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New Suzuki S-Presso test drive impressions

The updated Suzuki S-Presso has launched in South Africa at a welcome starting price of R162,900.

A trendy “micro-SUV” – the S-Presso presents the cheapest entry into the country’s passenger-car market and it’s now more compelling than ever thanks to fitment of a more economical engine and enhanced standard features.

Available in GL, GL+, and S-Edition trims, we recently spent time with the mid-range model to get a taste of what Suzuki’s new entry-level car offers.

Well-considered equipment

The S-Presso’s equipment sheet is basic but well-considered, the GL+ model giving its buyers a 7-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reverse parking sensors, electric mirrors, a multifunction steering wheel, ABS, dual front airbags, and stylish 14-inch alloys that replace the steel wheels and plastic covers of before.

According to Suzuki, the updated S-Presso is now also the only vehicle in its class with ISOFIX child-seat mounts aimed at young families, as well as electronic stability control which regulates wheel slip around corners, in doing so, assisting with improved handling performance.

The plastic finishes around the central display and air vents, as well as on the doors, bring with a bit of style, too.

The micro-SUV proportions further ensure decent space inside of the cabin as we had three passengers comfortably fit into the car with no unwanted shoulder rubbing, leg twisting, or neck bending, and although the boot isn’t the largest, it’s rather deep and can carry one or two suitcases or overnight bags wherever you need to go.

More economical engine

The new S-Presso is fitted with the same 1.0-litre petrol motor as the Celerio, which produces 49kW and 89Nm, mated to either a five-speed manual or automated manual transmission (AMT).

The new power unit does generate 1kW and 1Nm less than before but this is essentially unnoticeable during daily use, and the main benefit is a lower claimed fuel consumption of 4.6l/100km for the manual and 4.4l/100km for the AMT. An engine auto start/stop system has also been built into the updated Suzuki for additional assistance in using the littlest amount of fuel possible.

Our test drive around the Western Cape’s Chapman’s Peak and surrounding areas involved plenty of hills, valleys, and traffic, and the Suzuki in manual guise averaged just over 5.0l/100km over the journey with an engine that had yet to be driven in.

The tall sides and seating position, narrow footprint, and sensitive steering ratio result in a go-kart feel from behind the wheel, however, the 180mm ground clearance, skinny tyres, and featherweight of 765kg made it surprisingly adept at handling rutty dirt roads and dense sea sand.

Overall, the revised Suzuki S-Presso is one of the better vehicles in the sub-R200,000 bracket. It offers dependable driving, trendy looks, and all the amenities you need for the everyday commute, with a reassuring 5-year/200,000km warranty sweetening the deal.

Suzuki S-Presso GL+

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