The future of the unique Suzuki APV in Australia from 2018 onwards appears to be under a cloud, because of vehicle emission regulations.
The current APV is the smallest van on sale here, and therefore has attracted a small but loyal following among largely city-based delivery drivers and others of that ilk. Read our most recent comparison test here, and review here.
But its 68kW/127Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine (which uses a claimed 8.2L/100km and emits 190 grams of CO2 per km) doesn’t meet required Euro 5 emissions laws, meaning no more can be ordered from the Indonesian plant. This is the same rule that killed the Y61 Nissan Patrol.
Suzuki does hold a number of 2016-built units in stock locally that the company expects will satisfy demand through to the end of 2017. It sold a handy 472 units last year, for almost 13 per cent market share (behind the Volkswagen Caddy and Renault Kangoo).
Beyond this? Unclear.
“We’re looking at other options, other vans… at this stage there’s not an APV available right now [that meets 2017/18 requirements],” Suzuki Australia general manager for automobiles, Andrew Moore, told us this week.
“I’m hoping for something,” he added, saying he’d be happy with an emissions update for the APV, or sourcing another van from Japan or another developing market.
“The biggest challenge is they’re all very small and made for developing markets, and may not meet safety requirements,” he said. The Japanese Suzuki Every and Indian Suzuki Maruti Eeco seem very unsuited.
The current APV is no safety leader itself, though it has front airbags. The pipeline for a new one, considering the main focus is on developing markets with looser regulations around safety and fuel use, seems distant.
We’ll report more when we learn more.