South Africa is bakkie country. Whether they are big double-cab pickups that rival your average SUV for luxury or – increasingly with the swing towards self-employment and small-scale entrepreneurship – compact workhorses.
Say “yo” then to the first Suzuki LCV to hit our market – the compact Super Carry – and incidentally ours is also the first market worldwide outside of India to receive the latest model of this vehicle.
Now this hardy little Indian-built machine's debut is good news indeed, as it packs all the reliability and robustness that we in South Africa have associated with Suzukis since back in the Eighties, back in the days of the SJ 410 jeep-let.
Really importantly, as pretty much every Super Carry sold is destined to be put to work as soon as it rolls out of the showroom, it has a 750kg payload. Other vital statistics include a class-leading load bay with a width of 1.49 metres and a length of 2.18 metres, and a turning circle of a mere 8.6 metres. The cab-over design also enhances the compact dimensions, and the Super Carry is just 3.8 metres long and 1.56 metres wide.
Which means that even in the sort of confined urban and industrial spaces and places that it's bound to be used, the Super Carry is supremely wieldy. Pretty much like its small car siblings in the Suzuki range. And it also has a 175mm ground clearance.
That's pretty remarkable, and this little LCV will sail across poxy terrain, while a comfortable, independent front suspension featuring MacPherson struts and coil springs, mated to a tough rigid axle and leaf springs at the rear, adds to the allure of the package.
Plus the raised seating position in the surprisingly spacious two-seater cabin means great visibility. Another important factor in a machine like this that's destined to be called on to work, and work hard at that.
“It's really great news that Suzuki has finally brought a workhorse to the South African market,” beams Suzuki Johannesburg South's Meyer Benjamin. “And I don't need a crystal ball to tell you that these LCVs are going to fly out of the showroom. Suzuki already has a rock-solid reputation in this country, so this is a brilliant addition to a range that already boasts winners such as the Celerio, Ciaz and Swift.”
Now it might be new to South Africa, but the Super Carry already has a long and illustrious lineage in its home country – having first debuted in Japan back in 1961 under the Suzulight banner – as well as plenty of other export markets. In fact, with the latest model it's now in its 11th generation.
And just as importantly as its utility factor is the fact that it's the most economical machine in its class, with a robust, proven, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine pumping out 54kW at 6 000rpm, and 101Nm at 3 000rpm. Power from this multi-point, fuel-injected motor is to the rear wheels, running through a five-speed manual gearbox.
“We’re delighted to introduce the Suzuki Super Carry to the SA market,” reckons Charl Grobler, manager of product planning and sales at Suzuki Auto SA. “It arrives at a time when cost efficiency, affordability and value for money are key requirements for small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking an efficient, versatile and robust utility vehicle.”
Grobler adds that Suzuki Auto SA is particularly proud that the new Super Carry is being launched locally ahead of other markets.
“It proves that Suzuki considers the SA market an important one, and shares our view that the Super Carry has tremendous potential here.”
And the price? Well – pause for a drum roll – when it hits the showrooms in June it will go for a mere R129 900, and that includes a three-year/100 000km warranty.
“This,” says Meyer, “is another winner from Suzuki. Mark my words.”
iX Online Motoring