First Drive Review Of Maruti Suzuki’s Funky Mini SUV ‘S-Presso’

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We drove the recently launched Maruti Suzuki S-Presso to tell you what it feels like in our comprehensive review down below

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has the S-Presso as its newest member in the domestic stable and it arrives in the market during the time when the sales prospects are not on the positive side due to unfavourable scenarios. The S-Presso is indeed available for a big volume push during this festive season and beyond and it has been launched to play a strategic role in the sales revival.

So, what has Maruti Suzuki done to convince you to go for it? And is it any different from other entry-level models already on sale? We test drove it to tell you the answer:

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Styling

The first impression for any vehicle will mostly make or break the customers’ overall opinion generally and it starts with the exterior. As for the styling, the S-Presso sits in between the tall-boy Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, Datsun Redi-Go, Renault Kwid and Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 with an imposing front end having an upright stance.

While taking influence from the Concept Future S showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo, the squarish wheel arches and the body panels present along with tall pillars and slightly raked roofline to avail the SUV-ish character wouldn’t disappoint you for what you pay.

However, the big gap between the tyres and wheel arches does not bode well with the design from the sides. Moreover, the wheel arch cladding should have been offered as a standard fitment rather than part of the accessory kit.

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The bold front and rear bumper with Vitara Brezza like U-shaped front grille, side body cladding and high ground clearance of 180 mm give this A2 car SUV-ish looks and that’s the reason why the company launched the S-Presso as a Mini SUV. Missing out on the alloy wheels is a certain bummer.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Interior

On the inside, the Concept Future S inspired centre console, sporty and stylish dashboard with middle air conditioning vents offer a very different look to the S-Presso when compared to its entry-level hatchback siblings as well as the competitors.

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However, it misses out on basic features like the rear power window, day/night adjustment to IRVM, central locking system, tear wiper and defogger. The S-Presso comes with the segment-best cabin space with good legroom for the rear occupants along with good thigh support and upright stance for the front and back rows.

Since the seat height from the floor is high, the comfort offered for all passengers is also at an appreciable level. The front and rear headrests are fixed and shorter making them uncomfortable for a taller people of above six feet.

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The overall headroom even for tall passengers is also on a good level as it fits between a typical tall-boy and regular hatchbacks. The boot has a space of around 280 litres and can accommodate three big-sized bags.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Engine And Performance

On the performance side, the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso uses the tried and tested 1.0L K-series engine mated to a five-speed MT & AMT gearbox. The S-Presso became the first 1000 cc Maruti car to gain BS6 compliance as well and was the eighth model within the domestic lineup to have seen the upgrade. The powertrain is claimed to return 21.7 kmpl and having driven it for long we would not doubt it.

Overall, the engine is peppy and the gear shifting is smooth. When compared to Alto K10 and Kwid, the NVH levels are controlled as well. By being a 998cc 3-cylinder car, it surprisingly crosses 150 kmph on the long stretches while the AMT transmission feels refined than the K10 with two-pedal technology. The engine delivers power in a refined manner and it produces 68 PS and 90 Nm.

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The AMT is not as smooth as what Maruti offers in the Swift/Ignis 1.2. During hard acceleration, it upshifts very quickly and you can feel the jerk of each gear shifting since it’s an AMT. But it behaves well if drive gently and it is very convenient in city traffic conditions. The car we took to test hit a top speed of 150 kmph and it was the AMT version. The manual gearbox, on the other hand, does its duty perfectly as expected.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Dynamics

On the dynamics front, the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso scores very good as it offers the segment-best high-speed stability, cabin NVH, cornering stability and brakings as well. However, the steering feels dead with no feedback or weight till 80 kmph and post that speed you will start feeling some weight in the steering.

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The suspension is on the comfort side and it is a positive move on the SUV-like S-Presso and due to its good stability, you can cruise it on the highways. The brakes do feel potent and the lightness of the fifth-generation Heartect platform does come alive in situations to give extra confidence to the driver while braking or accelerating.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Verdict

Overall, space the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso offers along with the upright seating posture, premium looking centre console, good driving dynamics topped off with bold exterior and interiors make it a force to reckon with in the segment. The tried and tested 1.0L K-series engine is an added bonus and it made this car another winner product from the Maruti Suzuki camp and the success will soon starting reflecting in the monthly sales numbers.