Suzuki spruces up the entry market
That headline — S-Presso… Pronto! Would normally bring a glint to my eye, make my heart happy. See, up north in places like our ancestral home Bergamo, every morning people headed for the office will pop into the café on their way and bark ’spresso’.
The dude behind the counter, knowing his habitué for who knows how long, will maybe point to the sky without even looking up and reply ‘pronto!’ Which pretty much means ’sure coming up.’ Within seconds, the proprietor, still looking down, will push the little demitasse, perhaps laced with a little grappa, our pal will dop it down and be off. 'Til tomorrow.
It's a little tradition that makes me so proud, but right now there is no glint in my eye, it is crying, my heat is broken for Berghem and my people. I am distraught.
What does that have to do with the Suzuki S-Presso launch, you may ask? Well, right now I should have been buzzing about the Peninsula in one, but here I am tapping out a story, because there is no ride and drive — like the rest, it was canned quite literally at the thirteenth hour. So hats off to Suzuki — in no time its team rushed together a virtual launch and here you have it — meet the new Suzuki S-Presso.
“We are most excited to introduce the new S-Presso to South Africa,” Suzuki suit André Venter confirmed. "It combines many of our most advanced technologies and compact SUV expertise to offer a compact, roomy and well-specified new urban SUV that's truly within everyone’s reach.”
The bold, tall S-Presso slots in to the bottom of Suzuki’s growing range of urban SUVs in the choice of five derivatives sharing two transmission options to properly spoil entry-level buyers in their local Suzuki dealership alongside Jimny and Ignis.
Offering a 'pure SUV design with high ground clearance and commanding driving position, S-Presso is chunky and spacious, not unlike the its little Mahindra XUV100 rival and rides on a 2.38m wheelbase in spite of its short overall 3.56m length at a 180mm ground clearance. A 14” steel wheel at each corner promises good road holding we are sure to report on in our first road test soon.
Among its trinkets, S-Presso gets a cheeky bootlid spoiler and door handles and wing mirrors colour-coded to the choice of five snazzy hues (and white) and you can further customise your S-Presso by further colour coding and even specifying unique paired colour combinations. All via your local Suzuki dealer and still under the mega standard warranty.
S-Presso’s funky cabin gets a bold dashboard design around a significant circular centre console complete with a cool digital speedometer, multi-information trip computer and a conveniently close at hand radio or infotainment pack and central power front window and hazard switches. That sits atop air conditioning and climate controls and a 12V socket for which colour matched accessories are also available.
The GL+ model adds handy touch-sensitive full-colour infotainment complete with smart Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring, USB and auxiliary ports and Bluetooth connectivity and a reverse camera, while S-Edition gains silver cabin detailing. All models have a foldable rear bench seat and parcel tray along with convenient storage spaces, integrated bottle holders and a large glove box.
S-Presso borrows the Suzuki Celerio’s perky multi-point fuel injected 50kW 90Nm K10B twelve-valve three-pot engine driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. There’s also the option of a five-speed automated manual transmission featuring Automated Gear Selection tech for smooth automated manual shifting along with a neat crawl function for fuss-free heavy traffic driving.
Weihging in at a featherweight 770kg, S-Presso shares its rigid and lightweight Total Effective Control Tech Hertact platform, MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension with the Dzire, Ignis and Swift. Suzuki promises class-leading passive safety, improved dynamics, handling along with softer noise, vibration and harshness, while active safety is enhanced by two airbags and ABS anti-lock braking with EBD
S-Presso not only comes with Suzuki’s mighty 5-year 200 000km warranty, 3-year unlimited roadside assistance and handy 2-year 30 000km but also a year of complementary insurance as part of the deal.
As noted, the ride and drive went west with everything else in our lives and we now look forward to soon testing an S-Presso and reporting back on how it runs, but why not pop in to your local Suzuki dealership to have a look for yourself next time you are next out on an errand - it certainly is priced to impress too… — Michele Lupini
Suzuki S-Presso Pricing
1.0 GL MT R135K
1.0 GL+ MT R140K
1.0 GL+ AMT R153K
1.0 S-Edition MT R148K
1.0 S-Edition AMT R161K