The recent images of Suzuki Bolan VXL that’s going to come equipped with an air-conditioner (again) went viral over the internet and social media. It was already being reported that Pak Suzuki will introduce an AC-fitted version of Bolan, however the company hasn’t officially announced the launch of the Bolan VXL yet.
According to information, the Bolan VXL with AC will be priced at PKR 12.65 lac which will be a bump of Rs 87,000 from the regular Bolan. The new Bolan VXL looks exactly same on the outside as well as inside with the only difference being the presence of AC and a couple of VXL badges. The AC controls appear to be poorly retrofitted while there are still no third row seats which the company had taken out many years ago.
Suzuki Bolan VXL with AC
This isn’t the first time that air-conditioner has been offered with Bolan, in fact not many remember that back in the past, Bolan (which is the 7th gen Suzuki Carry Hiroof) was available with both AC and non AC variants. Later on however, Pak Suzuki pulled the plugs off the other variants. As a reminder, in 2006/07 there were 4 variants of Suzuki Bolan on sale with base STD version priced at PKR 3.67 lac, the STD with factory-fitted CNG at PKR 4.04 lac, Bolan GL (with AC) for PKR 4.27 lac and the Bolan GL with CNG for PKR 4.61 lac.
Suzuki Bolan brochure from 2006/07
However if we observe, the air-conditioner was never successful in Bolan which is otherwise popular mainly because of its nothingness. Considering the fact that Pak Suzuki has taken out a lot of features during all these years such as there is no defroster/ heater, there is no trip meter, no adjustable seats, no multi-speed intermittent wipers, no key lock at the passenger door & no rear windshield wiper etc. Furthermore the materials used in door trims, dashboard and seats have significantly worsened. There are no insulations, or floor carpeting either, plus Pak Suzuki has also removed the third row seats many years ago.
In comparison, the original Suzuki Carry Hiroof from late 1979 came equipped with better seats, better upholstery, beige interior, floor carpeting, chrome door handles, chrome linings, key lock at passenger side door, fan/ heater, radio cassette player with telescopic whip antenna, back wiper and rear windshield defrosters etc.
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Among the key reasons why the AC in Bolan never worked really well was the overheating issue. Since the tiny engine which already hauls many people gets an additional duty of operating the air-con, plus the performance of AC was also questionable due to poor insulation, greater cabin volume and significantly large greenhouse. Now since the Bolan is now fuel injected (EFI) we will have to see whether there is a difference in performance or not.
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However more than anything else, it just looks as company’s attempt to make it more attractive to buyers before the production run finally ends. As the AC fitted Bolan VXL will most likely be the final iteration of the 43 years old Suzuki model in Pakistan. Because the government in its latest Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26) has decided that no vehicle shall be allowed to go on sale whether locally manufactured or imported, after June 30, 2022 which is not compliant of shortlisted WP29 regulations. The shortlisted regulations include the mandatory inclusion of dual airbags (for driver & front passenger), which is technically not possible to be deployed in the obsolete Suzuki Bolan which is in fact a 7th gen Carry from 1979.
Bolan’s replacement in Pakistan will be the 660cc Suzuki Every minivan. An official of an auto part company has already confirmed that they have received orders from Pak Suzuki to manufacture parts that are supposed to be used in Every minivan. The introduction of Suzuki Every will indeed be a breath of fresh air as Pak Suzuki will finally be moving towards modernization while saying goodbye to the old & obsolete. It might also bring positive results for the company, similar to which it is already experiencing by replacing the 2nd gen Alto (Mehran) in favor of the more modern & fuel efficient 8th gen Alto.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com