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Suzuki Hustler 2016 G



2019 Suzuki Hustler Review


Though I had to let it go, this little vehicle made a huge impact on my life, during a difficult time

It deserves a review, it was that good,



Well it’s like this, some like it, some don’t, and I didn’t at first

We had lost almost 2 mil after buying a leaf, into depreciation, so in retaliation this was the only

Reasonable thing I could afford in its place. So giving into my dads idea I did bring her home,

It was red with a black roof, on those puny steel rims


With time I decided to bin the cute look and make it look a bit macho,

Found a set of Suzuki rims, off a sedan, 0.5jj larger making it 5.5jj and increased the tyre size,


I’m sure I gained at least 3 to 4 cm in clearance.

Added a set of tiny low cop radar led fog lights, as I was frequently traveling to hill stations at the time, and a reverse fog as well.

Had to make do with an ornamental roof rack, few carbon fiber wrap work, and matte black paint on the wheels

Loud little Hella Horn was fitted as well, window visors, made a little runt of an suv, 2 door of course lol.


The factory styling,

mine was a G grade, none of the J style bling, but had the fancy led headlights with halos, believe me they turn on when you unlock the car, like a beamer!

It was a matte black village, every exterior plastic was matte to give that off road intent, had a small sill trim that extended up to wheel arches as well,


Rear bumper was again no nonsense, wrapped very close to the body, with a nice trim in the middle,

The bumpers seat very high on these, almost showing off the tyres, giving this rock crawler vibe


It was one confused car,


The interior,


It has this tiny Dox matrix display in the gauge cluster, shows little videos of a hustler going places, adds to the cheer, has a hidden menu, of course in Japanese, has many settings to play with. This is shadowed by the huge speedo, which is the only thing in there


Again heavily influenced by the FJ cruiser, painted plastics, very solid gloss, no play, some panels had a miniature chequer plate pattern, to add, 2 glove boxes and one with a kg mark to allow you to place a laptop,



There is no center floor console, like on those ancient suvs, one can walk across the driver and passenger areas, upon folding the tiny armrest. Which has a tiny hidden compartment as well.


It came with a Chinese head unit, Which I intended to replace but never got the chance, however I installed front and rear cams, for show obviously, as it has so many large  windows for its size, you feel like you are in an aquarium, I used to get murdered by my wife for looking at younger models you know!

It felt so revealing that I had the 4 door shutters heavily tinted and was cursed by my dad repeatedly when he drove it in the night. It had these tiny quarter windows which I left untinted, cops can get a glimpse of inside, thereby had zero issues!


I did manage to upgrade the front speakers with kenwood 2 way speakers, rear door speakers were not there, so did a retrofit of the same, also mounted a set of hertz tweeters to the factory slots,

All into the factory wiring.

I mean there was nothing marvelous with the sound proofing, but it held the sound well, just enough for usual radio and Bluetooth audio,

Mine didn’t have the multi-function steering or cruise control, Auto headlights were ok, self leveling very useful here and there,


The space, that is what it was, that tall boy design, it was like a room inside rear seats move back, compromising inside luggage space, but leg room and headroom, again basically a room for 4

No contours on the seats, making them flat, nice pattern, but hard, and waterproof..


Apparently it was designed to have a makeshift bed at any given time, the front passenger seat has a adhered table on the back, so upon folding flat forwards it can be a table. If you do the same with the corresponding rear set, you have a 6 foot is platform, which Suzuki calls a bed, and gosh the accessories they have for this car, 6 brochures!


Being a kei , rear cargo room is scarce, but redeemable with angry passengers with less leg room.

The luggage area is again heavily cladded with the same mini chequer plate plastic, giving it this premium suv boot feel, and it has these flaps that adjust accordingly to leave a flat surface,

Below this deck, you get a rigid foam pack, with the tyre kit,


And yes you can fit a 15” space saver in a hustler, matter of sliding the rear seats forward

Pull out the foam pack, hide it under your bed, slide the wheel in, then pull the seats back, leg room is reduced by a tiny amount, no one notices it either, the seat tugs the rubber and it is held firmly in. The flaps cover the wheel, and you have the luggage space.


It has a nice roof liner, light color, easy to clean, and 2 tIny dome lights

Even a 12v socket in the very back , suv cues all over.


Rear foot wells are flat, you can basically open the doors and blow the grit away, front may need a vacuum but can survive with a brush,

Sadly the hustler comes with a plush oem carpet set, mine were stolen at port,


Engine and drivetrain,

Well yea with 660cc, cvt and no turbo, one would say it was slow, The difference is the ISG, that thing manages to hold the revs up like an electric turbo, thereby it’s not slow, wagon R owners have told me the hustler is faster, probably the ecu tune as everything else is the same, besides the body and suspension which is entirely different,


The 3 cyl engine was a bit noisy, but no vibrations, and idle stop worked with the isg, thereby no start motor noises, it just instantly kicked the engine in


The hustler never had the adjuster issue as the engine bay is crazy well shielded from below, unless you wake up from a coma and hose the engine bay no issue there, the gearbox feels fine, just a continuous drive, I mean not fast but no jerks, manages hills easy.

Well below the passenger seat on the front, the hybrid battery lives, more or less a house of capacitors, hence why It can be repaired easily. Never had any issues, charged up fully and discharged as well,

The fuel economy, I used 92, it was as per spec, it did 20kmpl at most given times, with idle stop off


The drive,

Well this is the sole reason why I decided to write this review,

The drive feels really nice, composed, firm, tad bit of body roll, bumpy suspension

Handles very well, It was genuinely fun, going to nuwara Eliya to Kandy In it, it was a memorable trip, climbs are nothing, I mean it doesn’t sprint up but 30 to 40kmh it scoots on,


It’s on bad roads and muddy roads that the whole wannabe suv thing comes to play, it has amazing grip and ground clearance, feels like a true off roader, mine was not 4wd either

Where I live the roads are being constantly raped by various govt projects, the workers used to smile when I go about in the hustler as it just skips over mud and ruts they pillage on the road, the floor Pan is flat, so it can fair really well, my dad accidentally parked it on the first stair at my local bank, approach angle that crazy!

Those tiny wipers do a great job cleaning off mud and rain,


What I don’t like,


Very little in fact,

The smart key, makes a  complete fool of the car, tried both keys, halfway across the commutes the car starts looking for the key, so once I flash it near the start button it shuts up, changed many batteries, it’s inherent.

The base carpet is very cheap, and easy to tear, they’ve used a heap of ridged foam to make the floor flat, basically every footwell has a ridged foam insert, if you spill it’s going to seep way down,

And yea a drunk friend spilt a beer, finally had to take all 4 seats apart and put a nice carpet to cover everything, this helped with the road noise too, a style carpet that was intended for the Kdh.


The safety system – sheer hate

If a bus overtakes you, the car decides to stop, simple as that, stop in such a way that you , your passengers and the guy tailgating you; all to have a heart attack, no buzzer warnings

Also it has this great love for bikers, almost with pure emotion. Does anything to spare a bike, even whilst sacrificing its own butt to the route bus or yoghurt lorry , as we’ve all seen on videos. And seeing the bikers we have here, all the adventurous stunts they perform the only solution is to reach for the auto brake off switch.


The 12v battery, the electronics and start stop system really strangle the 12v lump, you ll need one every year, a safe measure would be to turn off idle stop, as it reduces engine. Wear



I really do miss the car, it was a joy in the city, can park in a 3 wheeler space, large doors, easy to climb in and out, extremely easy to clean and wash, nippy on the lights, very unassuming yet also gets a lot of attention. Almost regret the sale, but life is too short to drive a single car.






92 is enough,


Buy the highest grade you can,

Below 30000 to 50000km is the safest

Get the one with the led headlights,

Check the roof, black roofs flake paint easy, thin metal meaning they rot the same.

Check the mileage usual blah, auction sheets,

Make sure the battery is in the car before you purchase it, or clear it from port

If there is a yellow blinking light continuously, indicates charging system fault so first replace the 12v battery, if it doesn’t go away means isg or battery failure. Run

Check the tyres, the oem Dunlop enasaves don’t last long, sidewalls bubble in months

Those steel rims are not that strong, a big pothole can warp them, fellas are selling them by the dozen after this, buy alloys, not those


I suggest maintenance at A*W, they know the car in and out, and use the 5w30 Castrol synthetic oil, change at 10000km, 0w-20 is too thin for our temperatures , up to you

Please Use genuine parts,


Never physically leave your car at the agent or any mechanic, the hybrid battery internals can be removed in 5min with 2 tools and will fit in a pocket,



Buy a spare wheel


Brake pads need replacement every 20000 to 30000 km


Rear liners 60000km


Be careful when leaving parked, They can’t be harvested like wagon R s but mirror covers and the mirror plate are stolen like any car. Whole mirror assembly can’t be removed as the bolts are inside unlike the wagon R


Parts are rare and expensive, especially the 4 lights, worse if led.


175x65x15 tyres will fit the oem 165x60x15 and will have no rub issues, no big speedo error.

Learn how to use google translator


Join the wagon r and hustler fb pages.







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Great Review - honestly surprised by the capabilities of this tiny car : I wouldn't have  taken " feels like a true off roader, mine was not 4wd either" seriously but coming from a guy who knows his off roaders I'm really impressed. 

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Such a sweet (and cute) car, the looks are nice IMO and yeah, the attention part is true! Good to learn about the off-road capability & LED lights. Should have also seen the commercials they played in japan for this car. They even have anime-like ads for it!

One question: can you emphasize on parts rarity? Like are headlights thaaat rare? Also does the wagonR share ALOT of mechanicals or is it just the hybrid system? 


Edited by □AVANTE□
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Thanks a lot guys, yes it has a unique way of hugging the road and managing difficult terrain, maybe its the tiny wheelbase and weight on the drive wheel combo plus the tall suspension, on 15 tyres combined with a slow shifting cvt, you cant do this in a wagon r 



Mechanical parts associated with engine and transmission as very much the same 

Parts associated with running repairs are also the same 

Oil filter, brake pads, fuel filter, etc

Oils are the same 

Air filter is different 

Suspension how ever, there are many differences, the entire layout is different 

Floor pan is partly shared but there are differences 

Hybrid system is the same,

Body panels are rare, tailgate very rare, yes those led halo type headlights are very hard to find and replace,

As the interior is different, airbag kit is different, 


 In terms of maintenance and running,

It's the same as a wagon R, might be a tad less on fuel.

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Wow thanks for doing this. I can't tell you how long I've been looking for a review in english.

I dont know much about cars so i do have some questions i hope you can answer.

1. You said not to jump start the car... why? (sorry if it's a stupid question but like i said I'm not very knowledgeable on such matters 😅)

2. How does this car fair on hilly sections?

3. Can this car make a 500km drive? (planning to do so every once or twice. a year) or would you advise against that?

Thanks again for all your input! 🙏

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Moumou said:

Wow thanks for doing this. I can't tell you how long I've been looking for a review in english.

I dont know much about cars so i do have some questions i hope you can answer.

1. You said not to jump start the car... why? (sorry if it's a stupid question but like i said I'm not very knowledgeable on such matters 😅)

2. How does this car fair on hilly sections?

3. Can this car make a 500km drive? (planning to do so every once or twice. a year) or would you advise against that?

Thanks again for all your input! 🙏

1. The ISG (Integrated starter generator) tends to get fried on jump starts.

2. It can manage hilly roads well, I didn't notice gaps in power delivery, of course its not a 6 cyl land cruiser so within its limits (4 persons + 2 bags) it can manage. 

3. 500km drive is nothing, there was one time I drove from Colombo - Negombo - Avissawella - Ruwanwella - Dickoya - Kandy and back to Negombo in one go. 

Mind you now these cars have a reasonable no. of miles on them, there will be engine wear etc. plus our reputed sellers turning back odometers. So account for that when buying. Try to trace and correlate with auction sheets so that you can have a vague mileage of what the car landed with.

When checking out a car, make sure that the idle start stop system works. That can be an issue.

Lastly, don't get disheartened but these keis are heavily bullied on the roads so grow a thick skin.


Sold the car in 2019, Have purchased 4 cars thereafter, 2 being off roaders yet we still miss this car. I sold mine to a principle of a reputed institute in Kurunegala and he still tends to it like his firstborn child. During the fuel shortages he used to call me and tell me that it was doing 30kmpl when carefully driven and one full tank survived the whole period giving him kmpl to do his commute. 

Lastly a bit of a Jeremy Clarkson moment,

I made a trip in my Hustler with a grand uncle, someone who was very dear to me, just the two of us, no wives, we had a ball of a time driving up and down to Nuwara Eliya, the road had work being done as well. Was the worst of days, rain, fog, mist mud all of it. Sipping draft beer and enjoying the local produce, street food that was a nice drive. 

The only reason I didn't use a bigger car I had was as it was a difficult time for me (looking at post 2019, those days were nothing now)  and the hustler was the most frugal thing I had. 

Being nearly 80y, and someone who was a Pajero/Montero fanatic since the 1980's my grand uncle was genuinely surprised with the Hustler and by the end of the trip he was telling his son on the phone to go look for one to purchase as his daily. This was a guy whose daily was a SWB Pajero upgraded to a 4M40 from a 4D56 and tweaked for boost.

Little did I know that, this trip would be my last outing with him and he succumbed to a stroke later that year. Thereby this little car will always be in my fond memories.  

Edited by tiv
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