 L/100 km easily, but over a week we sat on around 5.2L/100kms mixed commuting and exploring, impressive.
There are cars that grab your attention for their attractive design or stylish looks and the S-Presso does something like that, but for its off-beat, and dare I say ‘Quirky’ looks.
Sure, it’s an SUV-Jeep like design with high ground clearance and that’s all just fine. However, the overall proportions, its stance, and exposed wheel arches will have you stopping to stare with a “what!” rather than wow. Furthermore, in its pearl starry blue or the solid fire red or even, their signature launch colour – the solid sizzle orange are too bright to appease most buyers. We did enjoy it in the Silver!
Interior execution and features
The Interior of the S-Presso is an exciting and interesting space to be. You’re welcomed with body colour trim around the centrally-mounted speedometer/trip computer module and ventilation outlets. There are some cheap-feeling materials, but that is pretty standard for this segment and the price justifies it.
Economy cars these days, have more tech in them than you expect. The S-Presso we had on test was equipped with a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, USB/12V charging ports, reverse camera, manual air-conditioner, rear parking sensors, front electric windows, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and dual front airbags. Suzuki claims its new Heartect platform has been designed to disperse impact energy better in the event of a vehicular collision.
Retail pricing and warranty
The Suzuki S-Presso range starts at R134 900, with this test unit costing R147 900. The new Suzuki S-Presso is sold with a 5-year/200 000 km warranty, 2-year/30 000 km service plan and 1 year’s comprehensive insurance.
The Suzuki S-Presso is not everyone’s cup of tea and might be too youthful for a more mature buyer, but if you look at the S-Presso you’ll realize the list of positives is a long one. It’s got a relatively roomy cabin, it’s well equipped, it’s easy to drive and performance is good too. There’s also the excellent fuel economy, Suzuki reliability, and brand strength in South Africa.
Prices for the S-Presso range from R134 900 putting it just below the Renault Kwid. As things stand, you’d do well to give the S-Presso a long, hard look, especially in Silver.