Which light commercial vehicle would you get?
After almost three decades, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has brought back the Lite Ace nameplate. While it's no longer the popular 90s people mover we used to know, the Lite Ace is now serving its purpose as a light commercial vehicle (LCV).
Of course, with a different segment comes a different competitor. Whereas the 90s Lite Ace used to compete with the likes of the Nissan Vanette and the gas-powered Mitsubishi L300 Exceed minivans, the 2022 Toyota Lite Ace is now facing the Suzuki Carry in the A-segment Commercial Vehicle (A-CV) class.
So just how closely matched are the Lite Ace and the Carry? With almost similar dimensions, payload and prices, let's see which light commercial vehicle has the edge, specs-wise.
Both the Suzuki Carry and the Toyota Lite Ace come with different body configurations. The Carry is available in a cab and chassis, a dropside pick-up, a utility van, and a cargo van layout. On the other hand, Toyota's initial offering for the Lite Ace comes in a panel van and a dropside pick-up configuration, but more body styles will come soon.
So, for the purpose of this spec check, we'll compare their dimensions using their dropside pick-up configurations.
First is the Lite Ace. The new model in pick-up configuration measures 4195mm long, 1675mm wide, and 1920 mm high. Meanwhile, the Carry Truck stands 4195mm long, 1765mm wide, and 1910mm high.
From a size standpoint, the Suzuki Carry Truck has the edge over the Toyota Lite Ace. While their length and height are almost the same, the Carry Truck is wider by 90mm. This means the Suzuki could load larger-sized cargo to its bed thanks to its wider frame.
The Lite Ace and the Carry are very similar when it comes to their powertrain, as both have chain-driven 1.5-liter engines mated to five-speed manual transmissions that drive their rear wheels. But which light commercial vehicle has more pulling power?
Let's start off with the Lite Ace that's powered by the familiar 2NR-VE DOHC Dual-VVTi four-cylinder engine found in popular Toyota vehicles like the Avanza, Veloz, and Rush. It puts out 98 PS at 6000 rpm and 134 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm.
On the other hand, the Suzuki Carry has the K15B DOHC four-cylinder engine with Multi-Point Injection (MPI). It belongs to the same K-series engine family as that of the Jimny, Ertiga, and XL7. The engine produces 95 PS at 5600 rpm and 135 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm.
Power-wise, it's very evenly matched between the two commercial vehicles. On paper, the Lite Ace has 3 PS more, but the Carry's got a very slim edge when it comes to torque. However, with the Lite Ace having a curb weight of 1160 kg versus the Carry's 1065 kg, the Suzuki wins when it comes to power-to-weight ratio.
Now it's time to talk about payload. After all, for a work vehicle, it's an essential thing to have a large loading capacity, and this is where business owners can make the most out of these light commercial vehicles.
This time, the advantage goes to the Toyota Lite Ace. Despite having a more narrow body and lower power-to-weight ratio, the Lite Ace has a rated payload capacity of 950 kg, 10kg more than the Suzuki Carry. The reason behind this could be because of the Toyota's longer wheelbase (2650mm vs. Carry's 2205mm) allowing better weight distribution and thus, being more capable of carrying heavier cargo.
As mentioned earlier, the Carry and the Lite Ace come in different body configurations, which means their prices will also vary depending on the body type. But for the sake of this spec check, let's narrow it down to their dropside pick-up variants.
It's another advantage for the Toyota Lite Ace price-wise, as the pick-up variant starts at PHP 570,000. With the Suzuki Carry Truck priced at PHP 624,000, the Lite Ace undercuts the Carry by PHP 54,000. Not to mention, the Lite Ace even comes with ABS and two airbags as a standard feature for that price, whereas the Suzuki Carry doesn't have both.
So which one to get?
The Toyota Lite Ace and Suzuki Carry look very similar in terms of their size, engine, and performance on paper. When it comes to maintenance, both of them share common parts with other vehicles from their respective brand lineups, so more or less they're also evenly matched in terms of parts availability.
But surprisingly, it's the Toyota Lite Ace that has the edge in terms of safety features, putting it up to par with modern vehicles that has ABS and airbags. Toyota did that while packaging the Lite Ace at a cheaper price than the Suzuki Carry.
However, the Suzuki Carry has already proven itself as a reliable workhorse in the Philippine market. Meanwhile the Lite Ace, even with its familiar name, has yet to prove its worth as a light commercial vehicle, especially since it's still a Daihatsu underneath. So which one would you pick to move your business? Let us know in the comments.