By on July 16, 2019

A brand new Mercedes-AMG G63 isn’t what we’d call cheap, if you can even get one. The luxury off-road monster can literally go anywhere in a style uniquely its own, but it’s big, pricey and not the most fuel efficient. So what if you want a G63 but want to get it on the cheap? You build your own out of a Suzuki Jimny.

The Jimny is the darling of forbidden fruit. It’s the opposite of the Mercedes. It’s inexpensive, frugal and small. It’s off-road prowess comes from determination and grit instead of horsepower and torque. But it is boxy like the G-Wagon. So that counts for something.

(Read More…)

By on February 7, 2019

Image: Suzuki UK

(The following is an open letter from contributor Seth Parks, who, like many of us, holds a special fondness for the rugged little Suzuki Jimny – a vehicle available almost everywhere … except North America. We’ve added photos for your viewing pleasure.)

Dear Mr. Takuya Sato,

As EVP of Suzuki Motor of America, you are responsible for driving revenue and profitability growth. One arrow in your quiver of growth strategies is undoubtedly new products. And you are certainly aware of one of the newest and most exciting products in the Suzuki portfolio, the all new fourth-generation Jimny. Like many others, I suggest you bring the Jimny to America (most Americans know it as the Samurai).

However, unlike many others, I understand the challenges and am writing to offer a solution, albeit one based on a grossly oversimplified analysis. (Read More…)

By on December 20, 2018

The occasionally sane group of people known as Car Twitter elevated the new Suzuki Jimny to superstar status recently, as soon as it debuted in its home market of Japan. Immediately, it received the Forbidden Fruit Award, followed by the Why Can’t We Have blue ribbon. It’s not coming here, though, and that’s really all there is to it.

But don’t lose hope, because today we take a look at a couple examples of the old Suzuki Jimny — which you can buy in America right now.

(Read More…)

By on October 4, 2018

Image: Suzuki

If you haven’t noticed, disillusionment is spreading rapidly through the population, and it’s afflicting young people the most. It’s based around a particular inequality in America that people in overseas countries can’t quite fathom. To them, it’s hard to believe Far Western governments would deny their citizens such a freedom.

We’re talking about the Suzuki Jimny, of course — a wee little Japanese body-on-frame, live-axle, two-door utility vehicle that’s just now entering its fourth generation. It debuted in 1970. A week’s perusal of social media posts tells me a subset of youngins don’t want glitzy show cars and promises of autonomous driving and touchscreens as wide as a sumo wrestler’s midriff. They want a small, basic, considerably inexpensive utility vehicle with respectable ruggedness and capability, but they can’t have it.

No. Fair. (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

Suzuki’s automotive division may have retreated from the American landscape, but it left a lasting impression. While not overabundant in goodness, it did have a few bright spots and the Jimny was one of them. Of course, not everyone will recognize the name. But they’ll know the vehicle, even if they don’t realize it.

While the Jimny and Vitara (also known as the Escudo) have grown apart in more recent years, there was a time when the duo was responsible a multitude of incredibly small off-road vehicles sold in North America. You know them as the Suzuki Sidekick, Suzuki SamuraiChevrolet/Geo Tracker, and Pontiac Sunrunner (if you’re Canadian). They’ve had other names in other parts of the world but, regardless of where they were sold, the models were usually the cheapest way to hurl a small vehicle at some rocks.

This remained true for the Jimny, even as the Vitara evolved into a crossover and distanced itself from the wild modifications of dirt-obsessed enthusiast. Unfortunately, that left the Jimny stuck in its third generation since 1998. That’s twenty years of the same car, but Suzuki says the new model is just about ready.  (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2012

The absolute nadir (Nader?) of Suzuki in America was when Consumer Reports announced to the world that OMG, tall and narrow off-roaders do roll over. The fallout of this scandal would taint the image of the Suzuki Samurai forever in the American market, and ensured that the later, ironically more stable, Suzuki Jimny, never made it across the pond.

It’s a crying shame, because the Jimny is the Mazda Miata of the off-road world. (Read More…)

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