Back to basics
When the little Suzuki first arrived at the Autodealer office, I peered through my window to giggle at its diminutive stature, it really is like a Hyundai H100 that has been left in the tumble dryer for too long.
I then grabbed the keys and had a look inside. The word basic really doesn’t do the cabin justice. There are no air vents, manual window winders, no radio, no ABS, no rev counter, no power steering and about 15 centimetres space between the front-end and your legs. I wouldn’t fancy getting in to an accident in the Super Carry at all.
A Grizzly Bear?
Safety aside, this is a purpose-built vehicle with load-carrying ability, low running costs and a reasonable purchase price being the order of the day. At R135 900, it represents amongst the best payload per Rand in the new vehicle LCV market.
With a loading capacity of 750kg and kerb weight of 850kg, the Super Carry is the automotive equivalent of a Grizzly Bear in terms of its ability to carry things close to its own weight for extended periods. Also remember that vehicles such as these benefit in terms of tax, meaning owners are able to claim a certain amount of money back should it be used for business applications.
Powering the little bakkie is a 1.2-litre 54kW/101Nm petrol motor which might not sound like enough to carry a gross weight that can at times exceed 1600kg, however the gear rations in the five-speed manual ‘box are so short that the vehicle runs out of puff at around the national speed limit.
I wouldn’t really know though to be honest because 120 km/h is about as fast as I dared to travel. This brings me to one of the limiting factors of the Super Carry. Those short gear ratios and tiny motor make for ease of use in urban situations, but I wouldn’t recommend too much highway driving, especially under load.
What’s it like to drive?
There are a few words I’d use to describe driving the Suzuki. One would be lorry-like as the steering wheel sits with its rim pointing towards your torso more than your legs as in a normal car.
This means that you’re driving like a truck driver, only without the space, so my right elbow protruded from the driver’s side window most of the time. Luckily, the lack of a ventilation system meant the window was always open, so I looked like a real lorry driver.
Another word would be loud because there it literally no sound deadening material and the engine sits underneath the front seat. I actually lifted the seat up at a traffic light to see the motor and in addition to the little four-pot, I could also see the road below me.
All jokes aside, the Super Carry is a bit too basic for me and while I know we’re a nation obsessed with buying new cars, I just feel that a used LCV with slightly more safety and basic vehicle features would suit a business owner more.
There is no denying the fact that the little Suzuki does with it says on the tin, the only thing that potential buyers need to ascertain is exactly what they need from a small bakkie and then weigh up the pros and cons before purchasing. The Super Carry is sold with a three-year / 100 000 km mechanical warranty and roadside assistance plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.