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SPACIOUSLY COMPACT
SUZUKI S-PRESSO

Named after a coffee that tastes bitter and is certainly an acquired taste, the S-Presso from Maruti Suzuki is marketed as a spacious mini SUV with outstanding ground clearance at a price that will keep your bank balance happy. With a small footprint and big ground clearance, will the mini SUV from Maruti Suzuki satisfy all the needs for a perfect family car? Here’s our take on it.

EXTERIOR

With its bulky bonnet, tall stance, and small footprint, there is no escaping the fact that the S-presso looks like a bulked up baby of an Alto and Wagon-R. But does it justify its title of a mini-SUV? We had mixed feelings. Yes, it does have a big ground clearance of 180mm and a tall stance at a 1564mm that an SUV demands, but with width and wheelbase of just 1520mm and 2380mm respectively, the S-Presso looks narrow and doesn’t quite have the proportions to justify being tagged as an SUV. But then again, there’s no fixed definition of a SUV, is there?

Also, the car lacks alloy wheels and LED elements that most cars today offer. For a modern day city slicker, the car looks bland and lacks spunk.

INTERIOR

Once inside, you’ll forget about the exterior and be amazed at the spacious cabin for a car of this size. It is genuinely a family car that can easily fit 5 people including the driver. And, with a boot-space of 270-litre, the S-Presso is more than happy to hold all of your luggage. The quality of the interior feels acceptable and is definitely an upgrade from the Alto K10.

Another impressive feature is the centrally-mounted digital speedometer and information console. The information displayed are quite standard with two trip meters, fuel efficiency, and distance to empty. The console looks neat and futuristic with its circular design and orange backlit display. The car also comes equipped with a 7-inch infotainment system with bluetooth connectivity.

However, we felt that the S-Presso could be slightly better equipped. Powered ORVM’s and a height adjustable seat or a tilt adjust for the steering wheel would have been a nice addition to the car.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The S-Presso offers Maruti Suzuki’s proven and reliable engine, the 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder that is also used in the Alto K10 and Wagon-R. The engine produces 68PS of power and 90Nm of torque, which remains unchanged but the engine is now BS6 compliant, courtesy of stricter emission norms. The engine feels peppy and staying in second gear through stop and go traffic is not a problem at all. The vibrations are close to non-existent and the vehicle easily cruises at a speed of 80 km/hr in 3rd and 4th gear in the highways. However, the 5th gear lacks acceleration and we recommend it to be used solely while cruising. Talking about the gearing, the gear ratio felt perfect for a city car, but we felt that the transmission could have been a bit smoother. Though an AMT variant has been announced by Suzuki, it has not made its way to Nepal as of yet.

COMFORT AND HANDLING

With a formula of light car + skinny tyres + tall height, the guys at Maruti Suzuki have done a stellar job of producing a city car that is effortless to drive. Like other cars of this size, the S-Presso feels a bit bumpy on potholes, but it is nothing to be concerned of. On the open roads, the S-Presso feels well-composed and planted to the road at highway speeds. However, with its high centre of gravity and light weight, swerving at high speeds could be fatal.

Talking about the back, there is decent knee room even when the front seats are pushed back, but the lack of electric windows could be a bit annoying when the back passenger forgets to close the window. The seats are comfortable with ample cushioning but an adjustable headrest would have been a nice addition.

VERDICT

We’ll be very blunt and say that the S-Presso is not much of a looker. But what it lacks on the outside, it makes up for in the inside. It has a spacious cabin with well-equipped features. The engine feels peppy and refined, and the performance is pretty good. The promise of an excellent fuel economy adds to the appeal making it a complete family car starting at a price of Rs. 22,99,000 and is available in four trims, the Standard, VXi, ZXi, and ZXi+.

Last but not least, is the S-Presso a mini-SUV? In some ways it is yet at the same time it isn’t. It depends on what you think an SUV is. For us it is a capable family car.

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