Suzuki Super Carry vs Tata Ace Mega
Suzuki Super Carry was launched around July 2016 in a limited way and is presently retailed through separate CV dealerships of suzuki which are slowly getting spread across the country. The Ace Mega on the other hand is the higher powered version of the Tata Ace which the market has accepted as the ‘chota hathi’.
There are two factors which needs to be considered before we proceed further.
First and most important is the sea change Suzuki have brought about to their load carrier, the ‘Super Carry’ to suit it to Indian conditions and most importantly the ‘overload’ factor which we at ‘overloadindia’ are so obsessed with. The ‘Super Carry’ in other global markets is a 'rated load' hauling last mile distribution vehicle with very less possibility of carrying construction implements, hard earth and maybe cattle. In India, as we know the scenario is different and ‘overloading’ is just the very basic norm. Hence serious changes had to be brought about in the underpinnings of the ‘Carry’ to accommodate that with the benchmark being the ubiquitous Tata Ace. These changes actually make the Indian ‘Super Carry’ a tad too similar to the Tata Ace which in turn shares its underpinnings with the Ace Mega
Secondly, in India goods carriers operate with a diesel heart and the ‘Super Carry’ all through its life was gasoline powered. It is sheer coincidence (or Industrial intelligence) that TML and Suzuki embarked upon developing their own 2 cylinder turbodiesel powerplants with similar cubic capacity and outputs almost at the same time. The 800 cc two cylinder turbo diesel commonrail unit on both platforms pumps out different outputs though. While the Ace Mega variant get a 40 PS 100 NM unit, the Super Carry makes do with a 33 PS 75 NM unit. Suzuki has now started offering this diesel engine in other international markets as well starting with Philippines.
Chassis and Suspension
The Ace Mega comes with the proven U section chassis with arms and cross members welded to it. While this is considered a generation behind the now Industry standard ‘Hydroformed’ chasses, it does its job with aplomb as is seen in the Indian market where many Aces are seen lugging upwards of 2 tons without much fuss. The Super Carry has a similar chassis and is expected to be similar in terms of capabilities. Both manufacturers are evenly matched here.
It is in the suspensions department that the Ace Mega betters the ‘Super Carry’ in a significant way. To start with, the Ace Mega has a rigid axle and leaf springs set up in the front which immensely aids in overloading. Also a rigid axle plays a big role in eliminating frequent need for wheel alignment and asymmetric tyre wear. The Super Carry on the other hand continues its international lineage of independent front suspension in the Indian market too. This gets a thumbs down from us considering the fact that a vehicle in the 700-750 kg category is primarily a short distance commuter and hence ruggedness should be the key and not highway behaviour.
Engine and Gearbox
The Ace Mega gets the turbocharged commonrail (DICOR in Tata parlance) motor which pumps out 40 PS of power and 100 NM of torque from an 800 cc twin cylinder engine. This is a big difference from the 16 PS and 38 NM of the 700 cc motor carried by the Ace HT.
The Super Carry has a similar 800 cc twin pot diesel (yes ! the one already seen in the Celerio) pumping out 33 PS of power and 75 NM of torque. So in terms of power and torque, the Super Carry sits a notch below the Ace Mega.
Wheels and Tyres
The Super Carry comes fitted with 145 R12 LT 8PR which is just about adequate for the purpose. The Ace Mega comes fitted with 165 R14 LT 8PR tyres which are much better than the 12 inchers. The Mega has an edge here.
The ‘Super Carry’, being less powerful than the Ace Mega, was expected to make amends in the fuel economy and price to make it an even battle. Surprisingly the lesser powered Carry is only marginally more fuel efficient at 22.07 kmpl whereas the Ace Mega with superior specifications clocks in at 21.4 kmpl. So effectively, there is nothing much to differentiate the two in terms of fuel efficiency whereas the Ace Mega gets a serious advantage in terms of power and torque. In real life situations, we expect the Ace Mega to be slightly more fuel efficient due to the higher torque on offer which makes it more compatible to overloading and improves gradeability as well.
Tyre wear is expected to be lower in the Ace Mega due to the bigger tyre size and rigid suspension set up in the front. This means lesser need for wheel alignments and lesser frequency of tyre wear.
In terms of reliability, history also favors the Ace tremendously as the mechanicals have been tested and proven across the length and breadth of the country in terms of overall ruggedness.
In terms of cost of spares, we expect the two to be similar and hence no comments there.
Both vehicles have decently appointed cabins with little storage spaces and digital clocks. The Suzuki cabin immediately reminds us of the Alto and Eeco due to the family DNA showing through. The Ace cabin is equally good. Both vehicles do not offer air conditioning but TML is more generous and offers blowers in the cabin. The Mega has a slender lead here.
The Super Carry is priced at about 4.1 lacs and the Ace Mega at 4.49 lacs. The Super Carry is slightly cheaper but is also inferior on many counts as explained above.
The Super Carry in its first nine months had sold less than 1500 units all across India which is not an encouraging figure for a vehicle which sports the ‘S’ on its grille. The last time a Suzuki fared that way in the Indian market was a car by the name ‘Kizashi’ . While we will not go deep into the reasons for the poor sales, common sense suggests that we keep away from a vehicle which the manufacturer would discontinue sooner than later. As for the Ace Mega, the factors which merit a purchase are many. To start with, the vehicle shares its underpinnings with the reigning champion of the segment, the Ace HT. Add to this the extensive sales, service and spares network of TML CV business is one good motivating factor to close the eye and sign the cheque.