Quirky, conversation starter, different looking is not how usually one describes small cars. Maruti did that with the Ignis a few years back, Now again with the S-Presso.The S-Presso is the mini SUV that Maruti has just launched. Priced very competitively and built on Suzuki’s latest next – gen Heartect platform, the S-Presso promises to be a game changer. How was it? Let’s find out.
DESIGN AND STYLINGThe S-Presso has the kind of design that starts a conversation. The first thing you notice is that the ground clearance is relatively high. The S-Presso comes with upright pillars and high set bonnet giving it a SUV like appearance. Viewed from the front the S-Presso comes with a prominent grille with angular headlights and LED daytime running lights. The chunky cladding on the bottom portion of the bumper, completes the SUV look.The wheel arches are high and come with standard 14inch wheels. One gets the option of machined alloy wheels as part of the accessories package that Maruti is offering. Walk to the back of the S-Presso and you see simple looking tail lights and lots of cladding on the rear bumper that complete the look.
First thing one sees stepping into the S-Presso cabin is the instrument cluster bang in the middle. The speedometer sits on the top of the circular centre console. This is funky to look at and doesn’t take too much time getting used to. The speedometer comes with a large font that makes it easy to read.
The infotainment system is placed in the circular centre console. The top end models of all Maruti cars comes with their latest Smart Play Studio system. The UI is very nice looking and responsive, very smartphone inspired in the way it looks and works. The menu is well laid out and it comes with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Below that are the knobs/buttons for the AC and heater.The overall cabin quality is very impressive for the category the S-Presso falls in. The material quality, fit and finish are very good. The dashboard is nice looking, there are body-coloured embellishments around the centre console and air-conditioning vents. The headroom and legroom are super, seats are comfortable, offer good lumbar and under thigh support. The high seat positioning helps with the overall visibility outside when seated in the front cabin.The legroom in the back row is very good. There’s ample knee and headroom for tall occupants on offer. Its’s ideally suited for 2 passengers behind.
There are 2 cupholders, one bottle holder at the rear bottle holder on each of the front doors and a shelf above the glove box as part of the storage package. The boot space available is 240 litres. Folding the rear seat backrest will offer you more space if required.
The safety package in the S-Presso includes ABS, a driver side airbag, speed warning system, seat belt reminder and rear parking sensors. A passenger side airbag is available as a Rs 5000 option on the STD, LXI and VXI trims and is part of the package on top-spec VXI+ versions.
DRIVING THE S-PRESSO
The S-Presso comes with a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine which puts out 68hp and 90Nm figure. Switch on the car and the 1st thing you notice is how quiet this BSVI K10 engine is while idling and driving. The performance is smooth, power delivery is good and getting to higher speeds is done in a refined fashion. It’s extremely easy and hassle free to drive in heavy traffic which will appeal to customers of the S-Presso. The 1st day I drove the manual S-Presso from Jodhpur to Khimsar over 100 kms. It doesn’t take too much effort going through the gears, the clutch is well weighted and light to use. On the highway getting to three digit speeds was done with relative ease. The braking is sharp and smooth enough which we got to experience a few times on this drive.
Next morning, I drove the 5-speed AMT Auto. This is an area in which you see the maximum evolution from the days of the Celerio to now. The gear box is smooth, the shifts are well timed. The typical lag one experiences in an AMT is barely felt here. The moment you shift the AMT to manual mode, the gearshifts are far quicker, making driving the S-Presso a fun experience.Steering feedback is good, its light and easy to twirl around. The ride quality overall is good and over the 200 kms we drove the S-Presso none of the passengers in the car experienced any discomfort. The S-Presso while essentially an urban commuter also makes for an able long-distance companion on road trips. The mileage the S-Presso offers is fantastic. On our drive the car returned an average of 20-22 kms per litre.
BUYING THE S-PRESSO
The S-Presso is an interesting looking car that offers good driving experience in terms of efficiency, mileage and comfort. It comes with the assured badge of a Maruti in terms of service efficiency and resale value.Prices for the S-Presso start from Rs 3.69 Lakhs for the Standard Manual Variant and Rs 4.68 lakhs for the VXi AGS (automatic) Variant. The top end variant of the S-Presso VXi Plus AGS is yours to buy for Rs. 4.91 Lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.