Suzuki S-Presso Is it worth it?

The Suzuki S-Presso came on the scene and shocked everyone with its low price of just P518,000. For many, that amount is attainable either through financing or as a cash purchase. For others, that amount of money is something to consider, and something that you can’t just spend at the drop of a hat. 

For many of us, half a million doesn’t fall onto your lap, at times, you would even need to finance that amount over a period of a few years. However, you have to ask yourself if financing or buying a car like the Suzuki S-Presso will be worth it. So is it? 

The S-Presso is undoubtedly an entry-level car. The exterior alone has a lot of black cladding that is reminiscent of base model cars, but we’d say that material is fitting for the S-Presso since it has quite a bit of ground clearance and it does have that Jimny appeal to it. Though, you won’t get fender lining on this car, which exposes the bare metal underneath. This is a bit of a nitpick at this price point, we will admit. 

More cost savings can be found in the interior of the vehicle. You only get 2 power windows, one for the driver and one for the front passenger. This leaves the two doors at the back with only wind-up windows. The seats are also pretty flat, meaning that there are no bolsters to hold you in place, but that’s fine given this car is geared more towards normal city driving. The center console also houses a digital speedometer and trip computer which sits above your infotainment system, which is a sizeable unit for the unit, we should say. Another caveat that we can find is that the only transmission option available is a 5-speed manual stick shift. The lack of transmission options can steer many buyers in the Philippines away especially since a lot of city driving involves quite a bit of traffic, though drivers on more provincial roads won’t have to suffer that much.

Even with all of these nitpicks, we have to remember that this S-Presso only costs P518,000, there aren’t many cars today that offer this much ground clearance with a respectable amount of space for a little over half a million pesos. Even in the back, you get a good amount of cargo space, which is actually more than other vehicles similar in size. Plus, your purchase is warranty-backed, and you don’t have to worry much about fixing a lot of things with the car before you can really use it. 

We’ve gone on record in the past stating that the S-Presso is just personality on four wheels and that it has pretty much everything a first-time driver needs in order to learn the ropes the “proper” way. In fact, it’s pretty much the specification that we feel that most driving schools would appreciate due to its lack of a tachometer and a manual transmission. 

However, its compact dimensions, light steering, and its ground clearance help ease anxieties while on the road since newbie drivers don’t have to struggle so much or worry about too many things like going over humps. The clutch is also quite light and not that bothersome to use in traffic, and the gear shifts aren’t that vague. Some may even say that the 1.0-liter engine is enough, and we are inclined to agree, however, with the fuel savings that you get out of this tiny 3-cylinder, with the economy figures that we got during our testing period, we didn’t mind stabbing the gas a bit more or downshifting to maximize the 67 hp and 90 Nm of torque this engine could muster. It’s a more raw experience, we admit, but this small hatch will teach you a thing or two about overtaking and planning your acceleration. 

Suzuki S-Presso Philippines Exterior Front Quarter

We’ll have to admit, if you’re used to having a certain standard with your cars, or if you are very particular, then this vehicle just isn’t for you. We figure that the veteran car buyer might find the S-Presso a bit bare. On the contrary, like how we reacted to it when we reviewed it, it may even be able to charm you with its looks and its quirks. All of that is still in a package that only costs P518,000. The driving experience for us, at least, was very novel. We even mentioned that some features are a bit of a throwback like the winding windows. 

Cheap thrills aside, space is actually one of the more impressive aspects for the S-Presso. As we showed in our video review, large individuals can even fit in the rear seats of this car. Also with regard to legroom, Suzuki was able to maximize space for passengers, though, 3 will be a squeeze at the rear, 2 can sit comfortably without much worry. 

The next conundrum we have with this question is if it is worth keeping for the next 5 years or so? Once the novelty wears off, its lack of features could show. You could end up wanting an automatic transmission after multiple stints in traffic, or even more space and seats. Then again, its simplicity will mean that there is less to go wrong. So at least to us, it’s a good stepping stone onto bigger things or it could make for a good substitute whenever you main ride isn't available. There’s a lot of ways to start out driving, but we don’t think that the S-Presso would be a bad choice. With the right expectations, it could make for a car that you end up attaching very fond memories with. 

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