Suzuki Solio

Suzuki Solio Review: “Has the best size to match Japan’s infrastructure” by Yoichi Moroboshi

The Solio, which has its roots in the Wagon R Wide, is a car that was thoroughly created to meet the needs of Japan.

What kind of car was created when the various regulations imposed on kei cars have been removed?I feel that the answer to that is the Solio. When kei cars are made, you would want it to be mounted with a bit bigger engine displacement, and its size to be a bit wider and a bit longer. I think that the Solio have those elements.

The overall length, width, and height of the Solio are 3710mmm, 1625mm, and 1745mm respectively. It’s 310mm longer and 145mm wider than kei cars. The number of cars with a three-series license plate currently exceeds the number of cars with a five-series license plate. The Solio uses the frame and dimensions of a five-series license plate car to secure the necessary cabin space. The reason why Suzuki is able to do this kind of “packaging” is because of the technological expertise that they have acquired over the years.

The driver’s seat isn’t the only seat that has room, as the backseat is also roomy. The Solio retained its overall length, but its wheelbase has been extended by 30mm. Because of that, the front and rear seats have been expanded by 55mm. The rear seats have been divided into two, which can be moved forwards or backwards by 165mm using the seat slider. It secures space that can accommodate four passengers. Furthermore, when you slide the backseat forward, it creates quite a big luggage space.

The Solio is mounted with a 1.2-liter four-cylinder K12C engine. It generates a maximum output and a maximum torque of 91hp and 12kgm respectively, which is the same output and torque produced by a K12B engine, except that it has better compression ratio and that it has been downsized. The version I test drove was the hybrid grade. The Solio Hybrid is a mild hybrid. It adopts the S-ENE Charge’s integrated starter generator (ISG) being used by kei cars to increase the engine output.

For a 1.2-liter model, the power feels sufficient. Because the motors of the mild hybrid assist the engine during acceleration, it offers steady and powerful acceleration. The S-ENE charge used by kei cars assists the engine instantaneously, but since it adopts the mild hybrid, the lag time of the assist becomes longer.

Despite being a tall wagon, the body roll when cornering is moderate and does not compromise its stability. Since it offers a comfortable ride, you won’t hesitate to use it for long distance trips. And more than anything else, you can easily maneuver it in narrow places like residential areas. It is perfectly matched to Japan’s infrastructure.

One factor that contributed to its excellent ride performance is the thorough weight reduction. The weight of Solio’s body and power unit have been reduced approximately by 30kg each, while the interior and the suspension have been reduced by around 20kg, making it about 100kg lighter. The weight gain after adopting the mild hybrid system is also small. As a result, all models of the Solio weigh up to 1 ton, which lessens the automobile weight tax.

Packaging: ★★★★
Interior/ Interior Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★★
Foot Work: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★★

Yoichi Moroboshi | Automotive Journalist

He became a freelance journalist at 23 years old after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He competed in races like the Fuji Freshman series in his late 20s for seven years. He does motorsports photography and works as a photojournalist. His hobby is cooking.

(Translated by Katherine N. Bantiles)