Lake District, U.K. – The Land Rover Defender is to Brits what the F-150 is to Americans. Or rather it was, before it got too expensive and the farmers all switched to Japanese pick-ups. The Defender was effectively put out to pasture, relegated to being a lifestyle trinket. And Land Rover's endless prevarication over replacing the Defender can be partly attributed to this dilemma: Should it be in the original's mold, a fix-it-with-hammers rugged utility vehicle? Or should it concede that market and instead become a premium premium-priced Mercedes G-Class rival? Meanwhile, while Land Rover had dithered, others have capitalized – not least Suzuki's Jimny, which nails the seemingly conflicting demands of the new Defender's brief in one cute, pint-sized package
So too is the Jimny priced at a level buyers in markets where it is offered can chalk up as a discretionary purchase. Dating back to the early 1970s, the Jimny has a heritage of its own to draw upon. But this lo-fi remix of traditional 4x4 tech and functionally slick styling has scored a bullseye for both utility users and the hipster brigade, both of whom place great value in authenticity.