Toyota is gearing up to challenge the popular Suzuki Jimny with a model of its own – the 2024 LandCruiser Mini. But can it truly be a competitor? Let’s dive deep and find out.
Toyota’s Answer to the Suzuki Jimny
While the Suzuki Jimny stands uncontested in today’s car market for a reliable off-roader under $30,000 (AUD), Toyota plans to change the game. The LandCruiser Mini, slated for a 2024 release, could potentially upset the Jimny’s dominion.
The Suzuki Jimny, released in its current 4th generation form in 2018, has been popular for its no-frills approach to off-roading. With a ladder-frame chassis, low-range transfer case, and part-time 4WD, it boasts impressive off-road credentials, including an approach angle of 37 degrees, a ramp breakover angle of 28 degrees, and a departure angle of 49 degrees. For comparison, the Nissan Patrol Warrior, a custom off-roader priced at $110,000 (AUD) has a better approach angle of 40 degrees but a worse departure angle of 23.3 degrees. Despite its off-roading capabilities, the Suzuki Jimny has some shortcomings. The interior feels cheap, the seats offer little support, and its 1.5L 4-cylinder petrol engine, producing just 75 kW of power and 130 Nm of torque, leaves it lacking in speed. Additionally, its lightweight and brick-like shape make long highway journeys tiring.
Enter the LandCruiser Mini
Toyota couldn't ignore the success of the Suzuki Jimny. The Jimny's popularity is evident from how quickly it sells out – for instance, a recent shipment of 500 units of the Suzuki Jimny Auto variant was sold out in under 5 hours!
Toyota, known for legendary offroaders like the LandCruiser 300 Series, HiLux, and 70 Series LandCruiser, is perfectly positioned to offer a strong competitor. The LandCruiser Mini was first glimpsed in 2021 as the “Compact Cruiser EV” concept, giving enthusiasts a taste of what was to come.
The Toyota Land Cruiser Mini aims to address these deficiencies while providing a reliable off-roading option in the same price range. It will be built on an all-new heavy-duty ladder frame platform, with dimensions of approximately 4350 mm in length, 1860 mm in width, and 1880 mm in height. This makes it significantly longer than the five-door Suzuki Jimny, but still smaller than a Toyota Corolla Cross. Rumored pricing starts at around $42,000 (AUD), making it slightly more expensive than the Jimny.
In terms of engine options, rumors suggest the possibility of a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine from the Corolla Cross, with 126 kW of power and 202 Nm of torque. There may also be a hybrid version of this engine, producing 146 kW of power. The diesel option could be a 2.8L turbo diesel engine from the HiLux, producing 150 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque. An electric version is also expected to be available in the future.
The competition is heating up in the compact offroader segment. With the LandCruiser Mini's imminent release, we're looking at an exciting tussle between Toyota and Suzuki. Would you prefer the tried and tested Suzuki Jimny or are you excited to see what the LandCruiser Mini brings to the table?
As 2024 approaches, the anticipation grows. For all the latest updates and car news, don’t forget to check out CarSauce.com. And let’s gear up for what promises to be a riveting debate between the Jimny loyalists and the new LandCruiser Mini enthusiasts!
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.