Home » I Don’t Love The Suzuki Jimny Anymore

I Don’t Love The Suzuki Jimny Anymore

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The Suzuki Jimny is a cute and capable thing. The plucky, lightweight off-roader has won hearts around the globe, including mine. And yet, as I sit here today, I realize something has changed. I’m no longer in love with the Suzuki Jimny.

The current generation of Suzuki Jimny hit the market in 2018. It landed with a splash, driving the car community going wild for its combination of chunky good looks and a simple four-wheel-drive drivetrain. It was going to sell for a budget price, to boot—one that made this desirable vehicle very affordable! That almost never happens.

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And this time, it didn’t. The Jimny was too cheap and too good—too good to be true, in the end. I don’t love the Suzuki Jimny anymore because functionally, it’s simply too hard to get one.

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Speaking from an Australian perspective, it was supposed to debut in 2019 at an ultra-cheap $23,990 starting price. That was all well and good until supply and demand reared its head. The Jimny was hot property, and dealers had more customers than they had allocations. Thus, prices went up. You’d have been awfully lucky to get one anywhere near the recommended retail price back then.

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It’s 2024 now. You might think that the hype would have died down, and Suzuki would have gotten on top of things. After all, they even found time to whip up a five-door model and add an Indian production line to help satiate demand.

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong! The order backlog still stretches out to the horizon. As reported by Drive.com.au, current wait times stretch out to ten months if you want to get yourself a three-door with the automatic. You’re still stuck waiting from four to six months for a manual, too. If you want one before winter hits, you’ll have to get yourself a five-door manual Jimny XL. Still a great ride, but it’s the only spec available on short notice.

“But Lewin! You could buy one used!” you shout. And look, that’s a great idea! I certainly wouldn’t sniff at picking one up on the secondhand market.

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You can’t make this up.

Never mind, though. Market realities are here to piss in your cornflakes again. Even used examples are selling well above their original retail price. Online the cheapest used models have anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 km on the dash. And you’ll still pay over $27,000 for the privilege!

Real talk. I want a Jimny, but I’m not a blithering idiot.

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Bad photos, 41,000 km on the clock, and a private seller. And they’re still asking thirty grand! Apparently, that’s below market price. That’s how bad things are right now.

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Demand has been consistently high since the Jimny dropped. Things were so bad last year that Suzuki had to stop accepting orders at one point as wait times hit a peak of 18 months. When a new allocation of 500 units was made available last September, it sold out in just five hours. And that’s despite the fact that the Jimny automatic was now starting at $33,490, almost $10,000 above the base launch price.

You’d think they were selling in the tens of thousands, but hilariously, that’s not the case. Suzuki Australia has never really managed to secure much supply. In 2022, Suzuki had its best year, delivering 5,697 Jimnys to Australian customers. It did similar numbers last year. March 2024 was the model’s hottest month on record, with 856 units shifted.

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If you’re happy to take a manual five-door model, you can find a handful in stock across the country with markups that aren’t so bad. At the same time, even the MSRP of $34,990 is a long way from where the model started back in 2019. Blame inflation and restricted supply.

In today’s automotive industry, we’re too often struck with situations like these. A great car is announced at an achievable sticker price, and we all go bonkers. We get so excited, because we can see ourselves actually affording one of these for ourselves. Only, then we find out that everyone else is thinking the same thing. Dealers start frothing at the mouth with a reservation list longer than the CIA’s kill list, and it’s all over. Unless you can find another ten grand in the back of your sofa, you’re out of the running.

I know this is me whining a lot, when you Americans can’t get the Jimny at all for another two decades. But I know you know my pain. Remember when the Ford Maverick dropped? The same thing went down! Only, Ford eventually pulled their finger out and shipped almost 100,000 Mavericks last year. They’ve already shipped over 50,000 in 2024 and it’s only been three months! The price has gone up since the Maverick debuted, as well, but it’s still affordable for what you get.

Fundamentally, I lay the blame at Suzuki’s feet. Jimny production still hasn’t ramped up to meet demand in any real way, at least from where I’m standing. The promise of a cute, cheerful off-roader at an affordable price is a distant memory. The sticker price went up, the dealer price went up, and the waiting list is still an unclimbable mountain.

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Hilariously, I never even got to drive the press car. Suzuki promised to hook me up three times over the years, and yet it never came through. The distinct impression I got was that the demand for its attention was simply too high.

Ultimately, I’ve called time on my love for the Jimny. Prices aren’t heading south any time soon, and they’ll remain expensive on the used market for years to come, too. I’m not beating myself up about it; even the YouTube megastars at Mighty Car Mods elected to buy an older model when they looked at the price of the current generation.

I’ll mourn the Jimny as an opportunity missed. A great car we all deserved, but didn’t get. I’ll light a candle and dream of buying a Wrangler one day instead.

Image credits: Suzuki, Carsales.com.au via screenshot

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Doug Kretzmann
Doug Kretzmann
14 days ago

my son drove one in Costa Rica and fell in love with it..
recently we were in Perth and saw a few around, got excited at the thought of being able to actually buy one.. but I see it is the same problem as the Maverick, a cheap good car quickly becomes an overpriced good car, thanks to the magic of the market.

InvivnI
InvivnI
29 days ago

We test drove one at a dealership when we were looking for a car a few years ago. It would have been an amazing car at $23k, but at 30 – which is what the dealer was asking for at the time – it felt a bit cheap and nasty inside and it was pretty noisy and gutless on the highway. I get their appeal, and still love the looks, but for me it’s more of a fun holiday rental car rather than the daily driver we were looking for at the time.

Classic and Clunker
Classic and Clunker
1 month ago

Come back to the Jimny in a little while.. in the meantime, look for a cared-for Asia Rocsta, and tell me where to find it!

Loudsx .
Loudsx .
1 month ago

A friend bought one as a bit of a joke pre covid (came out of a 991 911 and was waiting on a taycan)

6 months later flipped for 15K profit joke was on everyone else.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago

I made the point in the Hot Takes column a few days ago that I’d have preferred that Suzuki been able to stay in the USDM, at the expense of Subaru and Mitsubishi.

I stand by that still.

Yeah, Suzuki doesn’t have the same product variety that the others do, but they actually seem to have a passion for their vehicles, offer decent value without feeling entirely compromised, and then we’d have had the Jimny. And the sales success from Subaru being gone and Suzuki offering AWD on the SX4 & Kizashi (at the time of their departure) could/would have given them increased sales to develop larger vehicles (or sell rebadged of other brands’ – not gm – vehicles).

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
1 month ago

Just another reason that Stellantis, Toyota, Gm, etc. are insane for not offering some kind of competition to this.

Gm could revive the tracker, Ford Could do a Bronco 2, Toyota could do a 7/8 scale 2 door Land Cruiser, Jeep Could easily sell a smaller wrangler alternative with a simple tin-top to keep costs down, it just seems like they would sell like mad, at least over here in the US.

I am, however, completely blown away at the 5 door pricing. You can build a 4 door Wrangler for under what that Jimny costs, and the wrangler, even at its size and for what you get standard, is about 3-4k overpriced for what they are.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 month ago

I had one as a rental in Saint Martin.
I still smile every time I think about it.
I love that lil’ rascal.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
1 month ago

I’ve driven one. It’s really not all that.

Unless you enjoy driving a miniaturised Jeep Wrangler (which, in all fairness, some people do), it’s not a terrifically practical or enjoyable vehicle to drive on a daily basis.

Think of it as a weekend off-road toy and adjust your expectations accordingly.

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