Most Americans have no idea the Suzuki Jimny exists or that Jeep has been working overtime to keep it out of the United States. Now plans have emerged for Jeep to make a rival vehicle that would sit in the lineup below the Renegade. We should see that unnamed Jeep launch sometime in 2022.
In many ways, the Suzuki Jimny is what the Jeep CJ was back in the day: a stripped-down, simple, small, and lightweight, no-nonsense, highly-capable off-roader. Longtime Jeep fans have complained the Wrangler is too bloated, too luxurious, and doesn’t really perform that well on the trail. For these reasons, Jeep obviously feels threatened by the Jimny.
This launch of a new Jeep model isn’t some dirty rumor. Marco Pigozzi, Jeep’s head of brand marketing in Europe, recently broke the news to Auto Express. He claims it will be highly capable, which would be a refreshing change if true. Sadly, Jeep already tried to spin the tale of the Renegade Trailhawk being some off-road master, so you’re forgiven for being skeptical at the moment.
It’s not clear if this new Jeep would even make its way to North America. The Jimny probably won’t, in part because Suzuki has retreated from this market, so Jeep might not feel the need.