South Africa’s most affordable car – the Suzuki S-Presso – has just gotten a lot safer too.

The updated version of the little hatch sees the S-Presso become the most affordable car in South Africa that features both Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and ISOFIX top and lower child restraint anchors.

These two features were added to dual airbags, ABS with EBD, pretensioner and force limiting seat belts and rear park distance control sensors to give the six-model range a notable set of standard safety equipment. In addition, automated manual transmission (AMT) models are also equipped with hill-hold control.

Easier on the juice

Apart from the safety enhancements, the updated Suzuki S-Presso also boasts a new engine, exterior styling upgrades and more creature comforts. For the first time, the base model GL is also offered with the self-shifting AMT.

The addition of the GL in AMT guise sees the model line-up increase from five to six across the three trim levels, GL, GL+ and S-Edition.

Suzuki S-Presso
The Suzuki S-Presso gas a ground clearance of 181 mm.

Powering the updated Suzuki S-Presso is the K10C Dualjet three cylinder 1.0-litre engine that was introduced on the current Celerio. The mill sends 49 kW of power and 89 Nm of torque to the front wheels via either five-speed manual or five-speed AMT.

The powertrain’s outputs are 1 kW and 1 Nm less than that of the outgoing 1.0-litre mill, but this slight decrease is offset via better fuel economy. Suzuki claims that manual models will only sip 4.6 litres per 100 km, with AMT derivates even less at 4.4 L/100 km. Numbers like these are always welcome with the petrol price begin so sky high.

Contributing to these impressive numbers is the standard inclusion of stop-start technology, which automatically switches off the engine when stationary and restarts it less than a second when you need to get going again.

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More spec for Suzuki S-Presso

Another new feature on the Suzuki S-Presso is electronically adjustable side mirrors. This features as standard across the range along with audio and steering wheel controls, air-conditioner, central remote locking, front electric windows and power steering.

In addition, GL+ derivatives include a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Suzuki S-Presso
The updated Suzuki S-Presso comes standard with audio controls on the steering wheel.

The Suzuki S-Presso S-Edition variants, which will be available in the first quarter of 2023, features a 9-inch infotainment system, reverse camera and an exterior and interior styling kit.

For the first time, alloy wheels are offered on the S-Presso with both the GL+ and S-Edition derivates upgraded from steel wheels to 14-inch alloys, with a full-sized spare wheel standard across the range.

The S-Edition gets a new exterior upgrade kit consisting of new silver detailing on the front bumper and silver-coloured bumper inserts.

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Conclusion

The Suzuki S-Presso is great value for money and very easy to operate. The light clutch and compact gearbox combination makes changing gears easy, while steering is easy and direct.

The suspension is a bit on the stiff side, but along with generous ground clearance of 181 mm make it quite a decent ride over gravel.

During last week’s launch drive in Cape Town the engine proved to be quite punchy, taken into account it was at sea level and not burdened by a heavy load. Making it up hills is going to need downshifting, but that will dwarf in comparison to all the things the updated S-Presso has going for it.

By editor