Watch the Suzuki Jimny Battle a Toyota Land Cruiser on a Serious Off-Road Course

Can the compact off-roader really stand up to one of the most capable SUVs on the market? 

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The all-new Suzuki Jimny is one of the world's smallest and lightest four-wheel drive passenger vehicle for sale today, which means it can do a lot of things modern, heavy off-road inspired SUVs can't. However, that doesn’t automatically mean it has the chops to handle serious off-road conditions better than some legendary nameplates. Cue in the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Autocar recently set out to see if the 2019 Suzuki Jimny is as capable as the Toyota Land Cruiser on a leveled playing field. After all, a real-world test of the Jimny is the only way to really get an idea of how it handles mud, rocks, water crossings, and other serious 4x4 scenarios. Even better yet, this video shows the Jimny doing it right along the 'Yota.

First, the obvious: Suzuki cut a lot of corners to make the Jimny and sell it as a low-priced, true off-roader with useable features. Because of this, the interior doesn't impress the host, but that doesn’t necessarily count it out as a great off-road vehicle. 

Moving onto the harder stuff, the Jimny is equipped with low- and high-range gearing, but it doesn’t have an auto locking differential, it has a brake-lock differential instead. Now, pair that with the naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine, and low-speed hill-climbing isn’t just a matter of aiming, it takes a pretty big punch of the pedal to get it moving. In the other corner, the Toyota Land Cruiser utilizes its 300 pound-feet of torque to bend nature at will.

If rock climbing is your thing, the Toyota Land Cruiser outperforms in this area, too, due to better articulation, and again, that whole more-power thing. The Toyota also has higher ground clearance and a 31-degree approach angle. 

At the end of the day, the Jimny may not be as equipped to tackle the trails as the Land Cruiser, but it still does outstanding on its own. The Jimny has a lot of unique upsides, such as being narrow enough to fit through small trails, its low curb weight still gives it an advantage on soft terrain, and its approach and departure angles keep the underside and bumpers off the ground. 

“Off-roading in something like a Jimny...is about as much fun as you can get,” said Autocar's Matt Prior.

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