According to some recent information gained via Caradvice, Suzuki have confirmed some information regarding their Jimny and Grand Vitara 4WDs. Where the Jimny will be continuing with it’s off-road heritage, the Grand Vitara could evolve into more of a soft-roading SUV.
If the new Grand Vitara goes soft, Suzuki will be using the nameplate to chase a bigger slice of the medium SUV pie, with more of a road-going, lifestyle-oriented offering in the future. No doubt buoyed by the success of the soft-roading Vitara that came out in 2015, we’re assuming Suzuki will be following along on a similar angle for the Grand Vitara.
The Vitara name initially came out back in 1988, offering a slightly larger 4WD wagon (and soft-top) over the Sierra range. Sporting an independently-sprung front end, the Vitaras of old are a much more capable little unit than many give them credit for. It was a popular choice in it’s heyday, cementing Suzuki’s reputation as a well-priced and fun 4WD option.
The Grand Vitara, as we know it today, has been around since 2005. Where is competes with the likes of Toyota’s RAV4 and others, the Grand Vit has been able to offer more off-road capability with low-range gearing, a bit of ground clearance and a reasonably decent off-road traction control system. It’s well due for an overhaul, and we are quietly hoping it will retain the off-road credentials and kudos that the Vitara name endows…
The Suzuki Jimny, however, direct descendant of the mighty Sierra and LJ series of serious pint-sized four-wheelers, is going to be sticking to it’s guns. Continuing the theme of live axles and a ladder chassis, the future Jimny will continue as we know and love.
The Jimny has a heritage that is right up there with the icons of the 4WD scene, going back to 1970. Their strength comes from their size and simplicity: a lightweight and nimble 4X4, the little Zooks could drive through, over and round obstacles the bigger brethren couldn’t dream of. To this day, older Suzukis have a legendary reputation with farmers and cockies throughout Australia.
We’re excited that the Suzuki Jimny is sticking around, although we would like to see a fresher driveline, with a punchier engine and updated automatic gearbox. Suzuki are indicating a replacement will still be a few years off, so we might have the current 1.3 litre-powered 4X4 for a little while yet…