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The Suzuki Jimny could make a return to the UK in passenger-car form with five doors and an electrified powertrain.

The compact 4×4 was pulled from sales in Europe in 2020, due to the adverse effect it was having on Suzuki’s fleet-average CO2 emissions, although it remained on sale in other markets.

It was brought back a year later in limited-run, two-seat commercial form, due to the less stringent emission rules governing trade vehicles.

Now though, the Jimny has been spotted testing in Europe once again, with a substantially longer wheelbase, hinting at a new five-door bodyshell. 

It was reportedly seen running with its engine off, suggesting some sort of hybrid powertrain is under the bonnet. 

Suzuki no longer offers non-electrified engines in Europe, so a hybrid powertrain could be the Jimny’s ticket back to dealerships in the region. 

It’s expected that a Jimny hybrid would use a powertrain similar to that offered in the Suzuki Vitara. Options include a 127bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol mild hybrid and a 113bhp 1.5-litre full hybrid.

Before it was taken off sale, the Jimny was powered by a 100bhp naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which officially emitted 154g/km of CO2 while getting 35.8mpg.

Aside from being made more compliant with a cleaner powertrain, the Jimny could also be made more competitive in adopting a pair or rear doors. 

The added practicality would strengthen its use case in light of larger rivals like the Dacia Duster and even more lifestyle-oriented crossovers, such as the Ford Fiesta Active and Toyota Yaris Cross

It’s expected to have a wheelbase 300mm longer than the standard 2550mm, while width and height are expected to be unchanged.

The passenger Jimny cost from £15,879 at launch in 2019 and the commercial variant currently costs £19,999 (after VAT), so any larger and electrified variant is expected to nudge past the £20,000 barrier.

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