FOUNDED by Michio Suzuki, the company Suzuki has been in existence now for over 100 years. It started off as a manufacturer of weaving looms in 1920 and produced its first motorbike in 1952 and its first car in 1958. It then also moved into outboard engine manufacture in 1965. It went on to produce its first 4WD vehicle, the Jimny, in 1970 and its first snowmobile in 1971 and ATV in 1982. It now produces around 2.5 million cars and 1.5 million motorbikes a year.

Traditionally, Suzuki has been known for its small car expertise, and internally follows a philosophy which translates to ‘smaller, fewer, lighter, shorter and neater’. This certainly applies to its tiny 4x4 off-roader, the Jimny van, or as Suzuki terms it, its light commercial vehicle.

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The new Jimny was launched in the UK in 2018 to a great reception and huge worldwide demand, which meant only 200 were allocated to the UK. Since then, sales were terminated altogether due to European Union emissions regulations. So, if you were lucky enough to buy one, you will probably find it is worth more now than a few years ago.

Forestry Journal:

However, Suzuki has decided to get around the issue by introducing a van version which does away with the rear seats. This new version will be available in limited numbers only and priced at £16,796 plus VAT, giving a steep price of £19,999 for non-business purchasers.

With the rear seats away, a metal mesh bulkhead is fitted floor to ceiling behind the front seats, giving a useful 863-litre load area compartment with a flat floor. For many people, the rear seats were of little use anyway and all this rear cargo space is very welcome. Mind you, it does restrict the backward movement of the front seats so if you are a large person you’d better check this out before you buy. I suppose you could remove the bulkhead altogether.

Just one specification is available, which includes air conditioning, ALLGRIP PRO selectable 4WD with low transfer case, DAB radio, dual sensor brake support, 15-inch black steel wheels and cruise control with speed limiter. It also has hill hold and hill descent control to support driving on slopes.

Forestry Journal:

No mechanical changes had to be made to the baby off-roader with its ladder frame chassis and 1,090 kg kerb weight. The engine is as before, a 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol unit producing 100 bhp and 35 mpg. It has a five-speed manual gearbox and part-time 4WD system and coil springs and rigid axles. It has a limited payload of only 150 kg.

The Jimny just loves driving off road, where it is the nearest thing you will find to a man-made mountain goat. Its short gearing is great for off-roading and its small size means it will fit spaces other vehicles will forgo. It comes equipped with anti-stall technology which ensures it keeps going. It has a 40-litre fuel tank and can tow a 1,300 kg braked trailer.

Forestry Journal:

It is fine for driving around country roads but is best kept away from motorways or higher-speed journeys when it gets a bit noisy due to low gearing and wind noise. It does 0–60 mph in a leisurely 13.5 seconds with a top speed of 90 mph.

It is a practical and useful vehicle and is very good at what is was designed for while looking the business, as they say. It’s a mini off-roader and a very good one too!