Maruti Suzuki launched the new S-Presso in India yesterday. A bit like Japanese kei cars (the JDM Suzuki Hustler comes to mind), the S-Presso is a tiny car with SUV styling, designed by the small car expert’s Indian arm and targeted at younger buyers.

Suzuki says that the S-Presso’s proportions are inspired by its “iconic SUVs”. The exterior is supposed to deliver a strong and tough impression, perhaps via the tall and bluff front. Design highlights include a front grille with four trapezoids (also found on the bigger Vitara Brezza, but less prominent there) and twin chamber headlamps designed to look like they are gripping the clear signal lamps. No shortage of black plastic cladding for that all-important “tough” look.

The S-Presso is tiny, measuring just 3,565 mm long and 1,520 mm wide. That makes it 114 mm shorter and 59 mm narrower than its Indian-market rival, the Renault Kwid. Its 2,380 mm wheelbase is 42 mm shy of the Renault’s. The Suzuki is a fair bit taller though, and its 180 mm ground clearance matches the Kwid.

Inside, Suzuki has given the S-Presso a central digital speedo and 2-DIN touchscreen head unit combo that clearly references MINI. The central air con vents sit tall on the dashboard flanking the centre circle, and there are coloured trim panels that match the exterior, and bring some life into the cabin. It’s quite funky, if not the most original.

The S-Presso sits on Suzuki’s latest Heartect platform, which also underpins the current Swift. Weighing from just 726 to 767 kg, the five-door hatch is powered by a 1.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that puts out 68 hp and 90 Nm. It’s the familiar three-cylinder K10B, but upgraded to meet India’s BS6 emissions standard that will come into effect in April 2020.

Mated to a five-speed manual or five-speed automated manual transmission, the S-Presso fuel economy is rated as high as 21.7 km/l. Made in Maruti’s Manesar plant, the Suzuki S-Presso is priced from Rs3.69 lakh (RM21,826) for the super barebones Std (no air con and power steering) to Rs4.91 lakh (RM29,043) for the top spec VXi+ AMT you see here, which comes with a front passenger airbag, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, steering audio buttons and electric wing mirror adjustment, among other things.