NY Auto Show: There’s a Suzuki Jimny in New York, you guys

One of the biggest surprises at the New York Auto Show was the presence of a Suzuki Jimny. We were stoked to see what was likely the first new Suzuki car on US soil, in all its highlighter yellow glory, since the company left the market in 2012. It was even a left-hand-drive model. What was it doing here?

Turns out, it was in New York to receive a World Car Award. Amusingly, it was the prize for World Urban Car. Of course, while the kei-sized truck surely is fantastic for navigating the tight olden streets of Japan and Europe, the Jimny is also incredibly capable of traversing decidedly non-urban landscapes as well.

Surprisingly, there were barely any people looking at the car, so we took the opportunity to snap some close up photos of this awesome little 4×4.

We’ve discussed at length the many clever design details of the fourth-generation Jimny before. Its throwback touches to its predecessors, particularly the beloved second-gen SJ30 and SJ40 are much appreciated, and work beautifully in a modernized package.

More impressive is what’s under the skin. With solid axles front and rear, a transfer case, and a true low range, it has the bones of a true off-roader like the Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol.

When even gigantic, Ford Explorer-sized cars are unibody crossovers now, it’s a miracle that Suzuki has maintained a true body-on-frame construction on an SUV smaller in every dimension than the original 3-door RAv4. With a fully boxed ladder frame and more cross-members than a Toyota Tundra and a curb weight that’s 300 pounds less than a Subaru BRZ, might be more versatile for wheeling down narrow trails than any full-size SUV.

We’ve gone through many of the technical points of the car before, but it was great to see one in person. Sadly, it’s unlikely that the car will actually be sold in the US. This is a European-spec model, so if you’re in New York this might be your only chance to see it in person.

With traditional SUVs like the beloved Pajero on their deathbeds, it’s refreshing to see a truly unique vehicle not only exist, but earn accolades for its engineering. Itbears repeating that the Jimny is an amazing vehicle. In fact, it might just be the only one you’ll ever need.

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16 Responses to NY Auto Show: There’s a Suzuki Jimny in New York, you guys

  1. GeorgeL said:

    I don’t see why Suzuki couldn’t reinvent itself as a purely SUV/4X4 company here in the US. It’s a pretty strong segment in the market and no one is doing any of the smaller 4x4s, let alone any direct competition to Jeep. Too difficult to compete on cars here, but bring the small light trucks and they just might have this niche to themselves.

    • Socarboy said:

      Great idea but I don’t think Suzuki has any other truck based products to fill a portfolio what would be cool though is to see Suzuki’s Jimny rebadged as a Toyota for the NA market since they’ve been cozy with Toyota of late

      • Ben Hsu said:

        That’s a brilliant idea! Call it the SJ Cruiser and rebadge it like Toyota does with the Mazda Demio/Yaris

        • Joe Latshaw said:

          I think they’d find a market here for those priced out of Jeep Wranglers, especially if they could scrape together the development funds to do a four-door version, and a removable top.

  2. cesariojpn said:

    Roman from Regular Car reviews wants one. Who wants to break the bad news to him?

  3. Mazluce said:

    Everything I read about these makes me think that they would do well here. These run abouts can go places where traditional heavier SUVs get stuck. I love they way it looks.

    • cesariojpn said:

      Mahindra is probably the closest we’re gonna get in the way of the Suzuki Jimny with their Roxor in the US.

      • A Jimny actually retails for less than some Polaris RZRs do, this would be a great trail vehicle for people who want a monocoque CUV for daily use but still want to go on the trails in relative comfort.

      • Bob said:

        If my Royal Enfield Bullet is any indication, you won’t want to own anything with wheels designed by India. Trust me on that.

  4. Scotty G said:

    Fantastic photos, Ben!

  5. james said:

    That really is surprising. I don’t like SUVs but the only 2 exceptions were Suzuki’s Jimny(or Samurai) and Grand Vitara. I second Mazluce’s sentiment and if by any small chance Suzuki returns to the states, they should bring the Jimny with them.

  6. Mike Pokrzywa said:

    I recently bought an 87 Samurai from my sister (original owner, only 37,000 miles on it)– need to finish replacing the rotted out exhaust and get it on the road! I’ve always liked the Samurai and would love to buy one of these Jimnys– a very nice looking little truck.

  7. dankan said:

    It’s fairly impractical for me, living in the ‘burbs, given its compromises. But it’s just so damn funky I want it, even though I hate trucks.

    Why the hell can’t other manufacturers do stuff this fun?

    • Negishi no Keibajo said:

      ‘86 Samurai TinTop here. You would be truly amazed how practical a vehicle like this would be. Short wheelbase with a tight turn radius makes mine a city parking Ninja. Go ahead and tap me. The bumpers are 1/8” thick. Recline the pax seat & I can get 8’ lumber in it. With a 1.6 16 valve, I launch with the best of them (within reason).

      I saw the new Jimny when vacationing in Iceland. I want to WILL this truck to our shores. (In 30 seconds, some Icelander will put some 33’s on it!)

  8. Greyfox said:

    They are selling them in Australia, all the Australian media I have seen on it they are praising it. One program highly recommended it saying vehicles like this probably wont exist in the future considering the vehicle market, and urged everyone to go get it 😛

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