2004 Suzuki Carry Van from Indonesia

Summary:

Very fun to drive for Indonesian roads

Faults:

I noticed some details of the interior have peeled off. I also heard some rattles at the back. I noticed some scratches on the exterior, but that would be the owner's fault. But this car is pretty old though.

General Comments:

This is not my car, I test drove it because I was so curious of how it feels when driving a minivan.

My first impression when I got inside was the front visibility. Because it doesn't have a bonnet (because the engine is placed at the bottom), you can see everything very clearly. This is very useful in Indonesia, as the roads in Indonesia are extremely tight, and the drivers here often steal other driver's lanes, despite that the road regulation in Indonesia is not really straight.

Usually, at the tight cornering in-front of my friend's apartment, normal cars would probably slow down until it stops, and then they go into reverse and find a nice angle to pass through the tight corner. While with this car though, I don't need to, I even can go around 30km/h in that tight corner, thanks to its compact size and the absence of the front bonnet (and it attracted people's attention too, because I was going so fast at that corner). I feel confident when taking it to small roads (It's called jalan kampung in here), where usually you are forced to overtake the car in front by the car behind you.

Here in Indonesia, we have a special technique to overtake on tight roads, where usually we make the car on half of the lane, and stick the bonnet close to the car in front, and then as soon as there is no car on opposite lane, get ready to gas it. With a clear visibility with this car, I found it very easy to overtake.

Parking it in extremely tight space is also easy with this car; it's even easier to park than a Toyota Yaris or Honda Jazz. I never thought driving a minivan could ever been this fun. This is a special car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th January, 2011

1997 Suzuki Carry Van 0.97 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cracking little people mover!

Faults:

Bought the van July 2010 for £600. Couple of bits of surface rust around, but no corrosion. Not even on the arches, which is rare for these vans. Chap had done the clutch and the timing belt a couple of thousand miles before I bought it, so as yet nothing has gone wrong. Touch wood.

General Comments:

The driving position takes a bit of getting used to, and it can be daunting at first driving right at the front of the car. But once used to it, it becomes perfectly normal, and the seats themselves I find very comfortable.

Handling obviously is not a strong point of these vans with their high sides and narrow wheelbase, and with no load in the rear the tail can be quite lively in the rain, which you need to look out for. Personally, I find the lively rear end amusing.

It will hit 70, but running at 70 for any length of time isn't recommended. Will sit perfectly happily at 60 all day though, maybe a bit more with a tail wind. Acceleration to 25-30 feels amusingly nippy thanks to the rev-happy engine and the snappy gearbox.

The 970cc engine is geared more for torque than outright power, so whether she's empty or full, and whether I rag her or drive economically, I still get around 30-35mpg and c.220 miles from a tank.

Mine is the MPV/crewbus version with 7 seats in the back rather than a load space. Seats are on quick-release bolts, so can be easily converted back should you need to do a run to the tip etc. I've tried to liven mine up with coloured side panels, a retro floor and a flip-down DVD player.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2010

2001 Suzuki Carry Van 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Generally good, but with major and basic design errors

Faults:

Badly worn tyres.

General Comments:

The floor is 9" higher than the old Carry Van / Bedford Rascal, which is a great waste of space and inconvenient.

The suspension is very uncomfortable on poorer back roads.

Road-holding is dangerous in the wet and crosswinds, and very poor under braking, especially in the wet.

Unbelievably there is no light in the rear load space.

Very dangerous sharp points to bang your head on the tailgate when it is up.

It seems to me that these are very basic design errors with what is otherwise a great little van.

I would buy another if these errors where corrected as there is nothing else which is anywhere near as conveniently small, but with 3 rear doors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2005