There’s a reason why small hatchbacks sell so well in India. These little runabouts, with their reasonable pricing, adequate performance, enough space for a small family, and easy-on-the-wallet fuel economy are just about perfect for our road and traffic conditions. However, one gripe that buyers have with small hatchbacks is that they can sometimes be a bit boring.
Maruti Suzuki, India’s leading car manufacturer, decided to do something about it. Enter the SUV-inspired S-PRESSO that’s specifically designed to banish boring and make driving fun again. With its funky styling and cool, contemporary interiors, the S-PRESSO in an urban hatchback that encourages you to live it up!
Cool by Design
With the S-PRESSO’s SUV-inspired design, Maruti Suzuki has brought together the best of both worlds – the desirability of the SUV form factor along with the sheer practicality and convenience of a compact hatchback. Equipped with 14-inch alloy wheels, S-PRESSO boasts a high-riding stance and generous ground clearance. Chrome highlights on the front grille, nicely sculpted headlamps, LED daytime running lights and a generously proportioned front bumper define the S-PRESSO’s chunky styling. Buyers who want to go ‘all in’ on its ‘mini-SUV’ theme can go for the optional side cladding in black which completes the package.
S-PRESSO’s interiors are particularly youthful and vibrant. The dashboard features coloured accents that match the car’s bodywork and the centre-mounted digital instrument cluster with an integrated 7-inch colour touchscreen for infotainment - looks really attractive in our opinion. Plus, the steering-mounted audio and voice controls, which are a unique feature in this segment, provide great ease of use; they allow the driver to control the infotainment system without having to take his hands off the wheel, which definitely helps while driving in dense traffic. Also, the cabin is airy and spacious and the ergonomically sculpted seats are surprisingly comfortable.
The best thing about S-PRESSO is its BS6-compliant petrol engine. The 1.0-litre, three-cylinder K10B petrol engine is a gem, producing 67 horsepower and 90Nm of torque. The engine is smooth and responsive with linear power delivery across the rev range. Low-rpm torque delivery has been fine-tuned for great drivability in the city. In fact, it’s worth mentioning here that even in extremely hot weather, when the car is being driven at low speeds in tightly packed traffic, the S-PRESSO’s engine remains never misses a beat and the AC always keeps the cabin chilled. That said, the engine performs admirably on the highways too, showing a high degree of refinement at higher speeds.
With its low-effort steering, the S-PRESSO is, as you would expect, very manoeuvrable at low speeds in heavy traffic. You have to hand it to Maruti engineers, who have designed the car’s dimensions so that they are perfectly suited for Indian road and traffic conditions. In addition to its sheer manoeuvrability in traffic, it also remains very stable at higher speeds. The suspension – McPherson strut with coil springs at the front and torsion beam with coil springs at the back – has been well-tuned. S-PRESSO is quite capable of holding its own on bad, broken roads. The suspension setup has been optimised for comfortable ride quality while also providing stable, confidence-inspiring handling at higher speeds.
Buyers can choose between a regular five-speed automatic and a five-speed AMT automatic. The latter, having evolved over the last few years, now offers slick gear shifts and is unmatched for the sheer convenience it offers. Clearly, AMT (AGS for Maruti Suzuki cars) is the way to go for compact cars and if you haven’t already tried one, you need to experience this for yourself now.
Safety and Fuel Economy
The S-PRESSO is underpinned by the ‘Heartect’ platform which features a strong, impact-absorbing structure at its core that makes the S-PRESSO inherently safe. Plus, the car also has a host of other safety features including twin airbags at the front, reverse parking sensors and a seatbelt reminder. The S-PRESSO is also equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) which come in handy during sudden, hard braking even on wet and slippery surfaces.
With ever-rising fuel prices, buyers will also appreciate the S-PRESSO’s admirable mileage figures. The car’s three-cylinder petrol engine delivers up to 21.7kpl* while the CNG variants go one step further, delivering up to 31.2km/kg*. It’s commendable that Maruti Suzuki engineers have tuned the engine to take care of both strong and linear power delivery as well as wallet-friendly fuel economy.
To sum up, the Maruti Suzuki S-PRESSO is an energetic car that’s perfect for young professionals and small families. Its youthful styling combined with a spacious cabin, peppy engine, slick automatic transmission, host of safety features and great fuel economy make this car the perfect package for those looking to buy their first car. And, yes, with prices starting at Rs 3.70 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base variant to Rs 4.99 lakh for the top-end version with automatic transmission, there’s an S-PRESSO that’s just right for a wide range of budgets and requirements.
* ARAI rated mileage figures
Maruti Suzuki S-Presso S-CNG launched at Rs 4.84 lakh
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