Modern Samurai: 2019 Suzuki Jimny Officially Unveiled…Should It Come to the U.S.? [News/Poll]

Should Suzuki return to the U.S. with the 2019 Jimny?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

2019 Suzuki Jimny unveiled
[Photo: Suzuki]

Suzuki’s small, boxy SUV left our shores in 2003. 

For some, the Suzuki Samurai – also known in the U.S. as the Sidekick and Vitara in later generations – was an oddity among off-roaders, to say the least. In a world of Jeep Wranglers, Toyota 4Runners, Ford Broncos and Chevy Blazers, the Samurai looked…well, a bit silly. That said, the boxy little SUV took a different approach than its larger contemporaries. Instead of a large, ungainly vehicle that lumbers over obstacles in its path, the Jimny, as its known in global markets, hops over the terrain. Weighing just over a ton, the small SUV could get by with its 1.3-liter, 101 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Now, after twenty years in production, Suzuki is replacing the Jimny with a new model. It will go on sale next year in Europe and other global markets, but not in the U.S. That is, of course, because Suzuki withdrew from our market in 2012 after slow sales. Suzuki’s American arm actually ended up declaring bankruptcy as a result of the ordeal. However, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love seeing this quirky off-roader on our roads. It’s like a miniature G-Wagen.

2019 Suzuki Jimny launched in Japan

After two decades, the 2019 Suzuki Jimny has emerged into the spotlight in Japan. Instead of a 1.3-liter gasoline engine or even a diesel unit, the new model’s packing a new 1.5-liter engine. Exact power figures weren’t released, but we do know that engine will come mated to five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. The latter isn’t the most modern setup, and the car also sticks to a manual low-range selector. However, the rugged, simple setup does mean less that could go wrong in the 2019 Suzuki Jimny.

With 8.3 inches of ground clearance, the 2019 Suzuki Jimny comes fairly well-equipped to tackle off-road obstacles. It also has a pretty good 37-degree approach angle, and a 49-degree departure angle. The design takes influence from the older Jimny. It’s still boxy with a mix of retro and modern features.

While the new Jeep Wrangler kicks off at $27,000 for a base Sport, the Jimny will ring in at the equivalent of $18,500, according to some estimates. A cheap, small, fun-looking off-roader for under $20,000? That sounds like it could be a winning combination.

Unfortunately, we’re still not getting it. The 2019 Suzuki Jimny will go on sale worldwide, but not the United States. For some, that’s a pity. Let us know what you think of the new Jimny in the comments below!