The Suzuki Jimny is small but so versatile and hardy that it may well decimate any full-size SUV. It’s arduous to imagine such a small automotive may outdo a Toyota Landcruiser or a Nissan Patrol. Particularly since most solely have a 3-cylinder or 4-cylinder engine, that are incomparable to bigger V8 engines. In Japan, the Suzuki Jimny is taken into account a Kei automotive. Nonetheless, some trims aren’t since they’ve bigger engines with over 660cc displacement.

Only a few items have been exported within the US bought because the Suzuki Samurai, particularly in Canada. Nevertheless, attributable to excessive demand and an rising fanatic group, importers and dealerships promote each outdated and new mannequin years of the Suzuki Jimny. It’s thought-about a miniature Jeep wrangler, and although some won’t settle for it, it’s higher than the Jeep wrangler by miles. 

Manufacturing of the Suzuki Jimny started in 1970 primarily based on the Hope Star ON360 and different Kei vehicles such because the Mitsubishi Colt 1000 and the Mitsubishi Jeep. All through manufacturing, it has maintained its 3-door physique format resembling a YJ jeep wrangler. 

Suzuki Jimny

Constructed solely for reliability and offroad functionality, the Suzuki Jimny isn’t as luxurious as a Toyota Prado or Mitsubishi Pajero. Such vehicles have been constructed to supply a mixture of each worlds. You would possibly overtake them on an uphill path, however you need to endure the rattling and bumpy journey, which is able to in all probability make you hit your head on the roof. 

In case you are contemplating shopping for a Suzuki Jimny, this information is for you. We’ll spotlight the professionals and cons, amongst different components surrounding the Suzuki Jimny. You would possibly even get satisfied and get one instantly after studying this information as a substitute of saving hundreds to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. 

Execs and Cons

Suzuki Jimny


Nice Off-Roader 

You would possibly ignore the Suzuki Jimny for its small dimension. It appears to be like like an outsized Suzuki Alto. A Kei truck, equivalent to a Suzuki Carry truck, is a greater choice when given a selection between the 2. However somebody who is aware of Jimny’s true functionality would by no means decide another JDM automotive in its class. 

For starters, the Suzuki Jimny comes factory-equipped with a four-wheel-drive system which is likely one of the important components to contemplate in an SUV no matter dimension. You’ll be able to crawl over rocks and climb steep slopes courtesy of the low-range gearbox. 

Excessive floor clearance can also be a determinant of which terrains you may deal with in an SUV. The Suzuki Jimny has a 190mm-210mm floor clearance just like the Mitsubishi Pajero and 10mm lower than the Prado. Bumpy terrains are a bit of cake with such floor clearance, and it additionally will increase wade depth if you happen to set up a snorkel. 

You’ll be able to dodge bushes and timber off-roading with a turning circle of fewer than 10 meters. Its brief wheelbase and slim physique make it straightforward to maneuver tight corners. Although if parked amongst different massive SUVs, it disappears into the gang like a mountain goat amongst rocks. 


JDM dealerships promote the Suzuki Jimny for round $5,000, which is cheap for a automotive as succesful as itself. Regionally used items value much less; typically, shopping for one is the best choice quite than importing one. There’s an opportunity you’ll get one for lower than $3,000 with upgrades that will value greater than the automotive’s precise worth. 

Low Working and Upkeep Prices

In case you are fearful about fuel-guzzling SUVs with excessive upkeep prices, why not get a Suzuki Jimny which, no matter its dimension, is simply as succesful? Gasoline consumption is the first concern with SUVs. A Suzuki Jimny will hardly ever devour lower than 30mpg. Insurance coverage can also be much less since most homeowners pay round $800 or much less per yr. 

Concerning upkeep, the Suzuki Jimny is likely one of the most cost-effective JDM vehicles to take care of. One of many key determinants for an simply maintainable automotive is top-notch reliability. Most homeowners give the Suzuki Jimny an above-average reliability ranking, even for older fashions. Nothing a lot goes improper with a 540cc, 660cc, or 1.3-liter engine. And if it does, how arduous can it’s to diagnose and repair? 

Enjoyable To Drive

Smaller vehicles are enjoyable to drive in comparison with bigger ones, and the Suzuki Jimny is not any exception. The journey uphill could be bumpy, however you’ll have essentially the most enjoyable doing it in comparison with somebody in a Landcruiser with air suspension. It nearly looks like a curler coaster however one on wheels. 

Extensive Aftermarket Help

One of many essential benefits of proudly owning an SUV is the huge aftermarket assist obtainable whatever the yr of manufacture. Aftermarket parts producers nonetheless make elements for the FJ cruiser, which is older than the Suzuki Jimny. If aftermarket elements are unavailable, there are patent designs you may copy from or design some customized elements your self. 

When inventory, the Suzuki Jimny can deal with averagely tough terrain however rolling with the massive boys would require some modifications. Bigger tires are among the many first mods you must begin with earlier than transferring to others like heavy-duty metal bumpers and suspension elements. Suspension elements are identified to fail in older fashions. 

Nice Each day Pushed Automotive

Most individuals who purchase massive SUVs have a second day by day pushed automotive, however with a Suzuki Jimny, this isn’t needed. It makes extra sense to day by day a Jimny as a substitute of a cumbersome Bronco or Wrangler. In fact, some do it, however is it sustainable? 

Discovering parking spots can also be simpler for the reason that Suzuki Jimny takes no a lot area as a Prius, which is the most typical automotive on city roads and parking tons. 

Give it some thought. You’ll be able to drive your Jimny to work on Friday, and as a substitute of driving again residence to modify vehicles for that weekend path journey, drive on to your vacation spot. You higher carry some tenting clothes as nobody goes tenting with work apparel. 


Sluggish on Paved Roads

The Suzuki Jimny isn’t the kind of automotive you’d need to drive within the quick lane on the freeway. Even variants with a 1.5-liter engine hardly ever attain 75mph, which is dangerous attributable to instability. Probably the most energy you will get on a Suzuki Jimny with a inventory engine is 100 horsepower. Underpowered by right this moment’s requirements. Its low speeds and acceleration will be solved however not by an enormous margin. 

Fortunately there are aftermarket tuning and engine modification elements for Kei engines. These engines are additionally utilized in Kei sports activities vehicles just like the Suzuki Alto Works RS and the Suzuki Cappuccino. Aftermarket or customized turbocharger kits received’t add a lot horsepower as you’d count on however will make your Jimny faster than your common base mannequin Corolla. 

Threat of Toppling Over At Excessive Speeds

As a result of its excessive floor clearance, brief wheelbase, and peak, the Suzuki Jimny’s heart of gravity is larger in comparison with a bigger SUV. At low speeds, this can be a non-issue. However when driving at excessive speeds, physique mass always shifts, which could trigger the car to topple.

Driving over excessive bumps with both facet extra elevated than the opposite may also result in toppling. The inventory suspension may not deal with a lot flex because it’s solely good for common off-roading. Nevertheless, a elevate package shouldn’t be needed as a lot as you would possibly want it. Higher upgraded mechanicals is the very best resolution. 

Cramped Inside 

“The extra, the merrier” when tenting may not be doable in a Suzuki Jimny. It solely seats two, and there’s no provision for rear seat set up. The rear seats are imagined to be the place the loading space is, which isn’t too massive both. That is the value you need to pay for a great deal of enjoyable you’ll have in your Jimny. 

Towing a trailer isn’t an incredible choice for the reason that Jimny can tow not more than 450kg, which could burden a 20-year-old 3-cylinder engine. The one choice you may have is kitting your Jimny with MOLLE storage tools equivalent to a roof rack and facet physique racks.

Suzuki Jimny

Frequent Points

4WD System Failure

Testing out the 4WD system is paramount earlier than shopping for a Suzuki Jimny. It’s identified to fail on older items, particularly these regularly used. Early indicators of 4WD system failure embrace the impossibility of shifting gears from 4WD-H to 2WD-H and vice versa. 

Additionally, if you happen to shift to 4WD-H and the entrance axle has no torque, the 4WD system is defective. Suppose there’s torque being transferred to the entrance wheels after disengaging 4WD. In that case, that is additionally dangerous no matter how good it may appear since it really works to your benefit when off-roading. Newer fashions have a 4WD system failure warning mild, which mild’s up if there’s a fault with the 4WD system. 

A typical repair to 4WD system failure within the Suzuki Jimny is switching the vacuum-operated free hubs to operated by hand ones. You may as well go for a hard and fast hub utilized in older fashions. If not so, make sure the vacuum traces are at all times pressurized and repumped if not. 

Suzuki Jimny

Timing Belt Failure (Change After 70,000 Miles)

Timing belt failure on the Suzuki Jimny is a typical subject in items with the 1.3-liter engine. On common, the timing belt must be changed each 70,000 miles. The timing belt lasts longer on vehicles with comparable engines since it may well final for round 100,000 miles. 

Indicators of timing belt failure embrace failure to begin, lack of energy, misfires, and clunking noises underneath the hood. When changing the timing belt, test the pulleys. The brand new belt received’t final greater than 50,000 miles if it’s misaligned. It’s also beneficial to wash the pulleys with a degreaser earlier than putting in the brand new belt. Additionally, make sure the timing belt is tensioned to forestall slipping off. 

Worn Out Fluid Strains

Suzuki Jimny

The braking and coolant traces on older items develop into brittle and crack with time. This causes leakages which have an effect on the general performance of your Jimny. The engine will overheat underneath stress attributable to inefficient cooling placing it liable to blowing up. 

You want the braking system working at 101% earlier than setting out on an overland expedition. For those who discover that the brake pedal is spongy, the brake fluid traces are leaking, and there’s low fluid within the braking system

Overhauling the traces is beneficial since changing midway is a short lived resolution. Additionally, test the situation of the radiator, thermostat, and another parts concerned in engine cooling. If any of those are defective or broken, exchange or repair them earlier than setting out. 

Worn Out Components In The Entrance Axle 

The suspension on the Suzuki Jimny may need been solidly constructed, however it may well’t final a lifetime. Thus, on older fashions, you’ll expertise a bumpy journey even when driving on the freeway, generally often known as the demise wobble attributable to failing mechanicals on the entrance axle. 

A few mechanicals failing causes demise wobble within the Suzuki Jimny. These embrace the rod bushes, king pin bearings, and the tie rod ends. Early indicators embrace elevated steering angle, vibrations on the steering wheel, and uneven tire put on. 

Changing failing parts is a straightforward short-term repair, however an axle overhaul would do your Jimny good. Off-roading will probably be as straightforward and easy as ever, hopping over bumps like a younger mountain goat. 


Again and again, rust is inevitable on older automobiles, and the Jimny is not any exception. Whether or not you resolve to purchase one relies on the rust’s depth and if eradicating the rust is in alignment together with your price range. Frequent rust spots on the Suzuki Jimny embrace beneath (on the suspension mounts), wheel wells, behind the entrance bumper, and trunk ground. You also needs to test all welding factors if there are indicators of bodywork achieved. 

Poor Inside Construct High quality

The poor inside high quality is why you’ll not get pleasure from your Suzuki Jimny on lengthy journeys. There aren’t any heated leather-based seats such as you’ll discover in a Landcruiser. So, in case you are driving up a mountain, you higher preserve the AC on, which is able to seemingly die on you. Whereas at it, you’ll additionally discover rattling physique panels annoying. The door panels may also rattle if not bolted correctly. 

The manufacturing unit seats may also want some upholstery and the sprint repainted to revive its authentic shade. One other essential drawback of the inside is that there aren’t any cupholders. You’ll should improvise or maintain your sizzling espresso to work. For fashions with a gentle high, test for tears and cracks earlier than shopping for. 

Common Costs

Suzuki Jimny

$4,000 isn’t a nasty worth for a Suzuki Jimny since most promote for round $5,000. Older fashions promote for lower than that, however you’ll threat mechanical points with such. However if you happen to discover one with upgraded elements and is properly kitted, it could be the proper Jimny. 

View Suzuki Jimny Ads for sale

What To Look For In A Suzuki Jimny

Each automotive has fascinating and non-desirable options that homeowners think about earlier than shopping for. Although some could be fascinating to at least one purchaser whereas others may not, the next are options to search for in a Suzuki Jimny. 

To start with, a Suzuki Jimny with a handbook transmission is best than one with an automated transmission. The latter tends to warmth up underneath stress; thus, off-roading is off the plate when you’ve got a Suzuki Jimny with an automated transmission. 

You get the Suzuki Jimny with a 4/5-speed handbook transmission or a 3/4 -speed automated transmission. For those who nonetheless need a Jimny with an automated transmission, you’ll should get a 1985 mannequin yr or later. All mannequin years made earlier than 1998 include a handbook transmission. 

Mechanical-wise, older fashions appear to be the worst choices to purchase when shopping for a Suzuki Jimny. Nevertheless, in contrast to new fashions with a vacuum-operated free hub, they’ve a handbook hub. The primary benefit of a handbook hub is it hardly ever fails. On the draw back, you need to service the hub typically and get out of your Jimny everytime you need to use 4WD. 

Most Jimnys include solely two seats. However some have been bought with rear seats, which you’ll be able to fold to extend load area. If having rear seats is a precedence for you, discover one with rear seats although it received’t be a straightforward process. 

Suzuki additionally made two turbocharged variations of the Suzuki Jimny. The primary one, produced between 1981 and 1998, comes with a 4-cylinder 1.9-liter turbodiesel engine badged because the Suzuki Samurai Turbo. Nevertheless, it’s arduous to seek out, just like the Suzuki Jimny with a rear passenger seat. The opposite was produced between 1998 and 2022 and had a 660cc 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. 

Comparable Alternate options

Fashions and Specs

Suzuki Jimny

1970-1981 Suzuki Jimny (LJ10, LJ20, SJ10, SJ20)

Suzuki Jimny

The primary gen Suzuki Jimny was launched to the Japanese market in late 1970, filling a continuing demand for a small metropolis truck. Items made earlier than 1972 have the LJ10 chassis code and include 360cc Kei engines. 

In 1972 the Jimny LJ20 changed the LJ10 and was bought with a water-cooled 360cc engine. The 360cc engine within the LJ10 is air-cooled. One other important distinction between the LJ10 and LJ20 is spare tire placement. It’s mounted on the trunk ground within the LJ10 and the trunk door within the LJ20. 

In 1975 Suzuki unveiled the SJ10 with a 540cc engine. Not like earlier mannequin years, it was solely made for the export market attributable to Japanese legal guidelines relating to Kei automotive engine sizes and emission laws. The SJ20 Jimny later changed the SJ10, which comes with a 780cc water-cooled engine. You get the SJ20 with a non-detachable hardtop. 

Suzuki used a 4-speed handbook transmission all through the primary era of the Jimny. All mannequin years are rear-wheel-drive, and a few have a 4WD system. The primary-gen Jimny was among the many first Kei vehicles to function a 4WD system. 

1981-1998 Suzuki Jimny (SJ30, SJ413, JA, JB)

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki first made the SJ30 in 1981 with the 540cc engine from the LJ10 engine. Kei automotive legal guidelines had been revised earlier in 1976, and vehicles with 540cc engines have been thought-about Kei vehicles. Export fashions have been geared up with 660cc engines and have been lengthened. JDM items have been shorter as Japanese street legal guidelines had strict laws relating to Kei automotive dimensions. 

The SJ40 was launched in 1982 to switch the SJ20 for export markets. Nevertheless, the 780cc engine was changed with a 1.0-liter water-cooled engine, thus the title Suzuki Jimny SJ40 1000. Consumers may purchase the SJ40 Jimny in Japan, however they confronted larger street taxes. JDM fashions have been fitted with smaller wheels than export fashions to forestall this. 

In 1984 the SJ413 was launched with a 1.3-liter engine mated to a 5-speed handbook transmission. In a while, JA and JB SJ413 Jimnys have been launched. You get these with the identical 1.3-liter engine within the SJ413 however upgraded inside and facelifted physique panels. A brand new 3-speed transmission was launched however failed and thus discontinued in 1998.  

Suzuki additionally produced and bought the Jimny in different markets however underneath totally different mannequin names. For instance, in Pakistan, it was often known as the Suzuki Patohar and the Maruti Gypsy in India. Within the US, it was bought because the Suzuki Samurai. 

1998-2022 Suzuki Jimny (JB23, JB33, JB43, JB53)

Suzuki Jimny

The third-gen Suzuki Jimny is the very best mannequin yr to purchase in case you are seeking to purchase a Suzuki Jimny. Suzuki unveiled it on the 1997 Tokyo Motor present with options that would rival any crossover or full-size SUV. Manufacturing started later in 1997, and like different generations, you will get it with a detachable hardtop or gentle high. Nevertheless, most JDM items include a non-removable hardtop. 

In keeping with Japanese laws, solely the JB23 with a 3-cylinder turbocharged 660cc engine is taken into account a Kei automotive. For different markets, the Jimny was bought with a 1.3-liter engine (JB33 and JB43) and a 1.5-liter engine (JB53). You get the third-gen Jimny with a 5-speed handbook or 4-speed automated transmission. 

Mazda badge engineered the Jimny and bought it because the Mazda Autozam Offroad underneath their Kei automotive unit, Autozam. It has the identical options because the Suzuki Jimny however doesn’t have the vacuum-operated hubs. As an alternative, you get the Autozam Offroad with handbook hubs, which have been non-compulsory on the Jimny. 

2018-Current Suzuki Jimny (JB64W, JB74W)

Suzuki Jimny

The Jimny entered its fourth era in 2018 regardless of speculations that Suzuki was discontinuing it. Like its predecessors, it’s produced following Japanese Kei automotive laws. JDM items have a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, whereas export items get a 1.5-liter engine. 

Nevertheless, no legal guidelines forestall Japanese consumers from shopping for a Jimny with a 1.5-liter engine. Just like the third-gen Jimny, you get the fourth-gen Jimny with a 5-speed handbook or 4-speed automated transmission. 


Which engine is in a Suzuki Jimny?

The Suzuki Jimny is taken into account a Kei automotive and thus comes with numerous Kei automotive engines. These embrace a 360cc, 540cc, 660cc, and 800cc engine. Nevertheless, some items that include a 1.0-liter 1.3-liter, 1.5-liter or2.0-liter engine are usually not thought-about Kei vehicles.

The place can I purchase a Suzuki Jimny within the US?

JDM dealerships are the primary locations you must go to when looking for a Suzuki Jimny. You should buy a domestically used unit if you wish to avoid wasting money. Discovering a Suzuki Jimny on the market is straightforward because it was bought within the US. It’s additionally among the many most beloved JDM vehicles within the US.

Is a Suzuki Jimny quick?

Getting a Suzuki Jimny to 70mph shouldn’t be as straightforward because it sounds. Probably the most you may obtain is round 55mph. Including a turbocharger would possibly assist, however if you happen to package your Jimny, the additional weight slows it down much more.

Can I turbocharge a Suzuki Jimny?

Getting a Suzuki Jimny to 70mph shouldn’t be as straightforward because it sounds. Probably the most you may obtain is round 55mph. Including a turbocharger would possibly assist, however if you happen to package your Jimny, the additional weight slows it down much more.

Which mannequin yr Suzuki Jimny is the very best?

Any Suzuki Jimny made between 1998 and 2022. When Suzuki Launched the third-gen Jimny in 1998, it got here with a brand new ladder chassis for improved stability and a dual-ratio switch case. Older fashions don’t have these options, and a fourth-gen Jimny could be over-budget. This makes the third-gen Jimny the best choice.

Can I elevate a Suzuki Jimny?

Sure, aftermarket producers make elevate kits for the Suzuki Jimny identical to another SUVs. Nevertheless, there are some components you must think about earlier than putting in a elevate package. The primary ones embrace the mannequin yr of your Jimny, driving habits, tire dimension, and extras that the elevate package has. 

How To Import A Suzuki Jimny

Learn our Final Information on How to Import a Car From Japan

  • Sources
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Jimny
    • https://www.bigjimny.com/mediawiki/index.php/Common_problems_-_overview
    • https://www.whatcar.com/suzuki/jimny/4×4/used-review/n639/recommendation
Christopher Weydert
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