In-Depth Review | 2016 Suzuki APV SGX

Looking for a car that will help you grow your business or do your family day errands is tough. With so many options and deals that are currently in offer, we tend to forget what car should be the right one for your needs. Some opt to style and presence, while others prefer function over fashion. Clearly there’s no better way than to look each and every possible choices available. I chose the latter. Here’s why.

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The Suzuki APV first made its debut in 2005. For 12 long years, the APV has a few minor changes and trims available for every Filipino car buying public. Suzuki APV has three variants. First, the GA model which still uses the front and back fascia of the 2005 version. It’s a no non-sense, bare metal, basic MPV that can seat 8 passengers or a panel van for small or medium business needs. GLX and SGX models houses the current fascia and interior that debut in 2011. For sure, it is lacking the curves and pizzazz of today’s cars but clearly shows how Suzuki  manages to retain the true essence of the mantra ” why fix it if ain’t broken”.

Suzuki APV is powered by a 1.6 litre MultiPoint Fuel Injected or MPI Engine. This engine has been the holy grail for Suzuki that also powered the Vitara and Esteem in the 90’s. It has been modernized to cope up with today’s emission standards and still manages to maximize its torque for hauling capability. It has 91HP and 127Nm of Torque to which powers the rear wheels. For sure it wont win any races with other MPV’s in the market but hear me out.

Who does race these vans? Vans are made for hauling and carrying people. Not winning races. Unless you are a driver of a UVExpress (especially the “out-of-line” ones) that drives their vans like a sport hatch during rush hours. With the curb weight of only 1340 kgs, it can definitely haul itself out. For SGX model, it houses the 4 Speed A/T and the Captain Seats in the middle row. SRS Airbags, Seat Belts for all passengers are standard in all variants and it has a 3 star ANCAP rating. ABS and EBD are available in the SGX variant only. Power doors, mirrors, and locks are standard for GLX and SGX variants while Power Steering is available for the GA Variant. Fuel economy is somehow okay for a van. The SGX A/T that we have here manages 5-7kpl for city driving and 9-11 kpl for highway driving. Manual variants is 1-3 kpl more efficient. I did manage to drive this actual unit to Blue Lagoon, Ilocos Norte. Drove 1200++ kms of mixed city and highway driving. It is a smooth cruiser along the highway as it soak up all the road imperfection at speed. City driving tends to get bouncy especially if it is not loaded. With the factory specified tire pressure and loaded with 7 Passengers, the APV can really stand out the crowds of other AUV’s and MPV’s as it pliant and very smooth along national road pavements. Needless to say, APV is a great highway cruiser for a typical family getaway or a relaxed and comfy drive for delivery or service guys. Our roads can tell that there are fleets of them plying around EDSA and used as a service vehicles for SME’s and even corporate and government agencies. Driving visibility is top notch as you are high on the road looking down other cars that ride alongside with you. What makes it even more attractive other than the “you like it, you hate it” boxy shape is the price. For a standard GA model, Pricing starts at 588,000php and for the Top of the line version is 820,000php. that is far more cheaper than a entry level compact sedan.

This van reminds me of the 90’s Toyota Liteace  as it shares almost the same platform but none of its drawbacks(over heating and refinement issues). Reminiscent of the 90’s is that the APV’s engine is placed under the driver’s seat. Heat transfer is minimal but still noticeable. Good thing that the HVAC system is tuned to our weather conditions. The front snout houses the radiator and cooling system thus making this van free from overheating problems of the yesteryears. The running cost and maintenance are fairly reasonable. Knowing this has been engineered to last.

Space are plenty inside. all seats can be folded and also doubles as a twin sized bed if you need to stretch out after a long ride. Nobody in this category can offer such versatility. The front seats however lacks space for shoulder room and thighs. Seats are firm for liking but it gives good support on long drives. Luggage space is also very good even if the 3rd row is up. You can store duffle-sized bags/items under the seats for added luggage space. The 3rd row seats can be fold and tumble that boost more space. On my quick airport trip, it can support 2 large balikbayan boxes and 3 full size luggage in a breeze. For long items, you can practically haul items longer than 12 feet.  That’s how versatile the APV is.

With its price point and its versatility, Suzuki APV offers value for your money. Regardless of its ancient backbones, it highlights the engineering thoughtfulness for frugal Filipino buyers. Clearly it stands out among the sea of other MPV’s. This makes a logical option for me as it is cheap to own and to run. As the competition gets tougher and with the impending tax bloat, Suzuki APV can be a reasonable choice for Filipino families or businesses

 

GALLERY:

 

Spec Source : Suzuki PH

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