Ever since its debut in 2020, the Suzuki S-Presso has firmly established itself as the preferred choice for cost-conscious car enthusiasts in South Africa. The vehicle’s popularity has been particularly notable among individuals engaged in the thriving ridesharing industry, such as Uber drivers. This trend underscores the vehicle’s attractive pricing and economical operational expenses.
With an impressive sales figure surpassing 14,000 units, Suzuki has taken a step further by unveiling an updated version of the compact city car. The makeover extends beyond mere cosmetic enhancements, as Suzuki has also introduced a new engine into the S-Presso, drawing inspiration from its slightly larger counterpart, the Celerio. Intrigued by its offerings, I embarked on a week-long exploration of the GL+ variant to provide insights into what it’s truly like to integrate this vehicle into one’s lifestyle.
The Looks are very subjective. Some like it and some don’t. The boxy shape micro SUV-like look. No more plastic cladding covering the lower part of the doors, and chrome grille trim inserts. The S-Presso comes in 6 different colours, ranging from White, Granite Grey Metallic, Fire Red, Silky Silver Metallic, Starry Blue Pearl, and the very popular Sizzle Orange, to match your style
The new addition to the S-Presso is the two-tone 14-inch alloy wheels, on the GL+ and S-edition derivatives, with a ground clearance of 181mm.
The interior remains quirky as always, nothing much changed inside. you get quite a fair amount of features in the GL+ trim, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electric adjustable side mirrors, and steering wheel mounted controls for Phones and Media. In front, you will also find 1 USB port along with a 12V power socket, just below the manual air-conditioning dials.
Practicality, Tech, and Safety
Rear passenger space is adequate for both children and adults, preferably below 190cm of height, as leg room can get a bit tight when seated behind a taller driver or front passenger.
Its compact size makes it quite easy to drive around the small streets of Cape Town and find parking on busy streets. However, it can feel slightly top-heavy when taking corners at speed and in extremely windy conditions.
How safe is the Suzuki S-Presso?
When it comes to safety, I have to be honest, quite a lot of people asked me how safe is the S-Presso. It usually goes like is that thing even safe?
Well, you would be happy to know that the S-presso was awarded a 3-star NCAP rating, which if you ask me is definitely better than no stars. It is also equipped with 2 airbags, as well as a decent amount of passive safety features such as ABS, ESP, and Isofix child seat anchorage
Powertrain & Drive
The Suzuki S-Presso now makes use of a very fuel-efficient engine found in the Suzuki Celerio. A 1.0L 49kW and 89Nm 3-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, which has improved the overall fuel efficiency. 4.4L/100km for the AMT transmission, while the 5-speed manual transmission sits at 4.6L /100km.
During my test which consisted of about 35km of a mix of in-town and highway drive on my daily commute to work and back. I managed to beat the claimed fuel consumption, averaging 4.2L/100km for the most part of my test, resulting in a fuel range of more than 700km on a single tank of fuel.
Being a 3-cylinder engine with low power, the car can feel a bit underpowered when driving on uphill roads, so the only way to navigate this is by working the gears down, and you’ll see yourself up there with no hassle unless you’re not a fan of the little shifty exercise. you will barely get to use 5th gear when driving in town. But for what it’s worth the engine and 5-speed manual transmission combination works flawlessly, is easy to work, and drive around town and highways.
Should you buy it, skip it or shortlist it?
Well, if you shopping for a budget car under R200 000 that would not cost you a dime to run and maintain, I think you should shortlist it. It represents an excellent value for money, which I believe first-time car buyers will definitely or anyone shopping on a budget will appreciate.
Budget-friendly pricing for the Suzuki S-Presso range
S-Presso 1.0 GL MT R 162 900
S-Presso 1.0 GL AMT R 176 900
Presso 1.0 GL+ MT R 169 900 (Tested)
S-Presso 1.0 GL+ AMT R 183 900
S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition MT R 185 900
S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition AMT R 199 900
all prices include a 2-year / 30 000km service plan as well as a 5-year/ 200 000km promotional mechanical warranty.
For more info, please consider booking yourself a test drive