2021 Maruti S-Presso AMT: Purchase & Ownership Experience

See, my requirement is a city runabout car. To travel 3 kms one way to work and back. It's definitely safer than a two-wheeler.

BHPian Autodoc recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


The need for a second car arose as the maternity leave was slowly coming to an end. Leia was born in February of 2021 and wifey was enjoying the 6-month maternity leave. I alternate between the 2014 1.2 L MPI Highline Black VW Polo (Toothless) and a 2010 Armour Gold metallic Honda Dazzler (Shadowfax) to shuttle between work and back as my daily drive. Though he is 8 years old now, he has been doing a fine job except for an O2 sensor and ABS sensor issue which Wheels Wisdom helped me take care of.

The need of the second car was that, firstly I finish work at odd hours depending on my patient load and secondly the Bangalore Cops love my car! (Due to the KL registration). They stop my car at check points like I’m driving the car they had left parked at their home. After showing all valid documents they usually let me go rather disappointed but it’s an unnecessary headache on a day-to-day basis and I usually think about 5 times before going out.

Although she holds a valid licence for LMV, she prefers to be chauffeured around (read pampered) than drive herself and had last shifted gears at least 6 or 7 years back. She had lost confidence to drive by herself after experiencing the Bangalore traffic and the narrow roads. The refresher course I offered to take was met with cold shoulders. She was willing to get back to driving provided it was an automatic and it was the smallest (narrowest rather) possible car.

She had set her eyes on a green e20 that our colleague owned and I had to break her bubble informing that it wasn’t in production anymore. She wanted her dad to send a Mercedes Smart from Muscat but thankfully that didn’t happen.


  • Automatic
  • Small
  • Automatic
  • Narrow
  • Automatic
  • Did I mention Automatic?

Options considered

There were 3 cars in consideration

  • Maruti S-Presso
  • Renault Kwid
  • Hyundai Santro
  • Datsun Redi-GO

Datsun Redi-GO was barely in contention. The thin service and dealer network and questionable future of the company in India were the main reasons. Honestly, I hardly gave it much thought.

Hyundai Santro was briefly considered. The fact that the car wasn’t very successful was the main reason we didn’t pursue it further. Although technically, service wouldn’t be an issue, we really wanted a headache free car. The other factor was that it was not narrow at all. It was almost as wide as an Ignis.

Renault Kwid was also considered very briefly. The updated model and AMT did not get many favourable reviews. The Renault showroom nearest to us was in Sadashivnagar/ Kalyan Nagar which was another factor against considering it.

S-Presso was the main contender here, the main reason being the glowing praises showered by GTO. OK OK! Hold your Guns! I know about the GNCAP safety rating. I know about the weak body structure. Yes! I love my wife and daughter! Of course, I’m a BHPian! See, my requirement is a city runabout car. To travel 3 kms one way to work and back. It's definitely safer than a two-wheeler. And surely, you’ve got to be joking if you think any car in Bangalore traffic reaches 4th gear. Hence, S-Presso AMT was the main contender here. Add to this the fact that it’s backed by Maruti service and dealership network which is unparalleled. It is bound to pick up a few scratches and dents (I hope not too many) and its going to be easy to repair and cheap to maintain.

There is a small nostalgia element too here. The first car my dad bought was a Maruti 800. Circa 1994, I was 5 years old. He bought a blue Maruti 800 and it was the first Maruti 800 in our whole locality. It kept our family safe, took us to very many places and gave so many beautiful memories to cherish for close to a decade before we upgraded to a pre worshipped Zen VXI in 2004. I kind of wanted my daughter to experience the same.

Pre-buying experience

Day -6 (21.07.2021)

So armed with all the knowledge from reading Team BHP review 4 to 5 times, I walk into Varun motors about 3 km from home accompanied by home minister. Politely greeted by the SA, we inform why we are here. She says she wants to see the car once, sit and measure it up once. Showroom folks gladly agree. We see the car on display which was a silver S-Presso VXI+ manual. She approves. But then she notices the red alto parked right next to it. She wants that. It's smaller, cuter and not boxy. I calmly explain to her that the 1 litre K10 is discontinued in Alto and it’s no longer available in auto. Dejected, she approves S-Presso and we return home to drop her off before Leia wakes up.

I return to the showroom and start the discussion with SA Manoj and his team leader Ram. Explain to them what I need. They explain to me the colours, models available and the availability status. There was some pondering over VXI vs VXI + but in the end decided to go for VXI+. Meanwhile, they took me to the parking above the showroom to explain the difference between a VXI and a VXI+. I get to see the white S-Presso there and I immediately make up my mind to not to get the one in white.

The father-in-law calls! He had driven an AMT recently when he came to Kerala and was annoyed with its erratic behavior. Can’t blame him. He has driven proper Automatics all his life and its not easy to get used to an AMT one fine day. He spoke to my wife and she flatly refused to drive either a Baleno (CVT) or Brezza (TC) and he resigns to his fate. Gives thumbs up for AMT.

Discusses offers available, gets a quote from the finance team. Asks them to bring a car home for a test drive and I leave. In Karnataka apparently, first 3 years insurance (1 year comprehensive + TP for next two years) is mandatory before registration and they pushed for their insurance saying future repairs etc., will be smooth and streamlined. They also said the amount is capped and it doesn’t make any difference which provider you take it from. I agreed, didn’t bother with arguing about it. The pushed some Maruti smart card to avail referral loyalty points (not RTO) I refused. Also opted for 5-year warranty. The SA Manoj said he’ll give me free mud flap, mat, perfume, idol, mobile holder and 12 V charging socket and I happily agreed. Received a corporate discount and some additional discount and we agreed on OTR 6.09 lakh. I told them to send a car for test drive and left the showroom

He promptly calls at 12.30 and tells he can bring the car. He brings it around at 1.30 pm and we go for a short test ride, same route she has to drive to hospital and back. She is mightily impressed how compact it is. I accidentally accelerate hard once and was suddenly reminded of how an AMT works. We finish the test drive and reach back home. She approves the car, wants it in Red and one final round of negotiations in the car and the price is brought down to 6 L OTR. I inform them that I’ll discuss the finance options and shall revert back to them in the showroom before end of the day.

We had some discussions at home and we decided not to opt for any finance. The best rates we were getting were 7.3% from SBI. I’m sure we would have found slightly better rates if we had enquired little more but we didn’t feel it was worth the hassle. Next round of discussions was about the colour. Wifey was under the impression the S-Presso red was similar to Alto red (uptown red) but it is brighter and it is called solid fire red. I thought it was a bit too flashy and after the initial excitement dies down, she would regret the choice of colour having to drive it to hospital and back on a daily basis. She definitely didn’t want the Silver, blue or orange. We finally agreed on the metallic granite grey.

I reach the showroom around 5 pm to finalise the deal. As the final deal was agreed upon, I notice that they are charging me 7k odd for the “basic accessories package” which included the mud flap, mats and etc., which the SA had told was offering me for free. I really felt cheated at that point. That was a significant breach of trust. The team leader Ram intervenes, clarifies the charges again, apologises for the miscommunication and explains that it’s the best deal they can offer. I really didn’t have the heart to disappoint my wife and valued my time too much to delay this any further and hence agreed for it. They offered something called door beading as a freebie. Transferred a booking amount of Rs. 10,000 and left the showroom.

Day -5 (22.07.2021)

I get a call saying that a vehicle in transit has arrived in stock yard with is granite grey and I said I need to do a check VIN and do PDI before confirming. VIN decode was June 2021 manufactured vehicle and I ask them to bring the car. They drive the vehicle down to the showroom from stockyard (about 30 km away). I do a quick PDI of the vehicle, Odometer read 42 km, and everything looked great. I transfer rest of the money and ask them to proceed with the registration procedure.

Day -1 (26.07.2021)

No updates from the Maruti team. On repeated follow up, they follow through. The road tax and insurance has been paid. I give them the OK to go ahead with Awaiting rest of the procedures from their side. They ask about the accessories, I said I’ll come by the showroom today to choose. I reach the showroom around 6 pm. There’s a massive screen with a configurator which will help you see the model and make the way it’s configured. I opted for front and rear skid plate, body side moulding (door skid) and rear camera. Door beading earlier ordered as a freebie was changed to wheel arch cladding. The accessories person and SA assures that the car will be ready for delivery the next day with all accessories. The accessories list shared from the showroom quoted a higher amount for every accessory compared to MGA website once I checked it later.

Continue reading about Autodoc's ownership experience for more insights, information and BHPian comments.

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