Suzuki XBEE production version launches in Japan

Following the reveal of a concept version earlier this year, Suzuki has just launched the unique new XBEE (pronounced cross-bee) for the Japanese market.

Think of it as a cross between a van and SUV, with a dash of city car thrown in for good measure. Suzuki calls it a compact crossover wagon for a “whole new genre” of vehicle.

Like most Suzuki models, the XBEE is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. It features a spacious cabin, plenty of storage, flat floor, as well as a comprehensive touch-screen media interface for the dash.

It’s also jammed packed with modern safety tech, including a 3D View parking camera system, as well as Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) for autonomous emergency braking, with Back-up Brake Support for reversing. This is the first time such advanced tech has been fitted to a Suzuki compact car.

Based on the company’s latest ‘HEARTECT’ platform, which is also shared with the latest Baleno, Ignis, and Swift, the new XBEE comes with a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine as seen in the brothers. In these applications the unit produces 82kW.

There’s also a mild hybrid system, six-speed automatic, and optional four-wheel drive with multiple driving modes; Sport and Snow. The 4WD version also comes with Grip Control for slow-speed mud conditions, and hill descent control.

At this stage the XBEE is only on sale in Japan and is unlikely to make it to Australian showrooms. It’s a pity as we think it looks like it could be a funky yet versatile little car. What do you think?