The Suzuki S-Presso's physical makeover may be mild, but the enhanced micro-SUV boasts an array of new features, plus a different engine for even lower fuel consumption.

The new S-Presso has had some very subtle work done recently, but the big news is the step up in safety and convenience features, making the S-Presso more attractive to school leavers, students, pensioners, or anyone on a small new-car budget.

“Our slogan for the S-Presso is ‘Do You!’ as we found that it allowed young and old to do more of what they wanted to do, without breaking the budget”, says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto SA.

What’s new?

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

The new S-Presso isn’t easy to differentiate from the outgoing one. A keen eye will notice that the side cladding on the doors has been omitted and that silver-coloured side skirting that resembles underbody protection has been added, along with some more silver detailing on the lower bumper.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

New 14-inch alloy wheels (real alloys, not just wheel covers) now adorn the GL+ models and above. Entry-level GL models have steel wheels with wheel covers and a full-sized spare wheel can be found underneath every S-Presso’s boot.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

Under-the-skin changes

The latest S-Presso gets a mild caffeine boost thanks to Suzuki’s tried-and-tested Dualjet 1.0 K10C engine (also utilised in the much-loved Suzuki Celerio, with 2 injectors per cylinder for better flow) which is now fitted to the entire S-Presso range, along with Stop/Start functionality for further fuel savings of about 3 – 4%.

ESP (or electronic stability control) is now a standard feature on all models. This all-important piece of kit is especially useful for inexperienced drivers, as it keeps the car on course and can prevent an accident altogether. Two airbags are still standard across the board.

Power and torque remain almost the same as previously (49 kW at 5 500 rpm and 89 Nm at 3 500 rpm), but fuel consumption is said to be as low as the Celerio’s. According to Suzuki, the manual S-Presso uses only 4.6 litres of petrol per 100 km (combined) and the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) version is 4.4 litres per 100 km. The AMT derivatives also get hill-hold control (aka hill-start assist) to prevent embarrassing and dangerous roll-back at an incline.

Interior add-ons

The entry-level S-Presso remains sans touchscreen, while the GL+ (driven on launch) is endowed with the 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which can be controlled via satellite controls on the steering wheel. All models have Bluetooth, front electric windows, and air-conditioning.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

S-Presso S-Edition buyers will be delighted by the new 9-inch touchscreen which also displays the view to the rear via the newly-fitted reverse camera.

All S-Presso models are still fitted with an immobiliser, child locks and ABS brakes, as well as rear parking sensors.

Driving the S-Presso

Our launch route took us from Hout Bay over Chapman’s peak and around the backside of Noordhoek beach for a delightful little off-road romp on a sandy, slightly rocky path usually reserved for the equestrian set.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

The S-Presso’s high suspension travel and 81 cm of ground clearance made easy meat of this scenic route which was incorporated to illustrate the S-Presso’s penchant for unruly surfaces. Interior noise insulation could be better, as the vegetation brushing against the little car’s underside makes an unsettling sound, but considering how much the S-Presso costs, it’s no deal-breaker.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

My co-pilot kept an eye on the trip computer and Suzuki’s estimated usage figure matched our 4.6 litres per 100 km. His tall frame fit into the driver’s seat easily and he was quite amazed at the amount of room for second-row passengers (he had never actually driven an S-Presso before).

The S-Presso tips the scales at a slim 765 kg and the new engine feels quite zippy and energetic because of its favourable power-to-weight ratio. Going uphill will have you stirring the gearbox, but when you’re cruising around town, the S-Presso is never short on power.

2023 Suzuki S-Presso line-up and pricing

  • S-Presso 1.0 GL Manual
  • S-Presso 1.0 GL Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
  • S-Presso 1.0 GL+ Manual
  • S-Presso 1.0 GL+ Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
  • S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition Manual
  • S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

The S-Presso can be had in White, Granite Grey Metallic, Fire Red, Silky Silver Metallic, Starry Blue Pearl and Sizzle Orange.

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

All S-Presso models are sold with a 2-year / 30 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km promotional mechanical warranty. Insurance for the first year of ownership is free.

Verdict

The fun-to-drive S-Presso with its practical ground clearance and spacious interior has made it on of the go-to buys for the younger generation and rental companies. The addition of electronic stability control and Isofix seat fittings should make this little Suzuki even more of a hit with bargain buyers.

Ané AlbertseAné was bitten by the motoring bug at a very young age. Her mom recalls her sitting in her stroller as a 3-year old, naming every car that came past. She was working as a freelance motoring journalist for publications such as Rapport and City Press, when AutoTrader nabbed her for good. She lives in the Western Cape with her two kids and two cats.View News & Reviews

android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv
android, driven: 2023 suzuki s-presso, sa's most affordable suv

Keyword: Driven: 2023 Suzuki S-Presso, SA's most affordable SUV

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