REVIEW | SA's most affordable car finally empties its tank - Here's how much distance we covered

The Suzuki S-Presso joined the Wheels24 garage just days before lockdown.

Though some might not be excited about the little city car's traits and characteristics, our team was quite eager at the prospect of spending time with South Africa's new budget-beater.

As a budget car, the S-Presso came in as a real alternative to the slightly more expensive offerings.

Our test model, the S-Editon, is comprehensively equipped that it justifies its position at the top of the range.

The car is also fitted with a peppy three-cylinder engine that, on paper, is about as fuel-efficient as you'll get from a naturally-aspirated engine on our market today.

suzuki s-presso

2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: MotorPress

Lively driving traits

Expectedly, the S-Presso's ride quality is a bit rough around the edges. Set off, and you are quickly met with the engine's off-beat drum. It's not different from that of the Renault Kwid or Datsun Go, so in that regard, it equals its competitors.

The gearbox is a five-speed manual unit, endowed with a comfortable throw-action between gears. Hit the clutch and hook the next gear. It's an easy and smooth process for the left hand, but the clutch begs a bit of a push. Just be careful, though, because one can misjudge the comfortable working of the gear lever and release the clutch a moment too early.

WATCH: Planning a braai during lockdown? Here's how much wood you can load in the S-Presso's boot

There is a fair amount of body roll when you take a turn too hard, and the driver's seat does not offer as much support as one would've liked, especially if you're on the taller side. Regardless, it's not a drag getting behind the wheel.

suzuki s-presso

2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: MotorPress

'R100, please'

As mentioned, the S-Presso is an all-round budget beater. And while it's true, the fuel return is a bit of a head-scratcher. Suzuki claims that its S-Presso's 1.0-litre engine will return 4.9-litres for every 100km, and, on the 27-litre fuel tank, you should realise a range of 551km. Impressive figures, right?

Only we never realised it. After a month, the quirky S-Presso covered 318km on a full tank of fuel. This translates to an average fuel return of 8.5-litres/100km, not exactly a match for Suzuki's claim. One could put it down to city-driving, doing the essential shopping run, though. This means shorter stop-go trips, instead of longer driving on the highway, impacted the fuel return.

So it's important to note that one's individual driving style, and driving conditions, play a big role on your actual fuel consumption reading, and the claimed figures by an automaker are always only a guide obtained from the most suitable conditions to produce low readings.

READ: Looking for a new car on a tight budget? Here's why the Suzuki S-Presso is the new budget king in SA

The upside, however, is that the significant drop in fuel prices accommodates your wallet more than you might think. With prices around R13.50, a R100 of fuel will add roughly 135km to this car's range.

Depending on how the lockdown plays out, we're hoping to take the S-Presso on a proper trip before returning the key.

Price: Suzuki S-Presso S-Edition - R147 900

suzuki s-presso
2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: MotorPress
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