Suzuki launched the compact size minivans Solio and Solio Bandit on August 26. It includes AWD (all-wheel drive), and the entire model has an ultra lightweight setting that can weigh just up to 1 ton as its special feature.
Lightweight cars can be advantageous with their fuel consumption and improvement of maneuverability, but they can also be disadvantageous with the riding feel in many instances. What about the new Solio? The engineer who managed the chassis tuning that was set with good balance in its riding feel and handling has developed this model with the aim of making it have a riding feel that is closer to the compact hatchback Swift.
“The first version model that adopted a newly structured lightweight body was the Alto, which was released in the first half of this year. I was in charge of the tuning of its chassis, but its settings were even more difficult than I had expected at first. If its body mass is light, the car could easily shake up and down as it enters the road. We also experienced the same difficulty with the Solio.”
The suspension system of the Swift is acknowledged as an excellent system among domestic compact cars. It was physically difficult to achieve an equally standard handling and pleasantness with its overall height and high balance in the Solio. But even so, the experience they had in exploring solutions for the new issues that were found as they challenged making the Alto more lightweight, is living on in many forms.
Some time ago, when I test drove the Alto for about 370km, it only had a low comfort level, but in terms of its handling, it was very light and the responsiveness of its tires was refreshing.
The weight of the Solio Hybrid is 950kg, and it is definitely equivalent to a light compact car. However, compared to other 5-seater compact tall wagons from other brands, it is lighter by 220kg than the Toyota Spade, and lighter by 370kg than the Honda Freed Spike, thus we can expect its maneuverability even though it is a tall wagon. I was able to feel the lightness of the Alto when turning the intersection or changing lanes, so it would be great to check the balance of its lightness and its riding feel when you test drive at the dealership.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)