It was only last week that the Indian automotive giant Maruti Suzuki introduced its latest ‘small yet power-packed’ entrant into the market and it has already gotten auto enthusiasts buzzing with excitement. The S-Presso was first revealed as a concept called ‘Future-S’ at the Auto Expo last year, garnering attention on account of its compact and trendy upbeat look, as well as the proposed affordable pricing. Meant to rival the Renault Kwid, which itself has gotten a recent makeover, the S-Presso has been marketed by Maruti Suzuki as a ‘mini-SUV’ (although the tag’s a tad bit debatable as well).

Available in four trims viz. Std, LXi, VXi and VXi+, the S-Presso has been quite affordably priced in a range starting at ₹3.69 lakh and going up to ₹4.91 lakh (ex-showroom). However, it is not just the price range that makes this compact SUV so appealing. Packing a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder K10 petrol engine under its hood (it’s the only version being released for the moment), the S-Presso joins a range of other Maruti Suzuki vehicles with BS-6 compliant engines. This is especially important as the sale and registration of BS-4 will be banned in the country starting from the first day of April next year.

With both manual and AMT gearbox options being made available, the S-Presso makes for smooth driving, churning a decent 68hp of power and 90Nm of torque with the help of its BS-6 compliant engine thrumming under the hood. The gearshifts are pretty smooth and the power steering doesn’t fail to work its traditional Maruti Suzuki magic either. As for the design of the S-Presso, the chunky claddings on the exterior and the high-set bonnet do give it an SUV-like appearance. A number of paid accessories such as wheel arch machined alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights do help improve the appeal of the S-Presso as well.

It is in the interiors of the S-Presso, however, that Maruti Suzuki seems to have outdone itself. The instrument cluster has been unconventionally placed in the center, in a fashion similar to the Mini Cooper (although the odometer readings aren’t quite as visible and the tachometer is missing as well). The top-level trims also feature the company’s latest 7” touchscreen SmartPlay Studio unit, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Although the interiors aren’t anywhere as roomy as those you’d find in an SUV, they still provide more than ample space for a budget car (its 240-liter boot capacity should hold most of your luggage comfortably as well). Each of the front doors comes with bottle holding space, and there are two cup holders and a shelf above the glove box as well.

As for the features available with the trims, apart from the standard safety features such as high-speed alert, dual airbags in the front, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors, there isn’t much that the entry-level Std trim offers. Even basic features such as air conditioning, power steering, and a plug-in accessory socket are found to be missing. The higher trims do cover these features though, and a few more such as remote keyless entry, central locking, and power windows in the front (there is still no option for power windows in the rear). Overall, the S-Presso makes an impressive debut, especially given the price range that it is in, although there is still room for improvement in the features being offered by Maruti Suzuki.

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