Text and photos by The Lenspeed Team
A recent trip to Japan unraveled that Solios are actually all the rage there. With Tokyo being one of the largest urban metropolises in the world, this makes sense. As it would in our small, cramped island. The Solio is a Big car packaged in a Ultra-small car. It’s very, very clever, and would make you feel very smug indeed. If you’ve bought one, you’d know. OK, it’s not actually a new car per se – the Solio in Japan has been soldiering on for a while now, but only very recently have movements in COE prices allowed for the Solio to gain some ground in Singapore. But we can’t stop raving about it, just because it’s that good for Singapore conditions. Highly recommended. Let’s explore why:
- You’d have even more interior space than some full-fledged sedans. In fact after the test drive I constantly marveled just how much larger the car felt on the inside, when compared to how it looks on the outside. You get an aircraft-style tray table behind the front seats, cupholders everywhere, a fully foldable rear seat that will yield to a flat floor, and comfy, giant rear seats that recline to pretty swell angles. The automatic rear sliding doors are a real boon. A magnificent one – getting out of tight car park spaces has never been easier.
- You get a frugal 1.2-litre engine that puts the Solio comfortably in Category A. We managed to hit 23.2km/l on just a casual spurt on the highway, and we are confident that an average of 13km/l in the real world is entirely achievable (even with an arctic cold A/C). Although it has a small fuel tank, it still has a healthy range. The CVT gearbox pairs very well to the engine too, delivering performance that hints of a van on a hurry.
- Overall length of 3.71m and width of 1.62m means the Solio is one of the shortest and narrowest cars you can buy. So tight car parks are never an issue while you see S-Class drivers struggling to get their cars to fit in the lots. It’s the Solio’s natural environment. You also get paltry 165 width tyres, which are quiet, light on the earth and surprisingly grippy.
- At 1.77m high, the Solio is taller than it is wider – rare in the car world, but par for the course for the commercial vehicle world. So you get all of the benefits of a van, and all of the benefits of a normal car too. We can’t seem to find a drawback.
- A 5-year warranty means you’d get an added peace of mind, as if Suzukis aren’t already reliable!
- You get Bluetooth, navigation, xenon lights, expensive looking alloy rims, electric doors – yet this is one of the cheapest cars in the market!