10 Common Features NOT Available In Pak Suzuki Bolan Carry Van And Ravi Pickup

suzuki_bolan_side_view

I was going through PakWheels Forums and all of a sudden a thread caught my attention. The title of that eye-catching thread was, “Suzuki is going to Stop Production of Bolan”. I did believe it for a second and started reading the posts until I realized that it was made eight years ago in 2007, and someone just posted a new reply, so it was appearing on the top. Sigh! It was an unrealistic dream to expect Pak Suzuki to replace 1980s van by the latest model when there’s no competitor making small vans and pickups.

Bolan van comes with a whopping price tag of 700,000 PKR. It’s actually the seventh generation Suzuki Super Carry ST-40 model manufactured during 1982- 1985. Pak Suzuki started producing this model when it had already been phased out in Japan. The van has been being manufactured without any significant changes since 1988.

Interior Suzuki Super Carry van from late 1980's

Interior Suzuki Super Carry van from late 1980’s

Also Read: FAW X-PV Review: A Solid Contender To Suzuki Bolan

Bolan Van and Ravi Pickup finally received ‘facelift’ in 2009. But you shouldn’t expect modern features like ABS, airbags and GPS navigation system as part of the latest ‘facelift’. It’s also useless to demand Pak Suzuki for latest engine and an automatic transmission variant.  Don’t even think of an anti-theft immobilizer in this outdated but pricey ‘family van’.

Suzuki_Bolan_2012

Pak Suzuki can’t offer ‘high-end’ features in common man’s van, but if you choose to buy this van or pickup here’s the list of disappointments you’ll experience when you drive it.

1)    No Car Ventilation and Defroster:

It’s 2016, and we are still producing a van without car defroster i.e. fan and heater. You might be surprised to learn that the original van did come with heater and defrosting system when it was introduced in 1988. Pak Suzuki removed this essential feature just a few years after it started selling like hotcakes thinking people would accept it and so they did. However, it was possible to install blower and heater as the dashboard had vents for it. But now even if you try to install heater and fan to keep your screen clear of mist, you simply can’t do it because there are no vents near the windshield in the latest model dashboard. The demister is not available even in air-conditioned VX Bolan.

3-heater and windshield demistor, Bolan owners can't

RELATED: Suzuki Mehran Buyer’s Guide

If you’re driving in cold and rainy weather, it’s always advisable to drive with someone in the passenger seat to help you clean misty windscreen. After all, it isn’t a good idea to drive this unstable van with just one hand!

2)    No trip-meter:

I always reset my car’s trip meter right after refueling to keep an eye on fuel consumption. Sometimes I do this to measure the distance between certain points. But if you’re driving a brand new Pak Suzuki Carry van (Bolan) then you have to keep a pen, paper and a calculator with you to know how many kilometers you have driven since the last refueling. Why? Because there’s no trip meter but just an odometer which can’t be reset. So you have to write down the odometer readings and calculate the difference to get this simple job done. The van and pickup are widely used for commercial purpose and still no trip-meter, very strange!

4-van-trip-meter

Also Read: How To Check If Your Car’s Odometer Has Been Tampered Or Not

3)    Non-adjustable seats:

If your height is more than 5’10’’, then the chances that you’ll find this van very uncomfortable to drive are quite high because you can’t adjust the front seats. Both, the driver and passenger seats are fixed, so you have to “adjust” yourself rather than the seats. And one more thing, there is no seat recliner either. I’m talking about the van, as you know reclining is impossible in Ravi pickup’s micro cabin!

4)    Non-retractable seat belts:

Pak Suzuki had to “reintroduce” this feature in all cars few years ago when National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&M P) made it mandatory for all front seat car occupants to buckle up on motorways. However, Pak Suzuki just fixed non-retractable seat belt in front cabin to save few hundred rupees. The belts offer lesser protection, are uneasy and uncomfortable to use and make the cabin messy.

Also Read: Japan Donates Toyota Prius Cars To Pakistan National Highways & Motorway Police

5)    Mono-speed wipers:

Where carmakers are introducing windshield wipers with auto rain sensors, Pak Suzuki has put mono-speed wipers in Bolan and Ravi. Whether it’s drizzling or showers, there are only two options; ON and OFF, no speed adjustment, no intermittent wiping! And the wipers are like fragile wooden sticks, I doubt if they survive in average snowfall.

6- Mono-speed wiper is the only option to wipe your windscreen

6)    No key lock on passenger side:

Park your van too close to a wall on the right side, exit via passenger door after locking all doors and you will not be able to unlock it later because the key lock is installed on the driver’s side only. But you can still unlock it by entering from tailgate because it also has a key lock. However, if you do this with Ravi pickup, then even Houdini can’t unlock it because, unlike the van, it has only two doors. Same thing could happen to the van if you reverse into an L-shaped corner making the tailgate and driver side door unreachable.

7- No way to unlock it from outside by passenger side

7)    All wheels drum brakes:

Thinking about ABS in Pak Suzuki van and pickup is kind of far fetched, but what about front wheel disk brakes? Unfortunately, the answer is no and you’ll be driving this 8-seater van without front wheel disk brakes because the van and pickup still come with drum brakes on all four wheels.

8)    Last row seat windows are sealed:

More than 90% of the vans we see don’t have air conditioning units installed. Rolling down the windows is the only way to get some air. Here we have a problem; you can only open 50% of 2nd-row seat windows, but there’s a bad news for last row seat occupants, it’s sealed and can’t be opened. Lack of A/C and window opening make this van terribly hot and uncomfortable to travel in hot summer months.

7- Last row seat windows can't be opened

9)    Reverse light is too dim:

Suzuki Bolan and Ravi has got a tiny reverse light, just to warn other road users that the car is moving backward. But if you’re reversing into a dark street, this light will not help you see the road. It was very easy to make new taillights with brighter reverse lights without making big changes but just like mono-speed wipers, Pak Suzuki decided to keep going with mono reverse light even with the new rear bumper.

10)    Noisy cabin:

Yes, it’s quite noisy. I don’t experience any noticeable noise reduction after Euro-II engine upgrade. The cabin still sounds the same and noisy.

1-Latest design dashboard and streering wheel in Bolan

I can point out dozens of flaws in Carry Van and Pickup (Bolan and Ravi), but I just mentioned ten most common and disappointing things to make you realize that how Pak Suzuki is fleecing Pakistani auto consumers and can’t provide some of the basic things which were standard features even in 1980s cars. The only competition Pak Suzuki loading vehicles is from FAW; FAW X-PV and FAW Carrier. A common man can’t afford Suzuki APV and Toyota Avanza. I don’t encourage importing JDM vans like Daihatsu Hijet, Suzuki Every, and Nissan Clipper because it hurts our national economy. If the government breaks the monopoly and invite new players in the auto sector, it’ll bring better cars at a reasonable price and also bring positive change in the economy creating more jobs and revenue. All we can say, it’ll be like a win-win situation for everyone except maybe for Pak Suzuki!

Sultan Kiani

I’m a car enthusiast and Toyota Land Cruiser J-70 is my dream car. I like talking about all kind of vehicles including small hatchbacks, pickup trucks, classics, green-tech engines, buses and commercial trucks. I advocate “Mass Transit for Islamabad-Rawalpindi” for greener tomorrow. You can call me an “environmentalist” because I have a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science!

  • Usman Ansari

    Well written. People need to realize what they get in return after paying such a huge amount of money. Alarming for those companies too which buy these tin cans in bulk. Government is to blame since there is no check n balance and regulations for these assemblers and giving them full protection even after 25+ years.

  • Guest

    Article is good for a first timer, but could do with some editing. The content could be written in a way that the central idea is consistent. Look here, the title says 10 common features not available in Bolan. Then it lists down things like “mono-speed wipers” and “noisy cabin”. The “mono-speed wipers” and “noisy cabin” are in fact what Bolan HAS, not what it doesn’t have.

    It talks about “common” features while the features such as window for third row passengers is not available in any other car. It is a feature only relevant to vans or people carriers. How can it be called “common”? Now there are no other vans offerings in the market (in the same class/category), but there are some competing people carriers such as APV, Avanza, some 7-seater SUVs and they also lack the same feature, though they have A/C.

    Microvans and microtrucks cover the bulk of the miles traveled on the road any day. It is high time the government paid some attention to improve the status of commercial vehicles, as they are driven the most. Therefore any safety features or passenger comfort features if introduced in people carriers will have much more impact than if they are introduced in a saloon car which is going to be in less number and also will travel only 1000 km a month.

    Paksuzuki tried to replace the Bolan with an updated Suzuki Every (around 2008-2009). It was obsolete, but compared to Bolan, Bolan was more obsolete than the model they wanted to introduce.
    When Paksuzuki managed to arrange a focus group, the result was that the market (commercial buyers) is not ready to accept a new one because they think it will be “faaaillll gaddddi ay ji”.

  • Muhammad Aamer

    All Pak Suzuki Products are just BAKWAS.

  • Bilal Arshad

    Well, I am really shocked to see Pak Suzuki is selling such a rubbish product in 2016. However, I have seen few Japanese vans on the road and I must to have to say they are far far better than this box of tin.

  • Sultan Kiani

    Thank for liking, it’s more humor and less awareness. Just a light way to reveal some simple facts.

  • Sultan Kiani

    That’s a positive change! Now I’m can see at least not all of the vans are Suzuki Bolan. We have XPV and other JDM I’ve mentioned in the article. And sadly, people are so proud of their box of tin.

    And if you tell these “features” to a van or pick owner, he would simply say, “kiya karen, majburi ha na ji”

  • Sultan Kiani

    Well, at least their Wagoner is not that bad but it’s over priced so we can call it bakwas as well 😉

  • Sultan Kiani

    Dear “Guest”! (I’d appreciate if you could simply mention your name)

    First I’d appreciate your criticism and would like to answer some of your questions. I could write “No multi-function wipers” instead but I used it because using each line with word NO wasn’t looking right.
    So you’d find hundreds of such articles where this “error” is left unedited.

    I also “highly appreciate” Pak Suzuki’s effort to replace ST-40 (Bolan) by latest Every, but their every effort fails whenever they try to bring Every! I highly doubt if PS were “willing” to replace this van, if the concern is the lack of willingness to accept change by commercial users, then please tell me, how many Mehran 800 are being used as a cab at first? If you still don’t agree, what about Cultus? Do the cab drivers buying 80% of Cultus? The simple answer is, true Monopoly and lack of check and balance by government make them keep producing this piece of crap in 21st century.

    And last but not least, I won’t forget to defy your claim that NO SUV or MINI VAN has sliding or opening window in last row seat. This is XPV by FAW, it’s available in Pakistan and yes, it has sliding windows in last row seat, not to mention it does have aircon 🙂

  • Muhammad Aamer

    Aap jo marzi keh le ya likh dae, Pak Suzuki ne ghol ke pi rakhi hai is liye un pe kisi bhi tanqeed ka asar nahi hota aur wo apni hi dagar pe chalte ja rahe hae. Sorry bakwas Pak Suzuki.

  • Taha Najam

    It’s bad compared to the Japanese imported version, which also costs half its price.

  • Guest again

    Hi, thank you for your detailed comment on my detailed comment.

    The way you structured your article has less to do with your capabilities and more to do with editorial team. Writer brings the ideas, and the editors make it presentable. So, you do not need to kick yourself or justify your decision. “Editing” as in the name of the profession has a certain meaning, and this responsibility is on the team belonging to the institution publishing your content. Unless it was a personal diary, where you would have been all alone in doing all of it.

    “I could write “No multi-function wipers” instead but I used “mono-speed
    wipers” instead because starting each line with word NO wasn’t looking
    right. So you’d find hundreds of such articles where this “error” left
    unedited.”

    When you have written in the title that “these are features which are lacking”, then you need not write in the 1, 2, 3, that “NO this” and “NO that”. It is implied that the feature which has just been noted is *absent* rather than present. I will do it for you:

    1. Car Ventilation and Defroster.
    2. Trip meter.
    3. Adjustable seats.
    4. Retractable seat belts.
    5. Multi-speed wipers.
    6. Passenger door key hole.
    7. Disc brakes (in this you coul discuss front disc or 4-wheel disc in the text).
    8. Third row sliding windows.
    9. Bright/double reverse light.
    10. Silent/calm/peaceful/etc. cabin.

    Focus on what is “not found” in Bolan and then write its name. No need to write No and No again and again. Sorry to say the entire presentation of the article is flawed. And to bring structure to the ideas is the editorial team’s task, not the writer’s.

    ……………………..

    About the 2008-09 try by Paksuzuki to change the shape of Bolan: Paksuzuki is not one for changing their model ever so often, and we know this. The reason they wanted to change to change the shape is presumably similar to the discontinuation of Alto, means they were having some trouble sourcing the parts.
    Now as Paksuzuki (as always) was reluctant to replace the model, when they saw that market is also prefering to maintain the status quo they became double happy.
    Another clarification: The model under consideration was Tenth gen Carry van. It was not the latest latest even at that time, but it was definitely newer than Bolan. Bolan is the Seventh gen facelift of Carry series. Now the tenth gen Carry had already been superseded in 2005 by a newer model (source is Wikipedia. That newer model was also seen in form of JDM import in Pakistani market in those days). And the production of tenth gen and eleventh gen also continued side by side, similar to the concept in Pakistan where the production of Cultus, Swift and Wagon-R continue side by side, despite the thought that either Swift or Wagon-R is supposed to replace Cultus.

    If that model had been introduced, it would have been a great leap forward. It would have introduced front wheel disc brakes, booster brakes, front-mounted radiator, electrically operated radiator fan, better frontal crash safety, retractable seat belts, better side mirrors, 13″ wheels with wider tyres for improved grip, odometer, potentially a 5-sp gear, better seating in which that engine cover does not interfere with the leg room, better headlights which do a better job of putting light on the road and less glare in the eyes of others, better A/C, tilt and slide front seats, and so many others. This improvement would have radically improved the status of the society, viz. the workload and fatigue of commercial drivers, relief to the eyes of oncoming drivers, better occupant safety in situation of accidents, reduced stopping distance, reduce bouncing of the vehicle, improved ride quality due to longer wheelbase and larger outer dia of wheel, and countless others I cannot think of.

    ——————

    About the third row window.

    For Bolan, you can have an alteration done from the market, and fit sliding windows in the C-pillar to D-pillar space also.

    In China also, the XP-V (not sold by this name) does not come with sliding window for third row passengers. It is a local alteration made by our local dealer.

    Another option: Sliding window is easy to break in (the lock is pretty weak). DFMC (Edhi foundation had lots of vans from that company) had windows which could be rolled up and down with a conventional hand-crank. Since a few years, DFMC have gone out of business. But this feature could be adopted by other van-makers to make their vans more secure, also the sliding window blocks 55% of the opening, thus reducing airflow, but the pull-down will give 100% opening if needed.

    —————–

    About the name: Name is not important. Do not see who is saying, see what s/he is saying. In fact Disqus itself gives the option of posting as a guest. With all the time I have already spent on composing, would I want to sign in and then post?

    —————–

    Another fact (not completely related to this article but to the overall struggle by PW for improvement of available choices in the market). If you read the wikipedia articles and other articles too, it is always written that in response to newer regulations, a new model/new features/etc. were introduced. We can therefore deduce that market competition is not that important, government regulation is. Otherwise even in advanced country like Japan, Suzuki would keep selling obsolete vehicles unless there was push for improvement due to government regulations. Therefore, market competition is not as important for improvement, but government regulation definitely is. Market competition will only happen when there are lots of buyers and lots of sellers (economics 101), but government regulation is successful in improving things even in a place where there is only one sample of a product, only one buyer and only one seller.

  • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

    80 % owners of this Bolan and Ravi are not going to read this article nor they care about the features mentioned in the article.
    I am not favoring suzuki but every company focuses on customer’s demand.
    We all know that toyota is selling crap to us specially without immobiliser, considering the theft issue. We all love to buy corolla and specially that xli.
    I once decided to buy GLI automatic but I changed my mind just because of 4 forward.
    There are plenty of things absent in our luxury cars produced by honda and toyota but people still buying and they will continue as it is.
    People here needs awareness about these things like in west and other countries. Unfortunately here people know nothing about commodities they use daily.
    In other countries people demand these functions through their governments but here people love that suzuki mehran thinking they have Ferrari.

  • junaid javed

    nice Article Sultan bahi but what yes the Suzuki is top of line for making empty tins but you can not spare other car makers here for making crap the corollas and civics and city so tell me what you get in corolla GLI even top of line Grande is crap this is pakistan here people dont think dont change they like to be remain looted forever raped forever its the behavior of people CUSTOMERS for them these car makers make shit because they are sold people like shit here the same way they vote for old shit leaders to be looted sultan bahi they deserve this because they dont need more

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