Car Expert Review : Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Review 2019
A mini-SUV of sorts that brings small car benefits of fuel efficiency, affordability and everyday
Let's read further that what is Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is all about :
This is another offering in the entry-level hatchback segment from India’s biggest car maker. S-Presso is inherently a small car designed to look like an SUV given that is the flavour of the season. The car sits on Suzuki’s new Heartect platform so is reasonably sturdier with better crash-worthiness than older Maruti Suzuki cars. The car boasts of relatively high ground clearance – 180mm to be precise – and stands tall at 1564mm. This is when it is on 14-inch wheels. There are cheaper 13-inch wheels also on offer in the lower trims. The looks – hate it or love it – there is no in-between. The face is dominated by dual-coloured bumpers. The lower black portion gives it a skid-plate like effect. Headlamp units are rectangular and joined by a central grille studded with chrome inserts. Together it looks like kayak paddle. The bonnet is flat and has been raised for the proper SUV treatment. In profile, the window sill is high and you have the classic boxy design with a near vertical rear hatch. This looks quite proportionate – cute SUV rather than an intimidating one. No alloy wheels as standard although the thick 165/70 rubber on the steel wheels with full wheel cover looks purposeful.
Ground clearance: 180mm
Kerb weight: 726-767kg
Turning radius: 4.5m
Tyre size: 145/80 R13 (Std, LXI) & 165/70 R14 (VXI, VXI+)
Fuel tank: 27 litres
Boot space: NA
There is only one engine on offer – from the K10 family. This one is the tried-and-trusted 998cc, three-cylinder unit we also see in other small Maruti cars. It’s not the peppiest around but is reasonably refined and revs easily. At its peak, the power output can touch 67Hp. The engine would be revving around 5500rpm, at which point it is going to be making quite a racket. Peak torque comes in at 2000rpm less when the cabin sounds much quieter. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that is also available in automated manual version. The later – called Auto Gear Shift by Maruti – does away with a manual clutch and independently selects gears basis speed. While on paper that’s like any automatic box or CVT, this is noticeably slower between shifts and there is no ‘parking’ slot. Instead you need to put it in neutral gear and pull the handbrake. IN AGS, emergency throttle inputs are met with lethargic response. This is best-suited for busy city traffic. If you are the kind who like a bit of thrill and peppiness from your set of wheels, the manual gearbox works much better. S-Presso is quite lightweight so you don’t necessarily miss horsepower here. Also, noteworthy, is the fact that in this K10B spec the engine has become BS6 compliant so efficiency has gone up by a bit and emissions have dropped considerably. The claimed FE figures is :
21.7kpl. If you opt for the cheaper Standard and LXI trim with 13-inch tyres the claimed figure dips
marginally to 21.4kpl.
ENGINES & GEARBOX
998cc, 3 cylinder, 67bhp, 90Nm, 5M / 5AMT
At the wheel of the S-Presso, the first thing you will notice is the commanding view you are getting
from the small car. The seats are set a bit higher which also helps with easier ingress and egress.
Getting a good driving position is easy. The suspension is pretty straight forward – MacPherson Strut
with coil spring at the front and torsion beam with coil spring at the rear. The ride is typical of a tall
car with short wheelbase. It gets a bit choppy. There is body roll but not too pronounced. The
steering feels good to grip and has enough feedback to not feel vague or lifeless. Putting it into a
corner at high speeds doesn’t require a lot of courage. The tyres grip well too – atleast the fatter 14-
inch ones. At low speeds, the car feels sturdy. The high ground clearance means that broken roads
pose little trouble. S-Presso manages to drive over most with ease. As speeds build you may notice
the heightened levels of cabin noise – especially wind. Will be a bit tiresome hearing that for hours
at a stretch if doing those long-distance journeys. Best to keep it at two digit speeds and cruise along
which the S-Presso will do happily and even reward you with a good fuel efficiency figure. On our
test, the on-board computers showed a more realistic 16kpl, which isn’t bad.
Top speed: 150kph (estimated)
Interiors of Maruti S-Presso
S-Presso is tiny but reasonably spacious. Since seats are set high, headroom is just about adequate
but there is enough head and shoulder room. Seats are big enough and has comfortable cushioning.
The theme is a bit sporty inside with mostly all-black interiors dominated by a large central dial that
houses the infotainment system and even the digital instrument cluster. Yes, no speedo behind the
steering wheel. There is a large enough 17.78cm touchscreen infotainment screen that features
Suzuki’s SmartPlay Studio – so you can have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay but only on the top
variant. S-Presso is reasonably quipped in the top two trims. Driver airbag is standard and the
passenger airbag is available as an option on some variants. This is a budget car so some features
don’t make the cut, like rear power windows even in the top version. In the lower VXI variant the car
just comes with a SmartPlay dock. Even the mirrors can only be manual adjusted from the outside
(internal adjustment only available on the top version). At the dealer level – S-Presso will be sold
through Maruti’s Arena network – optional alloy wheels, coloured decals, cladding and other design
elements will be offered as packages.
The budget hatchback segment is a place dominated by Maruti Suzuki. Renault, Hyundai and Tata
also operate but with one model each the fight is mostly between cars with the S logo. Not
surprisingly, Maruti has no intention to let go of this dominance and have been regularly fielding
new options. Unlike its other offerings, the S-Presso tries to position itself as a funkier alternative
that still brings together the practical aspect of what a budget car is all about – fuel efficiency, space
and versatility. The biggest differentiator is it trying to look like an SUV – something that the Renault
Kwid exploited so well at launch. Maruti firmly believes that design is a major factor towards Indians
buying a car and hope to cash in on that with a budget car that looks like an SUV. After all, SUVs are
also a major pull. With more car makers doing this sort of cars, one wonders if the ubiquitous
hatchback in its current hatchback avatar is going to be out of circulation soon. The S-Presso looks
different and offers decent amount of space for passengers and luggage. The higher ground
clearance and fatter 14-inch tyres gives it a bad road advantage. Most importantly, it claims a
healthy fuel efficiency figure which means the S-Presso ticks off on the basic stuff. While the starting
price – Rs 3.69 lakh - seems too inviting, it is bare bones with not much in terms of creature comforts
such as AC and power steering.
If you looking for a fun experience but on a budget, the VXI manual
version (or VXI+ if you want the touchscreen SmartPlay system) would cover all bases.
For a predominantly city use be ready to shell out another Rs.43,000 where the AGS version would start
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