Watch an old-school Japanese 4x4 teach an expensive modern SUV how to be a proper off-roader.
It’s a crying shame Suzuki no longer sells the Samurai SUV in America. Today, the puny SUV is sold elsewhere under the Jimny name, but let’s face it, America has an unwavering appetite for humongous gas guzzling SUVs, so Suzuki would struggle to justify selling it over here. The current version of the tiny SUV has been in production for 20 years, and while modern SUVs are considerably more comfortable compared to the Jimny’s woefully outdated interior, the formidable Japanese SUV has got it where it counts.
A recent comparison test by Autocar reminds us that the Jimny is a highly capable off-roader that shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, it can hold its own against modern SUVs like the benchmark-setting Range Rover SVAutobiography. It makes for an eye-opening comparison when you consider the massive price difference between these two off-roaders.
Prices for the luxurious Range Rover SVAutobiography start at $171,000. In the UK, the Suzuki costs a fraction of that at just £15,000 – at current exchange rates, that’s $20,000 and over $150,000 cheaper. The technically advanced Range Rover is equipped with all manner of sophisticated electronic systems enabling it to tackle rough terrain. The Suzuki, on the other hand, has an old-school manual gearbox and a low-range transfer case. And yet the affordable old-school 4x4 holds its own against the expensive, hi-tech modern SUV. The Jimny only has a 1.3-liter engine churning out a pitiful 84 hp and 81 lb-ft of torque compared to the Range Rover’s 4.4-liter V8 that delivers a mammoth 334 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
And yet the puny Japanese SUV keeps up and even manages to handle some of the steeper hills better than the almighty Range Rover, thanks to its light weight, 34-degree approach, 31-approach, and 46-degree departure angles. The Jimny will soon be getting its first major re-design since 1998. Join is in begging Suzuki to bring it over to the US.