Five years is usually considered as an entire life-cycle for most Japanese cars. European makes usually push this to around 8-10 years. But to go on for twenty years must mean the nameplate has tremendous staying power.
This is what the outgoing Suzuki Jimny seems to have shown as it passes the baton to its successor which debuts today. The all-new Jimny enters the scene with some big shoes to fill. No, the Jimny hasn’t exactly grown as it is still a compact 4WD model. It does, however, have almost half a century of off-road heritage tucked under its belt.
First introduced in 1970 in Japan, the Suzuki Jimny remains as a true compact 4WD that meets the needs of both leisure or work-related lifestyles. For the 2019 model, it comes in either a minicar with a 0.66-liter turbo motor or a compact offering with a 1.5-liter mill. Either way, it utilizes a new ladder-on-frame chassis with front-engine, rear-wheel drive with part-time four-wheel drive.
That last bit of hardware employs a low-range gear and brake limited slip differential for optimum traction on low-grip surfaces. It likewise has a rigid 3-link axle suspension system that provides comfort yet doesn’t sacrifice off-road ability.
While the model may be all new, it still sticks to the tried and tested profile that owners have come to expect from this compact nameplate. Sure, it may be considered boxy by today’s standards. But this is what the Jimny is all about—compact ruggedness with a style all its own. It doesn’t follow the cute-ute trend of today’s compact crossovers. Moreover, it is arguably the only model with true off-road capability that is likewise useful in the urban jungle.
And this should endear it to the Suzuki Jimny faithful for years to come.