We drove the updated Suzuki S-Presso

It’s not many vehicles that get to carry the title of the most affordable vehicle in SA, but the Suzuki S-Presso does. Introduced locally back in 2020, the S-Presso came in with the lowest price tag on a new car, and even though there wasn’t an official local launch for the vehicle, we got to experience it during its international debut in India. Two years later, we meet again, this time the S-Presso promises some new aromas and flavours while maintaining its affordability cred.

Who is it for?

As you may have guessed, the Suzuki S-Presso is aimed at first-time car buyers. It's an entry-level car that won’t break the bank balance, one that does the job of getting you from A to B. You may not realise this, but before car manufacturers launch a vehicle for sale, they do their homework. This includes who the prospective buyer is, their age, what they look for in a car, and roughly what they would likely be able to afford.  This was all taken into consideration before this updated version of the S-Presso was introduced, the result is the most affordable new car you can buy in SA right now, and it also comes with free insurance for one year.

Why is this important? Many first-time buyers don’t realise the full cost of vehicle ownership, and only consider the vehicle’s monthly instalment. If you’re paying R1500pm, you’ll probably have to fork out another R1000 for insurance, this will nearly double your monthly payments.

What's new?

Let’s talk about what you can expect and look forward to in this updated S-Presso. From the outside, the S-Presso now wears a set of alloy wheels, where previously it was offered with plastic wheel caps. Other exterior changes are minor and you probably won’t even notice them, like the colour-coded lower side panels and some minor alterations to the front and rear bumpers. Overall, externally it still looks pretty much the same.

The interior has gained two new touch infotainment screens, a 7-inch and a 9-inch, depending on which S-Presso variant you opt for. Either way, you still get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through USB, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone. The range-topping S-Presso S-Edition comes with the larger screen, which is linked to a reverse camera to make manoeuvring easier for those still finding their feet. Park Distance Control, dual airbags, child seat tethers, front electric windows and remote central locking are standard across the full S-Presso range.

 

What’s it like to drive?

It’s powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine, meaning it will be light on fuel, the one thing we can all appreciate these days. Suzuki says it will achieve an average fuel consumption of 4.4l/100km in the automatic variants. Speaking of transmissions, we appreciate that S-Presso is available in both manual and auto. We drove the former, and despite it being a 1.0-litre with only three cylinders, the little S-Presso moves along without hassle even with three adults on board. With a slightly elevated ride height and narrow wheels, you might need to be cautious when approaching corners and take it easy. It wasn’t built for racetrack handling, but to get you around at a minimal cost.

How much is the Suzuki S-Presso?

As we may have already mentioned, price is the one thing Suzuki wanted to get right, pitching the S-Presso as the most affordable vehicle in SA. You’re looking at a starting price of R162 900 for the entry-level S-Presso in manual transmission, and R199 900 for the range-topping S-Edition. Its direct competitors from a size and price perspective are the Mahindra  KUV100 NXT (R172 999) and the Renault Kwid (R177 999)

 

Words: Gugu Masuku