Maruti enjoys more than half of the country's auto market share. It makes more cars than all other car makers in the country put together. There is a Maruti for every person from every walk of life. The S-Presso is aimed at filling a small such gap in the car maker’s offering.
Mini or micro?
This is not a hatchback, it is a SUV neither. If Bezza is a mini SUV, then shouldn't S-Presso be a micro SUV? No. S-Presso is termed a micro SUV just because of its price tag of Rs 3.69 lakh, though it looks more like its bigger brother Brezza in design. Maruti chose to offer the test drive of the vehicle at the historic Khimsar fort in Jodhpur knowing well that the vehicle could make history in the Indian auto market.
A tough rival
The S-Presso is sure to give sleepless nights to its rivals. For those who can't afford a Brezza, the S-Presso is a blessing. The car is targeted at the millennials who are hooked to the web round-the-clock, like to play around with their mobile apps, ruthlessly delete whatever they don't like and who lap up new brands and fashion trends.
You need to drive it to understand how good it is, the S-Presso offers good driveability, handling and ride comfort. The inside is premium for its segment. On-road performance is sporty and inspiring. With a company-claimed mileage of 22 km per litre, the car can also be called frugal.
Not an off-roader
A team of engineers from Suzuki Global has worked hand-in-hand with Maruti Suzuki to develop the S-Presso. The design job was handled by Indian engineers under the supervision of the Japanese team. Red, blue and orange - the youth could fall in love with the bright colours of the S-Presso in the first sight itself. It won't be a coincidence if the S-Presso with its large grille and a high-rise flat bonnet looks more like its bigger brothers Brezza and Ignis. It could have been a deliberate attempt by the car maker to keep is SUV lineage intact. Whatever the case, Suzuki can proudly display the S-Presso among the list of its SUVs.
Small yet big
The S-Presso is based on Suzuki's 'Heartect' platform, which also underpins several of its new models. This is one of the reasons why it has so much space inside despite being a small car. The high stance makes ingress and egress easy for occupants. The legroom is impressive and can rival even cars from higher segments. The seats are large, and the boot has decent space. No rear power windows even as an option on the top-end version. The front power window switch is on the most unexpected of the places - on the sides of the hazard light switch on the dashboard. The S-Presso comes with a 13-inch wheel on the base variants, but the large wheel wells can definitely take 15-inch wheels. However, the full wheel covers are not bad and look like alloy wheels.
The main attraction inside are the central console and the dashboard. The centre console is circular in shape with colour-matched interior trim. Some are in body colour others in silver. The entire setup is encircled by orange inserts. The digital speedo is large, with onboard computer display just below it. The SmartPlay Studio is the highlight of the touchscreen infotainment system. Download the app on the mobile phone and you can get vehicle statistics a la Benz and BMW. The navigation system, which is as good as Google Map, and stereo all can be operated with just a touch.
Fit and finish
The quality of plastics used is good. Even on the dashboard, different trims have different patterns. There are enough storage spaces. Though slim, the seats are comfortable. Steering mounted stereo controls, borrowed from Maruti's premium models, are easy to use. Add the nice steering, and you get a premium dashboard.
The S-Presso has a high driving position like a true SUV. The K-Series 1-litre engine generates 50 kw of power. Weighing just 726 kilos, the power output is good enough for the engine to propel the car like an SUV. Though the car has a higher ground clearance, high-speed stability doesn't suffer. The ABS gives better confidence while pushing the car to its limits. Downshift one gear and overtaking could be easy. The AMT variant offers more driveability. Among the AMT cars, it's Maruti that has done better, with its cars giving the traditional torque converters a run for their money. So, it's not just the looks, the S-Presso offers a thrilling experience on the road too.
Of late, Maruti has been blamed for making ‘unsafe’ cars. It is alleged that Maruti cars crumple in case of accidents. However, some components are made to crumple on impact in modern cars. Such 'crumple zones' deform and crumple in a collision. This absorbs some of the energy of the impact like a safety cage, preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants. Besides, the car is equipped with other safety systems such as ABS, air bag and ESP. Next time when you see a crumpled car on the roadside, you can be sure that the occupants could have escaped mostly hurt or with minor injuries. In unfortunate circumstances, such as high-speed collisions, even such safety cages won't be of any help. In such cases, even luxury cars won't be able to save lives.