Damned If We Don’t Love The Tiny 2023 Damd SUV

We’re coming up on the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, and that means a lot of the new JDM cars will be debuting for the first time. One such debut is the 2023 Damd Hustler Country. It is a modified Suzuki Hustler from Damd aftermarket company. Let’s be honest, the stock Hustler is cute but lacks rugged looks, which is why the Damd Hustler Country was conceived. 

How different is the Damd Hustler Country from a stock Suzuki?

Damd Hustler
Damd Hustler Country Kei car | Damd

The Country kit starts with a new front fascia and lower valance. That bumper is part of the kit, and features fog lights, whereas the stock Hustler does not. Damd has added a flat scoop on the hood that is functional. The wider grille features black mesh for a more rugged look with the Damd logo in block letters.

Topside, there is a clamp-on tube carrier to carry more cargo. Slightly larger mirror caps add to the changes, with a Damd Country decal on the gas filler door. We’d like to tell you more about the tweaks to the rear and interior additions but for now, we only have this one three-quarter view to show you. So we’ll have to wait until the Tokyo show from January 14 to 16, 2023. 

What is a stock Suzuki Hustler like?

2023 Suzuki Hustler
2023 Suzuki Hustler Kei car | Suzuki

Since this is based on the Suzuki Hustler, we’ll tell you about it, too. This is one of Japan’s Kei cars, which means it adheres to certain dimensions and engine sizes to get a reduction in taxes and insurance costs. So they are small with a three-cylinder 660cc maximum engine size. It can be optioned as a hybrid, turbocharged, or naturally aspirated. Most are front-wheel-drive, but some come as all-wheel-drive. 

What the Kei cars lack in power and size they make up for in character. Over the last few decades, there have been some wild-looking cars, delivery vans, and campers that are only just now making their way to the U.S. They are allowed into the country once they reach a sliding 25-year status. 

Will the Damd Hustler Country be sold in the U.S.?

Damd Hustler
Damd Hustler Country Kei car | Damd

As for Damd, it carries on with its transformations of certain Japanese vehicles, mostly starting with Suzuki Jimny SUVs. As we have lamented in the past, we would love to see Suzuki revive its four-wheeled vehicle sales in the U.S. That way, we would also see some of the kits available in Japan that turn Hustlers and Jimnys into Broncos, Land Rovers, and Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens. 

Of course, we get Mustangs, Hellcats, and Raptors, so there is plenty of give and take when it comes to vehicles unique to their country of origin. We’d imagine as a starting point Suzuki could have a facility that converts its vehicles to left-hand-drive, and federalizes them much like GM does with Silverados and Corvettes in Australia. How about it Suzuki?