Rebadging may be a bit of a sensitive issue in Malaysia, but there’s no denying that it’s a common practice among other carmakers. Latest to take up such a route is this, the 2014 Mazda Flair, which is identical to the Suzuki Hustler (shown in Tokyo 2013 as a concept), save for the badges.
The new Flair is a mini crossover that replaces the old Mazda Spiano Kei car, itself based on the Suzuki Lapin. It’s not uncommon for the two brands to work with each other. There’s the Mazda Flairwagon tallboy, which is a rebadged Suzuki Palette. Hop over to Indonesia and the Avanza-sized Suzuki Ertiga is also sold as the Mazda VX-1.
Back to the mini SUV-like 2014 Flair, it gets a choice of either a naturally-aspirated or turbocharged 660 cc engine, paired to a CVT transmission. You can also choose between front- or all-wheel drive layouts, with the most efficient variant of all promising up to 29.2 km per litre.
It is unlikely to be taken off-road, but Mazda adds that the Flair has a ground clearance of 180 mm and a 28° approach angle. The AWD version has a hill descent control system too. Pretty decent, don’t you think?