Suzuki's Paris display is a sad reminder we don't get quirky little Japanese cars anymore

The fun thing about foreign auto shows is getting to see all the cars we don't get at home. In the case of Suzuki, it's a reminder that the brand withered in the US and withdrew due to a lack of product a few years back. What makes it even tougher is that Suzuki's stand in Paris is full of little all-wheel-drive things that would probably do really well in the US now. Talk about bad timing.

Take the Ignis above. This thing is about the size of a Mazda CX-3, offers all-wheel drive, and manages to look cute and sophisticated at the same time. Americans would buy it. The SX4 S-Cross, which evolved from the SX4 that did surprisingly well a decade ago in the US, gets an update this year and looks a lot more like a crossover, an improvement on the original funky tall-hatch design. If only Suzuki could have held on a little longer the brand might be taking some sales from Subaru and the many makers of little crossovers.

We can't leave here without mentioning the wonderful beigeness of the Cervo hatch that Suzuki brought out to tie the Ignis in with its heritage. It's a rear-engined three-cylinder two-stroke with a Giugiaro-designed body. Yep. The model was never sold in the US, but it was known as the Whizzkid in the UK, which is just fantastic. And its adorable tiny wheels – they looked like 12s or so – are pretty highly stylized. They're actually mirrored by the five-pocket wheels available on the Ignis, which is a nice touch.

Share This Photo X