The 2019 Suzuki Jimny Is In Los Angeles, But Not For The Auto Show

If you happened to see a green 2019 Suzuki Jimny in and around Los Angeles these past few days, you weren’t dreaming.

It was for real and it was a Suzuki-owned press car. Wait, don’t jump into conclusions just yet. As you may know, Suzuki left the U.S. market in 2012 and doesn’t plan to return. The reason Suzuki shipped the Jimny to Los Angeles had nothing to do with the auto show but with the 2019 World Car Awards.

The tiny SUV is one of 38 cars shortlisted for the prestigious award and is in play for both the 2019 World Car of The Year grand prize and 2019 World Urban Car award. As is customary, the 48 jurors have to drive the cars in order to assess them, and this year it was LA’s turn to host the World Car Awards test drives (November 24-29) on the Angeles Crest Highway. There, puzzle solved.

Now, we know what you’re thinking, a small capable off-roader like the 2019 Jimny would sell really well in the United States. We can’t argue with that but sadly the Jimny remains one of many cars U.S. buyers can’t have.

The journalists that drove the Jimny on U.S. roads had mostly positive things to say about it. CNET’s Steven Ewing shared some driving impressions on his Twitter account and said “it has a ton of body roll and bounces around, it kind of feels like a tiny Wrangler.”

He also said the 100-hp 1.5-liter gasoline engine is powerful enough for driving around town “but runs out of steam above 75 mph (120 km/h) on the highway.” While it would need a little more power to survive in U.S. traffic and it’s too small inside for most people, the Jimny is described as “a total hoot” by Ewing.

CarBuyer’s Ginny Buckley is also part of the jury and she seemed thrilled to drive the Jimny as well. Too bad U.S. customers won’t get the chance to test drive the pint-sized off-roader.

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  • Maisch

    I don’t get why cars need more power in the states. People drive and accelerates super slow, or sit in traffic jams around the big cities. It’s a really cool car btw, cred to Suzuki to dare make such a car in these times!

    • Belthronding

      ..and i do not get why cars are getting larger and bigger so they need more power to move on ,and it is happening not only in states but all over the world.

      • uS’gedlemba

        …we want bigger and bigger but lower and lower fuel consumption…just imagine how much progress we would have made if we had kept perfecting engine refinement and downsizing without the lust for bigger and bigger cars…

  • jason wu

    I drive a sub compact suv and I normally drive under 4k RPM. I am in most cases faster than most of the cars on the road.

    • brn

      Um, 4000rpm is pretty darned high for cruising, even well above the speed limit.

      • uS’gedlemba

        Hey! maybe he doesn’t care so much about fuel consumption and he drives two gears below highest.

    • jason wu

      I think you guys have some reading challenges. Do you know the difference between at and under?

  • Liam Paul

    how were they able to drive this on public streets if it is not legal in the states?

    • brn

      Only if you get caught.

      • uS’gedlemba


  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    but runs out of steam above 75 mph (120 km/h) on the highway.” While it would need a little more power to survive in U.S. traffic
    It’s NOT intended to be a highway car as everyone who drives on a motorway/freeway then tells us.
    Incidentally, does US traffic drive at a faster average speed than Europe?

    • PhilMcGraw

      Well I do know in states like Texas the speed limit goes up to 80 and 85mph so I would imagine if a car like this was on a road like that it might cause some unwanted attention.

      That being said, that was just what one reviewer said and it’s not necessarily saying it couldn’t get to 75 and above.

      • uS’gedlemba

        and I’m sure those 80 – 85mph speed limits would be on minimum a dual carriage way; this car maybe slow compared to it’s passenger counterparts but faster I’m sure compared to Semis, so if those aren’t a problem on the road then this shouldn’t be either. I’m sure whether left or right hand drive countries one general rule persists; always keep on the slow lane and use the fast one for overtaking.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        It can.

  • performante

    We want it!

  • EM1

    As an American, I was comfortable sitting in it and loved the visibility all around. It would need better safety measures which can be done. Toyota should important it.

  • assassingtr

    For years they made cars that no one wanted to buy so therefore shit sales; now they make one that people want to buy but it won’t be sold here..


  • Bkujkts

    i drive a 91 Geo Tracker, no air bags, no 3rd brake light, no power anything, 85 HP. I pass most of you just fine.

    • brn

      Only if I let you. 😉

  • Enter Ranting

    The article says they’re in Los Angeles, but those cars are clearly parked in front of Pawnee City Hall!

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