One Less Market for the Internet's Favorite Vehicle?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
one less market for the internets favorite vehicle

You’re right — there’s no way we can determine with any certainty what the internet’s actual favorite ride is, but the amount of lust poured out over the unattainable Suzuki Jimny is noteworthy. People love this little Japanese box, even if its short wheelbase and solid axles add up to a ride most wouldn’t want to live with on a daily basis.

Not available to North American consumers, it looks like the wee Jimny will soon bow out of another significant market. Blame the environment.

As reported by Autocar, Europeans will have to prepare a eulogy for the two-door-only subcompact SUV, at least going by comments made by the automaker.

With automakers across the continent quaking in fear over potential fines levied by the EU on over-emissioned fleets, the future of many vehicle lineups is in disarray. So great is the concern, Brits will only have limited access to the Mazda MX-5 we enjoy here. Everywhere, manufacturers are desperate to find ways to lower their fleetwide emissions footprint in the newly stringent market.

As such, the revamped-for-2018 Jimny might not have much of a future. The automaker has admitted Jimnys will only be available in “very limited numbers” in Europe this year. What comes next is still a mystery, though Suzuki has already admitted that keeping the model on sale would “adversely affect” its CO2 footprint.

Powered by a 100-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder in Western markets (that version carries the Jimny Sierra name in Japan), the boxy ute earned instant fans with its cheek-pinchingly cute proportions and go-anywhere attributes, but EU regulators are only interested in one of the vehicle’s components: the exhaust pipe, and what comes out of it. In Asia, the Jimny can be had with a 660cc triple under the hood, but European consumers aren’t interested in such meager powerplants.

One potential savior for the Euro Jimny would be its reclassification as a commercial vehicle, but that would require the removal of the rear seats and inclusion of a short load floor. What’s the demand for two-seater off-roaders on that side of the pond?

Alas, the sun may be setting on the Jimny in Europe — which won’t make it any less desirable to certain North Americans, who can only sit and wistfully imagine what could have been.

[Images: Suzuki]

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2 of 28 comments
  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jan 25, 2020

    Would it really be so hard to remove the rear seats and sell them as a dealer-installed extra?

  • Garak Garak on Jan 26, 2020

    I test drove the new Jimny, it's a brilliant little trucklet and I'd love to own one. The problems? There was a one-year waiting list to get the Jimny, and it cost 30k€. That's just too much for such a tiny, low-tech machine. Have to wait a couple of years for those to appear on the used-car market. If the imports dry out due to eco reasons, the Jimny might remain an impossible dream. A pity, really.