1995 Suzuki Jimny JA22
Stock Number: 4882
Whoever first claimed that big things come in small packages clearly was referring to the Suzuki Jimny. Those familiar will recognize these as the Suzuki Samurai we saw stateside between '86 and '95, however, the legitimate Jimny was the cream of the crop. As usual, the US market was way behind the times as these had been in production overseas since 1970. Like all great things it took time to evolve into the little monster that they are today. To this day they're still in production globally which is a testament to just how rugged these little buggers are. While the second generation of these went into production in '81 it wasn't until the mid-'90s that things started to get good. Late '95 is when they finally introduced a coil spring suspension with live rear axles front and rear. Thanks to the redesigned suspension you could now easily turn these into mini monster trucks. Along with the suspension redesign, you also get the more potent 658cc K6A turbo 3 cylinder. Per Japanese Kei class regulations the motor could only be "rated" at 64hp which is likely a bit underrated the same way cars like the Supra and GTR couldn't exceed 300hp from the factory. The design of these is exceptionally distinct, so we can warn you in advance that people will be stopping to ask about it all the time. Its design was aggressive right out of the gate with its functional hood scoop, exposed hardware, and boxy profile. Its Mercury Silver Metallic (1VN) paint is a strong choice and is in generally good condition. The hood and cowling below the windshield do have a fair bit of clear coat fade so you may want to have that resprayed at some point in time. The paint isn't flaking or peeling though which would be a bigger issue to deal with. Having been designed for the beaten path the body surprisingly doesn't reflect it. While an errant door ding or two is always expected there's really nothing out of the ordinary or worth noting which is a big plus. A tubular front bumper helps with clearance and gives the front end a rather tough look. It matches the minimalist chrome rear bumper giving a rather streamlined appeal. A new set of 35 x 10.5 x 15 Falken All Terrains gets this thing sitting right. These are known for being unstoppable offroad due to the short wheelbase and just how light they are. Unlike a giant lifted Chevy diesel these can make it through the worst of situations by skimming atop instead of having to plow through.
The interior of the JA22 was redesigned along with the suspension and drivetrain making these surprisingly comfortable little rigs. At the end of the day these were Kei cars, so don't expect them to be as luxurious as an 80 Land Cruiser, but the interior doesn't feel cheap. The multi-color seats are quintessential '90s and we wouldn't have it any other way. The driver's seat is in fantastic shape which is a little surprising due to the height which typically causes some accelerated bolster wear from having to hoist in and out. The passenger seat is just as nice which is a bit more to be expected. The back seats will neatly fold up for some added space and are also in great shape since there couldn't have been too many people looking to squeeze back there. A 3 spoke Momo wheel replaces the stock one and allows for a little extra legroom under the steering column for us tall folks. At 6'2" I can comfortably sit without feeling like you had to squeeze into it like say a Beat or Acty. The entire dash layout is simple and easy to read. The climate control system is simplistic and working as it should. The heat is pumping but it's a bit hard to test the A/C with the current temps here in VA. A newer Carrozzeria head unit is a nice touch that does have a USB input so it has a little more functionality than the usual JDM radio we see. You can easily swap it out for something more current and US-friendly thanks to this already have the aftermarket wiring necessary. Being more on the utilitarian side you've got crank windows and manually adjusted mirrors, which on the bright side means it's less to worry about breaking over time.
Power comes from that monster 658cc turbo setup, with a mere 61K verified Miles. The little 3 cylinder is quick to turn over and is very rev-happy, you even get a little blow off valve flutter when you lift off. Thanks to its larger catback exhaust it actually has a rather distinguished tone which you wouldn't expect out of such a tiny truck. Acceleration is quite brisk all things considered, though these really aren't designed with US highway speeds in mind. At 50 MPH you're running a bit over 4K RPM to give you an idea. Due to the oversized tires and short wheelbase, it does get a bit twitchy at speed. Though that can be said about most big All-Terrain tires having a tendency to wander a bit. Around town or offroad is really where the Jimny shines. Equipped with selectable 4WD and manually locking hubs you really will struggle to get this little guy stuck. The auto is rather quick to react to throttle inputs and runs through the gears with ease. The brakes are fantastic due to how light these are, the same can be said about the steering even stationary. While this isn't what we'd call the ideal daily driver (depending on where you live) it sure is a blast to whip around in. It would be a spectacular alternative to a side by side for someone with land to get out and tear up that you can still drive into town to pick up lunch. For those after a fun toy to wheel around in then we most certainly have the Jimny for you!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.