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Our longterm S-Presso, thanks to its compact proportions is driven extensively through the city’s narrow lanes
If you ever lived long enough in Pune, you would have heard of the peth areas. Seventeen of these peth (meaning locality) areas make up for central and old Pune and here you find some of the narrowest lanes in the city, tightly packed with shops and street vendors. Personally, I hate going here. But when it’s absolutely necessary, I wish a direct airdrop on top of the store I wish to visit, like a paratrooper, to avoid the harrowing commute through these lanes. But things have changed lately. Our longterm Maruti Suzuki S-Presso arrived two months ago, and thanks to its compact proportions, the fear of narrow lanes has withered away.
The S-Presso is one of the most compact hatchbacks out there. At 3565mm, it’s 166mm shorter in length than the Renault Kwid while also being 59mm shorter in width. Its turning radius is only 4.5 metres, and that means I now fearlessly venture into the old town without struggling to get past its narrow lanes. Despite the lack of a rear parking camera, it fits into tightest of parking spaces. That said, the high seating position makes the bonnet edges visible, and you can place it precisely where you want to. Shorter drivers will certainly appreciate this. It’s quite an incredible car for the urban jungle.
The ride though is stiff and softer damping is generally expected in this segment. On the bright side, the suspension feels strong and it can endure rough roads with poise, without unsettling the car and its passengers. The stiff suspension aids handling too, and the S-Presso feels darty at commuting speeds. Moving on to the driving bits, the 1-litre BS6 engine makes this 750kg (approximately) car quite peppy and it’s always eager to get a quick move on, be it in traffic or on the highway. After driving with a light foot, I even managed to get 17.5kmpl in the city. So, expect better fuel economy on the highway.
No automotive journalist I know is a fan of the way it looks, but overtime you don’t mind being around a funky little car that’s trying hard to impersonate an SUV. Despite its compact dimensions, the cabin is roomy and there are ample features to take care of your connectivity needs. The boot too is large enough for two medium-sized suit cases. Clearly, the strength of the S-Presso lies in its practicality and on that front, it doesn’t disappoint. The S-Presso is currently parked at Afzal’s house in Navi Mumbai and I never thought I’d say the following regarding a tiny hatchback, but my hands itch to get it back as soon as the lockdown lifts!