Suzuki Jimny Has a Surprising Potential for Tuning

Latest generation, released in 2018, has suddenly become popular among tuning companies. Nowadays, you can customize your Suzuki Jimny in a number of exciting ways

Tuning exists for all cars. Among visual and performance upgrades, we can find products for pretty much every car model ever produced. However, some of them become favorites in this industry. That effect may happen because of the car’s base mechanical qualities, for starring in a movie, and many other reasons.

The Suzuki Jimny has been a popular choice in terms of off-road tuning. More specifically, the addition of snorkel, high-clearance bumpers, mud tires and such. The current generation, however, has expanded its potential. In this article, we are going to show the latest exciting Suzuki Jimny tuning options available.

2018 Suzuki Jimny AllGrip (source: WheelsAge)

The latest Suzuki Jimny

If you have never heard much of subcompact off-roaders, there is a reason for that. They are not spacious or fashionable as typical SUVs but cost around the same. The Suzuki Jimny, for example, is an “enthusiast car”: it focuses on the market niche of individual off-road drivers, even though they are not numerous.

2021 Suzuki Jimny Commercial (source: WheelsAge)

The latest generation is the fourth of an SUV initially released in 1970. Suzuki intended to make the Jimny a kei car, back when these cars sold very well in Japan. Over time, its overseas success led the company to make it slightly larger and more powerful. The current generation came in 2018 with many differences.

First of all, the Japanese version had shorter bumpers and no fender flares so as to stay within the kei-car size limits. Parallel to that, Suzuki had to convert the European version to a commercial SUV (with a cargo area behind the front seats) in 2021. As a regular SUV, it no longer complied with the local emission laws.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Sierra Pick Up Style (source: WheelsAge)

What tuning work has been done?

At first, the usual. Suzuki released some concept cars with more aggressive off-road styling and, in 2019, a one-off pick-up version. Sadly, none of them made it to the production lines. The Jimny is a low-cost SUV, after all. The more expensive its variations become, the less likely they would be to bring high sales.

2020 Suzuki Jimny Sierra Marine Style (source: WheelsAge)

Things would only change once independent tuners gave it a try. They specialize in that, so their projects offer enough quality to be worthy of what they cost. Besides, they work with custom projects, so there are no worries about sales volumes. That initiative has made the Suzuki Jimny take a sharp turn in its history.

The specialized press, especially Carscoops, has reported the release of multiple tuning projects like those over the past months. They range from typical tuning changes to whole reinterpretations of the Jimny. In fact, some of them are brilliant tributes to other SUVs which are just as popular. Let us take a closer look.

The Canotier J3 gives the Suzuki Jimny a camper bed over the roof

Modified Suzuki Jimny: Tuning projects

As the video above shows, this tuning upgrade adds a pop-top tent. Manufacturer Kamado states it only weighs 99 lb, so the Jimny’s dynamic behavior will not suffer much. The tent is made of neoprene, which is claimed to keep rain drops out and heat in, and it comes with a urethane mat and an extending ladder.

2022 Suzuki Jimny lifted by ESB (source: Carscoops)

ESB LST and LST-Up

Osaka-based tuner ESB created two tuning kits for the Suzuki Jimny. The LST lowers it by up to 3.5 in and gives it slick tires and a sportier, more aerodynamic look. The LST-Up raises it by 3 in and brings a rugged design with slimmer bumpers, a protective skidplate, wheel spacers, and extra-grip tires designed for off-road driving.

Z.Mode Suzuki Jimny NEXT

While many tuners convert the SUV into a pick-up, Italian Z.Mode stands out for two reasons. One is that its size was kept: the rear part of the roof is removed, and a structural bar is added. The other is its overall finishing quality, which could easily pass as OEM. The NEXT can also receive a variety of visual accessories.

Z.Mode Suzuki Jimny NEXT

Liberty Walk Suzuki Jimny

This tuner decided to take a different approach: by adding the right accessories, it makes the SUV’s boxy design an interesting miniature of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The painted body kit, glossy black wheels, roof spoiler evoke the memory of the AMG G63. On the other hand, there are no mechanical upgrades.

2021 Suzuki Jimny Beans (source: Carscoops)

Suzuki Jimny Beans

In 2021, the Japanese maker chose the best way to promote the two-seater Jimny in Europe. The one-off Beans was converted into a mobile coffee shop with full equipment: filtration system, hot water dispenser, aluminum-topped work area, compact fridge, Fracino coffee machine, and all the necessary adaptations.

WALD Black Bison

Last, but not least, an all-black edition. Despite its reputation with German sedans, WALD decided to build a tuning kit for the subcompact SUV. It features overfender add-ons, LED bars on the roof, hood scoops, multiple chrome accents, and the “Japamericana” grille which mimicks Mercedes-Benz’s famous design.

DAMD Suzuki Jimny

This is the article’s grand finale. Japanese tuner DAMD has created not one, but multiple tuning kits which make the Jimny resemble other SUVs. The G-Class is its favorite: you can choose between the latest AMG G63 (G. Avance), its direct predecessor (G. Aventura), and even the classic G-Class model (G. Traditional).

2020 DAMD little D. tuning kit (source: WheelsAge)
2020 DAMD little D. (source: WheelsAge)

If you want something different, the little D. is inspired in the Land Rover Defender. You will find the large roof rack, solid steel wheels, and a very convincing front fascia paired with a slim bumper. Since DAMD is Japanese, all those tuning options are available for both the regular (Japan-only) and Sierra Suzuki Jimny.

If retro design is your thing, there are two other options. The little B. is based on the original Ford Bronco, while “the Roots” takes after the very first Jimny. In all cases, it is impressive how DAMD can get excellent results. It works mostly on the colors, then customizes key parts like the radiator grille and the wheels.

If your notion of car tuning only concerned coupés and sedans, the Suzuki Jimny proves that this field has more to offer. Its combination of tiny size and huge off-road capabilities were already enough to bring it a collection of fans. When you add such a beautiful potential for tuning, you obtain a recipe for success.

Frequently asked questions

Is Suzuki Jimny a good car?

Yes, it is. It has been a reference among small SUVs in many countries. It offers a unique combination of off-road capabilities and compact size.

Is Suzuki Jimny fuel efficient?

In a way, yes. It uses a 1.3L I4 engine, which is smaller than what most SUVs use. Besides, its no-frills character and small size minimize its weight, which definitely contributes to higher fuel efficiency.

Can I import a Suzuki Jimny to the USA?

Yes, as long as the unit complies with the local laws. For example, the country allows you to import used cars which are 25 or older.

Is the Suzuki Samurai the same as the Suzuki Jimny?

Not so much. The Jimny has been sold under many different brands and with many different names; Samurai was one of those cases. However, it was not just a badge swap: compared to the regular Jimny, the Samurai featured an improved powertrain, refreshed cabin design, and a rollover bar. In some markets, it also had a long-wheelbase version, albeit keeping the three-door layout.

Is the Suzuki Jimny a good 4×4?

It has a legion of fans who say so. This SUV is small and lightweight and comes with all-wheel drive as standard. Those characteristics give it excellent off-road capabilities, especially compared to the average we see on urban SUVs.

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