Big things come in small packages. In this case, it’s a great thing. Kei cars are cute and quirky, and the Alto Lapin is probably the best one from Suzuki yet. It looks really good, and it claims that it can do up to 32 kilometers per liter. With fuel prices soaring, this is the Kei car that we definitely want and need in the Philippines.
Two choices: Suzuki Alto Lapin and Lapin LC
The Alto Lapin has been around for about 7 years in its home market of Japan. The Alto we get here is not sourced from the Land of the Rising Sun, but seeing its retro goodness is not something we should just let pass.
The higher-spec Alto Lapin LC gets a more stylish grill compared to the “entry-level” variant. Chrome is the material of choice and that can be seen on both the grill and round headlight pieces which look oddly like those of a MINI. The same treatment goes for the wheels with their classic steelies design that comes in with half-hubcaps and a chromed-out center cap. A two-tone motif livens up the exterior in either Soft Beige or Urban Brown being used for the roof color.
On the inside, Trad Brown as Suzuki names it, is the color and material of choice, consisting of both leather and fabric combinations. The dashboard gets a dark gray pearl-finished color complete with LC badging with the instrument panel getting a medium brown wood grain finish.
As for the entry Alto Lapin, the grill comes as a more solid piece that is colored (plated?) in silver. This variant gets the two-tone painted 14″ aluminum wheels, so no classic hubcaps here. Paint options for the exterior are Trad Khaki Metallic and Terracotta Pink Metallic, with Soft Beige being the only color for the roof.
The inside also gets color-coordinate upholstery on the seats and the door cards, and color options are Light Brown or Light Green. The photo you see above is from the brochure and it shows three colors for the interior. We can just guess what “Light” color the middle option is.
Powering the Alto Lapin is a 0.66-Liter (effectively a 1.0-Liter displacement, but we’ll stick to 660cc) DOHC VVT engine that is mated to a CVT. Both the Lapin and Lapin LC come in either FWD or 4WD, and the former is claimed to be able to go 31.4 kilometers per liter, with the latter able to do a very respectful 29.9. Either option is awesome any way you look at it.
The most affordable Alto Lapin is priced at JPY 1,251,800 which very roughly translates to PHP 503,185.00, whereas the range-topping Alto Lapin LC X variant goes for JPY 1,646,700 or (again, very roughly converted to) PHP 661,921.00.
Should these Suzuki Kei cars, by some miracle, be built and sent to the PH market, their costs will be different from those above, but we can be pretty sure that they won’t be astronomically far off. Nowadays it’s all about how frugal your vehicle is with its consumption, and that’s something that should be considered long-term, too.
A Suzuki Alto Lapin on PH roads isn’t such a bad idea. No, not a bad idea at all.