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With the ever-growing trend of car buyers flocking to SUVs, it has been pretty obvious for much of the past decade that most owners hardly ever take their off-road-capable vehicles, well, off-road. So what about the not-so-off-road-friendly cars, like this 1997 Suzuki Wagon R+?

With more than 250,000km on the clock, this 16-year-old Suzuki seems to spend a fair bit of time exploring parts of Australia (Toobeah, Culgoa, Hebel and Windorah) that no car of its class would ever dream of.

Owner, Graham Hayton, has not followed the trend to swap his Wagon R+ for a Grand Vitara or the like, sticking with the 1.0-litre Suzuki for his adventures.

The Wagon R+ was on sale in Australia from October 1997 until February 2000 but was not exactly a big hit. Nonetheless, this fine example, with shells and all, seems to have remained strong.

The ‘R’ stood for ‘radical’ and the plus symbol was because Japan had fitted it with a one-litre engine for the Australian market, instead of the 600cc as found in Suzuki’s home market.

Hayton also seems to find it a good place to sleep when in the outback: “Sleeping in the car offers better protection from animals like wild pigs which come around at night and with all the glass, you wake up to the most beautiful sunrises”.

Perhaps this goes to show that one needs no SUV to explore the great Australian outback. Do you know of any other ‘regular’ cars that see a lot of use in the outback? Let us know below.




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