New car sales in South Africa have taken quite a beating over the last few years. Amid the sliding numbers and decreasing volumes, one brand continues to buck the trend by posting record units sold month after month; that brand is Suzuki. The Japanese firm’s line-up of well-priced small cars is just what buyers needs right now. This week the company added a small crossover to its portfolio called the Suzuki S-Presso. Incidentally, the entry-level model is the cheapest new car currently on sale in SA.

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Tiny and tall

And when we say small, we mean it. The Suzuki S-Presso is just 3 560 mm long. A wheelbase of 2 380 mm ensures there’s enough room in the cabin. A squared-off design gives it sense of solidity and 180 mm of ground clearance means that you can attack even the most vicious shopping mall kerbs. All S-Presso models are fitted with 14-inch steel wheels and come with a full-sized spare wheel.

Read our Suzuki Ignis driving review here.

Drivetrain options

All derivatives in the S-Presso range are powered by the same inline three-cylinder engine. Peak power is quoted as 50 kW with 90 N.m of torque developed at 3 500 r/min. Suzuki quotes a fuel consumption figure of less than 5 L/100 km. This engine is mated with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) that is connected to the front wheels.

Five flavours

The new Suzuki S-Presso is available in five derivatives. The entry-level GL is fitted exclusively with a manual transmission; the GL+ and S-Edition have the option of the manual gearbox or AMT. All versions feature electric windows on the front doors, air conditioning, power steering and an onboard computer. Dual front airbags are standard as is an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with emergency brake-force distribution (EBD). All Suzuki S-Presso models feature reverse parking sensors as standard, while GL+ and S-Edition models add an in-built reverse camera.

Check our future Suzuki models as seen at the Tokyo Motor Show.

On the GL+ model Suzuki SA adds a full-colour infotainment system. The touchscreen interface includes integration for most smartphones through the pre-loaded Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps as well as USB and auxiliary ports and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. It also serves as the display for the rear-facing camera on the screen.

S-Edition variants have all the features of the others. The differentiation is more along stylistic lines. It sports silver highlights in the front grille, silver front and rear skid plates and side cladding over the wheel arches and on the lower sections of the doors.

Pricing and peace of mind

1,0 GL MT                                         R134 900

1,0 GL+ MT                                      R139 900

1,0 GL+ AMT                                    R152 900

1,0 S-Edition MT                             R147 900

1,0 S-Edition AMT                           R160 900

All prices include one-year comprehensive insurance, a two-year/30 000 km service plan and a five-year/200 000 km promotional warranty. The mechanical warranty includes a three-year/unlimited roadside assistance plan, which now includes features such as battery and locksmith support, call-out services, mechanical and electrical support, breakdown towing and emergency medical rescue. The service also includes stand-by-you roadside security, while you wait for roadside assistance.