Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Ristretto Shot: 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino Turbo RHD

The Suzuki Cappuccino was introduced for the 1987 model year as an attempt to add some sportiness to the Suzuki lineup in native Japan.  In a photograph it looks like a Mazda MX-5 competitor, but with a total length of only 129 inches and a 1598 lb curb weight, the Cappuccino was closer to a go-kart and it conformed to Japan's Kei (Keijidosha light car) regulations that gave buyers a tax break and easier license/insurance requirements.  The Cino was never sold in North America, but a few made it across the pond and into the wilds of the US car market. Find this 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino Turbo offered for $5495 in Portland, OR via craigslist.

From the seller:
1992 Suzuki Cappuccino 
VIN: EA11R-106211 
condition: good 
cylinders: 3 cylinders 
drive: rwd 
fuel: gas 
odometer: 37441 
paint color: red 
size: sub-compact 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: convertible 
This 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino is a rear-wheel drive Kei-class roadster finished in Bright Red with a Black leather interior. The car is equipped with a turbocharged 657cc inline-three paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, and additional features include a configurable targa roof and Black painted stock wheels with decent tires. This Cappuccino is sold with a set of roof panel bags and a clean Washington title in my name.

Factory roof panels can be removed in targa or roadster configurations, and original-style stowage bags are included. Stock black painted 14″ wheels are equipped with new 165/60 tires, and a steel spare is shown secured in the trunk alongside a jack. The car measures 129.7″ long and 54.9″ wide in compliance with 1990-1998 Kei regulations, while weight is reportedly 725 kilograms (~1600 pounds).

Interior features include power windows and air conditioning. Heat and air work but AC needs a charge. A minimalist dash layout includes a tachometer with an 8500 rpm redline. Approximately 60,256 kilometers (37,441 miles) are shown on the 5-digit odometer, witch was verified in Japan. A full safety roll bar is installed. Interior shows normal wear for a vehicle of it’s age, dash cover is in place, no stereo. Custom steering wheel is installed. 

Body is in decent shape overall with glossy paint. There are rust bubbles and soft spots on right rear quarter panel and a soft spot / hole is on the left front fender covered by an STP sticker. Car looks super good from 10+ feet. The underside of the chassis shows surface corrosion around pinch welds & other areas. Detailed photos are included in the gallery below. 

Engine is very strong with no smoke or unusual noises, no major leaks of any kind. Oil was changed right before I picked the car up. Transmission will need some attention as it is hard to downshift into 2nd & 1st gears without double clutching (apparently a common problem) driveshaft u-joint is bad and will need to be replaced (vibrates under pressure) Drives down the road straight & handles good. 

Overall a real fun car at a very fair price. See detailed pics and call with any questions you may have.  

See a better way to drive something small?



  2. This is probably my second favourite Kei Car (I'd rather have an AutoZam). Looks like a decent deal at $5K, but the mention of soft rust worries me. The old adage is that the rust you can see is 10% of what exists.

  3. It looks like a mix of Mazda MX-5 Miata and Honda Beat. Not bad, but derivative.

    Unless you're going for the quirky factor or you live in a very congested city, a car like this doesn't make nearly as much sense in the US as it does in Japan. I'm probably biased though because I'm too tall to fit in it with the roof on.

    The rust on this one is an even bigger factor when you consider its size. The whole car is only 10' long. A few rusty areas can quickly become a whole rusty car.

    1. Eventually the STP sticker becomes structural. Missing it’s shift knob, too. All the needs with this one has me wondering: who the heck do you take this to for the stuff you can’t self-teach off the internet?

    2. Good question. A Suzuki motorcycle dealer? They may be able to get parts. Otherwise I'd hit up the local 4x4 club and find out where people take their Samurais. That or a shop that specializes in Japanese. Maybe an import tuner shop.

  4. relisted on ebay...


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