Suzuki Jimny commercial 4x4 confirmed – the Jimny lives on as a van

  • Jimny light commercial vehicle confirmed
  • Replaces passenger 4x4 in the Suzuki range
  • Small payload but huge off-road capability

Suzuki has confirmed that the Jimny off-roader will become a light commercial vehicle in the UK. The tiddly 4x4 will be repurposed as a van for UK buyers in part because the existing car version will struggle to meet the latest emissions requirements for passenger cars, and partly because Suzuki says an LCV is all most Jimny customers require.

This is an interesting development in the commercial 4x4 sector, which is experiencing a bit of a boom at the moment with seriously tough options in the form of the existing Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial (just updated with more power for 2020) and the forthcoming Land Rover Defender Hard Top.

Suzuki Jimny light commercial vehicle, van, commercial 4x4, white, front view

The Jimny will provide a cut-price and exceptionally compact but still highly off-road capable alternative to these big name rivals – just don’t expect to carry a great deal of payload…

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What’s the load area like in the Jimny light commercial vehicle?

As will all commercial 4x4s, the Jimny van ditches its rear seats to become a two-seater only – leaving the entire rear area of the vehicle available for loading. (Apologies for the hilariously low-resolution pictures, they are all Suzuki has provided so far.)

Suzuki Jimny van interior render, low res, showing load area

Given that the Jimny is just 3,480mm long (3,645mm if you include the spare wheel mounted on the back), this still doesn’t leave a huge amount of space. The 863 litres (0.836 cubic metres) of load volume is 33 litres greater than the passenger car could manage – thanks to the removal of the rear seats – but it’s still less than you can get in the back of a Ford Fiesta Van.

You do get a flat load floor and a safety partition to stop whatever’s in the back interfering with the people.

And dare we ask about the payload?

Brace yourself. The Jimny commercial van has a kerb weight of 1,090kg and a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 1,435kg – which leaves just 345kg for payload.

Again, let’s references the Fiesta Van for comparison; minimum payload in the diminutive Ford is 508kg.

Of course, if you need to transport some tools across a muddy hill or up a mountain, the Fiesta will be utterly useless, whereas the Jimny should prove as nimble as a mountain goat.

So how is the performance?

All UK Jimnys are powered by a 1.5-litre non-turbo petrol engine, producing 102hp and 130Nm of torque. Maximum speed is 90mph, and Suzuki is yet to quote a 0-62mph acceleration time – possibly because it couldn’t find a large enough clock.

Suzuki Jimny van ladder frame chassis, low res

Still, it’s off-road performance that really matters with this thing, and despite its modest size it is fully equipped with part-time four-wheel drive and a low range transfer box. Based around a ladder-frame chassis and featuring a rigid rear axle with three-link suspension, tiny front and rear overhangs and 210mm of ground clearance, it offers an outstanding 37-degree approach angle, 28-degree breakover angle and immense 49-degree departure angle.

In other words – and this based on experience with the passenger versions – it is a proper cross-county marvel. Which is good news, since the old-fashioned recirculating ball steering and some dubious body control will make it somewhat less endearing over long-distances on the road (again, this is based on experience with the passenger version…).

What’s happening to the rest of the Jimny range?

It’s basically dead. Some dealers still have stock, but they won’t be getting any more – and at this stage there are no plans for a passenger car replacement.

How much does the Jimny van cost and when does it go on sale?

Nothing from Suzuki on pricing yet, but expect it to be significantly cheaper than any other commercial 4x4 on sale – as it probably needs to be.

We’re told only a limited number of Jimny LCVs will be available, and are expected to start arriving in 2021. We’ll update this page with further info as soon as we have it.

Also read:

>> Land Rover Defender Hard Top – full details of the new Defender Commercial

>> Our Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial review

>> Our Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial review