Are you a super-fan of the new 2019 Suzuki Jimny? Do you wake up in the middle of the night sitting in a deep mud pit, holding a plate out in front of you like a steering wheel, and yelling “Weee!!! Go Jimny go!”? If so, this video showing the little “mountain goat” off-road with a Land Cruiser will make your day.
Let the record state that the aforementioned situation involving dinner plates and late-night mud-pit hallucinations was entirely hypothetical, and definitely not autobiographical. Nope, not at all. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited to watch the crap out of this video clip:
So, looking at the video, the Jimny’s articulation doesn’t seem that great thanks to the radius-arm setup, and the high-revving engine and lack of proper lockers makes low-speed off-roading a bit difficult. But as Autocar points out, the Jimny is tiny, so it fits through narrow trails. Plus, its brake-lock differential seems to do an okay job of getting the lightweight little body-on-frame truck moving even when some of the tires are off the ground, and the approach/breakover/departure angles keep the bumpers and belly well away from the floor.
Still, despite it being a “true off-roader” with a low range-equipped transfer case, it appears that the little Jimny couldn’t quite complete Autocar’s rock-crawl as effortlessly as a Land Cruiser. And I don’t mean the Land Cruiser that most Americans are familiar with. The one in the video is the Land Cruiser “Utility,” which is based on the Land Cruiser Prado, a version of which is sold in the U.S. as the Lexus GX460.
My coworker Michael Ballaban reported in his glowing article “The Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Is The Basic Stripped-Out Diesel Manual SUV Of Your Dreams” that the thing is actually a beast, especially in short-wheelbase two-door form. According to Toyota, it’s got a diesel engine that makes over 300 lb-ft of torque, a decent 31 degree approach angle, a solid eight inches of ground clearance, over two-foot wading depth, and an underbelly that’s apparently designed to slide over rocks.
The Land Cruiser Utility out-shines the Jimny in the rock crawling portion of the video, in part because of articulation, possibly because of overall ground clearance, and also in part because of lack of low-end torque. But the ‘yota also costs twice as much, and, as the host says in the clip, “It’s certainly not half as much fun.”
In fact, he finishes the video with: “Off-roading in something like a Jimny...is about as much fun as you can get.”
Gosh I want to drive one. Badly. But until then, the mud pit in my backyard and a healthy imagination should suffice.