Suzuki S-Presso: capable daily driver, decent weekender

The Suzuki S-Presso can be your perfect daily commuter and weekend adventure partner

Suzuki S-Presso: capable daily driver, decent weekender

Small hatchbacks are often seen as city cars best suited for short trips within the metro. Thanks to their tiny stature and relatively affordable price tag, these mini vehicles have been a favorite among Filipino car buyers who want a ride that can travel short distances with ease.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What powers the Suzuki S-Presso?

    The Suzuki S-Presso is powered by a 1.0-liter gasoline mill mated to either a five-speed manual or Suzuki's Auto Gear Shift.
  • How much is the Suzuki S-Presso?

    The Suzuki S-Presso is priced from P620,000 to P660,000.
  • But what if you want a compact car that can do more? Enter, the Suzuki S-Presso.

    This high-riding hatchback offers the sweet spot between a daily driver and a weekend car thanks to its suite of promising and practical features. That said, we take a look at what makes this small car click and why it has amassed a handful of faithful followers here in the Philippines.

    Small car, big attitude

    Right off the bat, the Suzuki S-Presso looks tiny — cute even. Nevertheless, it wears several exterior appointments that make it look like a small car with a big attitude.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 1

    At the front, it gets aggressive-looking lights that somewhat give the vehicle a feirce vibe. These headlamps flank a four-slot fascia with Suzuki’s logo in the middle. Below is a large radiator grille with relatively wide holes to feed and cool its small engine (which we’ll get to in a few).

    Its side profile is simple, straightforward. You get clean-cut lines, fender-mounted turn signals, body-colored door handles and side mirrors, sport utility vehicle-like claddings under the doors, blacked-out B-pillars, and a set of 14-inch alloy wheels.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 10 Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 9

    The rear end of the Suzuki S-Presso gets a discreet spoiler, two sets of taillamps, reflectors on each side, a manual and key-operated tailgate, and a large rear bumper, which adds to the ready-for-anything character of the mini hatchback.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 2

    Overall, the Suzuki S-Presso looks nothing like the sea of sporty compact hatchbacks sold here in the county. On that note, it slightly resembles other go-anywhere models like the Jeep Renegade or its big brother the Jimny.

    Decent interior features

    Alright, the interior of the Suzuki Jimny is by no means excellent. But for its price, you’re getting decent features — even when compared to the competition.

    Let’s start with the seats.

    The seats of the Suzuki S-Presso may only be covered in fabric and may lack some support and bolstering but the cushioning is firm enough and the upholstery is easy to clean. One thing that stands out with this hatchback’s seats is that they make you feel like sitting on a table chair rather than a car seat.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 4

    To elaborate, you take on a more upright position with your legs and feet ergonomically propped up instead of having to lean back and have your legs lie somewhat at the same level as your hips as you would in a typical low-riding sedan.

    As a result, you have a better, more commanding view of the road and a clearer perspective of your surroundings.

    Next is its infotainment system.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 5

    The Suzuki S-Presso gets a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity features. The display screen is easy to understand and simple to navigate, making it a user-friendly infotainment unit even for those who will be using a digital audio unit for the first time.

    Finally, I would like to commend its spacious interior. Suzuki did well with arranging the cabin amenities of the S-Presso to make room for its passengers. For a small car, I was able to fit my wife, son, brother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law inside the compact hatch. And mind you, we’re not of small build.

    Aside from the aforementioned, the Suzuki S-Presso does offer a few other notable features like its space-saving instrument cluster, multi-functional steering wheel, and various cubby holes for beverages.

    Easy to drive

    The Suzuki S-Presso makes driving easy even for newbies.

    The unit I drove for a week was fitted with the brand’s Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology, which is Suzuki’s take on making driving easier for its customers. With that said, there was no need for shifting allowing me to focus more on what’s happening on the road.

    But while Suzuki pretty much took away the need to shift gears, you can still feel — and basically tell — when the AGS system does the work for you. As someone who drives stick on a daily basis, I can say that the S-Presso’s powertrain setup still behaves like a manual since once can feel and predict when the shifting will happen.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 8

    And if you feel like being one with the machine, the Suzuki S-Presso AGS does get a manual mode, so you can shift the gears on your own for better control albeit without a clutch.

    To note, the Suzuki S-Presso is powered by a K10C 1.0-liter gasoline mill mated to either a five-speed manual or the abovementioned AGS.

    Suzuki also gave the S-Presso electric power steering, which means that having to make turns and take advantage of its small turning radius when maneuvering the vehicle is a breeze. This, combined with its compact size, the Suzuki S-Presso can tackle tight roads and narrow streets both in the city and in the provinces.

    Pros, cons

    Overall, I loved how the Suzuki S-Presso looks (especially when you slap it with wider wheels and a few aftermarket accessories) and how it can accommodate four passengers with still some room to spare. Additionally, I liked how the mini hatchback had enough room to carry luggage.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 6

    Credit is also due to the vehicle’s high ground clearance, which provides some level of confidence for drivers when taking on uneven roads.

    And while most car buyers would hate the S-Presso for having manual rear windows, I honestly like having these pieces of history on a modern car.

    I, on the other hand, would appreciate it if Suzuki would improve the noise, vibration, and harshness levels of the S-Presso as the engine and road noise are apparent, especially when you take this small car on the expressway.

    Pricing and variants

    The Suzuki S-Presso is offered in two variants. The base model is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox while the range-topping model gets the AGS. They are priced at P620,000 and P660,000, respectively.

    Final thoughts

    Suzuki did a good job with the S-Presso, which is why it’s not surprising to see its owners fall in love with the nameplate. Not only does it make for a decent daily commuter but it is also capable enough to join you on your adventures during the weekend.

    Suzuki S-Presso AGS by Juan Paulo Papa 11

    So for those who like to keep themselves busy with work from Monday to Friday and kick it off at the beach or find a camping spot to recharge from Saturday to Sunday, the Suzuki S-Presso might just be your cup of coffee.

    Photos from Juan Paulo Papa

    Also read:

    Here’s what’s inside the Suzuki S-Presso

    Suzuki S-Presso vs. Toyota Wigo: Which compact car reigns supreme?

    Manual or AGS: Which Suzuki S-Presso is for you?

    Paulo Papa

    Paulo Papa

    Fueled by his passion for cars and a good dose of caffeine, Paulo loves taking his readers for an exciting spin with his writing. A self proclaimed nerd, epigrammatic writer, and a doting father. 

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