Good news, fans of tiny weeny 4x4s: the Suzuki Jimny’s been saved at the eleventh hour. Emissions regulations had turfed it out of British showrooms, but it’s found a way back.
There are caveats, mind. The rear seats have gone, reclassifying it as a commercial vehicle. And it’ll be sold in spring 2021 in “very limited numbers”. And… that’s the end of the caveats, actually. We drove our TG Garage Jimny with the seats almost permanently down thanks to how few people ever ventured back there.
Ditching them completely has freed up 33 more litres of luggage space, too, the total now 863 litres. Sure, that’s less than a VW Up with its back seats flipped, but then a VW Up won’t scurry its way over small mountains or through modestly deep rivers.
A commercial makeover plays nicely up to its blocky aesthetic, while inside it retains all of the car Jimny’s safety tech and off-road trickery, so you’re not really missing out on anything beyond the rear seats. And the van Jimny’s 1,090 kerb weight is 45kg skinnier. Useful given the gruff 100bhp 1.5-litre up front is unchanged.
There are no prices yet, but the Jimny ought to be more of a bargain than usual. Either way, it’s a welcome stay of execution and a fitting new role for the tenacious little Suzuki, as we found out when we pitted our four-seater against Toyota’s Land Cruiser van…
STORY Stephen Dobie