Suzuki has finally unveiled the all-new fourth generation Jimny.
Everyone in America seems to be getting in on the off-road bandwagon. Ford is bringing their Ranger Raptor from overseas to the continental US, Chevy is responding with their own off-road-focused Bison trim for the Colorado, Jeep never really lost its off-road persona. Off-roaders are the new sports cars.
And yet, perhaps the greatest off-road vehicle to have ever graced this Earth— the Suzuki Jimny— is not sold here in America. It’s a crying shame.
Especially since the Jimny just got its long-awaited redesign. The third generation of Jimny has been on sale since 1998, which is an insanely long time for any car to remain on sale without a major refresh. Unlike most other carmakers, Suzuki takes an approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to their cars, which meant its legendary off-road vehicle went unchanged for three decades.
But now there’s a new Jimny, and while it retains the simplicity and ruggedness of its forebears it has also gained some new technology to keep up with the 21st century.
To start, the new Jimny looks much more like an older Jimny, with its boxy styling more reminiscent of the second generation from the 1980s and 1990s rather than the previous rounded corners of the third generation.
The retro look also comes with some very retro suspension. While most modern off-roaders opt for fully independent suspension with torque vectoring, the Jimny has a three-link rigid axle that pushes either wheel in opposite directions whenever it goes over a bump. This ensures the tire with grip is given maximum contact with the ground. And instead of fancy computer-controlled torque vectoring, the Jimny uses a limited slip differential that engages the brake on whichever tire starts spinning so that power is redirected to the remaining wheels. It’s a vastly more simple and rugged setup than most off-roaders available.
But not everything about the Jimny is simple and basic. The new Jimny also comes with a suite of driver assist features, such as forward collision warning, emergency braking, lane departure, driver fatigue alert, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition.
Power comes from a 1.5-L inline four-cylinder engine that pushes the 2,400 lb car with 100 hp and 96 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s more than sufficient crawl over virtually any type of terrain you can imagine. A five-speed manual comes standard, with an available four-speed automatic.
Pricing has yet to be announced— not that it matters here where we can’t buy one. But maybe, just maybe, someone will tell Suzuki that America has fallen back in love with off-roading, and the Jimny might just have a place in this country’s automotive zeitgeist once again.