Here's what's new for the SUV we'll never get.
The fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny arrived in 2018 and we were smitten immediately. Unfortunately, there was and still is zero chance it'll be sold in the US. The Japanese automaker departed from our shores nearly a decade ago. But the pint-sized though tough-as-nails SUV lives on elsewhere and demand remains higher than ever.
It's now time for a facelift and the first pair of images and details have been released directly from Japan. For now, it appears the 2022 model year updates are the Japanese market only. An expanded multi-region rollout should happen either later this year or next. What's new? Well, not much.
From the outside, nothing significant was done with the exception of a new spare tire lower cover. The rest of the updates are hidden within; there's now a start/stop system for four-speed automatic-only models but it only works in traffic conditions. A useful new safety feature is automatic headlights. And… that's it.
There were some previous rumors claiming a four-door body style variant is in the works but nothing has been confirmed. North American buyers who find themselves smitten with the Jimny have a few alternative options: a second- or third-generation used example or something new and modern like the Jeep Wrangler or a Ford Bronco. The closest thing you can buy new is the Mahindra Roxor, but this isn't road-legal in the US.
The Jimny's future came into question in early 2020 when it got slapped with a European sales ban for failing to meet new CO2 emissions regulations. Its only engine option is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 100 horsepower. Instead of ditching that engine for something cleaner like a hybrid setup, Suzuki found a way to beat the system: remove the rear seats.
In doing so allowed the Jimny to be classified as a commercial vehicle with lower CO2 standards instead of a passenger one. The two-seat-only Jimny returned to Europe for the 2021 model year without issue. Jimny demand remains higher than ever with Suzuki's order books remain packed for the foreseeable future.