I have learned something amazing. Certain friends of mine who have long been proud members of the Land Rover/Range Rover family are switching to…



They are jumping from Land Rover’s Range Rover Discovery Sport to a pint-sized SUV (sport-utility vehicle) called the Suzuki Jimny. Not Jimny as in Jiminy Cricket, by the way. Different spellings.

You won’t find the ladder-frame Jimny for sale in Canada, nor any other Suzuki cars or trucks. It plays in the A-segment of 4x4s, in that it’s not much bigger than a suitcase. Suzuki Motor, amazingly, somehow makes money selling it, and there’s even a waiting list in the United Kingdom.

I doubt many Canadians would want to cuddle a Jimny. It’s a miniature SUV (3,480 mm) that seats four. Barely. Yes, it looks strong and robust, but it’s so, so tiny. The engine is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder that can be paired in Britain with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Yes, it’s basic, right down to the solid rear axle, drum rear brakes, recirculating ball steering, body-on-frame construction and a powertrain that sends grunt to the rear axle, though there is a four-wheel-drive system and a low-range, lever-activated transfer gear. Head bolts are exposed, wind and sound insulation is minimal and the lack of a sixth gear hurts fuel economy.

Indeed, at the back is a side-hinged tailgate which opens to a cargo hold so small, you can touch the rear-seat headrests. You’ll find a lift-up panel below the rear floor and the back seats fold.

In Britain, the staring price is about 16,000 pounds or about $18,000 – that for an SUV that’s as basic as anything you can buy in a developed country. Canadians live is a monstrous country, not little Britain.

Which means no Jimny for us. Never.


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