Will the New Suzuki Samurai (Suzuki Jimny) come to the USA, Used BMW for School and Towing with a Jeep Wrangler? [Ask Nathan]

2016 Scion iM

  • Will the new Suzuki Samurai (Suzuki Jimny) come here?
  • Should I buy a used BMW for college?
  • Why don’t you tow on video with a Jeep Wrangler?

The first question comes from a Suzuki fan who wants the “New Samurai” (“Suzuki Jimny”) to come to the United States.


Oh my god! Nathan! Did you see the new Suzuki Samurai? Do you think there is a way Suzuki could sell it here in limited numbers? I know the car branch of Suzuki pulled out of America a while ago but they still sell motorcycles here right? Maybe they could bring a demo model to each motorcycle dealership and sell them.

I love the old Samurai and I know you do too! Considering how much Jeep is willing to rob from anyone who wants a little off road worthyness, it would be so cool to see a tiny little 4×4 that’s fun, cheeky and capable eat into their sales.

Nuntin’ but love!


A: Hi Basco!

It IS a cool looking little ‘wheeler – right? Overseas, it’s known as the “Suzuki Jimny” – yep, J-I-M-N-Y. It’s a back-to-basics off-road machine that has front and rear solid axles, a ladder frame with a three-link rigid axle suspension and a part-time, two-speed 4WD drive system.

There’s a smaller version with a tiny 600cc engine that’s just for the local Japanese market and a larger (wider) version for other markets that comes with a 1.5-liter engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard.

Sorry to say, both the New Suzuki Samurai and Suzuki Jimny will not be coming our way.

There are many steps that are needed to make a car legal to drive in the United States. Never mind the steps you have to take to make a vehicle pass our stringent emissions and safety tests, the fact that Suzuki Motors pulled out of the USA in the first place is enough to put a kibosh on that dream. It’s a bummer.

The only way I can envision our country to get the Jimny would be if we brought it in the same way Mahindra brought the ROXOR here as an alternative to a conventional side-by-side. In other words – make it an off-road-only machine and maybe, we could play with one.

Even then, I doubt it.

Sorry for the bad news, but thanks for the email!


2012, 2013, bmw, 335is, coupe
BMW 335is

This next question comes from a fan who is considering the purchase of a used BMW for a college car.



Hi Nathan & TFL car,

I am going to be a senior this year and going off to college next year.

I was driving my moms Lexus ES 300h lease until we turned it in about a week ago. Now we will be getting a car by the end of summer that will replace the ES, and I can hopefully take to college, an hour to a few hours away. A used car dealership near us has great deals on off lease BMW’s and they come with lifetime warranty.

I have looked at the 3 series 2014 or newer with less than 40K miles, and love the 320i, but do you think it is safe to get a BMW? My family has only ever had Japanese cars and has never had a car that was unreliable, so a BMW would be a whole new ball game. What do you think I should do if I am going to be keeping this car for the next 4-5 years? Should I get the 320i and trust the maintenance or stick with something more reliable?


A: Hi Owen!

That’s a great question. As a dad, if my kid was heading to college and needed something reliable, a used BMW would not be my first choice. Despite the extended warranty, the idea of my child waiting for a tow-truck mid-winter would be enough for me to look to other vehicles.

It’s not that the BMW you’re looking at is a bad car, but reliability has been an issue for some time and, with BMW, I usually recommend sticking with a new one or looking somewhere else. I wish it were different as I love driving BMW products.

Sticking with Lexus, or a Toyota product is a good bet. If you want a good vehicle that’s great for commuting and has good tech for the money, consider an Acura. If you’re looking for good performance, a Mazda6 is a good bet.

Hope this helps!


The last question is from a fan who wants to know why we avoid towing videos with the Jeep Wrangler.

European-Spec Jeep Wrangler JL Spy Shot

Hey guys! just want to start off by saying that I love yall’s videos.

They are honest, well put together, and real (doesn’t sound like someone is just reading a spec sheet). But I do have a question… why don’t you guys ever do a Jeep Wrangler towing test? I Live down here in south Louisiana and Jeeps are VERY popular; and many people use them to tow small bass boats and “Toys”, I know that they are not big heavy duty tow rigs but i know that many people including my self would love to know what the Wranglers are capable of.



Rhett G

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon
[Photo: Jeep]
A:Hi Rhett!

You have a good point! We did a lot of towing with our long-term Jeep Wrangler Unlimited when we were shooting Motor Mountain USA (MMUSA) a few years back. We towed a 1,200-lbs trailer. You can see some of that (here).

When we discovered that Jeep was planning the Wrangler JT (Scrambler pickup truck) a few year’s back, we decided that most people would want to know how that vehicle tows. Still, with the new Wrangler already hitting the market, maybe we should do some sort of towing test with it.

Thanks for the email!


Speaking of the new Jeep Wrangler…

Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.