Suzuki appears to have struck gold with its new Jimny. The brand had amassed 10,000 expressions of interest from UK customers before the prices were revealed.
The cheap-and-cheerful off-roader offers an unrivalled package in the current market, costing from just £15,499.
It’s a shame then that only 600 examples will make it to UK shores in the first half of 2019.
Fleet sales will be limited as Suzuki expects it will only be able to import around 1,200 units per year, due to supply constraints.
Its 1.5-litre petrol engine develops 101PS. There’s a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, and all models get switchable all-wheel drive.
Emissions of 154g/km may not sit comfortably with many fleet managers but the Jimny could prove useful for businesses operating in rural areas.
Simplicity is the key. It’s a true no-frills experience, but one that is full of charm. Suzuki expects the Jimny to act as a halo model for the brand, attracting new customers that are drawn in by its appeal.
Driveability is pretty awful by modern SUV standards. It’s certainly not a car for long motorway trips and even low speed cornering creates a wave of body roll.
But, if you head off road, the Jimny is far more capable. There’s a low range gearbox that is engaged using a heavy lever and excellent ground clearance and approach angles.
Inside, the Jimny features exposed body panels, robust plastics and neat retro details. The ribbed gear gaiter and square instrument housings are a nod to previous versions.
Two models are available. SV4 gets aircon, digital radio and steel wheels, while the SZ5 (from £17,429) features sat-nav, climate control and heated seats.