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Have you seen the Suzuki Jimny? It’s the adorable yet capable 4×4 SUV that’s beloved worldwide. It could be the boxy Jeep Renegade that we actually want. Unfortunately, the Suzuki Jimny isn’t available in the United States and hasn’t been for a while. Will it ever come back?

Why isn’t the Suzuki Jimny available in the U.S.?

The new Suzuki Jimny is still banned in the U.S.
The new Suzuki Jimny | Suzuki Motor Corporation

The Suzuki Jimny is the much safer successor to the Suzuki Samurai. Back in the 1980s, you could buy the Suzuki Samurai in the United States and have an excellent time off-roading. However, the latest Suzuki Jimny probably won’t come to the States

Back in 1985, when the Suzuki Samurai was introduced, people loved it. It had a body-on-frame construction, solid front and rear axles, and a two-speed 4WD transfer case.

However, reportedly Consumer Reports released a review in 1988 that mentioned the massive rollover risk for the Samurai. Soon after this story was spread throughout the media, sales tanked. 

The damage done to the American Suzuki Motor Corporation was too much to recover from. Consumer Reports wrote that it filed a lawsuit in 1996 that was settled out of court and dropped in 2010.

A few years later, in 2013, Suzuki pulled out of the North American market entirely. That left American drivers without the epic fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny. 

But it’s a valuable short-wheel base off-roader, like the Jeep Wrangler. However, it could only cost $14,500 here while the Wrangler starts at $31,195. But the Wrangler does offer more power and space for families.

Can you import the Suzuki Jimny to the United States?  

There are a few issues with bringing the Suzuki Jimny USA side. First, the Japanese automaker would need to ensure that the Jimny is up to the United States safety and emission standards. Did they fix the dangerous rollover risk, and how much would it take for the engine to be brought into compliance? 

According to TheTruthAboutCars, the estimated cost to bring the Jimny to the United States is about $275 million. This includes the costs of marketing, building dealerships, customer service, and more.

Additionally, you can’t import a new Suzuki Jimny. According to Money Inc., you would need to wait 25 years before importing a new car, though you could conceivably ship over an older Jimny much sooner.

Beyond that hurdle, drivers have to cover the cost of the import tax on bringing vehicles to the United States, and with a higher price and wait time, you may be better off buying a Jeep Renegade than an older and more expensive Jimny. 

Does the Suzuki Jimny deserve the hype as a superior off-road vehicle?

The Suzuki Jimny off-roading thoruhg a stream in the woods
2020 Suzuki Jimny Suzuki

The versatile 2023 Suzuki Jimny is fun to drive on the pavement and while off-roading. While it still has solid axles, which can be bumpy on the road, it’s what off-roaders prefer. Plus, the Jimny manages to tame the harsh ride on the highways. 

Its 1.5-liter engine provides just 101 horsepower, but the model doesn’t feel underpowered. When paired with the 5-speed manual transmission, it has a fast and sporty acceleration. It’s like a rally car on curvy mountain roads. 

But that amount of power falls short for the American market. Also, it might not meet our higher emission standards.

Additionally, the Suzuki Jimny allows drivers to confidently climb over obstacles and crawl down steep inclines with confidence, with its 4WD doing an excellent job of providing maximum torque and preventing slippage. 

Lastly, this boxy SUV surprisingly isn’t outdated despite its off-road nature and affordable Suzuki Jimny price tag. It comes with standard driver convenience and safety features, including lane-keeping assistance and Bluetooth connectivity.

The interior has a retro yet modern design too, with seats noted as supportive and comfortable. Plus, you can fit a surprising amount of camping gear in the back when you fold the rear bench seat down.

With USB outlets to charge your devices, the little SUV has everything you need. Only, now we really need it in the U.S.!