The Jimny is coming back!
*It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming, the Jimny's coming home, it's coming home...*
Back in January Suzuki lied to us. They said that the Jimny wouldn't be going away anytime soon. But then people with clipboards and machines that read emissions got in a bit of a huff that the adorable little 4x4 wasn't quite as clean as we'd all expected. Why they didn't fit it with the 48V system found in the Swift Sport, Vitara and S-Cross we'll never know? Nonetheless, the lovable rogue of the off-roading world was quietly shown the exit to the European market. But now, it's back!
Circumventing emissions regs by calling it a commercial vehicle, Suzuki will be giving us the Jimny once more. It'll be on the shelves once more in Spring 2021, once they've figured out how to build them quicker, and even then it'll only be in limited numbers. And to meet those commercial regulations there are a few caveats our diminutive Defender must jump through.
Firstly the rear seats won't be fitted. Not that they were much use anyway. In my third-gen, they spend almost all of their life folded down, and actual journalists who've tested the 4th gen have reportedly followed suit, barely using the cramped rear quarters. So we're not missing much. And that's pretty much it. The same 100 horsepower 1.5-litre four-pot stays up front, sending power aft through either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox, and a transfer case sending power to the front axle. The new commercial trim Jim' is a whole 45 kilos lighter than its passenger brethren. And some weight isn't the only thing the tradesman's Jimny has lost, it'll, of course, be VAT free. Like children's shoes, and roughly as big.
Handy metal guard keeping you safe from your cargo. Your not very big cargo. Roughly two sheep in capacity. Trust me.
Numbers-wise in the back we're talking a cavernous 863 litres of storage, up 33 litres on the passenger model with seats down, due to a flat load bay. This is however less than a Ford Fiesta Van. Comparing against the Fiesta again, the Blue Oval's smallest van can offer a 508kg payload, whereas the Jimny can only have a GVW (gross vehicle weight) of 1,435kg, leaving room for a piddling 345 kilos of stuff. Although owning a Jimny I can testify to it being able to load down with far more than that. Plus the Jimny will tow an unbraked trailer of 350 kilos or if you've got a braked trailer and appropriate license you can haul 1300 kilos of whatever. Again, I've tugged more with mine, a bogged down SLK from a muddy field and a Fiesta van off a beach, so it is a proper workhorse of a machine.
So all in, from my not at all biased standpoint this is tremendous news. And in the interests of being unbiased, remember there are other options, but you'd be a fool to pick them.