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Wish You Were Here: Japan's Chevrolet MW

If it was sold here, it could give the Scion xB a run for its money. it's boxy, it's cool, and it's Japanese-branding has credibility. The vehicle I'm talking about is the Chevrolet MW, a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R.

From the looks of things, the MW is positioned as an upmarket compact wagon -- the leather seats and snazzy take on the Wagon R interior are the visual indicators that this is the case. The regular Wagon R and the slick-looking Wagon RR variant make do with the cloth seats generally found in the cars that make up this segment.

The upmarket nature is also on display underhood. Suzuki's M13A 1.3L 4-cylinder rests in the MW's engine bay. It's good for 88 horsepower and is hooked up to a 4-speed automatic. The Wagon Rs are kei cars so they must make use of Suzuki's 660cc 3-cylinder in either normally-aspirated (50 hp) or turbocharged (64 hp) form.

The interior is pretty flexible, with the folding seats and numerous storage nooks that are par for the course in these types of Japanese mini-wagons.

The MW is a neat little package that we'll sadly never see here. First off, the Wagon R is a right-hand-drive car. Secondly, GM has sold off most of its stake in Suzuki anyway, and each automaker seems to be heading in its own direction. To that effect, Suzuki has announced it will cease importation of the Chevy Trailblazer and Optra (Forenza) Wagon.

Too bad, this is one Chevy-badged import that would likely have connected with people here in the U.S.

In the world of automotive forbidden fruit, the Chevrolet MW is a tempting little apple, indeed.

Update: Reader PaulN points out in the comments that the Wagon R is available in LHD as well. The Opel Agila is a Wagon R rebadge. Hope springs eternal! Thanks for the correction, Paul.

(More Pics after the jump)

[Source: Suzuki Japan (translated)]

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