The Suzuki Jimny is now 50 years old. So what?

Updated Jun 03, 2021 | Same topic: Evolution of Cars

The Jimny nameplate is quite old. But guess what, it’s obviously an advantage.

The Suzuki Jimny is a four-wheel drive, off-road mini- SUV. It’s been around since the 1970s and since then, Suzuki has sold a whopping 2.85 million Jimny units, in no less than 194 countries.

JIMNY | "Nobody But Jimny" | Suzuki

Now what’s impressive about this cute off-roader is that it pretty much kept its main vehicle character design throughout its four generations.

The currently available fourth generation JB64W/JB74W Jimny is still built on a ladder-frame chassis although it now utilizes a different suspension system. Suzuki kept the recirculating ball mechanism, as well as the part-time four wheel drive.

A picture of the 4th gen 2020 Suzuki Jimny on a tunnel road

The Jimny looks like this now but only a little has changed when it comes to its mechanicals

The Jimny model is now 50 years old, and is still selling very well despite not evolving from its roots. So what makes the Jimny so popular even after 50 years? And, does a long running nameplate have advantages at all?

>>> Related: Which 2020 Suzuki Jimny should you buy? [Philkotse Guide]

The Suzuki Jimny nameplate is 50 years old and that’s not a bad thing

Established Customer base

Fans of the Jimny are very loyal and yes, most of the young Jimny owners today might have been inspired by their uncles, aunts, parents, and grandparents who too might have owned an older generation Jimny.

This is the same for many other long running nameplates out there like most muscle cars and many full size SUVs like the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Mitsubishi Pajero.

A picture of a 1st gen Jimny parked in a car show

The 1st-gen Jimny very much looked like the 1st generation Land Cruiser. Jeep like, and tough

It also helps that despite the minute changes made to the model, the Jimny still retains a lot of the characteristics that it’s known for. And we’re sure that most off-road guys, if not most car guys are resistant to change. So yes, it can be said the Suzuki precisely knows the kind of people who are buying the Jimny.

>>> Related: SUZUKI JIMNY 2012 FOR SALE

50 years of research and development

Despite saying that the Jimny’s characteristics didn’t change much over the years, there are indeed some minute improvements that have been done to improve it.

After all, the said model’s 50-year run is a long time, so we’re sure that the engineers at Suzuki have also taken advantage of the many automotive engineering developments that sprang up along the way.

A picture of the Suzuki Kata on a parking lot

The boxy 2nd-gen Jimny was also sold as the Suzuki Katana [Source: オーバードライブ83]

Examples of improvements include the move to the Suzuki K-series engine in its second generation models, changing the suspension to a coil-sprung system with the third and fourth generation, and the shift to vacuum locking hubs to electronic four wheel drive.

Of course, Suzuki also made changes on the appearance of the Jimny throughout the years making it more modern. However, it’s still very much true to its nature as a small, boxy SUV albeit with a lot of retro modern styling cues.

Brand Recognition

Being around for 50 years also does wonders for brand recognition because people have had the chance to witness what the Jimny can do throughout all those years. And with the spread of the internet, even to a greater degree.

As such, the Jimny has become a mind worm, or rather a meme of sorts to a lot of car enthusiasts. Now don’t get us wrong about that meme part, because memes can become positive too because in the case of the Jimny, it has become a persistent nameplate especially among off-road enthusiasts.

>>> Related: 

A picture of a 3rd gen Jimny on a parking lot

The 3rd-gen Jimny was rounder but it still had the same off road capabilities [Source: Mytho88]

These are the reasons why the Jimny is so famous. At the same time, this is why a long-running model nameplate can become a huge success in the automotive industry.

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Know more about Suzuki Jimny 2022

Suzuki Jimny

The Suzuki Jimny is a 4x4, ladder-frame mini-suv. In the local market, this model is available in four different variants. There’s the GL 1.5 MT, the GL 1.5 AT, the GLX 1.5 AT (Monotone), and the GLX 1.5 AT (Two-tone). Their prices range from Php 1,170,000 to Php 1,285,000. 

Under the hood, the Suzuki Jimny uses a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine capable of producing up to 101 horsepower and 130 Nm of torque. The entry-level GL variant may come with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the GLX exclusively uses a four-speed automatic transmission. All then come with the Suzuki 4x4 All Grip Pro drivetrain. 

Size-wise, the Suzuki Jimny has a length of 3,480mm, a width of 1,645mm, and a height of 1,725mm. It then has a wheelbase length of 2,250mm, and a ground clearance of 210mm. 

Locally, the Suzuki Jimny technically doesn’t have direct competitors. Then again, the closest off-road focused recreational vehicles available locally is the Toyota FJ Cruise and the Jeep Wrangler. Size-wise though, the Jimny is more in line with the Hyundai Kona, MG ZS, Geely Coolray, Kia Seltos, Chery Tiggo 2 Pro, Mazda CX-3, among others. 

₱ 1,170,000 - ₱ 1,285,000

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.


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