Suzuki S-Presso

Suzuki’s big little SUV stars on value

Suzuki’s bold, tall S-Presso brings a new entry point to its SUV growing range. Chunky and spacious with extra ground clearance and a command driving position, Suzuki promises us that S-Presso is small but surprisingly roomy, with good road holding and fair performance too.

They also say that S-Presso’s cabin is funky, with a bold dash and we were pleasantly surprised by amount of tech the little Suzuki packs for the money. Especially in this S-Edition  with its handy full colour Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring, USB and auxiliary ports and Bluetooth touch screen infotainment. Never mind the reverse camera. 

It may not be the very latest spec kit, but that’s to be expected at the price and it’s all there and works well enough anyway. That said, we found the audio system to be some way below par and not everyone agreed that S-Presso is the best looking car in its neck of the woods, inside or out. Still, it has current and contemporary appeal and styling is always a moot point anyway.

On the road, S-Presso’s featherweight 770kg conspires with its perky 50kW 90Nm multi-point fuel injected three-pot to good effect as it drives the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. There’s sufficient power to cruise easily or zoot about town and I certainly can’t complain about ride quality. S-Presso also stars on rear passenger and boot space in this neck of the woods, but this unit also had some serious wind noise beyond 100km/h.

It handles as well as we’d expect and packs claimed class-leading passive safety thanks to a couple of airbags and ABS and EBD braking, but S-Presso’s driving range is limited. Yes, it’s economical and cheap to run for sure, but it also never quite met those fuel efficiency expectations and that midget fuel tank seriously impinged on a longer trip, almost catching us out on a run far shorter than that theoretical 550km and on which we’d never have expected to refuel on to get back home. 

Packing a five-year two-hundred thousand kilometre warranty, 3-years unlimited roadside assistance and handy 2-year 30 000km service plan and a year's complementary insurance as part of the deal, you'd likely expect a little premium too?

But that is this big little car’s biggest selling point — at just R153K for all that, this surprisingly spacious little car’s few foibles certainly are worth overlooking… — Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition
Engine: 50kW 90Nm 1-litre petrol I3
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
0-60km/h: 5.02 sec
0-100km/h: 12.62 sec   
0-120km/h: 18.85 sec
400m: 18.02sec @ 119km/h
80-120km/h: 10.97 sec
VMax: 160km/h 
Fuel: 4.9 l/100km
CO2: 118 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 200K/2y 30Kkm
RATED:     7