Suzuki Carry 1996/8
The Simplest 4WD Kei Truck You Can Find
Used minitrucks make up a very large percentage of our business of exporting good used cars from Japan, and this wonderful little Suzuki Carry is what a good used minitruck from Japan is all about: He’s a simple, reliable little guy; very capable, easy to work on, and cheap to run. He’ll also happily climb 30 to 35 degree mountain slopes that many full sized pickup trucks may struggle with.
Small exterior dimensions are one of the pluses of Japanese Kei vehicles. (To learn more about Kei truck, Kei van, and Kei sports car specs, have a look on our website here, here and here.)
A minitruck like this one from the mid ’90s is only 3,295mm long (130 inches) and 1,395mm wide (60 inches). He weighs in at only 740kg (1,630lbs), but he’ll carry 350kg (770lbs) of whatever you have to carry: Supplies to the cabin? Paving stones to a landscaping job? Top soil and roll turf to the gold course? Feed to the farthest point on the ranch? Fruit in from the farthest point in the orchard? Trophy deer from a successful hunt? A 4WD minitruck like our Carry here is more than up to the task.
And this little piglet does it all in a way that the big hogs (your full-sized pickups) can’t do: He does it very ecologically. First off, the little 660cc F6A, straight three cylinder engine is not a big drinker; he just sips that precious fuel (cheap, regular gas is just fine with him) and he puts out very little in the way of emissions. Secondly, that light body doesn’t leave much of a footprint, whether in the forest or on the landscaping site or on the golf course. (Putting on wide tires makes this situation even better. If you click here and scroll down to the middle of the page, you’ll find a couple of pictures of extra wides used on a Kei truck at a golf course here in Japan.)
Part of the secret to the high capability of this little 4X4 workhorse is the gearing, the transmission, the whole drive train. The 4WD Suzuki Carry runs a part time 4WD system (unlike, say, the Honda Acty Kei truck, which has an on-demand system that Honda calls “Real Time 4WD”). In the Carry, you engage 4WD manually with a small lever that sits just to the right of the main gear shift.
And the low range in 4WD is very low, indeed. At idle, in Low 4WD first gear, the Carry will just amble along all by itself, without even your foot on the throttle! If you look on our Japan Car Direct Blog here, you’ll find my driving review of the year 2000 version of the Suzuki Carry. An excellent minitruck.
In fact, on our blog, we also review the Honda Acty here, and the Subaru Sambar (both the mid ’90s 4 cylinder 660cc version and the earlier, and very charming, 2 cylinder 550cc version) here.
We round off our series on the Best Minitruck to Import from Japan with a look at the Daihatsu Hi-Jet and the various minitruck-based minivans here.
This Suzuki Carry that you are looking at now is one that we exported to Canada, to Vancouver actually, and we heard back from our customer that, not only was he very happy with the vehicle, but that his wife was also quite taken with the little beastie and has rather “appropriated” the minitruck as hers. Does that mean he plans to import another used minitruck from Japan to Vancouver? He’s certainly welcome to do so and it will be our pleasure to help him find another good unit. Then they will have “his and hers” Kei trucks.
And if you are thinking: “I want to import a used Suzuki Carry from Japan to Canada,” then just contact us here and we’ll set you up with a very good unit indeed.