It takes supreme confidence in a product for its maker to not replace it for so long. The first-generation Suzuki Jimny went for 11 years without an all-new iteration. The second generation was on sale for 17 years. The third generation arrived in 1998, and it was in showrooms for two decades. Forget about car-model life cycles—at this point, the Jimny is already closely following human generational changes.
Yet even until the end of its model life, the outgoing Jimny didn’t look out of date. Suzuki’s mini-SUV might not fit in with the sleek crossovers that weren’t even a category when the former was launched, but it aged well. A Suzuki dealer from the south even told me he had no problem moving third-generation stock even when the all-new model was announced.
This Jimny’s announcement was followed by the longest marketing tease in recent memory. There was a surprise appearance at a motor show, a test-drive opportunity at a multi-brand sales event, and finally, a dedicated formal launch activity. From the time of the worldwide announcement to the time we finally got behind the wheel, about a year had passed. That’s a long time by marketing standards, which is probably understandable given the gestation period for this line.