Daihatsu's rival to the Suzuki Jimny planned for Japanese debut in mid-2023
CY Foong · Feb 7, 2023 04:15 PM
Soon the Suzuki Jimny won’t be the only boxy kei 4x4 offered as Daihatsu is planning to introduce its own rival around the middle of 2023 according to sources close to Japanese automotive media.
Said to be called the Daihatsu Rugger, it would mainly focus on looking tough than any off-roading pedigree according to a scoop by Best Car Web. Daihatsu’s Jimny rival will not be built on a ladder-frame chassis like the lil’ Suzy but instead on a DNGA platform similar to the Daihatsu Taftkei car.
Sources close to Best Car Web said that the Rugger would feature an on-demand four-wheel drive (4WD) system that is also present on the Taft. The Rugger’s looks however would be closer to the Jimny’s toughness with emphasis on the T-word.
The Rugger name was used before on a Daihatsu off-roader in the 1980s and 1990s. It was offered here in Malaysia as the Daihatsu Rocky and in Indonesia as the Daihatsu Taft. The Rugger was also rebadged in Japan as the Toyota Blizzard.
The revived Rugger was previously speculated by Japanese media to be introduced in 2022 but it seems that development has pushed the launch date to mid-2023. Best Car Web expects the all-new Daihatsu Rugger to be priced between JPY 1.5 million to 2 million (~RM 49k-65k) which is close to the Jimny’s price in Japan.
The Jimny is available in Japan with either a kei-car-compliant 660-cc engine or a 1.3-litre engine. The latter is the only unit offered for the global market including Malaysia but Daihatsu doesn’t seem to have plans for the Rugger to be offered overseas. As such, the Daihatsu Rugger is highly unlikely to receive a Perodua rebadge.