So it all started when I decided to replace my Suzuki Hustler,
Nice little car, thus the little part got to me, needed something bigger
Pondered with playing my budget, sell something that I own? Or go new, went behind Merc CLAs, GLB 200s, Nissan Patrol, 150 Prados, CHRs so on, while in the works, a colleague on a visit to my workplace bought one, caught my attention, decided to go see one, then next day that was sold as another colleague took my word for it, saw it and advanced. Well finally after an extended hospital stay due to dengue hemorrhagic fever and its complications, finally made up my mind and imported a new one, fresh off UK.
As usual this won’t be the brochure, so please do tolerate, this is going to be long though,
Please note as I don’t have a professional cam, I’ll use professional promotional pics to make my point
In my personal opinion, it has a boxy look, just like an old school SUV, no sloping roofline, coupe looks etc, plenty of headroom and leg room is also tolerable, my family being mostly obese can fit in,
It has pretty normal looking wheels 17”, with road tyres, 40psi and cladded wheel arches, giving this mild off roady yet practical look, it has lock nuts from factory, discs all around,
One thing you would notice the door sills are huge, about 8 ” wide,
My most favorite feature is the ground clearance, the way they’ve protected the undercarriage gives it ample ground clearance for even mild off roading, wheel articulation is not that good though. Tyres float easily, cross axling is certain
Being the SZT trim, headlights are halogen, same with the fogs, it does have a very appealing set of drls, again it has a practical appearance, nothing fancy, almost a dinosaur when you look at newer pugs and the chr, hence why I love it, I went with the complete white, rather than the fancy 2 tone colours.
The rear door handle is In the right place, in line with the front!
The doors and the clamshell hood close with a very reassuring thump, this model does not have the panoramic sunroof or the safety / autobrake radar guidance kit.
The rear is very simple, huge hatch, button operated, manual pull up and down. Led lights large and simple, I do like the fact the blinkers are hidden in the red taillight
It has a large single reverse light, with an integrated red rear fog light, UK stuff!
Its got large mirrors, power but they don’t fold, no winker lights, just fender indicators
Folks in UK have heaps of good reviews all over as well. One reason I went ahead with it as they abuse their cars mostly.
The SZT trim comes with Key start, which again I prefer
Honestly love the interior, very plain, simple lines, the gauge cluster is very pretty functional, old school needles, pleased with the led display in the middle, shiny plastics easily scratched though
Seats are hard but comfortable enough, they are very stingy on carpeting though, but gone ninja on soundproofing, door cards are wide but very plasticky, the upper half of the dash is padded,
Paddle shifters move with the wheel – not a fan, well the steering is telescoping and adjustable and a very nice bit of kit, got all the multifunction luxuries, all lit in a nice red
I feel the interior is extremely well insulated, being UK spec, as It tends to hold a temp for upto 6 hours in the cabin.
There are very recognizable deep footwells, allowing dirt to collect, a vacuum is a must, rear being a bit small but can easily accommodate,
Rear headroom is like in a van, zero issues, and you can easily look out the window unlike the CHR and vezel, or go all german shepherd with it down
The glovebox is nice, the movement is damped, its lit, door cards have some storage,
Rear seats do fold to give a slanted surface and does come in line with the boot, this model doesn’t have a spare wheel, hence the rear load tray can be placed at 3 levels, in one level you can hide the parcel shelf in the floor! Plenty of space in the boot, more than enough for 4 sri Lankan(s) luggage, again very stingy on the carpet, plenty of storage pockets, the repair kit is also rather small and tiny,
It has a normal headliner, light colour, but very thick door seals,
Overall rear and door trim feels plasticky yet, I mean not even comparable to a euro, but definitely better than a typical new jap, trim parts are firmly fixed, zero play
Well its got TPMS, fancy MID, nice graphics there, torque power graphs, stuff of swifts! And IDLE stop, which can be delayed permenantly,
Programmable lights, warnings, footwell lights, various blinks on rear lights, wiper timing, aircon levels,
Infact there is a geek fest hidden menu in the MID, many settings to play with, including thank god! UNITs, it has the metric option on demand, and the clock has gps mode and manual mode!
Its got 6 airbags, and fancy seatbelts, and a fest of isofix mounts
THE SOUND SYSTEM?
This is where the interior shines, the head unit is bosch, with Suzuki software, speakers I’m yet to confirm myself but my sales contact in UK, the sudda said they are sourced off JBL. The sound quality speaks for itself, go test one, don’t believe me. Zero distortion! This will be my first car where I have not replaced the door speakers or head unit, no need for a sub either, the factory software is epic, I had a leaf with BOSE gear, yet I did some changes but this, let it rest
Nothing fancy, no graphics, fancy bits, but loaded with everything, within 4 squares, its even got carplay and android auto, I’m yet to find a way to install a local map to the gps, BT SD cameras, USB, etc it has all
Call integration on this is better than a high end pioneer unit, has a separate steering control pad as well
ENGINE and DRIVETRAIN
The engine well, all 1000cc’s of underpowered goodness? Well no, actually I can’t thrash it as its still run a few km and need a break in, doesn’t feel slow, turbo is very responsive, but tiny in person, fits on your palm tiny! With a cute little BOV that whispers
Being a 3 cyl. The engine ain’t noisy, no vibrations either, very impressive, I mean its enough for an SUV, I live up a almost 30 degree incline and it does climb up in 2nd or 3rd gear, the all grip system, is a poor excuse for 4wd, honestly other than auto whatever the mod, its like a dog on skates, sends too much of torque to wheels, everything starts to slip, yet I’ve never got the requirement to run it in 4wd under normal circumstances! Being FWD it just crawls on, just tested it
The gearbox, this thing is like its on meth, constantly playing with the gears, revs the nuts off the engine, its not cvt, conventional, and noticeably jerky, moves gears too fast, very rev happy, loves to kick down and hold a low gear, bad recipe for breaking in
I’m yet to get in sync with it, it loves to run the engine on high revs 2000 and up, which I don’t, it has enough gut to go in low revs, the best part is the paddles respond even when on D, allowing me to go in higher gears at will.
Fuel economy- its got a PPF, so specced at 95 OC , lot of horror stories to come.
10kmpl that’s it for me, near far wherever you are
Brakes, 4 moderately sized discs? What more do I say
Well this is where things change, most people like this, but was a let down for me, It handles like a car, suspension is not very soft, extremely comfortable, null body roll, very tight on corners, a very fast steering rack, I expected the whole boat bubbly SUV feel which this doesn’t have, probably shares something with the swift, brakes are superb, the engine has a nice little hum, can’t say roar, hell no
Aircon, really good, no drop in power when its on, basic climate control system, simple display works well, no rear vents though but no complaints. Yet to try in Colombo
Very good grip on 2wd mode, putting it on Auto is ok but on other modes is like sticking it in 2nd gear forever, doesn’t freewheel
WHAT I HATE
The horn, sounds like an orgasming cat,
Carpets, it’s an SUV? Why the bloody kei car carpets
Those wide door sills, will break an ankle shortly
Yellowish halogen lamps, many telepathic communications regarding the mom of the guy who decided to put em.
Wheel size, I prefer a chunkier tyre, smaller rim,
Rear seats, can’t slide front and back, hence they’ve permanently left a large boot
That center reverse light, I like a bit of symmetry! UK things,
Bit of padding on the upper part of the doors?
The antenna, of course its got GPS Glonass and all that, but a sharkfin? No option now
The center arm rest flips up to reveal a small bin, where you can’t even shove a wallet in
Again honestly I’m very pleased with it, finding every excuse to put a few km in to ease the break in mileage, it was a win-win for me, as I got it during the GBP dip, I’m hoping to keep this for a long time, probably a decade, and its got bucketloads of accessories online from UK, hence will manage keeping me broke for a long time, and yea I pissed the wife, she liked the small car, buying this I had to leave ‘her vitz’ in the rain as my garage got too crowded, after much torment ended up making a DIY cantilever extension, which managed to hold in this torrential weather and ended me falling of a 8ft ladder, cheers!