THE Suzuki Jimny is the gift that keeps on giving.
It’s back again at 4X4OTY after last appearing five years ago thanks to the introduction of electronic traction control off the back of the then-mandatory introduction of Electronic Stability Control.
That was the last iteration of the previous generation Jimny that dates back to 1998. What we have here is the latest generation Jimny that brings a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (replacing the previous 1.3) and is marginally heavier, wider and taller, and rides on a wider track and on skinnier tyres than the superseded model. It also has an all new but nicely retro body.
If you’re starting to get the sense that there’s a lot of history here you would be right, as only a rare few of today’s 4x4s can trace direct ancestry back 50 years. What started in 1970 with the LJ10 and its 360cc air-cooled twin-cylinder two-stroke engine, a reflection of Suzuki’s motorcycle heritage, has culminated in this latest model.
Between 1970 and today much has changed but two things have remained constant, namely a separate ladder-frame chassis and live axles front and rear. That puts the Jimny in the same ‘old-school’ club as the also shortlisted Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
The 4X4 Of The Year will be announced on January 30, 2020.