Maruti Suzuki S-Presso First Drive Review
The all-new Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is the carmaker’s latest offering in the fresh and new micro-SUV segment. Packing the looks and design of an SUV along with the affordability of a hatchback is the main draw of this vehicle. The S-Presso is actually based on the Future S Concept, which was first showcased at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo. So, is this Renault Kwid rival the perfect vehicle for the Indian market? Can it be another successful Maruti Suzuki? Well, read ahead to know what we think about it!
The entire car gets an SUV-ish stance along with a soft and friendly design. The front of the car gets many new and attractive features, such as an optional chrome grille, a crease-free bonnet, a basic reflector-halogen headlamp unit and a set of optional LED DRLs. Even though Maruti Suzuki has tried to give this car a bold SUV look, the small size of the car makes it look rather cute than butch. The car also gets a total ground clearance of 180mm, which is quite good for a car in the micro-SUV segment. Also, the S-Presso is available in 6 colours: Orange, Blue, Red, White, Grey and Silver.
However, when you move to the sides, the detailing and design reduce drastically, as the car looks quite bland and plain. The only SUV-ish highlight that can be seen from the side is the under cladding below the doors, which is again missing in the wheel arches. The S-Presso gets a set of steel rims for the R14 wheels in the top-end variant. Also reserved for the top variant are body-coloured ORVMs, door handles, and a roof antenna.
Talking about the rear, the S-Presso gets a plain design, without many curves or creases. There are no LED elements present in the c-shaped taillamps, and even the high-mounted stop lamp gets a simple bulb. The only common yet attractive features at the rear include the black spoiler and black bumper, which give the car a stylish and rugged look. If you do want a set of alloy wheels and other attractive accessories for your car, you can choose between 2 accessory packages – Energetic and Expedition, both of which will be available with an increase in price.
The S-Presso misses out on many basics such as rear wash/wipe, rear defogger, etc. However, it does get rear parking sensors, remote locking, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, steering mounted controls, reflectors and much more. The car is also equipped with ABS-EBD and a driver airbag as standard across all variants, which is a must, due to the new safety norms set by the government. The spare gets a full-sized wheel, while the boot space capacity stands at 270 litres.
The dashboard is quite unique, as the instrument console is placed in the centre and all the drive-related information like distance to empty and average fuel consumption is displayed. The tachometer is digital and quite simple to understand. The 7-inch smart infotainment system is placed below the instrument console in the centre and it gets many smart connectivity options like Android Auto and Apple Carplay. To charge or connect the phone to the car, there is a USB and AUX socket just below the touchscreen display. This socket and infotainment system is only available in the top VXi and VXi+ variants. The medium-sized glove box is a sufficiently sized storage space, along with storage spaces in the door pockets and centre console.
Unlike the Kwid, the rear seats miss out on a centre armrest but get enough space to seat 2 people, while short-medium journeys can also fit 3 people comfortably. The rear seats also fold down completely to increase the loading capacity of the car. The parcel tray is also available in the top-end VXi variant only.
Engine and Performance
The S-Presso is fitted with a BS6 compliant 1-litre, 3-cylinder engine, capable enough to produce 68 PS of power at 5,500 rpm and 90 Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. Also, this car is available with 2 gearbox options: Manual and AGS (Auto Gear-Shift). Talking about the manual transmission, gearshifts are slightly notchy but good enough for this segment. The clutch is quite light on the foot, which means city driving will be effortless. The engine is quite smooth and refined and the in-gear speeds are as follows:
1st Gear: 45 kmph
2nd Gear: 82 kmph
3rd Gear: 122 kmph
4th Gear: 140+ kmph
Despite being powered by a tiny motor, the S-Presso takes 14.5 seconds to reach from 0 to 100 kmph. In terms of fuel efficiency, the ARAI fuel efficiency for the manual version is rated at 21.7 kmpl and 21.4 kmpl for the AGS version. Talking about handling, the S-Presso gets a light steering wheel, which proves to be a boon at low speeds in traffic but ends up being quite loose and lifeless at high speeds on the highway. However, the S-Presso is very good in terms of ride quality and has one of the best ride qualities in its segment, thanks to its finely tuned suspension and ample ground clearance.
Also, the insulation on the S-Presso is quite good for a car in this segment, as the engine noise and surrounding noises do not penetrate too much inside the cabin. In the AGS variant, the gearshifts are smooth and quite refined, thanks to the well-built automatic gearbox. The AGS gearbox also gives the driver an option to drive the car with manual gear changes using the plus and minus (manual mode).
In terms of design, features and space, the Kwid is slightly better than the S-Presso, however, in terms of mechanical aspects, the Kwid has faced some issues in the past, while the engine and gearbox in the S-Presso is a tried and tested one, which assures reliability, a good ride quality and high fuel efficiency. Apart from the youth, this car is also the perfect companion for any buyer who wishes to buy a small, affordable and rugged micro-SUV to drive through rough terrains. The main highlights of the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso include practicality, affordability and reliability. Combined with the carmaker’s relatively low cost of upkeep and a vast service network, the S-Presso looks like another winner from India’s favourite carmaker.