The Suzuki Sierra, known elsewhere as the Suzuki Jimny, has been continuously sold since 1968. Originally developed by Hope Motor Company in Japan, the Jimny found international success when Suzuki bought Hope. In fact, the Jimny put Suzuki on the map, allowing the Japanese automaker to become a success.
The capable 4x4 gave Suzuki considerable name recognition in car markets around the globe. Filling a previously empty niche market, the Jimny was brought here as the Suzuki Sierra in 1981, where, over three-plus decades, the car has come to represent the ultimate in off-road handling and performance. Today, the car is still offered by Suzuki, currently known as the Suzuki Jimny Sierra. The fact that it is still on the market is a testament to the compact 4x4’s durability and staying power.
Originally, the Japanese automaker designed the Sierra to be a Kei car, meaning it was built to fit strict Japanese regulations on motor vehicles. To follow the rules, Suzuki manufactured the Sierra to be smaller, more fuel-efficient, and more manoeuvrable than its competitors. In the early 1970s, the Suzuki took the world by storm as the first true off-road 4x4 offered in history. As the first 4WD Kei car in production, the Sierra found immediate success in Japan and international markets. After a lengthy first generation, the Sierra was overhauled, and it was this second generation that was originally brought here in 1981.
The second generation of the Sierra was lengthened and widened for export markets. In addition, the vehicle was given a larger engine, due to the fact that cars marked for export had no need to follow Japanese domestic auto regulations. The Suzuki Sierra was also marketed and sold under the Holden Drover name here, depending on the exact geographical location. However, these two vehicles are exactly the same, with the Sierra name outlasting the Holden version. Over the years, the Sierra underwent many changes and generations, resulting in a wide variety of trims and engine options available on the used car market today.
The Sierra has always been known for its superior off-roading performance. It’s got significant style, comfort, and poke, but it will forever be remembered for its ability to take whatever the road throws at it. In fact, in 2007, a Chilean duo drove their Suzuki Sierra up Ojos del Salado, a volcano in the Andes. In doing so, they set the new record for the highest altitude ever attained by a four-wheel vehicle, at 6688 meters. It’s clear that the Sierra is perfect for used car buyers looking to take their off-roading experiences to new heights.
The original generation of Sierra, sold beginning in 1981, featured a 1.0L inline-4 engine with an output of just 34kW and a top speed of 109km/h. These original versions came in a wide variety of body configurations, including a pickup, half-door convertible, and two-door hardtop. Over the years the Sierra underwent significant changes. A newer generation featured a 1.3L inline-4 with 47kW at 6000 rpm and 100Nm of torque at 3500 rpm. Sierras are still on the new car market today, despite being sold under the slightly different name of Suzuki Jimny Sierra. These new Suzukis feature a 1.3L VVT engine with 62.5kW at 6000 rpm.
Original versions were manufactured as bare-bones work vehicles, and therefore didn’t feature much in the way of kit. The car has always featured large windows which give the driver excellent visibility. Power brakes were added as a standard feature on later generations, as were colour-coordinated interiors with cloth seats and carpets. Modern Suzuki Jimny Sierras feature air-conditioning, dual front airbags, electric windows and door mirrors, and fuel-efficiency engines standard.
In production for over 30 years, the Suzuki Sierra has faced stiff competition from all over the car market. However, throughout it all, the Sierra has outlasted its competitors, continually innovating in order to stay ahead of its compact 4x4 rivals. The car has sold well throughout its production run, and maintains its popularity today. As a comparison, the new Subaru Forrester features a 2.0L engine with 110kW, and the latest Honda CR-V boasts a 2.0L inline-4 with an output of 114kW and 190Nm of torque. However, neither of those cars can beat the legendary off-road performance offered by the Suzuki Sierra.