Meet the Jeep Wrangler's tiny Japanese doppelganger, the Suzuki Jimny

28 August 2017 - autoblog

Meet the Jeep Wrangler's tiny Japanese doppelganger, the Suzuki Jimny

We're all eagerly anticipating the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, but it's not the only two-door, body-on-frame off-roader coming out in the near future.

Suzuki has its own on the way by the name of Jimny (no, that's not a typo). Long ago, we received the Jimny here in the United States as the eminently capable, though tipsy, Samurai. The Samurai was followed here by the more civilized Sidekick/Tracker, which eventually took on its original name of Vitara. But overseas, the rugged, truck-like Samurai survived as the Jimny.

This newest version looks to retain much of its predecessors' capability. In addition to the body-on-frame chassis, it features a solid rear axle. Odds are that it will continue to offer a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a low-range, as with the current one. We can't quite tell if it will still have a solid front axle, though.

Styling-wise, the new Jimny does seem to have tougher, chunkier looks than the current one, pictured above. The corners have been squared up, and hard creases added to the flanks. The wheel wells are now more square and look to have bigger flares. We're also noticing some retro touches such as the roof that isn't flush with the rest of the body. The taillights mounted in the rear bumper are also reminiscent of the old Samurai.

As nifty as the little Jimny is, we can safely say that we won't be getting it here — Suzuki doesn't sell cars here anymore. But even if Suzuki were still operating in the U.S., we probably wouldn't get the Jimny. It would probably be too crude for most buyers, and it could be tricky to get it to pass safety regulations. Its tall, narrow shape also could be rollover prone, and Suzuki wouldn't want to go through another rollover controversy. But hey, in roughly 25 years, you can import one of these if you really want.

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