Suzuki S-Presso has had its critics; safety concerns have been plentiful

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Suzuki S-Presso has had its critics; safety concerns have been plentiful

Prashirwin Naidu

In December 2022, I attended the launch of the new and upgraded S-Presso in Cape Town. During the presentation, it's said to have been improved, given a higher ground clearance, revised cabin and more added spec features.

Exterior styling, the S-Presso has an 181 mm ground clearance and comes in the form of new 14-inch alloy wheels fitted to the GL+ and flagship S-Edition models. Meanwhile, the entry-level GL model continues to make do with steel wheels clad with full plastic wheel covers. For peace of mind, all models have a full-sized spare wheel. The S-Edition model sports an upgraded body kit with silver-coloured bumper inserts and new silver detailing on the front bumper.

Interior upgrades include the addition of Suzuki's seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system on S-Presso GL+ models. Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls for hands-free phone use. Inside the range-topping S-Edition, one will find an even larger nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with a reverse camera.

All model variants offer steering-mounted controls, central locking, front electric windows, air conditioning and power steering. 

The motor incorporates a 1.0l three-cylinder “Dualjet” petrol engine, pushing out 49kW/89Nm. Equipped with two fuel injectors per cylinder and bolstered by stop-start technology.

We drove the S-Presso in the 1.5 S-Edition 5MT guise in Cape Town's beautiful mountain passes, and the sights were lovely; however, the drive was peculiar. At high altitudes and winds, I noticed that the little S-Presso felt flimsy and not so sturdy, coupled with the small 14-inch wheels, making it feel fragile. The clutch was light, and I felt the car did feel asthmatic going up those hills; performance felt subpar.

Fuel consumption was decent, between 5.1l-5.5l/ 100km from in and around city driving to highway cruising. Suzuki claims that the fuel consumption for the manual versions of the S-Presso is 4.6l/100km and that those with the automated manual gearbox can achieve 4.4l/100km. 

While its three-star Global NCAP rating remains a topic of much debate, safety is still one of my qualms about the S-Presso; however, the fuel frugality and affordability may attract those buyers looking for something that won't put a dent in the wallet. 

Some safety features include an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP),  two airbags, ISOFIX child restraint anchors,  Hill Hold Control added to AMT models, ABS brakes,  rear park sensors, and a childproof back door locker.

One can choose from six stylish colours: White, Granite Grey Metallic, Fire Red, Silky Silver Metallic, Starry Blue Pearl, and Orange.

There are seven model grades of the Suzuki S-Presso, which the range includes manual and AMT versions:

 Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL 5MT   —   R162,900

Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL 5MT   —   R162,900

Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL 5 AMT —   R176,900

Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL+ 5MT —   R169,900

Suzuki S-Presso 1.5 GL+ 5 AMT — 183,900 

Suzuki S-Presso 1.5 S-Edition 5MT — R185,900

Suzuki S-Presso 1.5 S-Edition 5 AMT -R199,900

All S-Presso models have a 2-year/30,000 km Service Plan and a 5-year/200,000 km promotional mechanical warranty.


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