Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Long Term Reports

By Ravi Ved | on October 24, 2020
Long Term Report: October 2020 (End of Term)

Before you get the wrong impression by looking at the image, let me clarify, we are bidding adieu to the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and not the Porsche Cayenne Coupe – so far, we haven’t had the fortune to have the latter in our long-term fleet. Those who follow this section regularly would know that we’ve had the S-Presso as our long-term test car since November 2019. During its time with us, it earned the nickname ‘Mango bite’ in the autoX office. Although the name was coined primarily because of its colour, the S-Presso, now that I think of it, is in fact like the popular Mango Bite candy in more ways than one. Both have a noteworthy mix of sweet-sour tanginess and both are not the best thing you can choose for your well-being either. But there’s no denying that they are in fact quite attractive for a lot of people. In fact, I still come across fellow motorists who knock on the window wanting to know how my experience with the car has been. Of course, most seem to be in awe of the design, although I personally am not a huge fan of it. It tries too hard to be an SUV while it’s nothing more than a hatchback on stilts.

One issue that we’ve continually had ever since the Mango Bite entered the autoX fleet was with the microphone. I have reported about it in the past and even flagged it to Maruti. While the problem was somewhat addressed after service, it only went from absolutely no audio at the other end to a faint and distant voice at best.

The space at the back is good enough for two average-size adults – the third passenger might feel a bit cramped, but in this time of social distancing, it doesn’t quite matter, does it? For us though, the S-Presso has been very useful during shoots in Mumbai. Its back seat has been used more by our camera equipment than actual people, and the boot has been used more by our cameramen than luggage. Also, it has been a pocket-friendly fun car to drive. If you ignore the jerky nature of the AMT, the engine is peppy, and you can have a whale of a time slithering out of traffic. The S-Presso’s light construction and compact dimensions have a huge part to play here. Out on the straight highways, it only feels at ease while cruising at three-digit speeds. It does sometimes tend to shudder and feel nervous, especially against strong crosswinds. With 14-inch wheels and a tall height, it isn’t very planted or confident when pushed to the limit on tight hilly roads either. But let’s face it, the S-Presso is more of an urban commuter than a highway hauler. With that in mind, it has everything you need to make your routine trip absolutely stress-free. All said, our time with the S-Presso has been fuss-free and relatively cheap.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 11,368kms

Mileage this month: 1,237kms

Fuel efficiency: 15.3km/l

What’s good: Peppy engine

What’s not: Build quality

Long Term Report: September 2020

Earlier this month, the S-Presso went for its routine 10,000kms service, which means that it was out of commission for a good part of the month. In its absence, I had to drive my father’s Fiat Linea, which made me realise, once again, just how effortless it is to drive the S-Presso. And it isn’t just about the AMT transmission that our car comes fitted with – I would gladly trade that for a manual – it’s the visibility from behind the wheel that really makes a world of difference.

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Side View

The S-Presso’s tall seating and the narrow A-pillar ensure good visibility from behind the wheel – something that makes driving and parking in Mumbai an absolute breeze. I missed the practicality of the S-Presso’s cabin every time I drove the Linea. While the Fiat has no usable cup holders and the door pockets are too small to accommodate bottles of any size, the S-Presso has no such issues. What I didn’t miss much was its ride quality. The suspension is firm, especially for a car in this class, and it does make the ride a bit restless and noisy over potholes and broken tarmac.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 10,459kms

Mileage this month: 328kms

Fuel efficiency: 15.7km/l

What’s good: Visibility

What’s not: Harsh ride

Long Term Report: August 2020

Over the last few weeks, rains have really hit Mumbai hard, but even in such deranged weather conditions and with the coronavirus still out there, it has been a rather busy month full of shoots – as they say, the show must go on. The S-Presso, of course, continues to be our companion for all shoots. As is the case every year, roads in the maximum city have taken a massive beating. Thankfully, the visibility up ahead is great and it is easy to spot and avoid potholes. Around the back though, the visibility is sometimes compromised as the rear windscreen tends to fog up very easily – makes me wish it came with a rear wipe wash. 

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Long Term August 2020

I have said this in the past, but I want to reiterate that the S-Presso could really do with better bite from the brakes – emergency braking under such weather conditions really give me the heebie-jeebies. While the S-Presso’s light weight construction really endows it with reasonable performance and good efficiency, the strong cross winds in this weather have an adverse effect on its stability. On the positive side, even 10 months after its launch, the S-Presso still manages to turn a lot of heads – something tells me the orange candy shade has a role to play here.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 10,131kms

Mileage this month: 820kms

Fuel efficiency: 16.1km/l

What’s good: Seating posture

What’s not: Braking

Long Term Report: July 2020

While my colleagues in Delhi have been whining about the rise in fuel prices over the past few weeks, I can’t help but make snarky remarks at them about the topic. You see, at about Rs 79 per litre, the cost of petrol in the NCR is still relatively cheaper than the Rs 87 per litre in Mumbai. Thankfully though, the S-Presso is proving to be quite economical. With shoots in Mumbai resuming, the S-Presso too has resumed its duties as a support car. On my recent trip to Lavasa for a shoot, it returned roughly 17-18km/l, which, considering the small engine, sluggish AMT, and the rather steep hill climbs of Lonavla and Lavasa, is frankly quite efficient. In fact, with offices still not operating in full capacity and the traffic within the city lower than ever, the S-Presso is proving to be quite efficient in the urban jungle too. 

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Long Term

But I do think that the S-Presso has a huge scope for improvement in the headlight department. With the onset of the monsoon in Mumbai and visibility compromised, the headlights don’t seem to have a satisfactory spread or reach. The early morning fog in Lavasa made things very difficult in terms of visibility, and the S-Presso’s headlights did little to make it better.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 9,311kms

Mileage this month: 932kms

Fuel efficiency: 16.5km/l

What’s good: Fuel Efficiency

What’s not: Headlights

Long Term Report: June 2020

Since the time the S-Presso entered the autoX garage in Mumbai in November, it has been used extensively as a support car for all our shoots. With Mumbai to Lonavla and Pune runs being a weekly affair, this city slicker was spending more time on the highway than in its natural habitat. On long straight expressways, limitations of the S-Presso’s puny motor and slab-sided body really came to the fore. While driving up the hills of Lonavala, the S-Presso’s limited power and the sluggishness of its AMT were often evident too. 

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Long Term June 2020

But now, with the Coronavirus hitting the country hard and forcing us into a complete lockdown, all our shoots have, of course, come to a halt. The car remains mostly parked, except for the weekly grocery runs to the local market. 

For the first time since it came, the S-Presso has been restricted to the urban surroundings, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that it feels right at home. In fact, it has got me thinking that in the post-corona era, cars like the S-Presso can be an ideal mobility solution. With the Maruti badge on the nose, it is reliable, efficient, and easy on the pocket. Sometimes functional capability is all you need.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 8,379kms

Mileage this month: 85kms

Fuel efficiency: 13.9km/l

What’s good: Reliability

What’s not: Has remained parked

Long Term Report: May 2020

Given that both Jared and I were working from the Delhi office, the S-Presso remained in the garage for the first two weeks of March. But eventually, I had to return, and I did! I’d a few shoots lined-up, so our long term was back to being a support car. In the week before the lockdown started, we clocked more than 1,300kms on the odometer. 

Maruti S Presso Long Term

Maruti Suzuki cars are usually ergonomically terrific, so much so that you simply take this aspect of Maruti cars for granted. For instance, the visibility from the driver’s seat of the S-Presso – is simply brilliant and makes light work of parking in the tightest of spots and driving in Mumbai traffic. Speaking of roads in the city, the S-Presso offers quite a jarring ride, especially over potholes larger than a quarter plate. The roughness of the road is easily felt inside the cabin, especially at slow speeds. Considering that the S-Presso is more of an urban car, a softer setup would have been a better choice.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 8,294kms

Mileage this month: 1,343kms

Fuel efficiency: 15.8km/l

What’s good: Visibility

What’s not: Firm ride

Long Term Report: March 2020

With the Auto Expo 2020 behind us, I finally got a chance to stretch the legs of the S-Presso. Up until now, I had only driven it within the city limits where I would leave the AMT to do its thing, despite its cringe-worthy shifts. Yup, Mumbai traffic makes you do things that you’d do neither for love nor for money. But using the manual mode on the highway somewhat masks the shortcomings of the transmission and allows you to see the engine for what it is. On paper, a 1.0-litre 67bhp motor may not seem much, but it has enough poke. The engine is free-revving and the throttle is responsive, making it quite entertaining to drive.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Long Term Report: March 2020

On this road trip, for the first time, I also had three adults seated at the back, and I can tell you they did not look or feel comfortable. The narrow width of the car just doesn’t free up enough shoulder room.

Another issue with the S-Presso is that the microphone has stopped functioning. Maybe Maruti Suzuki needs to dig deeper into the problem and find a fix for it soon - for what’s the use of Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and all such fancy features, if the microphone doesn’t do its job, right?   

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: November 2019

Current Odo reading: 6,951km

Mileage this month: 1,620km

Fuel efficiency: 16.3km/l

What’s good: Peppy motor

What’s not: Not enough room for 5

Long Term Report: February 2020

I took over the long-term S-Presso in January from Jared. And within the first week itself, I realised that it grabs a lot of attention, especially in this candy orange shade. In the past few weeks, I have encountered numerous inquisitive car buyers who, clearly bowled over by the design, wanted to know how the car’s been performing. Frankly, I am not a huge fan of the design, but it clearly turns a lot of heads.

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Long Term Review February 2020

The engine is mated to an AMT, which is convenient to drive, but the transmission feels jerky in its shifts. There is also a slight lag after you release the brake and before the car actually moves. 

On the positive side, the S-Presso is quite efficient both in the city and on the highway. In the 800 plus kilometres I have driven so far, the car has returned an overall efficiency of about 16km/l, which, considering that roads in Mumbai look like parking lots, is quite impressive.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 5,331kms

Mileage this month: 883kms

Fuel efficiency: 15.8km/l

What’s good: Fuel efficiency

What’s not: Sluggish transmission

Long Term Report: January 2020

Say hello to my new companion – the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso. This new hatchback from Maruti has been grabbing the headlines for quite a while, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Now, I agree its design isn’t its strongest virtue, and on top of that, it does appear to be trying too hard to look cool in this bright orange colour. But I’ve to say that it grabs attention wherever I go. That said, once you look beyond its controversial exterior, it’s not a bad city car.

Maruti Suzuki S Presso Long Term January 2020

First of all, I think it’s quite spacious for a budget car. The ride quality is also very good, and this is evident when you drive it on Mumbai’s pothole-ridden roads. The engine is refined and, truth be told, it doesn’t feel underpowered if you’re driving in the city – the low-and mid-range grunt is quite strong. Couple this to its lightweight body, and the S-Presso is, dare I say, a fun car to drive in traffic. All told though, I am still not a fan of the AMT transmission. The gearbox is quite jerky and takes time getting used to. As a result, I prefer driving it in manual mode and that makes life simpler as well as smoother.   

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 4,448kms

Mileage this month: 974kms

Fuel efficiency: 17km/l

Faults: None

What’s good: Ride quality, refinement

What’s not: Jerky AMT

Also read - Maruti Suzuki S-Presso vs Renault Kwid: Comparison

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso: Track Test

Tags: Maruti Suzuki Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

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