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First sprint in Merc's ferocious C 63 S

'You can feel how taut the steering is, how sensitive the accelerator is to inputs', writes Charlen Raymond.

Here's why the Suzuki S-Presso is a justifiable budget-beater in SA

2020-05-13 14:30

Charlen Raymond

Suzuki S-Presso

2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

After little over a month, the Suzuki S-Presso S-Edition departed from the Wheels24 garage.

In all, it's been an interesting time living with the newest edition to the South African new car market, and it has shown the spotlight on several points this car has to address.

The S-Presso, with its upright design, was launched in South Africa just a few days before lockdown came into effect. It was an enticing event, albeit one that took place on the automaker's social media channels.

The S-Presso was marketed as the new budget-beating car in South Africa, and with pricing starting at R134 900, it is difficult not to agree with Suzuki.

Five models make up the range, and we had the chance to sample the S-Edition manual. At R147 900, it is the second most expensive model in the range after the S-Edition automatic.


Would you consider the S-Presso over the Renault Kwid, and why? Email us.

Comprehensively-specced

One has to bear in mind that the S-Presso is a budget car. At the price point, you can't take Suzuki to task for the overt use of plastic and minimal sound insulation. Once you can overcome that, it's a much easier task of understanding the car.

The S-Edition is quite well specified with features. This for a car retailing under R150 000. For starters, this model is equipped with a rear-view camera that displays the footage on the colour screen atop the centre dashboard. There are also rear parking sensors that warn you if you are reversing too close to an object.

Inside, the multimedia system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, while USB and AUX ports, and Bluetooth and are also on offer. Front passengers have the luxury of electric windows, while those in the rear have to implement manual labour. A small price to pay, all things considered.

The seats are covered in a mixture of cloth and vinyl, while red inserts are used to spice up the ambiance inside the cabin.

Suzuki S-Presso

2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

What it's like to drive

The S-Presso range is powered by one engine: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol motor that produces 50kW and 90Nm. It's not a lot of power, but adequate to haul the 770kg car around. The front-wheel driven S-Edition is also a custodian of this engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

Driving the car is not a chore, and you are quickly won over by the truthful manner in which the car presents itself. Road holding is fair for a car in this segment, but the seats could offer more lateral support through corners. Taller drivers may feel that the driver's seat does not go low enough, which could impact comfortability from behind the steering wheel.

The S-Presso, I found, is a lot more comfortable in the city. It's ideally suited for quick runs between errands and morning countering the morning traffic on your way to work. This is where it'll shine. 

Suzuki S-Presso

2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

In summary

The S-Presso is a welcome addition to the market and will surely speak to an audience who wants a new car without breaking the bank. Does the S-Presso speak to that audience? The answer is a resounding yes!

From a financial point of view, the car ticks all the boxes without bringing a sub-par product to market. Build quality at this price-point is fair and should not rub new owners up the wrong way. The drivetrain - engine and gearbox - does not fall short in terms of what its competitors offer.

So, where does the car rank? The Renault Kwid is the sales leader for cars in this segment, but the S-Presso offers a more comprehensive package at a lower price. As more buyers become aware of the Suzuki and what it offers, there is every chance that it could surpass the Kwid as the number one choice.

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Read more on:    suzuki  |  charlen raymond  |  hatchback  |  new models  |  s-presso

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