2019 Suzuki Jimny Is A Breath Of Fresh Air Among All Those ‘Urban Crossovers’

The new Jimny has finally arrived in Europe, continuing the long tradition of the Japanese compact off-roader.

Suzuki wanted the Jimny to retain its rugged character, which translates into the all-new model still using a robust ladder-frame chassis, a pair of rigid axles and a low-range transfer case.

Combined with its tiny footprint, the new Jimny offers an approach angle of 37 degrees, a ramp breakover angle of 28 degrees and a departure angle of 49 degrees. The part-time 4WD system can switch from rear- to four-wheel drive through the classic lever sitting between the front seats.

Customers will be offered a single engine option, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol unit that has smaller overall dimensions than the previous model’s 1.3-liter and is also 15 percent lighter. The power figures are 100hp and 95.8 lb-ft (130Nm), with the engine either paired to the standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic transmission.

Performance is politely described as adequate, with the Suzuki Jimny able to reach a top speed of 87mph (145km/h) when fitted with the manual ‘box. CO2 emissions are rated at 178g/km on the WLTC and 154g/km on the NEDC testing cycles.

Then again, the numbers never really did justice to the Jimny; the tiny Japanese off-roader has managed to create a cult following that simply love its go-anywhere attitude despite its obvious shortcomings.

A hatchback on stilts subcompact soft roader that excels on the tarmac but isn’t that happy to veer of the beaten path, the Jimny most certainly is not. Carwow got its hands on one, and delivers their first driving impressions in the video that follows.


  • MonkeyRider

    Toyota? I doubt..

    • 101st ABN

      I’m looking at this Japanese jeep and wondering why anyone would refer to it as a crossover. I mean ahhhhhhh, what’s it crossing over from???

  • Bash

    That is great if true. How do you know that?

    • PhilMcGraw

      The Jimny does bear a strong resemblance to the Toyota FT-4X concept. It’s possible that they would rebadge the Jimny and market it as the Toyota FT.

      • Finkployd


  • Six_Tymes

    Shame it does Not fare well in crash tests

    • ace_9

      Are you going to write it in every article about Jimny? Do you also mention it every time you hear about motorbikes? Because they also don’t fare well in crash tests. Did you bother to check other NCAP results for other superminis? There are others with 3 stars you know. Do you realize that Jimny is not intended to be used in environments with high risk of collisions above 50 km/h? It is an offroader or stylish city car. Not suitable for frequent out-of-town driving and especially not highways. So it does not really matter that it is not especially safe in an accident.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        Do you realize that Jimny is not intended to be used in environments with high risk of collisions above 50 km/h?
        Hell, you ain’t seen me driving offroad!

        • ace_9

          Then you are clearly an F-150 Raptor customer 😀

      • EM1

        These little guys are in mixed environments. Toyota will make sure that those small improvements are made before shipping it over here.

        • ace_9

          Suzuki cars are imported to US by toyota? I’m from europe so I don’t know about these things. But according to the review, Jimny is really best only for offroad, city or short trips. The engine is not very powerful, transmission has only 5 quite low gears, so it’s a nightmare on highway, the car is small and high on soft suspension… It really is not a car without compromises. Even last generation Vitara with the old 1.6 NA engine and 5 speed manual is not that pleasant on highway. But now it has a new engine and better transmissions, so I would prefer 4×4 variant of it in a mixed environment. Jimny could be either good car for the forest routes or as a stylish city car for short daily commuting. But the price also has to be right, because if it comes too close to Vitara, then it won’t find many customers.

      • Matt

        Six_Tymes does make a habit of posting the same thing over and over again in order to boost his comment numbers.

        For example, he will post on every BMW M2 story about its ‘canted driver’s seat’. He will also post on every S2000 story about his brother stopped him from buying a low-mileage 2.2.

        Other times he will just say ‘wow thanks for posting’.

        • ace_9

          Good to know 🙂 I would not write anything if he posted his last longer comment. But his original one was that it is just a shame that it fares poorly in crash test… Then he edited it and made some additional remarks.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      GM will have to pony up first.

    • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

      The Euro NCAP crash tests mark the Jimny down because of the automatic braking system. If people are solely reliant on that then they probably shouldn’t be driving.

      • 101st ABN

        True dat!

      • Marty

        The automatic brakes worked fine, but they are worthless if the head restraint is rubbish.
        Read the report (TLDR: bad results in crash test, and the brakes aren’t the problem.)

        “In the frontal offset test, there was insufficient pressure in the driver’s airbag to prevent it from ‘bottoming out’, allowing the head to contact the steering wheel. The score for the head was penalised for the behaviour of the airbag and the displacement of the steering wheel, and protection for this part of the body was rated as marginal. The passenger compartment was extensively deformed in the offset test, especially around the door-frame and the score for the driver’s chest was penalised for this unstable collapse. Combined with marginal dummy readings, protection for this body area was rated as weak. Although dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both driver and passenger, structures in the instrument panel and dashboard were thought to pose a risk of injury to occupants of different sizes, and protection was rated as marginal. In the full-width, rigid-barrier impact protection of the head of the rear passenger dummy was rated as weak, based on dummy readings during the test and protection of the chest of both driver and rear passenger was marginal. Tests on the front seats and head restraints showed marginal protection against whiplash injury in a rear impact. A geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated good protection. The standard-fit autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system performed well in tests of its functionality at the low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries are caused. However, the Jimny did not qualify for these points as Euro NCAP requires good head restraint performance as a pre-requisite for AEB points.”

        • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

          My first car was an Austin-Rover Mini, so the Jimny’s results certainly wouldn’t put me off driving one.

  • Dennis James

    Nice little car, would be perfect for my city which is full of potholes.

    • 101st ABN

      Errrrr, don’t you mean potheads?

      • Dennis James

        No. So as a result, you are not welcome.

  • brn

    The video left me confused.

    Based on the need to apply brakes to keep wheel from spinning, that suggest there’s no lockup. That’s fine, but it also means it’s outclassed by true offroad vehicles.

    The articulation demonstration, showed very little articulation. How about a proper test?

    It’s probably a fine little vehicle that would do better off road than many “grocery getter” SUVs, but the video didn’t do much to demonstrate.

    • Matt

      It’s not a serious off-road channel. Other reviewers might push it harder

  • 101st ABN

    Cool if so!

  • Ary Wisesa

    A very cute but highly off-road capable little car. What’s not to like about it? I definitely will buy this.

    • The interior build quality is a bit disappointing, I know it’s supposed to be no nonsense off road car. Also the price.

      • Ary Wisesa

        I agree with you, it’s true that the cabin quality is much worse than, let’s say, a Honda HRV. But I think in the “wild” the spartan interior is less important than its off-road capability and reliability. 🙂

  • And how does that work? Suzuki and Toyota is different company. Unlike Mazda or Daihatsu, Toyota don’t have cooperation with Suzuki.

    • EM1

      This partnership began with Suzuki and Toyota working together selling cars in India.

      • The partnership only applies in India, there are no mention whatsoever about taking the partnership on other continents.

        If we talk about regional partnerships, you can find a lot of weird rebadging, but these are regional only.

  • What’s with everyone saying this car would come to US as a Toyota? It doesn’t made sense, not to mention the expensive homologation process.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      Don’t worry, GM/Mazda/Honda/Ford/VW et al will be along shortly with a new badge on the front of it and will be selling it worldwide…….

  • I look at the link you provide and I do little digging of my own.

    The forum you mention is literally someone just say that there maybe a rumor of Jimny come to US as Toyota without providing any source.

    Then I look up at other link, which is clearly a fansite of Jimny, they quote an article of a dubious Game/Tech/Cars (Yes interesting combo) news site that clearly didn’t provide a link beside “News from Japan”

    So I took the liberty to do some search in Google Japan with some translation, and I couldn’t find any online article about it.

    If you google it, all you get is a talk in forums or sketchy unknown news site and they provide no links beside the site I mentioned above.

    Also that site seems to keep repeating the news of Jimny badged Toyota every month without new info and keep insisting on rumors.

    So yeah it’s hard to believe, even for automotive rumors this is just too far fetched.

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