JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Will this cute little guy from the experts when it comes to budget vehicles become the cream of the crop among small economy cars, as its coffee-related name – Suzuki S-Presso – might suggest?
Sizewise, it’s more of an espresso cup than a takeaway latte in a cardboard carton but that’s the hallmark of this Japanese brand’s products and for sure its size doesn’t really matter for city dwellers with an occasional run beyond the urban borders.
And a wallet that doesn’t hold much – even if the latest Suzuki does…
The S-Presso arrived in Suzuki SA’s showrooms across South Africa in March 2020 after its probably expensive media launch was shot down by COV-19 and the whole event was done via internet streaming.
There are five models (prices at the end of this feature) and a choice of two transmissions
André Venter, Suzuki SA’s genial Marketing Man, told The Corner: “The compact Suzuki S-Presso carries much of our most advanced technology in its compact, but roomy and well-specced urban SUV even though it rides on a 2.38m wheelbase within its 3.56m length.”
The S-Presso joins the Suzuki Jimny and Ignis with what its maker calls ”a pure SUV design, high ground-clearance and a commanding driving position. And for sure the nose shouts its identity with a bold four-slot grille bearing a large S-emblem flanked by squarish halogen headlights.
Also large, given the S-Presso’s size, is the 18cm ground clearance between the 14” steel-rimmed wheels. The body colours will also stand out: for once The Corner will use the full shade names just because they are clever: Sizzle Orange, Pearl Starry Blue, Fire Red, Metallic Granite Grey, Metallic Silky Silver, and good old-fashioned White.
At the rear, a small integrated spoiler is added to the hatch door, while the square rear lights with their C-design have been moved above the shoulder line to strengthen the SUV design theme.
GET PERSONAL WITH ONE
A black rear bumper, with a design similar to the front bumper, is fitted below the coloured section and features the number plate recess and integrated parking sensors, which are standard across the entire S-Presso range.
Suzuki says the S-Presso was designed with personalisation in mind, among them a colour-coded grille, rear spoiler and cladding options. Unique colour-coded cabin options will also be available.
”These and many other accessories,” Suzuki says, ”which can be ordered through any Suzuki dealer, covered by the vehicle warranty.”
READ MORE Suzuki features on Carman’s Corner
Each model will come with two front crash-mitigation bags, anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure distribution support, and parking radar; GL+ and S-Edition models will add a reversing camera.
So, what’s inside? For starters, a 19cm colour infotainment system on GL+ and S-Edition units, though each unit will have a large and similar centre console carrying a digital speedometer/trip data computer, radio or infotainment system, and between-seats power windows and hazard-lights switches.
Each model will have power window lifts, rear parking radar, aircon, power-assisted steering and a multi-info display that includes distance-to-empty, journey duration, and distance travelled.
GL+ units add a touchscreen infotainment assembly for smartphones through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, supported by USB and auxiliary ports and Bluetooth that also uses the large screen.
All units will also include a foldable rear bench; more storage in front and rear pockets/bottle holders, and the large glove box.
..AND SO TO THE ENGINES
The new Suzuki S-Presso shares its engine with the much-loved Suzuki Celerio.
A three-cylinder engine does not lack with grunt in a small vehicle but does cut fuel consumption: that in the S-Presso makes 50kW at 5500rpm / 90Nm at 3500 with multi-point fuel-injection and quad valves. BONUS! Suzuki claims a feasible fuel-burn of 4.9 litres/100km.
The engine is shared by the Suzuki Celerio, a ‘Budget Car-of-the-Year’ winner, and on the S-Presso will be hooked to either a five-speed manual or five-speed auto/manual transmission, the latter with a self-actuating clutch. There’salso a crawl function to handle ”rush”-hour queues.
Launch units will have a promotional five-year or 200 000km* mechanical warranty with emergency roadside assistance and medical rescue, a year’s complementary insurance, a two-year / 30 000km* service plan and five-year / 200 000km* mechanical warranty. As a bonus, a year’s insurance is included in the price.
But wait, there’s more…. the mechanical warranty includes a three-year / unlimited roadside assistance plan which includes battery and locksmith support, call-out services, mechanical and electrical support, breakdown towing, emergency medical rescue, and ”stand-by-you” roadside security, while you await assistance.
*Whichever comes first.
…AND THE PRICES
Suzuki 1.0 GL MT – R134 900
Suzuki 1.0 GL+ MT – R139 900
Suzuki 1.0 GL+ AMT – R152 900
Suzuki 1.0 S-Edition MT – R147 900
Suzuki 1.0 S-Edition AMT – R160 900