The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, in this top-spec VXI Plus manual trim, has been in the CarWale long-term fleet for over two months now, and during this period it has clocked over 3,900 km on the Odo. It has been our everyday city runabout as it is primarily used for daily office commutes and some shoots in between.
Space Utility and Practicality
I particularly like how Maruti Suzuki has engineered the S-Presso, especially for an entry-level hatch. This being my daily driver, I have noticed that getting in and out of the car isn’t a hassle. And once in, thanks to the higher seating position and the narrow A-pillar, visibility from the front seats is good as well.
Then, be the regular office commutes or short trips, the touchscreen infotainment system keeps all the occupants entertained with the various connectivity options. And so is the dashboard storage slot on the dashboard useful to stow away your cell phone, keys or knickknacks.
With the Indian summers on the anvil, the large door pockets come handy to store 1-litre bottles in order to keep yourself hydrated. The various cubby holes are good to hold your wallet or some loose change, especially when you have to pay the toll/parking charges.
What's more, given the small dimensions, everything falls within easy reach. Plus, the decently sized boot is good enough to carry our shoot equipment or one medium-sized suitcase and a couple of duffel bags, as I experienced on my recent weekend excursion to Alibaug before the country-wide lockdown started.
What's also commendable is that the S-Presso consistently returns 15-17kmpl in Mumbai's urban confines, and on the few highway trips we did, it returned over 20kms to a litre. But more on that in the next report. We also liked how Maruti has tuned this BS6 1.0-litre petrol unit, which is by far the best motor in the segment. The 67 horses help getting off the line with good pep lower down while the mid-range torque is a boon to keep up with Mumbai’s crazy traffic.
Now, as dreadful as it is to drive in Mumbai’s bumper to bumper traffic, the light clutch action vastly minimises the strain off your left foot while the light controls and the tiny dimensions mean darting into small gaps is quite easy. The gearbox, though slightly notchy, slots into gears nicely and the short gearing helps in without having to work through the gears.
In the time that the S-Presso has been with us, the front passenger seat has come loose, and rattles when it is unoccupied. What I'm also not a fan of is the central placement of the instrument cluster. I, for one, wouldn't want my co-passengers to continuously look at what speeds I'm driving at. And in some way, it can also be a safety issue as you have to take your eyes off the road to have a look at the speedo or navigate through the various settings. What’s more, during one of our team outings, the rear occupants complained about the limited shoulder room, the upright seat back and the lack of storage spaces at the back.
The next report will talk about the S-Presso's highway performance as we plan to take it out on a few outstation trips. So, we shall find out the S-Presso's ride quality, highway manners and handling.
Odo – 6,170
Km this month – 351km
Mileage - 15.6kmpl (city)
Inputs - Kapil Angane
Pictures - Kaustubh Gandhi