Suzuki Hustler Gets A Little Tougher, Wilder

Suzuki, as you might have heard, no longer sells passenger cars in the North American market. Which is a bit of a shame, because the Japanese automaker has long been – and still remains – a leader in the small SUVs that are ever-growing in popularity.

Having just released the all-new Jimny, Suzuki has now rolled out a new version of one of its other tiny sport-utes. It’s called the Hustler Tough Wild edition, and it puts the cute ute on an even more rugged path.

Based on the rough and tumble kei car launched just a few years ago, the Hustler Tough Wild arrives on the Japanese Domestic Market with a two-tone finish. The roof, A-pillar, rear quarter panel, door handles, and 15-inch wheels are all done up in black to contrast with the available pale blue, electric blue, red, yellow, or silver bodywork.

It also features retrimmed bumpers (front and rear), special badges, and a slew of interior enhancements as well. The seats are upholstered a navy and brown leatherette and fabric, with gunmetal accents and pale blue trim – all of which add up to a refreshing take on the little sport-ute (also sold under partnership as the Mazda Flair).

Power comes from the same 660cc three-cylinder engine as the standard model, mated to a CVT and driving either the front wheels or all four. It’s priced from just 1,487,160 yen, which works out barely more than $13k at current exchange rates. Shame we can’t get it in America, because something like this could make a compelling (and cost-effective) alternative to the Fiat 500X and Mini Countryman.

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  • Hoe

    Why doesn’t any Japanese brand bring the keycars to EU/US?
    Safety concerns? No business case?
    All these are solvable..

    • Victor Ferreira

      The market for kei cars in the US is very limited. Even if you don’t consider that tiny cars haven’t exactly sold well (Spark, Mirage, etc), unless you’re talking about a deeply congested city in the Northeast or CA, most people want a car that can comfortably go on the interstate (read: a car that can comfortably cruise at 80mph), which these just can’t do.

      Plus I’m sure that they don’t meet the dreaded safety criteria.

      • Hoe

        At least in Europe, not all soccer mums can afford a 40k+ SUV being the 2nd or 3rd car at home.
        I mean that these cars, as long as A and B segment cars (Ford Ka, Fiesta, D-Max, Renault Twingo, Clio, Modus, etc) are not very comfortable at 120km/h, although they can manage…
        The purpose is carrying people on short distances, parking it and driving it easily…

        And yes, you are right, they are not key, they are kei cars…

    • Six_Tymes

      good point on safety concerns, maybe these don’t fare well in crashes with bigger vehicles.

    • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

      They once did and Americans simply do not like them. Do you remember the Nissan cube and Mitsubishi i-Miev? Also, kei cars are made for small Asians, an average american-size body would have a hard time fitting inside them.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Still one of the best names in the market.

  • Tan Lee

    Suzuki seems to be booming after killing the VW partnership.

    • Matt

      Was there even a partnership?

  • Six_Tymes

    Wow, first time i have seen this. Its a really good looking small practical car, with great design details. I would buy if was available in the US and not over priced. Shame Suzuki left the US market. I would buy one of these and a new Jimny

  • Paul

    It’s kind of a cute little bugger. I like it’s eyeballs too

  • TOO CUTE.
    NEXT UP THE “BUTCH AND BRAWNY” EDITION.

  • Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste

    Darn. Why did Suzuki ever leave the US market? It’s a great brand with great product. It makes no-nonsense vehicles at a good price. I’d be hard-pressed to choose between the new Jimny and this one. This is way better than any Fiat or over-priced Mini.

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