Launch review: Suzuki S-Presso

 

Suzuki achieved two accomplishments this week. The first was to launch their brand-new SUV-style vehicle, the S-Presso and to set a record to ensure this launch still took place despite the current coronavirus restrictions. They did this by launching the vehicle on Facebook Live. While manufacturers have been starting this internationally, it was a first for South Africa.  

 

An urban vehicle

Suzuki’s aim with the S-Presso is to give urban or city drivers access to a SUV-style vehicle that is compact and affordable. They certainly have done this, offering drivers the design, perks and an increased height for a hatch at an incredibly competitive starting price of R134 900.

 

In addition to this, buyers will also get a full year of complementary insurance and a 2-year/30 000km service plan. It is unlikely that drivers who want the confidence that comes with a new car, but at an affordable price, could beat this.

 

There are three trim levels available with the S edition as the top of the range, for drivers who want something a bit more exclusive (but still at a great price starting R147 900). This model emphasises the most prominent SUV features among other additions.

 

The perks

It was quite a different experience not seeing the car up close but I respect the need to do this while fighting a pandemic. Suzuki has brought the ‘urban’ style idea out in various ways with their design. You can see the distinctive look that one expects from Suzuki along with six eye-popping colours to choose from.

 

Along with this, the interior of the car is ‘colour-coded’ to match the exterior and from what I could see, it creates quite an impressive effect. Suzuki says the design is meant to give it a futuristic look.

 

Something that was quite impressive is that the car has a full 7’’ infotainment system complete with a reverse camera that is crystal clear. As the S-Presso joins Suzuki’s entry-level car range, this was something unexpected but definitely not unappreciated.

 

As you can expect from Suzuki, the claimed fuel consumption is set at an appealing 4.9L/100km. During the digital launch the driver said he achieved 17.5 – 18km per litre, which puts it at around 5.5L/100 km on the long, relatively evenly inclined trip between Joburg and Cape Town driving at 120km/h most of the time. Luckily, these figures are so good because the tank size, however, is only 27 litres.

 

Suzuki’s has made use of their stylish but functional HEARTECT platform which gives us the bulky design of the S-Presso, high ride height and wide track. This design can be seen in the latest Dzire, Ignis and Swift. HEARTECT engineering provides better performance and handling, lower noise, vibration and harshness as well as class-leading passive safety.

 

The HEARTECT platform creates Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) bodyshell. This creates an equally safe and rigid shell around the occupants. The TECT and HEARTECT technologies integrate seamlessly and offer crumple zones and channels for dispersing energy in side-, front- or rear impacts to create a truly safe bodyshell.

 

Off-road capabilities

During the launch, the off-road capabilities were also demonstrated. It seemed to cope fairly well on the dust roads and smaller inclines. It doesn’t seem that it would be advisable to do much more than that but we will know for sure once we take the car for an extended test.

 

Overall, I see the Suzuki S-Presso providing some much-needed competition in this segment and proving to be a very popular option for those on the cusp of falling into the SUV market but who need still need the affordability of the hatch segment.

 

The specs

Engine: 1 litre petrol engine

Transmission: 5-speed manual or automatic, depending on the model

Power:  50 kW

Torque: 90 Nm

Claimed fuel efficiency: 4.9L/100km

Price: from R134 900

Warranties and service plans: 5-year / 200 000 km mechanical warranty, a 2-year / 60 000 km service plan, 3-year/unlimited roadside assistance

 

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