No car maker knows the Indian car buying sentiments better than Maruti Suzuki. They are the masters at developing car models that are best loved and demanded in India. India’s number one car maker Maruti Suzuki have recently launched their smallest SUV or Micro SUV, the S-Presso and we were in the vibrant, sunny city of Jodhpur to find out how well the S-Presso is really brewed . Here’s our detailed and extensive roadtest review of India’s latest and trendiest SUV.
Food for Thought
The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso was first showcased as the Future-S Concept at the 2018 Auto Expo at Delhi. The S-Presso has been conceived, designed and developed fully in India. The S-Presso is positioned just above the Alto and under the WagonR in the Maruti Suzuki model line-up. The S-Presso is a lot larger in dimensions as compared to the Alto. The S-Presso is built on the K Heartect platform, which is the slightly modified version of the Heartect platform that’s shared by new age Maruti Suzuki models like the WagonR, Swift, Ignis, Baleno, Dzire and the Ertiga.
First look at the S-Presso and you can’t get your eyes off it. It has a love me or hate me kind of styling, which cant be ignored for sure. If you do not agree with the look, you can’t escape as the styling does grow on you gradually. The styling of the S-Presso is heavily inspired from the Mahindra Scorpio, especially the face. The front facia comes with large, squarish-styled headlights that neatly house the main beam and also the turn lights in them.
The centre grille comes with four ‘U’ style elements and the Suzuki ‘S’ logo plonked proudly in the center. This centre grille reminds you of the Vitara Brezza’s grille styling to an extent. The front bumper mates the grille and comes with muscular and beefy styling. The lower section of the bumper is unpainted to add to the SUV styling. The S-Presso also gets a faux skid plate on the bumper, along with bright white strip DRLs which are a part of the optional accessory.
The bonnet is flat and angular just like an SUVs, helping its desired character. The sides also have a lot of SUV style character with the strongly flexed front and rear fenders, blacked-out window pillars and muscular door panels, flat roofline, body cladding on the running board, rounded waistline that runs from the headlights till the tail lights, SUV-like gap between the tyres and the wheel arch.
Lift type door handles and the wing mirrors get body color treatment, while the roof gets a stick type radio antenna placed in the front. The S-Presso comes with 14 inch MRF ZVTV Tyres on the top end VXI trim that we tested.
The rear styling we think looks best on the bright red S-Presso with rounded flushed ‘C’ styled tail lamps, dualtone boot spoiler, dual tone SUV like rear bumper and the neatly placed strip type stop reflectors inside the bumper, all of this completing the all-out SUV style character of the S-Presso.
Hop inside the S-Presso and the first thing you notice is how easy It is to step in, thanks to the height of the vehicle. The dashboard gets some new different multi-layered designing. The centre dash comes with special circular-shaped silver coloured insert that highlights the cabin area and reminds you a lot of the Mini Cooper. It is here that the full digital speedo meter with orange glow is placed with the MFD display unit and digital fuel meter. Under this you have the 7-inch touchscreen Smartplay 2.0 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity etc.
Yes, this is the same Smartplay unit also seen on many other higher Maruti Suzuki models like the Baleno and we are highly impressed as Maruti has not given a basic unit on the S-Presso, but its best and latest. Placed under the touchscreen is the air-con control unit with rotary knobs. Under that you get the 12V charge socket and the USB port neatly placed with a covering lid on both. The 3-spoke design steering comes with control buttons placed on it for audio and phone and also gets some neat-looking glossy inserts.
The seats get smart, dual-tone fabric upholstery, while both the front and rear seats come with integrated headrests. The S-Presso has loads of storage places and cubby holes spread across the cabin area in the door pads, centre console, dashboard etc. Space is the key highlight and the USP for the cabin of the S-Presso with loads of legroom, headroom, and shoulder room.
Seating at the rear is very comfortable, while front seaters get an excellent view of the road ahead thanks to the height of the S-Presso. The build quality and fit-finish is good and the cubed texture on the plastics used in the dash and door pads speak of attention to detail.
Engine – Drive-Transmission’s
Powering the S-Presso is the BS-6 complaint 1.0-litre motor. This is the same 998cc 3-cylinder tried and trusted engine that also powers the Alto K10. This engine makes 67bhp @ 5500rpm and has 90Nm @ 3500rpm of peak torque. This engine comes mated either to the 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT automatic transmission. Crank the engine and you notice the familiar exhaust note as the engine comes to life.
This engine feels extremely peppy as you take off, and also offers lots of mid range power. Speed builds up slowly but surely and we easily were gliding at speeds of 120-125kmph on the highway with the S-Presso feeling very much at home. The manual shifter is super slick and feels positive. The steering offers adequate feedback. Throttle response is crisp and adequate and you never feel in a spot of bother while overtaking. The AMT automatic version also feels extremely spirited and peppy. Gear shifts on the AMT version are rather un-noticed and gone are the days of jerky AMT slow shifting transmissions.
Throttle response on the AMT version is also excellent with the S-Presso feeling stronger as the revs increase. The Mini SUV brought a smile to our face while we tested its braking department where it excelled fairly easily, offering good braking combined with excellent feedback at the pedal. The S-Presso does drive extremely well and most of the times you feel as if you are driving a much larger car.
The S-Presso comes with driver’s side air bag as standard, while the top variant gets dual front airbags, rear parking sensors, speed sensing door locks, speed alert.
Maruti Suzuki, the dominant car maker in India has once again got a winner in their ranks, the S-Presso is an common man’s SUV, it is for someone who cant afford the Vitara Brezza and wants a small car but inspires to drive an SUV. This is a perfect example of why Maruti Suzuki rules the Indian car market. The S-Presso looks like an SUV, fulfilling desires of many, drives like a small car, hence is perfect for traffic roads, parking etc, comes powered by the highly reliable and tested K10 1.0L engine with also the convenience of the AMT automatic transmission if needed. The S-Presso is a perfect Small Car cum SUV package that has been extremely cleverly conceived by Maruti Suzuki. Don’t be surprised to see many of these on the roads real soon.
Photography – Govind Gadekar