Suzuki’s ‘SUV S-Presso updated, still stars on value

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Suzuki has just refreshed it’s bold, tall entry point S-Presso. They insist it’s an SUV and that it adds to its growing utility range. Some say that this is the ugliest car on sale in the world today. Not that we disagree, but don’t shoot the messenger. That’s the result of an actual census.


S-Presso sells like hotcakes

It’s not all bad. These things sell like hotcakes, contributing heartily to little independent importer Suzuki taking it so handsomely to the established carmakers every month in local new sales reports. By the way, you can tell this new one apart by its silver bumper inserts and detailing. Check it out!

Chunky and spacious with extra ground clearance and a commanding driving position, Suzuki promises us that S-Presso is small but surprisingly roomy. With good road holding and fair performance too. Our fire red sampler even had sweet new 14” alloy wheels fitted with 165/70 rubber.

They also say that S-Presso’s cabin is funky, with a bold dash and we were pleasantly surprised by amount of tech the little Suzuki packs for the money. Especially in this S-Edition with its handy full colour 9-inch CarPlay, Auto, USB, auxiliary port and Bluetooth touch screen infotainment.


S-Presso tech is all there, works OK too

It may not be the very latest spec kit, but that’s not to be expected at the price and it’s all there and works well enough anyway. That said, the audio system to be below par. Sure, not everyone digs those looks, inside or out. Bit it does have current and contemporary appeal. Styling is always a moot point anyway.

S-Presso however stars on rear passenger and boot space in this neck of the woods. It now even has Isofix lugs for kid seats. But this unit also had some serious wind noise beyond 100km/h.

On the road, S-Presso’s featherweight 770kg conspires with its perky 48 kW 89 Nm multi-point fuel injected Dualjet litre three-pot codename K10C to good effect. A kilowatt and a Newton-metre shy of the outgoing lump, K10C gains two fuel injectors per cylinder, smaller combustion chambers and slicker internal lubrication, for improved thermal efficiency.


Said to be even better on fuel

Which allegedly means even better fuel consumption from the little triple that drives the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. More good news is this latest S-Presso now gains Stop-Start technology, which we found a little annoying and intrusive due to its extended start-up time, but it’s also easy to turn off. Some say that’s sufficient power to cruise easily or zoot about town and we certainly can’t complain about ride quality.

It handles as well as we’d expect and packs claimed class-leading passive safety with a couple of airbags, ABS and EBD braking. It may be economical and cheap to run, but S-Presso didn’t quite meet those fuel efficiency claims. Never mind, its dwarf fuel tank caught us out on a longer trip. We never expected to refuel to get home.

Packing a five-year two-hundred thousand kilometre warranty, 3-years unlimited roadside assistance and handy 2-year 30 000km service plan and a year’s complementary insurance as part of the deal, you’d likely expect a little premium too?


Makes those few S-Presso foibles worth ignoring.

But that is this big little car’s biggest selling point. At just R189K for all that, this surprisingly spacious little motor’s few foibles certainly are worth overlooking… — Giordano & Michele Lupini

ROAD TESTED: — Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition
Engine: 49 kW 89 Nm 1-litre petrol I3
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
0-60km/h:         5.02 sec
0-100km/h:        12.62 sec
0-120km/h:        18.85 sec
400m:             18.02sec @ 119km/h
80-120km/h:       10.97 sec
VMax:             160 km/h
Fuel:             4.4 l/100km
CO2:              111 g/km
Range:            580 km
Warranty/Service: 5y 200K/2y 30Kkm
LIST PRICE:       R189K
RATED:            7
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