Suzuki launch new Palette minivan
24 January 2008

Suzuki is Japan's long time small car champion and the Palette, unveiled in Tokyo on January 24, is its latest wild offering in Japan's ever inventive 660cc mini-vehicle sector. It's a tiny, tall roof, low-floor, three cylinder mini-minivan designed for young families on a budget who want something roomier and, er, more luxurious than Suzuki's big selling but decidedly utilitarian Wagon R. Only available in Japan, and aimed fair and square at Daihatsu's remarkably similar looking Tanto (which was relaunched in December), the tiny Palette offers you the choice of 53bhp naturally-aspirated or 59bhp turbo power and is allegedly big enough to carry a 26-inch bicycle in the back. It's on sale in Tokyo for the equivalent of £5460-£8184. The Suzuki Wagon R, by the way, sold a remarkable 226,725 units in Japan last year to go on top as Japan's (unofficial) best selling car. That was also a 2.6 per cent increase on the year before. Officially, however, the Toyota Corolla was Japan's number one yet again, with 147,069 units (+ 2.7 per cent). That's because 660 cc minicars are always classified separately by the authorities, so Toyota was able again to have the Corolla as top dog.

Peter Nunn

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