The Suzuki Jimny’s recent history has been complex. Updated once in a blue moon, the most recent, fourth generation of the pint-sized 4×4 arrived in the UK in 2018, disappeared again in 2020 unable to meet impending emissions legislation, and re-emerged in 2021 as a commercial vehicle, sans rear seats.
Now there’s a five-door version of the Jimny, but things aren’t so simple there either, as for the time being, it’ll be sold only in India, Africa, and Latin America.
Why should you care? Well, the Jimny’s one of only a small handful of new cars that’s both vaguely accessible but also joyfully free of marketing-led… err, cow droppings. What you see is what you get, and what you see is a back-to-basics, go-anywhere device with retro Lego-like styling and a colour palette straight out of an adventure footwear catalogue.
The five-door model doesn’t look quite as charming as the existing three-door, but would solve one of the smaller car’s limitations, which is that it’s… well, smaller. Squeezing passengers in the back of a Jimny has always felt a little cruel, but a 340mm longer wheelbase means just over a foot of extra space for feet.
What doesn’t change is the engine. That’s a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated inline four making 101bhp, the same one that limited the regular model’s time in the European market, as it was unable to meet emissions regs. It also limited its driver appeal, but presumably makes it cheaper to build than a small turbocharged motor, and therefore more suitable for the places that a rugged little 4×4 like this is designed to work.
Suzuki has been making Jimnys in India through its Maruti Suzuki arm since 2020, and that’s where this one will be built too.
The potential glimmer of good news is that India is a right-hand drive market, so you could, in theory, import one privately. The bad news is that it probably wouldn’t be a simple process, though the other slice of bread in the good news sandwich is that if you did manage to bring one over here, you could probably sell it privately for an absolute bomb – you won’t find a current-gen three-door for sale at under £20k, such is demand.
Of course, you could also go out and buy an old Defender for a less than either, but where’s the fun in that?